Suddenly I have become a mom-blogger who has reached a very usual but important topic. Year ago I wouldn’t have thought I will write about diapers, I rather planned to focus on health and social issues. But here I am and thinking that actually, it’s a very important topic that shouldn’t be a taboo but normality as Japanese poet Ryunosuke Satoro has said “Individually, we are a drop. Together, we are an ocean.” Waste has become a hot topic, it can no longer be avoided, it cannot be ignored. Luckily, it comes out that cloth nappies are very effective in reducing waste in this world. Also, technology has evolved so far nowadays that cloth nappies can be very user-friendly, even much better to use.
CLOTH NAPPIES FOR BEGINNERS
I’m not going into detail in here, because there’s a good website that answers all questions about cloth diapers. This image summarizes the system of cloth diapers very well:
It’s very important to follow specific washing guidelines and it may vary among different manufacturers. Usually, you have to wash the nappies several times before the first use. Nowadays it’s super easy to wash cloth nappies in a washing machine and sometimes make a deeper wash at higher degrees.
WHY CLOTH NAPPIES?
When I decided to use cloth nappies instead of disposable diapers one of my relatives had a strict reaction: “So you decided to make yourself some extra work”
In my opinion, the following facts beat all the extra effort (Mähkmed.eu, 2018):
- cloth nappies cause 200-300 times less garbage, which would otherwise decompose within 500 years!
- the use of cloth nappies are healthier for baby’s skin as disposable nappies contain diazine, sulphur-polyacrylates, colourants, fragrances, plastics, dust, xylene, ethylbenzene etc;
- cloth nappies save a significant amount of money even if you use only one nappy per day
- cloth nappies are always available (if you wash them) 🙂
- cloth nappies have much more breathable materials (recommended even in hot weather)
LET’S BRAKE SOME MYTHS!
There are still many myths about using cloth nappies (Mähkmed.eu, 2018):
- MYTH – cloth diapers are difficult to wash
- MYTH – cloth nappies always leak
- MYTH – cloth nappies rs cause diaper rash
- MYTH – removing dirt from cloth nappies is unpleasant
- MYTH – cloth nappies are expensive
- MYTH – cloth nappies are as harmful to the environment as disposable nappoes (because of water and energy consumption)
- MYTH – cloth diapers waiting for the wash stink at your home
ATTENTION! Before you prejudice, you should learn the topic deeply and myths will disappear 🙂
I chose Baba+Boo because they are reliable, they have a great community and support network in case you need help and their products look so lovely! This brand is from Great Britan and can be purchased from Opadii e-shop in Estonia, that has very friendly and helpful service. These are pocket nappies, which means that the special inserts “boosters” go into the diaper, the different inserts can be combined in every way. The upper part of the nappy is made of microfleece which allows quick liquid permeability to the boosters so that the baby stays incredibly dry (if you use the right combination and change at the right time). You can use microfibre, white bamboo mix, black charcoal bamboo, or hemp boosters.
- Microfibre and white bamboo inserts absorb liquids at medium speed, so it’s suitable at home during the daytime
- Charcoal bamboo inserts absorb more liquids, it’s suitable for nights or day naps
- Hemp boosters have the highest absorbance, also suitable for sleeping time. Don’t freak out, when the hemp insert reduces in the first wash, it’s totally normal. However, it shouldn’t reduce its size to smaller than other inserts.The drying time depends on a number of factors, but in general, the order starting with the fastest would be: microfibre, dark charcoal bamboo, white bamboo mix and the hemp is drying the longest. Therefore, more “powerful” inserts usually dry longer but charcoal is pretty good at both – absorbing and drying. I like the way these inserts can be combined for different needs.There are also fleece inserts that are placed under the baby’s bum, not into the pocket. Their job is to let the liquid through, be gentle against the skin and protect the diaper against the cream for example.
The manufacturer has created only two sizes: newborn and one size nappies that are intended until the end of the potty training. Sometimes babies with thicker thighs and the bigger bum may use the one size nappies from birth. A one size nappy has a number of buttons that give an opportunity to use so many different sizes. It’s important to find the right position for your baby and change it as she grows. Baba+Boo nappies have so lovely patterns and colours and moreover, the new collection is released 2-3 times a year! Join the nappy-fashion!
“Accessories” include a nappy bucket, a mesh laundry bags, nappy storage bags and biodegradable nappy liners. Everything is not necessarily must have, but all these items are very practical and make your life much easier.
