What are Cloth Nappies? | Cloth Nappies UK | Me Becoming Mum

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Before having my eldest daughter, Squidgy, cloth nappies weren’t even on my radar. In my mind, using a cloth nappy was old fashioned, and no matter how great they might be for the environment they were’t for me. That soon changed. The reality is there are a number of reasons why you might end up becoming a cloth bum mum. In my case it was due to allergies.

The start of our cloth nappy journey

We didn’t start off with cloth nappies. For the first few months after Squidgy was born we used a variety of disposable nappy brands. The problem was, no matter what brand we tried, Squidgy ended up with blisters, nappy sores and lesions.

After a trip to the doctors we were prescribed creams which didn’t work and in the end told that it was because she was wearing a disposable nappy. It turns out she was allergic. Thankfully one of John’s colleagues had gone through the same thing, meaning we had someone to talk to and figure out the cloth nappy world.

What are cloth nappies?

The big misconception about cloth nappies is that they are big square pieces of material that need folding a certain way and pinning in place; like those available in the 60s. This is not the case, however. Cloth nappies are now a lot easier to use and you can purchase a variety of different types of cloth nappy.

There is lots of in depth information on the The Nappy Lady website, but here are my own notes on different types of cloth nappy:

Shaped sized cloth nappies: These have the best containment and are the easiest to use as you have a nappy and a waterproof wrap; that’s it! We use the Little Lamb bamboo nappies and sized wraps at night.

Pocket cloth nappies: These cloth nappies have a waterproof outer layer and fleece lining. There's an opening at the back where you can insert boosters to create an absorbent layer. We use Little Lamb sized pocket nappies during the day.

BTP (Birth-to-potty) cloth nappies: These are similar to using a pocket cloth nappy, but with poppers on the front, they can adjusted in size. This allows you to use them from birth right through to potty training. This will save you money and is convenient if you have two babies of different ages in nappies at the same time. We use Littles & Bloomz† during the day.

AIO (All-in-ones) cloth nappies: These are cloth nappies with an absorbent inner layer and waterproof outer layer. This means you don’t need to have a separate wrap. We use AIO cloth nappies from Bambino Mio† during the day.

AIT (All-in-two) cloth nappies: This cloth nappy type is halfway between a pocket nappy and AIO. The difference is the absorbent booster can be attached with a popper and removed for washing.

Flat pad or square cloth nappies: These are the nappies that we think of… the old-school 60s terry squares and pins. Although I’m not personally a fan, these are the fastest to dry so could work for some families.

Why should you make the change to cloth nappies?

Here are three quick reasons I think you should make the change to cloth nappies:

  1. They save you money. Although there is quite a large outlay at the beginning, in the long run you’ll save money vs. the purchase of disposable nappies. This is especially true if they are used by more than one child.

  2. They stop you filling landfill. Around 8 million nappies are thrown away every day in the UK alone. These make up around 4% of our landfill. Shocked? You should be. Making the swap to cloth nappies will reduce this number!

  3. They are soft on baby bums. No matter which type of nappy you buy, they are going to be so much more comfortable for your baby. Soft lining and chemical free make-up means they are so much better than disposable nappies.

Ultimately the decision to be a cloth bum mum is a personal one, and I really had no choice. That being said, I’ve never looked back and I wouldn’t change a thing. Cloth nappies are better for the environment, better for your baby’s skin and better for your bank balance in the long run.

 

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.