5 Things | Switching To Cloth Nappies: One Year Later

April 2019

Incase you didn't know, it's Real Nappy Week 2019! which means it's also been over a whole year since we began our cloth journey - this is of course no where near the amount of time lots of people have been using cloth but for me I think it's a pretty extraordinary milestone and that's worth celebrating!

We wrote an initial post here when we had worked our way up to using cloth nappies full-time but I wanted to mark the anniversary and assist any of you who may be thinking about making the swap so I asked you all what more you'd like to know and here we are! and I hope I've answered everything below

Here's 5 things about switching to cloth nappies, that we now know one year later:

1. How Many Do You Need?
To spread the cost and avoid over-buying, I started by buying one or two nappies at a time. When we were able to go full time, we had 15 but I had to wash every other day which was fine but meant I couldn't even go way for a weekend without having to resort to disposables either for the trip or the day after our return.

Our current stash is 
9 x All In Ones
7 x Pocket nappies
9 x Wraps/Covers
5 x Peenut Pad sets*
5 x Bamboozles* for night time (which go under a wrap)
3 x bamboo boosters (which we use inside our bamboozles at night)

In total this is 25 complete nappies if I was to lay them all out but the wraps can be used with peenut pads in the day (and if only wet, you can just change just the pads not the wrap) or over a bamboozle at night so you could probably make them last more than 25 changes if needed. I would consider this more than enough to use cloth nappies full time and would say 20-30 is ideal. But as many Cloth Nappy users can tell you, it rarely stops when you hit an amount you're happy with! and I have to admit having a few more now then we actually need has taking the pressure off the militant washing if life gets in the way a little bit.

Start small and build up, use real nappy week to bag some bargains and if you're reading this and it's not RNW and you are able to, take advantage of bundle deals if you find a particular style of nappy you love. As I mentioned in our post here, just swapping out one nappy a day saves 365 nappies a year going to landfill so don't feel you have to buy your whole stash all in one go.

what you get with a Baba and Boo nappy - wrap and 2 inserts*
this one Baba and Boo nappy only was bought with collaborative discount from Little Goat Gruff

this is at the back of the nappy

and you feed the inserts into the hole

super soft fleece all inside keeps baby's bum dry

popper fastenings to outwit small hands

2. Our Favourite Brands

Tots Bots
We started with Totsbots (a mixture of All In Ones, Peenut Wraps and Pads and Bamboozles for nighttime which you can read more about here) and were so happy with them I never had a reason to start shopping around other brands but about 6 months in, my darling son decided he enjoyed undoing the velcro on them and taking them off and I was forced to start looking into trying some that were done up with poppers. Since introducing the poppers, this irritating habit has ceased and we are back to using all our Totsbots nappies without any problems. We always opt for Easyfit Stars (The AIO) around the house as they've always been my favourite prints and so super easy to get on and off that Michael prefers them and I love peenut wraps as these are super slim and don't look too chunky under leggings.

Baba and Boo
We had heard a lot of fab things about Baba and Boo so whilst on the hunt for poppers, we invested in one to start with and it was instantly love. Baba and Boo are pocket nappies where you stuff pads into the back of them (as many or as little as required) - as pictured above - but the fleece liner sewn in on the top is so so soft. They can be bulkier than say a wrap and pad combination but they are incredible and by far the most reliable nappies we own and our nappy of choice on days out, long trips in the car and even over night.

They are also substantially bigger size-wise than Totsbots. With Totsbots AIO's, Ted is in the largest setting (at 2 years old) but with Baba and Boo, he isn't so still has loads of growing room in them. He is not particularly big for his age and I expect the TB to be fine until he toilet trains this year but this is a factor worth considering with bigger babies. It also means we can continue to use Baba and Boo overnight for much longer than the Bamboozles.

We bought a bundle of 5 for £70 with 10% first purchase discount so in total £63. Although spending this amount at 18 months may sound a little silly, this was the nappy purchase that took our washing from every other day to every third day and made the whole system so much more comfortable. We are hoping that these nappies will see another baby of our own so in some ways is an investment for us but it's worth remembering that if you're attempting cloth on your youngest baby, the resale value of nappies is actually really good.

