in the cloth

baby bee hinds
Finally I have gotten round to writing a post about cloth nappies.

I love the idea of a reusable nappy. It's good for the environment, looks super-duper cute and is softer on little babies skin. They have come a long way since the terry toweling days of old. They don't need to be soaked for long periods of time. Just scrape off the solids and pop in the washing machine.

As they get more and more popular there are so many different brands of cloth nappy. Each baby is different and therefore each baby will need a different type of nappy to avoid spills and leakages.
baby bee hinds

For this reason we have decided to go with the disposables for the newborn stage and then see if we can sample other brands to choose the right one for our little girl.

There is a fantastic website and brochure all about cloth nappies, the brands and advice on choosing a brand. They say that you will need 30 nappies from birth to toilet training.

There are a few things you need for cloth nappying.

green kids
Nappies - all in one (waterproof cover included), fitted (with elastic in the legs) , one size fits all, different sizes, pocket nappies (liners come out making them quicker to dry), prefold (like terry flats but with an absorbent panel)

They come in a multitude of different materials. Bamboo, hemp, minkee, silk, sherpa...

You can get snap fastners or velcro. Snap fastners are harder to undo but also harder to replace.

green kids
Liners - cloth or throwaway. It's for the solids so your nappies don't get as messy as they could.

You can also get booster liners to put in the nappies for night times or when the little one is extra "full."

Imse Vimse wipes
 Baby wipes - cloth or throwaway. Wet pieces of cloth work just as well, are much cheaper and can be put in the machine with the nappies.

Nappy bag/bucket - Something to put the stinkers in while you are out or at home before you do a wash.

itti bitti

So.. things I need to consider are

- what babies bot bot is like.
- how I am going to clean the nappies. We have a big washing line that gets plenty of sun and a big powerful washing machine and access to a drier. This means I can get nappies that are more absorbent but take longer to dry. (bamboo)
- how much money I have to spare upfront/will have in the future. Should I get one size fits all or small-medium-large when the time comes.
-the fabric I/baby likes. I'm personally not a huge fan of the minkee. Maybe it's really comfy but I just don't like the look of it.

What brand do you use? How did you plan for cloth nappies before your baby was born?


  1. A very good post Rin!
    Mikey (2 1/2) and Hannah (7 months) are in the same fitted hemp nappies and side snapping pul covers. I made them. We've tried lots of things over time and that has been our best result.
    Word of warning- pul doesn't cope well with regular tumble drying or soaking (if you get in the habit of wet pailing) so AIOs, AI2s and pockets can't be tumble dried any more than covers can, stripping them if they get a buildup of detergent can be an issue too. They are great for nappy changes out and about though so worth having a few for your stash but I wouldn't want to have them full time. I've tried bamboo and it is beautifully soft even right off the line but it didn't stand up well to the washing regime here. That said I might be making some bamboo boosters for nights because Mikey needs more absorbency.
    Enjoy the process, nappies are fun :-)

  2. ive probably used cloth between 50 and 60% of the time E has been in nappies. I actually started in cloth: bamboo prefolds and covers. hardly ever had a poo plosion. I've become more lazy as time has gone on, and am about to flog most of them off. There is a faceook page called "buy and sell your MCN on facebook". This could be a good way to sample some and see what you like, although there are some nappy-crazies on there!

    I actually really like the minkee, think the fluffy bum thing is quite cute!

    A few things that i've found
    1) don't bother with liners til they are on solids: bf poo just goes through it and around it anyway. Consider getting a little-squirt
    2) they may become too skinny for the nappies they used when they were younger. E got increasingly skinny after 6 months, and many of her nappies began to gape at the legs and leak
    3) use bamboo over hemp if you can, it smells less. Or go half/half
    4) if you go with sized ones, and start with disposables, you can probably skip getting size small

  3. I'm so old my cloth nappies were squares of terry toweling and baby pins... good grief!
    But I love the new ones - very cute and seem so user-friendly.

  4. Love love love MCN's.

    We have used Green Kids (pockets) full time since about 6 or 7 weeks and love them - nothing's perfect but I can send you a list of the pros and cons we've experienced. But modern cloth are so easy to use and so efficient; I was the only one in my mum's group who didn't have to carry around a spare set of clothes in case of a poo-splosion! Washing them just becomes part of the daily ritual and one which as far as I'm concerned is far more pleasant than having to deal with a stinky bin.

    Totally agree with Lib's tips, although Calvin's legs were the opposite - too skinny in the very early days (for a one size fits all, anyway) but fine from 6-8 weeks onwards. Additional thoughts:

    1. I like minkee (especially cos the GK minkee prints are so fun) but it is just that tiny bit bulkier - worth thinking about given that very few baby clothes are cut for cloth nappies.

    2. on that point, very few baby clothes are cut for cloth nappies! I found that for the first 6 months or so we needed to dress Calvin a size up on the bottom half, and often with onesies too (added length). It was never really a problem, just something to keep in mind - and it's pretty easy and fun to make pants that fit over a cloth bum!

    3. forget detergent - the best (and cheapest, and environmentally friendliest) thing to use to wash MCN's is soap nuts (just google them). no nasty residue in your nappies or next to baby's skin either.

    4. if you're feeling adventurous, the old terry square with a baby beehinds cover as a pilcher is pretty effective for newborns :)

    ooh can't wait to see which ones you get, and your cute little one with a cute fuzzy bum!

  5. wow this is all really helpful thanks!

    Not sure what my minkee thing is. I think it might remind me of a certain style/material of dresspant popular when I was growing up that I may have been forced to wear.

    Just doesn't sit right with me.

  6. Oh yeah, you will probably find onesies a squeeze, like Nic said. I found Infancy brand onesies great: really long cut fitted well over a cloth bum without being too big at the neck. They are insanely expensive though, unless you grab them on sale. Im pretty sure the sale is this week (i'll get an email, but they usually run twice a year, wed-sun) and you can get some GREAT bargains. If you can, grab a couple in each size (000, 00, 0) and it will see you through a least a year. They will be summer ones though, but great to layer in winter.

  7. More assorted thoughts:
    For NB size I used flanalette squares with a pul cover which is trimmer than a terry toweling flat. I never had any success with my babies in disposables and one was skinny as anything and the other really chubby. I've used bonds bodysuits, singletsuits and wondersuits over cloth with success from day 1 (they tend to be a little snug over the nappy area), also their leggings and tights. Actually I found that most brands were ok unless they were a particularly skinny cut.

    I've had problems with hemp smelling in the past and apparently it's another one that shouldn't go in the dryer. The current nappies are all new hemp ones and are being strictly line (or airer) dried and in the sun if possible.
    Also until bub starts solids the poo really does just disolve in the wash and there is no need for a liner.

    I'm with Nico- no poo explosions here either- in fact if they get the cover it's considered an incredibly bad one.

    and... if you ever need it I have a snap press and assorted coloured snaps.

  8. I like the old gold.


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