Modern Cloth Nappies - or MCN's are cute, very easy to use, cost effective, good for the environment and cloth nappies are softer and more gentle on babies skin. Oh, and did I mention they are cute!
Reusable Nappies have changed a lot since the terry toweling squares and safety pins our mums used. Modern reusable nappies come in a huge range of materials and styles to suit all babies and budgets.
Caring For Your Cloth Nappies:
Modern Cloth Nappies do not need to be soaked - in fact, soaking them can actually make them deteriorate faster. These days, reusable nappies are "dry pailed". Dry Pailing involves rinsing or flushing any solid waste, then storing nappies in a securely lidded bucket or wet bag until wash day. “Dry-pailing” is super easy, chemical free and safe - no more buckets of water providing a potential hazard for curious babies..
On wash day you simply wash your nappies with a small amount of gentle enzyme free detergent (too much detergent can lead to a film build up on the nappies which can increase the risk of leaks and smells) in cold or warm water and hang them on the line to dry. Most nappies can handle being tumble dried occasionally but constant tumble drying will wear them out quicker and the sun helps to naturally bleach out stains and to sanitise your nappies. Do NOT use any softeners, soakers or bleaches on your nappies as these can also lower the absorbancy and make your nappies wear faster. Be sure to prewash your nappies before their first use. The outer of a nappy only needs to be washed once - All In Ones and soakers/boosters/inserts need to be washed 5-6 times to reach their full absorbancy.
Nappy Smells If your nappies become smelly give them an extra wash in hot water only (no detergent)until the water runs clear and then hang them on the line to dry in the sunshine. You can also try adding Canestan Solution to the rinse water occasionally. This is available in the laundry aisle of your supermarket.
These days it can be extremely confusing knowing where to start. We are spoilt for choice with modern cloth nappies. Below is a quick guide to what is available:
All In One Nappies: A shaped absorbent nappy that is waterproof and does NOT require a seperate nappy cover. They are a one piece design that is very simple to use. Dad's love these as they go on like a disposable and are fastened with either hook & loop (velcro) or snaps. Like the fitted nappy, these come in various sizes from birth to toddler, with some being one-size (often referred to as OSFM or One Size Fits Most) so that they grow with your baby. . A true all-in-one nappy has all the layers (absorbent layers and waterproof cover) sewn together. AS these nappies can take a long time to dry, the style has evolved and you may now see some nappies which can "become" an all-in-one by snapping in an insert or a booster. These are often referred to as an all-in-two. To make things less confusing, it is simpler to think of an All In One nappy as a nappy that can be put on your baby "all-in-one step". That means only one fastening on the outside of the nappy, which may be snaps or Velcro and no other cover. The construction of the nappy may include snap in boosters or other quick-dry features.
Fitted nappies are shaped to fit with elastic in the waist and legs. They typically close with velcro and snaps although some simpler designs may require a snappi. All fitted nappies require a waterproof nappy cover. Fitted nappies may either be sized (small, medium, large) or one sized one-sized (OSFM) and many come with with snap-in or lay-in booster systems. A fitted nappy in combination with a well fitting ,waterproof cover is often considered the most reliable of nappy systems as there are two lines of defence against leaks - the elastic in the legs/waist of the nappy and the elastic in the legs/waist of the cover. They are often the preferred night nappy and come in a range of fabrics such as hemp, bamboo & cotton..
Pocket nappies are a waterproof cover and liner sewn together to form (as the name suggests) a pocket. The pocket is then stuffed with an absorbent material (a flat nappy or a pre-sewn stuffer). Pocket Nappies are similar to an all-in-one in that they can be placed on your baby "all-in-one step" (although there are also some pocket nappies which are a fitted nappy and as such a separate cover is required. )The advantage of pocket nappies is the ability to add more absorbency if required and a much quicker drying time as the stuffing is removed prior to washing and drying. .
Flat Nappies A square of terry towelling or flanelette, designed to be folded in a variety of different ways to adjust the "wet zone" and fastened by pins or snappis. Flat nappies require a nappy cover to make them waterproof. These still form the basis of many cloth nappy stashes.as they remain the cheapest way to cloth nappy your baby. They are quick to dry are not as absorbent as modern cloth nappy options.
Prefolds are similiar to the traditional flat nappies - without the need for tricky folding. They are a rectangular shape consisting of three panels with an extra absorbant layer in the middle or wetzone. Prefolds are an easy and economical option for cloth nappying your baby and are often used for the newborn stage when there are frequent changes. You may see descriptions of prefolds as being 4x6x4 or 2x3x2. This indicates the layers of fabric in each panel. For example 2x3x2 means that the first panel has 2 layers, the middle panel has 3 layers and the the third panel has 2 layers of fabric. Prefolds may be simply placed inside a snug fitting nappy cover or may be fastened with a snappi with a nappy cover over the top.
Nappy Covers Modern nappy covers are made from breathable materials (polar fleece, nylon, wool & Polyurethane Laminates or PUL) that are easy to care for and keep mess and moisture in while allowing your baby's skin to breathe. Covers can either be pull-up or use fasteners such as hook & loop (Velcro®) or snaps.
Booster An absorbant pad of material that is placed inside a nappy to give extra absorbency .
Liners help to keep baby dry as they draw the moisture away from baby's skin. They also make disposing of solid waste easier. They can be made of a washable material such as microfleece which can be reused and is simply thrown in the wash with the nappies. Bio-degradable, disposable liners are also available which can be flushed down the toilet. These are particularly handy for when you are out and about
Diaper Sprayer A hand operated spray nozzle with a flexible hose.which is eassily connected to your toilet system and used to rinse the mess from your nappies straight into the toilet.
Wet Bag A waterproof bag used to store wet and soiled nappies until wash day. Also great for transporting wet or soiled nappies when out and about. They are simply turned inside out and washed with your nappies. Once your toddler is toilet trained the wet bags can be reused for swimmers and wet clothing! Wet Bags come in a variety of fabrics and sizes and may close with a zipper or drawstring and toggle.
How Many Nappies Do I need?
As a rough guide, 30 nappies should see you through from birth to toilet training if you plan on washing every 2 to 3 days.
If you choose a fitted nappy system you will also require separate nappy covers. You will want at least 6-8 covers. The best defence against leakage is a well fitting nappy under a well fitting cover (most nappy covers are sized although there are some OSFM covers that grow with your baby) therefore don't be tempted to go up a size in order to get longer out of a cover
If you are going to use cloth nappies it is really just as easy to use cloth wipes. Simply pop them in the wash with your nappies. 20-30 wipes should get you out of trouble.
Visit us for more information and to see our range of nappies.