Post contains affiliate links and gifted items
We are nearly 3 months into our cloth nappy journey so I thought it was about time I shared our experience so far! Cloth nappies have got to be one of the most CONFUSING things in the world – what the hell is a ‘pop-in’ or a booster? How do you clean them? Honestly, I thought the weaning/feeding situation was bad, but this….! 🙈 I just had no idea where to start, so if I’m honest – I didn’t. I have tried to cloth nappy 3 times now, only succeeding with it on the third attempt so I wanted to write this guide as a total novice and newbie who struggled to find her feet. I’m still learning too so I don’t claim to be an expert AT ALL, but I’ll share my experience so far and what has worked well for us and hopefully it’ll be of some help! I’ve also made a video ‘Starting Cloth Nappies the easy way’ so if you prefer video to lots of reading, scroll down to the bottom to watch!
ALL OR NOTHING?
Firstly, I previously thought that when you start using cloth nappies it was very much an ‘all or nothing’ situation. It felt like you had to commit to this lifestyle 100% and if you ever touched a disposable wipe/nappy again the cloth nappy gods would banish you from their kingdom forever and you’d officially have failed. Ah, Mum guilt – it affects everything doesn’t it?! But it turns out, it’s not like that at all and I clearly have an overactive imagination! With cloth nappies you can totally do as much or as little as you like and mix and match, very easily! So, I was randomly perusing the ‘isle of dreams’ at Aldi, where I saw they had All-in-One Bambino Mio nappies on sale and I popped two in the basket without much thought and our journey began.
My logic was that I was not going to switch to cloth nappies 100% straight away to avoid this feeling of impending doom and failure, but challenge myself to replace just ONE nappy per day. It doesn’t sound like much, but switching just one nappy saves 365 nappies a year going into landfill, so when we look at those kind of numbers it seems worth it. We decided to give it a go.
I soon realised you need a few extra bits for your stash when starting out with cloth nappies, so after watching a few Youtube videos and speaking to friends who cloth, I went on a mini-shopping spree to create my cloth nappy set up. It wasn’t expensive and nearly all of it’s reusable, so although it feels like you are spending out when you start your cloth journey, remember it’s going to cut costs of disposable nappies in the future, so should work out better long term.
I bought to start my stash:
MioLiners – disposable liners that go inside the nappy to catch those pesky no.2’s
Bamboo boosters – to add another layer of absorbency to each nappy
A wet bag – for storing dirty nappies before they are washed
I’ve made a complete list of everything we use in my Amazon shop here, so you can find everything in one place!
I soon found my groove with our two nappies and wanted to up my stash, I also realised that buying cloth nappies is SO ADDICTIVE. All the pretty patterns just make the nappies irresistible so I was constantly looking online and lusting after various prints and patterns! As it all gets a bit confusing when you look at different brands (they all seem to do things slightly differently) I’ve stayed with two brands, both of which I absolutely love. I’ve also only got all-in-one nappies, which means the inner booster is attached to the nappy and it’s all there in one place, ideal for beginners!
Here are my two favourite brands….
We absolutely adore Tickle Tots – they are all-in-One nappies so super easy to use, they have sewn in bamboo liners making them super absorbent and so, so soft to touch. The designs are really lovely plus they are slightly smaller and more streamlined. If Pearl was a bit younger or I was starting on a smaller baby, these would be perfect as they aren’t too bulky, but they fit her perfectly now too. Each nappy comes with an extra removable bamboo booster, so you have everything you need with one purchase too.
We now have 3 of the Tickle Tots nappies, plus a gorgeous wet bag in a rich blue colour with rabbits – it’s such a handy design as it has a mesh laundry bag poppered to the inside of the bag, so you just un-pop and shove it in the washing machine, so easy!
We started out with Bambino Mio as they are one of the easiest nappies to use and they are available in lots of shops like Aldi and Asda, so buying a couple of try out isn’t too tricky, plus they are also All-in-Ones so the most simple of designs. They have such a huge selection of bright, colourful prints (I just want them all!) They are made from microfibre, which dries REALLY quickly in comparison to bamboo which is ideal if you have no outside space, the downside is that not quite as absorbent and I quickly learnt from a few leaks we’d need to add a booster. I bought some bamboo boosters and have not had leak issues since. They fit really well, although can be a bit bulky once you add the booster. If you watch the video I give a full demonstration on how to add boosters and put the nappy together.
We’ve now got around 5-6 Bambino Mio all-in-one nappies and use them every day.
I didn’t plan to, but whilst I was on a mission to switch to cloth nappies I also switched to reusable baby wipes. We were terrible for using SO many for everything, cleaning bums, hands, faces, spills, highchairs, dusty bookshelves, they can be used for everything but are actually made of over three quarters plastic, which is just shocking and I feel is not as commonly spoken about as disposable nappies are.
Again, I went back into ‘confused mode’ as I researched it and found people had systems of boxes for wet/dirty wipes and adding essential oils – it all sounded very complicated. Instead I just bought 2 packs of cheap reusable wipes, in two colours – pink for bottoms, white for faces and I just keep them dry in a basket in my living room.
When I’m doing a nappy/potty cleanup or at dinner time, I just wet a couple in advance then throw them straight in the wet bag to be washed. This works so much better for us as there is no preparation of boxes and wipes aren’t left wet to go musty! I’m all for a simple life so I do everything the easy way.
CLEANING CLOTH NAPPIES
My last nappy conundrum was about how I’m going to wash them. I did a fair amount of research on this one as I wanted to ensure they would be 100% clean and not getting smelly! I found out the following:
- The more you read about washing guidance, the more you realise everyone does it differently!
- Powder washing powders seem to be the most popular – with Ariel Original being voted as the best. We’ve bought some and I can confirm, it’s worked well for us! (not sponsored by Ariel I promise, other brands also available 😂)
- You don’t use fabric softener when washing nappies as it can lessen the absorbency
- I add a capful of Dettol Laundry cleanser to kill bacteria in the wash – they do a sensitive version now too!
I also found it tricky as I had so few nappies to wash it wasn’t worth running a whole machine load just for nappies yet I wasn’t sure if you could mix them with a regular clothes wash. I’ve managed to get round this by popping the cloth nappies, wipes and boosters on a rinse cycle on their own before adding anything else into the washing machine.
Overall, I’ve taken to cloth nappies so much quicker and easier than I thought I would – it’s really NOT that hard, yet all the terminology, slightly-judgy Facebook groups (not all of course!) and the all-or-nothing mentality makes it seem a completely impossible task, but remember switching just ONE nappy can save 365 from going into landfill and actually that seems more of an easy feat, so give it a go!
If you are looking to start cloth nappies, have a look in my Amazon shop here, I’ve listed everything we use so you can find everything in one place!
And here is the video I filmed with more of a hands-on demonstration of how I cloth nappy, the easy way:
Post contains affiliate links and gifted items from Bambino Mio and Tickle Tots – of which I was under no obligation to post. All words and opinions are my own.