This week's reusable nappy journey blog is from Grace, another one of our lovely Instagram followers. She had quite a few concerns about starting reusable nappies and found it quite overwhelming initially, so if you're feeling like that yourself, she gives some great advice on how to get started! You can follow Grace on Instagram @Miller_Makes_UK.
Why did you start thinking about using cloth nappies?
Over the past couple of years my feelings of “plastic guilt” have been slowly increasing as I have become more aware of the damaging effects that single use plastics have on the earth. I have found some eco swaps quite difficult in areas of life that are already established as breaking the habit of single use has been hard to overcome.
A friend of ours was already using cloth with her baby when we found out we were pregnant and talking to her about it and hearing the numbers of nappies that you could save from landfill by using cloth instead really pushed me to want to give cloth a go.
Being able to go into an area of life that wasn’t already a routine with the intention to reduce plastic use felt a lot more doable than trying to break the habits of decades and so cloth seemed like a great option.
When did you start looking into it?
While I was pregnant, probably about six months in as it was Christmas time and I was hoping to get some good deals for a starter kit in the post-holiday sales!
What were any concerns/misconceptions you had before you started? How did you overcome them?
To begin with, the choice was overwhelming. When your baby is not already here you don’t know whether they are going to be a monster pooper or not so it is really hard to know what style of reusable would work best. The upfront cost felt a little daunting and added to the feeling of not wanting to get it “wrong”.
I am a visual learner so looking at all the options online and trying to read about them didn’t help. In the end I met up with a friend of mine who was using cloth nappies and was able to get a bit handsy. Seeing them in person and comparing some different options side by side was so helpful for us to figure out what would work best.
As well as being more earth friendly a big initial pull of cloth nappies was the thought of saving money, however, when I started to look into it, cloth nappies were actually more expensive that I had anticipated. As I have done more research, joined Facebook groups and spoken to more parents who also use cloth we have been able to try out different brands and find ones that suit our budget. Discovering the world of second hand nappy selling really helped both in being about to try things out without paying as much and knowing we could sell on any that didn’t end up working for us!
My husband was initially concerned that having to wash dirty nappies would be too “gross”, the best way to overcome this was to just get stuck in and give it a go and after the first few washes we both realised that it was much easier than anticipated!
When did you start using cloth nappies?
I bought a starter kit of 20 nappies when I was 7 months pregnant. These were termed “Birth to Potty” and, having obviously not read enough information at the point naively thought I would be able to use them from day one, cue lots of laughter trying one out on our skinny limbed newborn! Not wanting to pay out again for newborn sized nappies we used disposables full time for the first six weeks and then made the change
How did you find it?
We loved it! Although there were a few days of many leaks we soon got the hang of how frequently we needed to do nappy changes. Every nappy that we took off and didn’t put in the bin felt super satisfying and the pretty prints of the nappies made me more interested in nappies than I ever thought I could be!
How did you get past any issues you found? Where did you go for advice?
The best place that I have found for advice is a couple of Facebook groups, it feels like a lovely community and there is always someone who is able to answer your questions (no matter how stupid!) and to encourage and support when you are having a frustrating day of leaking nappies!
Any tips or tricks?
I have found it helpful to put nappies on to wash overnight so they are ready to be hung out on the line as soon as we get up in the morning and so get the maximum amount of sunshine to dry.
Mama Koala pocket nappies - they have such a wide range of prints there is something to suit everyone and a lot of quirky prints that we really love.
So hard to choose, and changes with every new nappy that joins our stash! But currently this science hamsters one is our favourite as its just so ridiculous!