Where to Start
There is a massive array of nappies to choose from but don't get daunted by this as it just means that there really is a nappy to suit every child perfectly. Basically what you need is some padding (the nappy) to absorb all the wetness and a waterproof layer (the wrap) to keep that wetness inside the nappy.
There are 4 main types of nappies:
- Two-Part System - The nappy and wrap come separately and you use them together. The nappy can be flat or shaped.
- All in One Nappy - The nappy and the wrap are sewn together and come as one complete piece.
- All in Two Nappy - The wrap and nappy come together but can be separated if wanted, normally by poppers.
- Pocket Nappy - Similar to an all in one but a 'pocket' at the back of the nappy allows you to add the absorbency part.
How many do you need? This depends on how often you want to wash, how old your child is and what type of nappies you use. As a rough figure, however, about 15-20 nappies should mean you can wash every other day if you plan to use cloth nappies full time. If you plan to part-time cloth even switching one or two nappies a day for a reusable one will save you money and is kinder to the environment.
To make using cloth nappies much easier a liner is placed inside the nappy. The liner catches the poo so when it comes to change time you can whip it out and it gets rid of most of the nasty stuff quickly! The liner also acts as a stay dry layer to ensure that babies bum stays dry as the wetness will pass straight through to the absorbent fabric under it.
There are 2 main types of liners:
- Disposable - This is the type of liner I use. As a busy mum, I need change time to be quick and disposable liners are convenient. They are normally 100% biodegradable and flushable (although we would recommend putting them in the bin as you don't want clogged pipes.)
- Washable - Washable liners are normally made of fleece. They catch the poo however you then need to tip the poo down the toilet or into a nappy bag. Often you may need to rinse it in the toilet to get most of poo off. They are however super soft against babies bum.
When you change your little one's bum you will need somewhere to store the dirty nappies until you are ready to wash them.
There are 2 main types of storage:
- Bucket - Any bucket, with a lid, will do. However, a lockable lid is an advantage, especially if you have a toddler about as well. You can also add a mesh bag liner inside your bucket. This means that when you need to wash the nappies just pick out the whole mesh bag and stick it in the washing machine (so no need to touch dirty nappies)
- Wet Bag -This is handy if you don't want a bucket in the house, you could hang it on the back of the door to save on space. A wet bag is also used if you need to change when you are out and about (unless you plan on carrying your nappy bucket about with you!) They have a waterproof layer to hold everything inside and come in a range of great designs and sizes.
A great accessory, if you are washing the nappies anyway. Adding a few cloth wipes won't be much extra work at all. Reusable wipes come in a range of fabrics and patterns to suit your style.