Cloth Nappies: How and why we use them

 Cloth Nappies can be a pretty controversial topic. Some people think they are great for the environment and the best thing ever and you should never use a disposable. Other people think cloth nappies are way too much work and just use disposables. Some people have never heard of cloth nappies and believe everyone uses disposables.  I want to talk about our journey to cloth nappies, our philosophy on how we use them, and why we love them. 

I first heard of cloth nappies on Pinterest. I had a bad Pinterest habit. I spend less time on there now, but I have spent many hours of my life browsing Pinterest.  I saw cloth nappies many years ago before I was thinking of having children.  But I clicked and read many articles anyway.  So I learned a lot about washing and the routines that many people used with their cloth nappies. It made me realize that using cloth was possible and very doable.  Once we found out I was pregnant I started talking to my husband about it.  I was surprised by how quickly he agreed.  I knew I didn’t want to buy a brand new stash.  It can be very expensive and people get so caught up in patterns.  I wanted to save money using this method. So we looked on Facebook marketplace for nappies.  

Before we could buy nappies we needed to decide what type we were going to use. There are so many varieties.  I liked the idea of terry flats that you fold each time you use them with a waterproof cover. These are cheaper than the other options and more importantly dry quicker. Since Mary was born in the winter and we don’t have a dryer that was very important.  But my husband really liked the idea of all in 2’s. Which are nappies that have inserts that snap into place inside the cover. So we compromised and started with the ai2s.  The hospital Mary was born in provided flat nappies if you brought covers.  Since we didn’t have to wash them, we brought some covers with us to the hospital.  After we were home for a few weeks, my husband and I both realized we preferred the terry flats.  So we sent Nick to the store to get some. I have 3 newborn covers and several larger covers. For the newborn phase, we altered the ai2s and the flats.  Most importantly we used some disposables.  After coming home from the hospital we used cloth for a few days, but I had an emergency c section, it was the middle of covid so the only help and visitors we had was friends from church dropping off food.  We were overwhelmed and lowering the amount of washing was an easy thing to control.  So we bought a pack of disposables and used them. Once they ran out we went back to cloth.  

Once Mary outgrew our newborn nappies we stuck to using terry cloth and covers. It has been working very well for us.  It is a little more challenging now that Mary started rolling during nappy changes, but overall we are liking them.  Pretty simple to use, they dry quickly, and no leaks! We recently used disposables during a trip and... so many blowouts.  I’ve never had poo in the car seat while using cloth.  We make sure to give ourselves grace and use disposables when we need to.  We have used cloth the majority of the time, but if we are sick or traveling or are just exhausted we will buy a single pack of disposables and use them.  We don’t keep a bag on hand just in case but buy when we need them.  The cloth nappies definitely add extra laundry, we wash every two days.  But I find it quick to hang out and really don’t mind it. It is a good excuse to get Mary and myself outside for a little while.  We prefer this option since it feels like minimal extra work, saves us money, and is better for the environment. However, I know everyone has their own preferences and different things work for each family. What about you? What type of nappies does your family use? 


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