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A Beginners Guide to Reusable Cloth Nappies

27 May, 2024

Are you an expectant parent looking to use cloth nappies with your baby? Or a new parent or caregiver switching to reusables to reduce household costs, waste or to avoid allergies to disposable nappies?

No matter who you are, when you share this with others, you will likely be told that you will spend all your time in the laundry washing and that cloth nappies are hard work. Many people are surprised to learn that this is not the case.

Read on to discover how cloth nappies can save you money, save the environment, and why you WON’T be stuck in the laundry stirring buckets of bleach.

Modern Cloth Nappies work the same way disposables do.
They are designed to absorb wee and catch solids. You might also be surprised to learn that nappy ‘blowouts’ happen less with cloth than they do with disposables. This is because a well fitted cloth nappy is firm against your little one and sealed around the legs and bottom with elastic to prevent anything escaping.

Saving Money and the environment
300,000 disposable nappies hit landfill every minute, creating a huge environmental problem for the earth and our future generations. That’s 3,000 - 6,000 disposable nappies per child, per year.

By using cloth nappies you can save thousands of dollars on the outlay of disposables for years to come, cloth nappies will last you all the way to toilet training and for multiple children.

How many cloth nappies do I need?
A full time stash of cloth nappies is anywhere from 24 - 40 nappies, based on your washing requirements. Not everyone uses cloth full time, and you can hybrid use them alongside other nappy options.

A baby will generally go through 6-8 changes a day (sometimes more if they are a newborn or going through a growth spurt or sick). The number of nappies used each day can depend on how much your little one outputs, as well as how much absorbency you have in the nappy. More absorbency = a longer lasting nappy.

How do I wash cloth nappies?
1. Dry Pail
Before washing gently unsnap all inserts and separate parts.
Place any solids into the toilet and give shells and inserts a quick rinse under the laundry tap to dilute residue.
Store nappies in a dry-pail (basket with a lot of air flow) between washes for up to 2 days.

2. Pre-Rinse
Once you have a load ready to wash, run a short cycle prior to the main wash with a half amount of detergent at 40-60 degrees celsius.

3. Main Wash
Use the recommended full amount of detergent for your load size.
Run your longest wash cycle (heavy or long) at maximum 60 degrees celsius to get nappies thoroughly clean, sanitary, free of build-up, and smelling fresh.

Take a look at Designer Bums care instructions here:

How often should I change Cloth Nappies?
On average it is recommended that you check and change nappies every 2-2.5 hours during the day.

The amount of absorbency you need to add to your nappy will depend on how long you want the nappy to last on the bum and on your little one’s output.
If you are finding the inserts are soaked the full length of the nappy then it is time to add an additional insert, change the way you fold your inserts so that you bulk up the wet zone, or change your nappy more regularly.

Ready to get into cloth? Try Australia’s favourite, award winning reusable nappies today at Designer Bums, whom will be at the Brisbane Expo in June, 2024.

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