It's Plastic Free July! That calls for a post to inspire others to use cloth nappies!
I am overdue to share my postpartum care tips and my hospital bag list but since the great initiative of Plastic Free July, I will start with this.
We are trying to do all things baby as sustainable as possible and I was always sure that I wanted to use cloth diapers.
A few months in and I am LOVING our setup. It's easy peasy. I am not even kidding.
Below you find some tricks and products that make the whole thing a breeze.
Cloth Nappy Benefits
Besides that its great for the environment (simply do a bit of research on how much waste disposable nappies create!) cloth diapering saves you heaps of money and looks way cuter. I love looking at Faye's little bum covered in bulky but colourful nappies. It's a total win-win.
It's also very gentle on babies skin and causes less diaper rash.
Is cloth diapering a lot of work?
Nope! It's not! All you need is a good setup. I was a little bit scared beforehand questioning if I am just taking on one too many things with baby, work, blog etc. but I find it surprisingly easy.
Also, I am really not someone that is great with housework. I couldn't live without a dishwasher and Dave does the majority of our cleaning. What I am trying to say is, if I can do it anyone can :) Even though we are living in an apartment and have no drier it's still easy to do.
Cloth Diapering for Beginners Guide
Three months in I am by no means an expert but we have found a system that works brilliantly for us. If you want to attain expert status and look into all the different options of cloth nappies there is a great overview here. If you are afterwards confused, don't despair. Just decide for something that gets good overall reviews and go for it. That's what I have done. After quite some complicated research we settled for a whole set of Bumgenius Original 5.0 nappies.
They are one size fits all, which is a HUGE plus for me, as I didn't
want to work out sizes of an ever growing baby. This set will last us until Faye is toilet trained. YAY!
I am not claiming they are the best, as I can't compare them to others but they work really well for us. No fuzz, no leaks or spills and easy to use. There are probably lots of lovely more local companies or some that are all organic etc. So please comment, if you are using a different brand that you love. You will need a set of about 24 if you want to wash every other day.
You don't need to wash every day but I also won't recommend leaving the dirty nappies any longer. :) For obvious reasons...
We use a simple pedal bin, lined with a washable & waterproof cloth liner. Places that sell cloth nappies usually sell accessories like this. We have 2 bin liners, as one would usually go in the wash. The nappies get thrown in here as they are for now. I separate the insert and the nappy cover, so I won't have to touch the dirty nappy again when washing.
(once Faye eats solids we will need to empty her poo into the toilet and use a sprayer which we have installed at our toilet)
Our change table is a chest of drawers that we will be able to keep for Faye's clothes. It's a beautiful piece of furniture and it won't go to waste once we no longer need a change table.
We use a toxin-free & organic change table mat from Pottery Barn Kids.
And a Diaper Caddy which also came with a wipeable change mat thingy, which we always use under Fayes Bum, so we won't need to wash the change mat cover all the time.
UPDATE: OUR BELOVED EDIBLE BUBBA PRODUCTS HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED BUT EDIBLE BEAUTY STILL DOES THE BOTTOM CREME. Find it here:
Edible Beauty Mum & Bub Coco Barrier Cream (no rashes ever!!!)
The caddy contains Faye's whole line of bath products by Edible Bubba, that I keep raving about, bum cleanser, nail scissors and all sorts of bits and pieces.
In the top drawer of change table we store all our nappies and inserts. The other top drawer contains two Tupperware like containers with our washable wipes! We use Cheeky Wipes. Read more about them below:
Washable Baby Wipes:
Midwives and doctors recommended staying away from conventional baby wipes as they contain too many nasty chemicals. While there are some toxin-free, natural alternatives they will still end up as waste and will also end up costing a small fortune.
To keep things super convenient we got a clever system of reusable wipes.
Cheeky Wipes not only come with storage containers for clean and dirty wipes but also with essential oils to keep them fresh and little travel bags for use on the go. Soooo good.
They also do a better job in cleaning than regular wipes!
Basically, you fill the containers with water and a couple of drops of the oil, chuck in the wipes and let them soak up the liquid. The dirty wipes container has a mesh lining with a drawstring, so you won't have to touch the dirty wipes again when washing them. You just throw the whole mesh bag with your dirty nappies into the washing machine.
Another beautiful little washable thing to have on hand are reusable Flannelette Cloths.
Soft enough to wipe little faces, wipe up spit and all sorts of stuff. We got some cute looking ones pictured above.
To keep Faye's skin protected, clean and soft as a babies bottom should be we are using:
The Worlds Best Bum Cleanser (as far as I know)
The French know a thing or two about skincare! Inspired by a traditional French Olive Oil mixture two Bondi based Mums (who are French!) started up their own business, Petit Kiddo, selling the worlds best bum cleanser. It's like a cream cleaner for babies bottom, which doesn't require water or rinse off. It protects the skin with a natural barrier, preventing nappy rash. I use it with a cheeky wipe, damp or dry. It's really good stuff and gets those little rolls clean!
Do the nappies come out clean? What about laundry detergent?
Yes, they do. We wash them at 60degrees on the Baby Care cycle of our washing machine.
This cycle has a prewash and rinse included. We use Rockin Green laundry powder. It's vegan, toxin-free and au naturale, while being powerful enough to get the stink and stains out.
We then hang them out in the sun, which also bleaches the inserts. If you own a dryer you can use that. On rainy days we hang up inside on a rack. Our inserts are microfibre and dry pretty quickly.
What do I do if I travel?
If we leave the house for the day we are all set, bringing a wetbag for the dirty nappies along.
They are cute looking, waterproof and washable bags to store any dirty nappies or wet clothes in. We bring along Cheeky Wipes in their little travel pouches and we are all good to go. We always bring our favourite natural & organic hand sanitizer by Divine. (pictured above)
That's where you have to decide. You can either bring your collection with you if you can wash on your trip or do what most cloth diaper families do these days: use eco disposables for the time being. The best that I have found are Bambo Nature, they are the most absorbent and also the cleanest brand with the best eco credentials. These puppies are toxin-free and really work. We are happy using these on holidays together with organic wipes or water wipes.
Do you need a ginormous nappy bag?
Yep, all new parents do. Cloth diapering or not you happen to carry a lot of stuff with you in the early days. We love our vegan unisex nappy backpack. Backpacks are so much easier. Especially if you are carrying a baby as well. We have gotten lot's of compliments on our Honest Co City Backpack