Did you or do you use cloth nappies or MCN’s (modern cloth nappies) with your kids?
My kids are 7 and 9 now, but when they were younger modern cloth nappies saved me a small fortune and even made me money once I learned how to sew them and sold some to others!
We have an amazing guest poster today from the other side of the world who has used cloth nappies for years (although she calls the diapers usually!), the fantastic Jacqueline from Mama’s Munchkins!
I am so excited to be here! Thinking that people are reading this on the other side of the world is pretty exciting!I am a mom of 4 kids( my oldest is 4 1/2 and my baby just turned a year!) I know how hard mama life can be, so I blog to help other moms. I blog about cloth nappies, parenting, and recipes. Read more about me here!
Today I’m going to be sharing some tips on how to make cloth nappies easier. I’ve used cloth nappies on 3 babies over the last two years and have learned a few things that makes using cloth nappies so much easier! So whether you’re only thinking about cloth nappies, or have been using them for a while, or hey, even if you know someone who could use these tips, read on to share it with them!
Use All of One Type
This is my number one tip. If you have all the different types of cloth nappies in your stash, it makes laundry day a lot more complicated then it needs to be! What do I mean by one type? Have all your nappies be All-in-One, All-in-Two’s, Pocket, or Pre-folds… the list could go on and on. If you stick to one type, you won’t have to sort through all your inserts to find the specific one for a particular nappy. All the inserts will go with any nappy! All you need to do then is grab any insert and stuff your diaper or snap it onto the nappy instead of shuffling to find the right nappy. If you want to make it even simpler, go with all of one type of inserts, I highly recommend using bamboo or hemp, since they are the most absorbent!
Have Disposables Handy
This is so handy if you’re just starting out, use disposables at night. Babies pee a lot at night. Especially if you already have a heavy wetter than finding the perfect nappy that will work at night can be very frustrating! If every morning you get a baby that is soaking through to his sheets, and you need to wash everything every day, that gets old in a quick hurry. Or you will have a baby waking up through the night because they feel wet!
I also send disposables with any babysitter, just because I use cloth nappies doesn’t mean that someone else likes it, and neither are they set up for it!(stay tuned for that tip next!) If I’m going to be going out all day then I also use disposables. With now 2 in nappies, it would be a lot of dirty nappies to cart around all day! I only leave them in their cloth nappies if I’m only going to be gone for a few hours.
If you are going to be on the go with cloth nappies, then make sure you have one of these little-wet bags! They do a fantastic job of keeping the smell contained. I promise you a plastic bag won’t cut it. I’ve had a few times where I forgot to take a wet bag and just used a plastic bag, well within 2 hours your entire diaper bag will stink, and you will have to wash everything it in and the diaper bag itself!
I will also use disposables if we get a rash that coconut oil won’t be able to fix,(did you know you get a lot less rashes when using cloth nappies?) If I just put on a disposable, with diaper cream I don’t need to worry that my diaper cream isn’t nappy safe!
Have Everything in One Spot
I understand that this doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Sometimes our house just isn’t set up the right way, or it’s too small!
But if you can, then do this! Have your diapers stored where you change them, and have your diaper pail by your sprayer. If you don’t want to have a diaper sprayer on your toilet, then use the one (if you have it) in your utility sink. What I do is I have a ‘poop spatula’ I’ll use this spatula to scrape the poop into the toilet, and then spray the rest off in my utility sink.
With the 4 toddlers I have, I don’t want to have a sprayer within their reach! Having some sort of sprayer is almost essential to using cloth nappies if you want to make it easier! While you can soak them in the toilet like they did in the old days, it adds more work!(and in my opinion, it would be pretty gross to dig the diaper out of there).
I think the most important to have on the same spot, is your sprayer and your pail. If you have to carry a dripping nappy to your pail, then either you need something to transfer it in, or you’ll need to mop your floor to yet! It makes it a lot easier if you can just spray it and dump it!
Pre-Rinse your Inserts.
With this, I don’t mean your washing cycle. With this I mean rinse out your inserts BEFORE you put them in the pail. This way you dilute the ammonia that is in the inserts thus getting less build up!
With less build up you will have less leakage, less repelling and diapers that don’t get that awful ammonia smell!BUT you can only do this if you don’t have hard water. If you have hard water, then you will get more issues by rinsing them!
Here’s an extra tip- pull out the inserts before you rinse them. If you try to pull them out after rinsing them while they are still in the pocket, then it will be a lot harder to remove the wet insert.
Tweak your Routine
Tweak your routine until you get it to the point where you don’t need to strip your nappies anymore. If you need to strip your nappies than your laundry routine isn’t right. (To see how I wash my diapers, read that post here).
Either use a different laundry soap, add an extra rinse, (or remove one if you have hard water), use more soap or use less soap.
There are so many different ways to change up your routine that I couldn’t even begin to go through them all, but I’ll explain a couple!
If your stripping because they have a terrible ammonia smell, then try pre-rinsing the diapers like I said in the previous tip, instead of doing just a pre-rinse in your washing machine, do a full cycle with no soap, and try washing them a little more often! Do every 2 days instead of every 3rd for example.
If your nappies are leaking/repelling, it could also be because of ammonia buildup, so try the tips I just mentioned, or try switching the soap you use!
Play with the amount of soap, strip your diapers and then use a little more soap than what you did before if that doesn’t help, or makes them worse, then strip again and use less soap! While it does take time and effort to figure out your perfect routine, it is so worth it once you have figured it out!
While there are so many more things that you could change in your laundry routine, these are the most common ones, so start there!
How long have you been using cloth nappies? Do you have tips that you can add for all the moms/mums who haven’t been doing it very long? We’d love it if you could share!
All images supplied by Jacqueline.