Close Pop-In
We also purchased a couple of Pop-In wraps when they were on special offer. These are excellent as they the most slimline nappy we have if used with pads and the way it's designed around the leg makes them pretty leak proof which makes them an excellent wrap to use over a Totsbots bamboozle at night.

3. Storage

Clean Nappies
I love our bright and colourful nappies so I love having them 'out' in a kallax unit next to our en-suite so they're pretty to look at but also easy to grab. We're in a flat so this works for us but I have also seen people bring their nappies for the day downstairs in a little basket which I also love the idea of! The possibilities are endless - in a draw, wetbag, any kind of shelf.

Dirty Nappies
We were given a secondhand nappy bucket for disposables so it just made sense to use this to store our cloth ready for washing which lives in our bathroom. With wee nappies we don't do anything just pop them in there but poo is flicked into the toilet (which did you know, you should actually be doing with poo in disposables!) and rinsed with a shower head down the loo if needed too. If the room and the bin is well ventilated and not sealed, you shouldn't have an issue with smells at all but if you do, stick a cloth with a drop of essential oil in the lid of the bin or you can use a large wet bag instead.

When we're out we use medium sized baba and boo wet bags which are fab and best value for money in my opinion. When it comes to washing, just unzip the bag and stick it in the washing machine and the nappy(ies) will come out during the rinse cycle.

Drying Nappies 
As mentioned above, we're in a flat so it's very rare I can get our nappies dried outside (I'd need to be in the whole time!) so one of the best things we got was 2 octopuses so I could hang dry them in the window. Our home is always BAKING so they dry pretty quickly and still get some glorious UV on any stains too. The main reason I'd love our own garden is so I can dry my nappies on the line - a girl can dream!

4. Was It Worth It?
Abso-bloody-lutely. I really, really wish I had started much earlier than I did as it's been much easier than I expected it to be.

My main reason for starting was always environment-based. This was the first major change we made to becoming greener as a family and that has also led us to many more changes since. I love the saying ''we don't need a handful of people doing it perfectly, we need more people doing it imperfectly'' and I do feel good about trying to do my bit. I am the first to say that of course at some points we have used disposables over the last year when we've been on holiday (Center Parcs have no wash facilities) and when Ivy's been in hospital etc. but I strongly believe this will only work if you don't put any pressure on yourself - it certainly does not need to be an all or nothing situation and if going part time works best for you that will still have an incredible impact on what's ending up in landfill. I would say on a very rough average we have definitely saved 3 nappies a day going to landfill (most days this is more but we started gradually and giving room for the time we've used disposables) but even being harsh on myself with the guess, that is still over 1000 nappies over the last year which is absolutely crazy. That might be my direct total but having also convinced others to give it a whirl, the ripple effect total is probably much higher.

We started the game late so I am not entirely convinced we have 'saved' money yet but I don't think we're far off now and for me, the landfill total above makes up for that. If we had started when Ted was born, we would have certainly saved money by now and by using them for another 6m-1y with him and hopefully using them again on another baby (or selling them on) I know we'll have saved a significant amount of money doing this whilst supporting small, ethical businesses in the process. If you are considering the swap, don't forget to check your local council for any incentives to start! When we began, I knew we were entitled to a £50 refund on any cloth nappies we purchased which meant even if it didn't work out for us, I wasn't left out of pocket at all - as it happened, I spent our refunded money on more nappies!

Being in cloth has meant I have never been out of nappies and I was excellent at really going down to the wire and scrabbling through old bags trying to find a spare.

5. Who To Follow On Instagram for absolute nappy envy!

When I began our journey, the only people I knew who were cloth-bumming were online but it's thanks to this lovely bunch that I had the confidence to do it in the first place and they have always been so willing to assist with any questions I've had. Go and follow:

@Bandarra_ the kindest and most wonderful lady on Instagram
@Cecilia.leslie07 with the best nappy stash of all time
@Rachelandthelittlebirds who takes the most gorgeousss pictures
@Little_Goat_Gruff get all the stuff and advice you need from this amazing little Cornish indie
#MakeLaundryNotLandfill get involved in a wonderful community

Give it a go! Don't forget to give our first Switching To Cloth post a read here and if you have any other questions, our inbox is always open x