We have been using cloth nappies for about 4 months (edit – 6 months as this had been in my draft folder for so long!) now and I keep meaning to make time to post about it! We have built up a stash which is now just about enough tot use cloth full time and only have to wash every two days. So here are my honest thoughts on it.
Every time I’ve thought of writing this post the title was going to be something like “cloth does not save money!”. Well, not in our case. A bit like menstrual pads, it can do, until you get hooked. And I keep finding myself having to remind myself that we do not want too many nappies because after all, our decision to use cloth was about the environment. And let’s be honest, the more you research that, the more you realise it’s not a perfect system. More on that later. If you’re looking into cloth nappying to save money, don’t let this proposed title of my blog post put you off. It’s perfectly easy to save money by using them IF you go for cheap options and use them full time (we’ve been using disposables for backup as a while, mostly because of struggling to find trousers or tights with enough room to go over them).
Gone are the days when it was a terry towel and a white plastic cover… but actually, I maintain terry flats are still the best. We do have a combination of different types of nappies, as I wanted to try as many kinds as possible, in an affordable way (I’ve probably spent about 130 pounds on the purchase of cloth nappies and wipes). One of the priorities is to end up with fast drying systems, as we hang them indoors on airers.
Terry flats I bought just because of the price, and I had been watching youtube videos on them. Yes, it is a bit oldschool… BUT they are versatile, as you can use several different folds, attach them with a snappi, and they dry faster than other types of nappies (although muslins dry even faster and I do also use them for nappies!). You could easily survive on about 30 of these and a couple of covers, making it the absolute cheapest option.
You also have all in one systems which are as close as you can get to disposable in terms of how easy they are to put on. We only have two types, one from Bambino Mio (actually sold in supermarkets in UK which is why I have them, though not as leakproof as other types and they occasionally leak) and one from tots bots, which I have to say I am not the biggest fan of. If you have more of a budget there are all in ones with a great reputation out there, but they can easily cost over 50% more than other all in ones.
Shaped nappies which you will have to use with a cover. This is a nice option for high absorbency. I find totsbots stretchies to be good. Little Lamb also have this, and is in fact a very cheap option and many people swear by them, but it didn’t work for us shapewise.
You also have prefold, which I have never used, but is essentially a flat nappy with lines sewn into it to make it easier to put it into shape.
Pocket nappies! Are now a favourite of mine. I did favour the flat + cover option about this, because you can reuse the cover for several changes (therefore requiring fewer covers) and I thought of pocket nappies as being a bit of a waste of energy since you have to stuff the absorbency into them every time, and you can only use the cover once. But I have really come to like Little Lamb and Alva pockets (both of them quite affordable) as you can put the insert in and I would say they’re as slim fitting as it gets. Not entirely leak proof but hey ho.
This is an overall cloth nappies 101… Will be posting individual reviews at some point in the future!