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My posts about our use of cloth nappies seems to be turning into a bit of a series. People asked for me to share my knowledge and things I have learnt in the past five years of being a cloth bum mum, and I am happy to oblige. My first post answered, “What are cloth nappies?”, and my second talked about how to care for your cloth nappies. Here I’ll share about how we use cloth nappies in everyday life. From day to day cloth nappy use at home to how we continue to allow Pickle to wear them out and about and on holiday.
When can you start using cloth nappies?
It is never too early to start using cloth nappies on your baby’s bum. With Pickle we used cloth from the day she was born, and still use them now (she’s two!) If your child isn’t no longer a newborn however, it’s never too late to make the swap!
When Squidgy was a few months old we discovered she was allergic to disposable nappies. At that point we had no choice but to make the transition to cloth nappies, and she used them until she was almost three. She moved into cloth training pants and subsequently knickers once she was confident using the toilet.
How many cloth nappies do you need?
They are so pretty you will end up wanting all the cloth nappy designs. However you only really need enough for two or three days worth of changing dependant on how often you plan to wash them.
Newborns / Young babies
I recommend washing every day as they can go through up to ten nappies a day.
You will need around 20 daytime cloth nappies.
You will also need around 10 nighttime cloth nappies, with one wrap per five nappies.
Bear in mind shaped sized cloth nappies will take longer to dry so it's better to have more than not enough.
Older babies / Toddlers
I wash Pickle's nappies every other day
You will need around 10 daytime cloth nappies.
If you purchase BTP you will not need to invest in extra ones for this age, you just adjust them.
You will need around 5 nighttime cloth nappies, with one wrap.
How do you use cloth nappies at home?
There are two types of cloth nappy that we have predominately used for both our girls, whether we are at home, out and about or even when we are on holiday. Here’s how we use them at home.
During the day
At night we use shaped sized cloth nappies with water proof sized wraps from Little Lamb.
N.B. Wraps can be used with more than one nappy as they don’t get soiled. Even in the early days when they would need changing at night, we simply changed the nappy and put the same wrap back on after wiping it clean.
How do you use cloth nappies when you go out?
When we first started using cloth nappies, the thing that worried me the most was how we would cope outside of our home. I needn’t have worried, it’s no harder to use cloth nappies outside the home than it is at home, you just take them with you and have to bring them home again. Here are my tips for using cloth nappies on trips out:
Make sure you have a wet bag. In the same way you can buy nappy sacks for disposable nappies, there are different sized wet bags available for storing dirty cloth nappies until you get home. If we are only making short trips out, I use small Little Lamb drawstring bags to bring them home again to wash.
Be aware of their bulk. I have use a variety of changing bags over the years, and never had a problem fitting the cloth nappies into them. However they are bulkier than disposable nappies, so a tiny nappy bag may not be the right thing to use for days out.
Can you take cloth nappies on holiday with you?
Absolutely! We have taken cloth nappies all over the place with us but there are a couple of considerations you will need to make before packing them.
They take up space. If you’re packing a suitcase for holiday, cloth nappies are likely to take up a large chunk of the space as you will need to take enough with you to last the journey and some time in between washes. It is not as simple as getting to your destination and popping to the local supermarket to pick some up.
You will need to wash them. Unless you’re only away for a couple of days you will need to be able to wash the cloth nappies while you are away. Check that where you are going has facilities for you to do so. We have washed cloth nappies at caravan parks where they charge an arm and a leg for the washing powder too, so think about packing some washing liquid to take with you.
Invest in a large wet bag. It is not easy to take a bin away with you and you don’t want the cloth nappies to accidentally be thrown away with the rubbish. I bought Little Lamb large wet bags for holidays, and they come with zips so once the nappy is inside they won’t smell out your holiday destination in between washes.
Cloth nappies are so easy to use, and help you save money, and look after the environment too. With the right tips and tricks at your disposal thanks to this growing series on our cloth journey, you can be sure to have all the information you need to use cloth nappies the right way!
For posts about cloth nappies and other reusable products we use in our home, check out the Cloth Alternatives category. If you have any questions about using cloth nappies feel free to ask in the comments section below.