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Jo's Reusable Nappy Journey

Jo runs one of our favourite reusable nappy Instagram accounts @sweetclothbums where she posts the most beautiful nappy photos and chats all things cloth and more! She's written a wonderfully honest account for us of how she got started with reusable nappies.

Why did you start thinking about using cloth nappies?   I really wanted to change our environmental impact as a family, and the idea of saving money also appealed to us. I didn't receive maternity pay so thought this could help us out. Also the prints were very cute, although when we started I used little lambs and block colours. When did you start looking into it? About six months into my pregnancy. What were any concerns/misconceptions you had before you started?  Yes! I was worried about fitting the nappy wrong or that there would be too much washing as everyone told me you wash a lot with young babies. I also was scared of muslins and a nippa, but now that I've been doing it a while I wish I would of been brace enough to have used these on my newborn. How did you overcome these? Practice with fitting the nappy and just experience. Trying it out showed me it was possible and it was actually easier than I expected it to be. I tried a few different wash routines, before I picked one that worked for us. So I think it's okay if you don't get it right the first time and adjust yours until you are happy with it.

When did you start using cloth nappies?   2 weeks in, then I took a break, then started back up at 6 weeks in and we stuck with it. I started using just daytime and then a week later I got brave enough to do nighttime too. Never looked back!

How did you find it?  I started when my little one was two weeks old and I will be honest, I was a first time mom and I was so overwhelmed that I did stop for a few weeks. I had a really bad delivery and got a third degree tear so I was really struggling with managing anything. Also my baby had gotten the worst nappy rash as we hadn't used a barrier cream in the beginning, no one mentioned this could happen! This happened when we were in disposables in the hospital and I was trying all sorts of creams to fix it. In the end we used Sudocrem and some other cream from the GP for thrush. At the time I read that barrier creams were bad for reusable nappies so I just switched back to disposables and started back up again at six weeks when I was more recovered and the rash was better.

How did you get past any issues you found? Really just trying out different things until I found something that worked for us. It was easier than I thought. Where did you go for advice?  I just joined some cloth mom Facebook groups and started to ask questions. People were super helpful and then I tried different things out until I found something that worked. I also went to a cloth workshop in the local area where a woman had a doll and explained how everything worked. There was also a voucher to try out cloth in our area from the local council and we got a kit from Little Lamb to start us off with it. Any tips or tricks? I bought Velcro sew on strips and cut them into the shapes of my Velcro wraps (also used for bibs!) and left them by the nappy bin then I'd put them on the tabs before I put them in the nappy bin. Some of my wraps didn't have tabs (Little Lamb and Motherease Rikkis) so this was easier for me than attaching them and turning them inside out, but I know a lot of people like the second method! I don't use my lid on my nappy bin so air can circulate a bit and I put my wraps in a separate basket so they can air out a bit more. Also I don't put my wraps in the sun to dry, I put them in a drying rack inside the house as the sun can sometimes damage the PUL waterproofing and they dry really quick anyway.

Favourite brand?  

Oh my gosh! We have so many different ones, and sometimes some work better than others. You often forget how fast babies grow and change shape, so one brand is really good for a while and then another works. I really like Blueberry Simplex, but they can be a bit pricey, so I've bought a lot preloved. I just sanitize them after purchase and they've been great. I also really like Baba + Boo pockets! They are so soft on the inside.

Favourite print? It’s so hard to choose, but my favourites are space prints.  So I choose my favourites from the above brands - Baba+Boo Constellations pocket nappy and Blueberry Simplex Orion nappy.

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