Aside from the cute prints, environment and potential savings using cloth nappies, there is a lot you need to know before you start your reusable nappy journey. I’m just over six months in with little miss and I’ll admit we’ve had our up and downs but I’m a complete convert now and bump will be a fluffy bum too. I only wish I had researched everything a little more or got some expert advice. I’m no pro but it’s Real Nappy Week so I thought I’d share some things I’ve learnt about cloth over the past few months.

cloth nappy tips and tricks aio bambino mio sophie

There’s a cloth nappy slang. Clothian if you like. If you’re a newbie in a cloth nappy group you may be overwhelmed by all the abbreviations. Here’s some of the most commonly used acronyms and words to describe cloth:

BTP – Birth to potty
PUL – Polyurethane Laminate, the waterproof part of the nappy
FS – For sale
FSOT – For sale or trade
GUC – Good used condition
EUC – Excellent used condition.

Inserts are what you stuff a pocket nappy with, they can be hemp, microfiber, cotton or bamboo. They can also be called a booster or doubler.

Different types of nappies:

AIO – All in ones are the next best thing to a disposable. This nappy consists of a waterproof outer layer, an absorbent soaker, and an inner layer. It fastens with snaps or velcro and has elastic around the legs and waist.

AI2 – All in two’s have an outer waterproof shell (like a nappy cover) and an insert that gets put into the shell and lies directly against your baby’s skin. Some inserts attach with snaps or velcro, and some get tucked under flaps in the cover.

A hybrid nappy is very similar to an AI2 nappy, it has two parts making up the whole. A hybrid diaper’s insert can be either cloth or disposable.

A pocket cloth nappy consists of a waterproof cover that has a stay-dry lining that acts as a pocket between the lining and the cover. This allows you add an absorbent insert or prefold into the pockets between the two layers.

Bambino Mio - Miosolo all in one Reusable Nappy Review

Prefolds are rectangular in shape and made of several layers of ordinary cotton sewn into three panels – with the central panel having most layers. They can be folded in different ways and are also great to stuff pocket nappies with.

Fitted are nappies that consist of multiple layers of absorbent material. They have elastic along the leg and back and fasten on baby with snaps or velcro hook and loop closures. Fitted nappies do not have a waterproof outer layer, and require some kind of waterproof cover be used.

Tips for anyone new to cloth:

Do not use fabric conditions, it prevents proper absorption and coats the fibres.

Do not use bleach, bicarbonate of soda or vinegar as they can damage the PUL and elastic in your cloth nappies over time.

Natural sunlight will become your best friend. Not only is line drying going to save on energy bills the sun will help erase any stubborn stains.

A number of nappies for fulltime use varies, I have 24 nappies and I’m happy enough to wash them every 3 days. However, I’m building my stash for bump and I will borrow a newborn nappy kit from the Cloth Nappy Library.

Not all nappy rash creams are safe to use with cloth nappies and can cause the fibres to repel. Coconut oil, mammy milk, and Weleda seem to be the most popular for treating nappy rash amongst the cloth community. A little nappy free time is always best in my opinion, easier when they’re not actively running around your home, though.

Always pre-wash your new nappies a few times before use so they reach full absorbency and follow manufactures instructions.

You will need a nappy bucket to store your  cloth nappies, it will keep the smell at bay until wash day.

A wet bag is a must for when you are out and about. You could just get a waterproof beach bag from Penneys/Primark for a couple of euro’s, they do the trick here.

Reasons for leaks:

  • Nappy isn’t absorbent enough yet.
  • It hasn’t been applied properly.
  • Baby may be a heavy wetter.
  • Compression leaks.

You can always add an extra booster or change babies nappy more often. Cloth nappies tend to be bulkier than a sposie so I found going up a vest size helped us with compression leaks. There is also vest extenders to help prevent this problem. And the more you wash a nappy the more absorbent it will get.

Bambino Mio - Miosolo all in one Reusable cloth Nappy Review tips for people new to cloth

Nappy liners aren’t necessary but they are great for catching poop and helping prevent staining.

If you’re unsure what nappies to buy get onto Cloth Nappy Library Ireland. You can get a nappy trial or newborn loan kit and try out all the different brands.

Putting on cloth nappies is a little different to a disposable one. If you’re a complete novice this video on how to apply a cloth nappy is invaluable.

Never be afraid to ask for help. There are loads of groups, forums, blogs and experts out there who are willing to advise and answer all your questions. Join some cloth nappy groups on Facebook. You will find a wisdom of knowledge in the Cloth Nappy Chat Group (Ireland). Most probably one of my favourite groups on Facebook, everyone is so friendly and happy to help.

Again I’m no expert so if you’ve any tips to add or correct please add them to the comments section. My friends and family think I’m lo-la using cloth nappies, they believe I’ve given myself more work but realistically with three under three we are saving an absolute fortune. Maybe it’s time to tell them I’ve just started using cloth wipes too…

0 comment on Everything You Need To Know About Reusable Cloth Nappies

  1. I must admit that cloth nappies were never something i looked into when the boys were smaller, i guess i just preferred the ease and convenience of disposable ones (which is shameful given that i now work for a recycling company). Great informative post though lovely! xx

  2. I am really keen on the idea of cloth nappies now. Been reading around the subject and definitely want to try them if I’m ever lucky enough to have a little one x

  3. No-one that I knew used them when my kids were young, so I didn’t either, but it’s on my mind to find out if they are available yet for incontinent adults, then my daughter could use them (and my bin would be empty!)

  4. I wish I had used cloth, three children later and I am mortified by the amount o f nappy waste I have sent to landfill! But, it wasn’t as common when my eldest was little, so I never got started… This is a great post, so informative x

  5. You don’t understand how helpful this post has been to me. I’ve just got my first load of cloth nappies so this is great advice. I’d have never have even thought about creams being affected by the nappies x

1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Everything You Need To Know About Reusable Cloth Nappies

  1. […] Why use cloth nappies when disposable are so easy? Obviously there is the environmental impact of all the disposable nappies we send to landfills, not to mention the costs. Although the initial cost of cloth nappies sounds like a lot, it is a lot less than we have spent in the last three years on disposables. We have been fortunate that Aldi nappies (much cheaper than pampers) have worked for the ladybird (apart from at night when we use pampers). Some of my friends have had to stick with pampers all day/night due to nappy rash with cheaper brands. Anyway modern cloth nappies are nothing like as complicated as they were 30 years ago. The variety of cloth nappies on the market is amazing and confusing at the same time! I found a great blog post explaining the different types of cloth nappies here. […]

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