All About Cloth Nappying
Cloth (or reusable) nappies (or diapers) are a wonderful choice for many reasons. A few of those being:
There are significant environmental benifits that come with reusable nappies. Did you know that over 1 billion disposable nappies go to landfill every year in Australia alone!? That's about 3 million per day! They will take centuries to decompose. Plus, the amount of carbon emitted in the production of one disposable nappy is roughly the same as that emitted after washing a cloth nappy 200 times (in cold water)?
Some babies may be sensitive to the chemicals and plastic used in disposable nappies. Cloth is a gentler, and more natural option. Cost is a large factor for many people. The initial outlay for Modern Cloth Nappies may seem large - they may cost you $500-1000 initially. However, if you calculate the cost of disposable nappies over a period of 2-3 years (the average baby is in nappies for 2.5 years, costing $2500-3500), they will save you lots of money! If you have more than one child, then the savings will be huge!
Our favourite reason, though, is simply that cloth is beautiful!
ABOUT MINILALA NAPPIES
MiniLaLa nappies are the ultimate in pretty nappies! As well as being absolutely gorgeous, they are trim, easy to use, and absorbent. Each nappy has a designer cotton outer, hidden waterproof PUL layer, and suedecloth inner. Our AIOs have an absorbent bamboo and microfibre core, and our Pocket MCNs come with absorbent microfibre or bamboo inserts. None of our nappies require covers, or anything extra.
With two babies in nappies, and friends willing to 'help out', MiniLaLa nappies have been well tried and tested, and we have found that our nappy should last around 2-3 hours for medium to heavy wetters, and 3-4 for light to medium wetters. Possibly longer, but we recommend changing your baby's nappy at least every 3-4 hours regardless of brand to keep their skin rash-free and beautiful.
WHY DO WE LOVE BAMBOO?
We like bamboo fleece as an absorbent layer in our nappies for a few reasons:
Bamboo is extremely absorbent, yet is very breathable and odour resistant. It is naturally antibacterial and antifungal - perfect for baby's sensitive bottom, and ideal for babies with skin allergies.
Bamboo is environmentally friendly and biodegradable. It is organically grown, so does not require chemicals like herbicides and pesticides to grow. It is extremely fast-growing, which makes it sustainable and it improves soil quality.
Bamboo is extremely soft, and washes and irons beautifully. It is a thermal material, similar to wool, adjusting to cool or warm temperatures.
Bamboo is about 60% more absorbent than cotton.
STARTING OUT WITH CLOTHI know how overwhelming the world of cloth nappies can be. Who would have ever thought there would be so many options for a nappy!? Here are a few tips for those who haven't used cloth nappies before:
It's often a good idea to just get a couple of each style when starting out, just so that you get a feel for what suits you best. You can always buy more later on (especially if you are waiting to find out which colours you need!). Eg. Small AIO can be great for a newborn, but if you do happen to have a big bub, you might prefer to go straight to OSFM. Your baby might be a heavy wetter, so a well-stuffed pocket nappy suits better than the AIOs you thought would be best, or you prefer the ease of AIOs.
I often get asked how many nappies you need. I always say that it does depend on whether you plan to use cloth full-time or part-time, on how often you want to wash, and of course, your baby. You might change your baby's nappy up to 15 times a day for a newborn (yes!), but an average of around 6 times for an older baby, and I recommend washing every second to third day (no longer as you don't want the soiled nappies sitting too long - it can damage the fibres). So let's say you need 8 nappies each day, and wash every second day - you need two days worth of nappies, plus one extra day's worth to use while your washing dries, making a total of 24. You can always start with less and guage whether you think you need more.
Cloth wipes go hand-in-hand with cloth nappies. They are lovely to use, and are no trouble when you are washing cloth nappies anyway just throw them in together. You might notice a big saving over the cost of disposable wipes (I know that I can use them by the bucketload!)
You might like to consider using liners for your nappies. They are not much use to you if you have a breastfed baby who is not eating solid food yet (unless you are using nappy rash cream), but once your baby starts to do firmer poos, a liner can make disposing of waste much easier! You can get both reusable and disposable liners (my favourites are Eenees biodegradable liners). I don't recommend MiniLaLa nappies for night use, as they are a trim fitting 'pretty' nappy and aren't designed to last for 12 hours. There are some great night nappies on the market. These are usually fitted nappies which require covers.
GETTING THE PERFECT FIT
To check that the fit is correct, and the nappy is tight enough when trying it on your baby, make sure that the elastic around the legs and waist is snug-fitting. If there are gaps, you may find that the nappy will leak. In saying that, you don't want it too tight either. If the rise is too high, or low, you can use the snap adjustments on MiniLaLa one-size pocket nappies to find the best fit.
WHICH NAPPY FOR ME?
It really is a personal preference. Me, well I prefer OSFM pocket nappies, but have a few AIOs for when I can't be bothered stuffing a nappy after the wash. All MiniLaLa nappies have a waterproof layer, so do not require covers. Both styles are the same to put on the baby - simply fit the nappy by adjusting the tabs. Just like a disposable. Here are a few notes about how each style works, and the pros and cons for each:
An AIO has all parts sewn together. You will also get a booster with your MiniLaLa AIO, which you simply lay inside the nappy white side up. AIOs come in 3 sizes which you will need to purchase separately as your baby grows.
ONE-SIZE-FITS-MOST POCKET NAPPIES (OSFM)
Pocket nappies come in pieces. You will get an outer (with the pocket), as well as two absorbent inserts. You can add extra inserts to make the nappy more absorbent. OSFM comes in one size with snap setting which you adjust as your baby grows.
I hope this has helped with your decision to use cloth nappies. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.