They also have honest pricing, so you don’t have to wait for sale campaigns. In Estonia, you can buy them from Opadii e-shop, that has friendly service, that provides helpful information in order to make your diapers work well. Indeed, the investment seems pretty high at the beginning, but the simple calculation shows that it definitely pays off, even if you sometimes use disposable diapers.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
I have a set of 10 nappies, I use 5-6 of them at daytime and one at night right now when my baby is 11-months old and we have a potty training going on for a couple of months. I collect these 5 pcs into a nappy bucket filled with a mesh laundry bag. Before putting these into the bucket, you have to remove inserts from the nappy. When the bucket is full, I throw them directly into the washing machine with the mesh. Firstly, I make a cold rinse wash, then 40 degrees wash and cold rinse again. Outside the home, I collect nappies into a storage bag.
I used one insert at the daytime when my baby was 6-7-months old, but after that are rather two inserts necessary. It definitely depends on a baby and her age.
My baby is a “heavy wetter” at nights so that disposable diapers start to leak about 5-6 a.m. Surely, I don’t want to disturb his sleep with changing diapers. This is why using the right combination of Baba+Boo boosters helps to spend the night without waking him up for the change. If the baby pees less, then white+charcoal bamboo should be enough. My 11-month-old is a heavy wetter, so double charcoal bamboo boosters or charcoal+hemp combination is a must. Now let’s answer a very practical question: what about a number two or diarrhoea? First of all, a biodegradable nappy liner makes throwing a solid part to the toilet very easy, but the liner itself should not be thrown into the toilet. Personally, I rarely use it because the solid part is coming off quite easily. In the case of diarrhoea, it really is a little more complicated, but toilet paper, bidet shower and just water are helpful. Fortunately, the last situation is very rare. 🙂
TAKE CARE CAREFULLY!
- Don’t use fabric conditioner
- Spin speed should not exceed 800 rpm
- 40°C is enough, although sometimes you can make a 60°C wash
- Make a cold rinse cycle before you make a full cycle wash
- Use half a detergent you would normally use
- Dry the nappies naturally or with a low heat drying programme
- If you use any creams, don’t forget to put a fleece or a liner
ADJUST IT CORRECTLY!
- Nappies must be nicely around the thigh so that the white edge is hidden
- The lateral parts have to be aligned
- The position of the buttons should match your baby’s measurements
IS IT ALL SO PERFECT?
I should probably talk about some disadvantages too because otherwise, you wouldn’t believe that everything is so perfect, right?
One disadvantage is that in the beginning, it may look so huge if your baby is small and you already use two inserts. But actually, you get used to it and I think there’s no problem wearing a bit bigger clothes.
Secondly, I find it a little easier to wash diapers if the washing instructions are more concrete. Some manufacturers have a special detergent, but Baba+Boo recommends to “use half of the detergent you would normally use”. For me, this is a bit confusing instruction, because detergents can be very different. Although practice makes perfect and it’s not a big problem. It’s just important to notice that no foam should be seen when doing the cold rinse cycle after the full programme.
Thirdly, it would be much easier to use pant style diapers because since 6-months (sure it depends on your baby) babies are not very inactive, especially when laying down. However, I personally give something exciting to his hands or try to entertain him another way 🙂
Washing instructions and adjusting the nappies are not really complicated at all, you just need to practise. Diapers are also very comfortable, quick and easy. It’s fun to fill the diapers with inserts so that they can go to a new round and to serve your baby and probably a number of babies again and nature will be grateful.
In general, the amount of diapers you need depends on several factors, but according to my experience, a set of 10 diapers means moderate washing procedure 1 time per day. If you want more comfort, the 15-20 piece set would be great.
I have to admit, I haven’t tested these nappies on a newborn, whose metabolism is much faster. I plan to do it in the future. Otherwise, it’s especially good to use Baba+Boo cloth nappies when the baby eats solid foods and does a potty training.
It’s funny what an excitement comes with starting to use this stuff. I don’t mean only the designs, but the whole system, the testing and washing, too. I also admit that there have been some leaks, but I have identified the cause. The disposable diapers have leaked also, but then I didn’t understand the cause. Cloth nappies should become new normality, as the company also says. If you are doing it all correctly, then Baba+Boo cloth nappies are working well or even better than disposable diapers.