Using Cloth Nappies
Reusable Nappies Explained!
Reusable nappies, also known as cloth nappies, have changed beyond all recognition in recent years. When parents first hear about cloth nappies, they often believe that traditional terry squares are all that’s available. However most are now shaped to fit snugly round your baby, closing with hook & loop or poppers. And while some reusable nappies require a waterproof outer wrap, many of the newest ones are now designed to incorporate that too, giving you an “all in one” style nappy – super easy to use!
Which sort of reusable nappy should I get?There are three basic types of reusable nappies: the flat nappy (terries, prefolds and muslins); the fitted nappy; and the all-in-one and pocket styles. Flat and fitted nappies are part of a two-part system and require a wrap. All in ones and pocket nappies have their wrap attached as part of the nappy.
All in One and Pocket NappiesAll-in-One (AIO) and pocket nappies are just as simple to change as a disposable, but you wash and re-use them. All in one nappies have the absorbent “nappy” and waterproof cover permanently attached, they cannot be separated for washing. Pocket nappies have a waterproof cover with a fleece lining sewn in, and an opening at the back or front into which you put one or two absorbent inserts, so you can separate it for washing.
Best for: working parents using childcare; generally for daytime use; anyone who wants a really easy nappy system.
Fitted NappiesShaped to fit snugly round your baby. Require a separate waterproof cover or wrap. Some are “one size fits most” while others come in different sizes to suit your baby’s age.
Best for: sized fitted nappies are great for newborns, especially if breastfed; heavy wetters if the nappy is made from natural fabrics; the best night nappies tend to be fitted nappies.
Flat nappiesTraditional terry squares, prefolds and muslins. Require folding, and need a separate waterproof cover or wrap.
Best for: parents on a tight budget; those with very limited drying facilities.
Isn’t it all a load of extra work?
No – your washing machine will take care of most of that for you. You can use flush-away liners to dispose of the poo, then wash the nappies every other day. It’s no more bother to put the nappies into a nappy bucket and then wash them, then it is to put them in the nappy bin, then empty that outside. Plus you won’t have a bin full of stinky nappies!
by Christine McRitchie, mum of 4 and expert in reusable nappies