Like many things in life (especially when it comes to babies!), the thought of using cloth nappies can be incredibly daunting, and many people find themselves asking, “what do I need to start using cloth nappies?!”. Seeing nappy experts in groups talking about a whole host of complicated systems, accessories, must-have new prints can make the whole thing feel far too overwhelming and put off cloth newbies!
So what do you actually need to start with cloth nappies?
Firstly, the nappy. There are a few different types of nappy to choose from. There are pros and cons for each, which we will go through in another blog, but for now, the choices are:
Pocket nappies (& inserts!)
All in Ones (AIOs)
All in Twos (AI2)
Wraps (these go on top of pre-folds or fitted nappies)
The type you choose depends on things like drying times, budget, and personal preferences. There is no right or wrong answer, but us nappy-types can be pretty passionate about our own favourites!
Your basic shopping list for cloth nappies:
Your nappy/nappies of choice. How many you need depends on the age of your baby, how often you’re willing to wash them, and your price range. We would recommend starting out with a few and seeing how you get on with the brand (or trying a few!) before you buy 30 nappies all in one style and realise that you don’t like them!
Check out how to wash your nappies here.
Somewhere to keep wet nappies
You’re going to want somewhere to keep your dirty nappies until you have enough for a full wash. Some people prefer a large wet bag, whereas others use a nappy bin. You don’t have to shell out for anything fancy - just a plastic bucket with a lid will be perfect. This is called dry pailing and is the simplest option.
Invest in a few wet bags for when you are out and about to keep your wet or soiled nappies away from everything else in the changing bag.
Top tip: If your baby is breastfed, the poop comes out easily without doing anything; however, when they move onto solids, you may have to flush the poo into the toilet and do a little rinse before storing.
A washing machine
You could handwash your nappies(!), but a washing machine is much easier. You’ll need a Non-Bio powder (powder works a better than liquid or tabs) and never use softener as it can ruin the absorbency.
These are totally optional, but some people like to put liners (you can get reusable or disposable options) on top of the inside of the nappy. The idea is that it draws the wetness away from the baby’s skin and also catches most of the poop, making it easy to flush away and protecting your nappies. Some people make their own liners by cutting up fleece blankets into the right size for a super cheap alternative. They won’t fray, so they don’t need hemming - perfect.