Cloth nappies. Yes it is a thing again!
Not too long ago (okay, about 30 years ago) using cloth nappies was a thing and all of us sported a nice big bottom. Then disposables came along and the towelling nappies were reserved as 'spoegdoeke'.
Disposable nappies are convenient, but unfortunately not the best for the environment, your baby or your finances. One baby can generate more than a ton of landfill and disposables take) about 400 years to decompose if ever. They also contain harmful chemicals and as all of us parents know, they do not come cheap.
The good news are that cloth nappies are making a HUGE comback. There are a variety brands and types to choose from and some with funky prints. Some of the types include: flats (the square piece of material you fold into a nappy); prefolds, fitteds, pockets, all-in-ones, hybrids, etc).
More good news are that they are relatively easy to use. Technology improved - also our washing machines and detergents. Therefore we do not need to soak it anymore for days on end. It is as simple as throwing it in the washing machine like the rest of our clothes.
Some points on washing:
*knock solid poop into the toilet if baby is not exclusively breastfed (ebf poop nappies can be washed as is).
*used nappies can be kept in a washing basket until washday (dry bucket - not soaking in water)
*do a short wash or pre-wash with your nappies
*then do a long cycle (usually cotton or fuzzy) on 40 degrees. If you only have cold water, increase your detergent.
*use the recommended amount of detergent for 'heavily soiled laundry'. DO NOT USE SOFTENER as it will affect the absorbency of the nappy.
*hang to line-dry or tumble dry on low.
*your machine needs to be ¾ full. If you have too little nappies to get it to that point you can add other washing or a towel after the pre-wash/quick wash in the beginning.
*DO NOT USE NORMAL BUM CREAM. It will damage your nappies and affect absorbency. Opt for natural bum creams without zinc oxide or petrolateum.
I would like to tell more about flats. The old-school type nappy. This is the cheapest nappy, very absorbant and easy to wash and care for.
*Flats need to be fold. Google can be of great help. Origami and kite fold is the most popular fold. You can also padfold them i.e. fold them into a rectangle and place into the cover.
*unless padfolded they need to be fastened with a safety pin or a snappi. Snappi's are the safer method and widely available from Pep.
*they need a cover. As budget option Pep covers can be used. Better quality that will last for years I recommend fleece or PUL covers that can be ordered from any of the cloth nappy retailers. There's also a fleece soaker pattern here to make your own.
*fleece liners can help create a dry feel and help with cleaning up poop. Just cut them from an old fleece blanket or any polar fleece material from the fabric shop.
For more information on how to use cloth nappies, do not hesitate to contact me, Lize, on my page Bokkelienkie. I used cloth nappies on both my children and would love to help other moms in that regard as it is a big passion for me.
4akid also now offers towelling nappies in funky blue or pink! Order yours here.
Credit for the infographics used come from the amazing South African cloth nappy users webpage. www.sacnu.com