When I was pregnant I started to really think about ways to live more sustainably, with a much stronger sense of what kind of world I would want my baby to grow up. Very idealistic, I know. So much of the time we look at the bigger picture and think ‘how can I possibly change this, I’m just one person’ instead of just making small changes and spreading the word about what you’re doing.
So here I am, doing just that. And I’m going to spread the word about the oh so glamourous topic of reusable nappies. You’re in for a wild ride, I promise…
I started researching modern cloth nappies (MCN) during my pregnancy and found there was a lot of information out there, but much of it was based in the USA and some brands and products were hard to come by in Australia. I’ve now been using them for 5 months (I didn’t use them with a newborn, more on that below) and will never look back.
- What types are there are which are best?
- Do you just spend your life washing? And isn’t it a little bit disgusting?
- How many do I need? Does this work out cheaper in the long run?
- Do disposable nappies have their place in a MCN routine?
In this post I’m going to focus on question 1: What types are there and which do I think are best?
There are two key things to consider when choosing a type of MCN to use:
(a) all-in-one (AIO) vs all-in-two (AI2) which made up of a liner and a cover
(b) nappies that change size as your baby grows, known as one size fits most (OSFM) vs sized nappies
All in one vs all in two
Pros: easiest to put on as soon as they are washed and dry they are ready to go – no ‘construction’ required
Cons: can take longer to dry, can be more expensive
Pros: quick to dry as cover and pad can be separated, can reuse a cover with a new pad (I don’t do this very often so it isn’t a big selling point), can add more pads to bump up with absorbency
Cons: slightly more fiddly, some companies aren’t as cheap as they first seem because you have to buy the pads separately
My choice: AI2
I like the fact that you can separate the pad from the cover and they dry really quickly. My favourite design is one with a pocket that you slide the pad into, it’s the simplest and cheapest option and it works really well.
One size fits most vs sized nappies
Pros: cheaper in the long run as you just need to buy your initial stash
Cons: can be a bit bulky on little babies, the fit might not be great to start so may get leakage
Pros: better fitting nappies
Cons: much more expensive in the long run
My choice: OSFM
Now, I didn’t use MCN until my baby was about 8 weeks because in the hazy days of having a newborn I didn’t want too much on my plate (I now think I could have coped just fine) so just used disposables at first, so I can’t comment too much on using them on very small babies. When I felt that I had got to grips with the tiny human that I was responsible for I started using some OSFM nappies and they worked really well. I didn’t like the idea of having to buy a whole new batch every time my baby outgrew them.
How to chose a brand
I started off buying a few nappies from different brands until I established which ones I liked best.
My favourites BY FAR are by Hippybottomus, which is an Australian company. They were also the cheapest and the simplest to use! Win win! They wash well and dry really quickly. Their price includes the cover and pad. I went on to buy a total of 20 nappies from them, with a few spare pads. I still use the nappies from Itti Bitti that I bought (I have 5 in total) but I find I only reach for those once my Hippybottomus stash is depleted.