A few days ago I finally wrote an email to a pregnant friend who asked me for some information about cloth nappies and it has prompted me to make another cloth nappy entry (more for my own benefit than anyone else’s). I truly believe that the use of cloth nappies is saving my family significant amounts of money and is saving my environment too.

What my current requirements are for two in cloth…

1. Day time use = Flat fold terry cloth squares – at the moment we are using about 14 terry squares a day. Sophie uses about 6 and Sam about 8. They are great because I can fit loads of them in my nappy bucket (=compact) and I can pack heaps easily when we go away. They dry super fast on the clothes line, on a clothes horse and in the clothes dryer (which I have only used twice this winter). Most of my nappies are of the white variety but I was lucky to be gifted a set of coloured ones for Sam – I love seeing these on him and on the line!

2. Night time use = Bum Genius pockets (I have 3) are my preferred nappy for overnight. I put Sophie in hers (with 2 extra micro fibre boosters) at about 7pm and I change her in the morning at around 6-6.30am… no leaks, no nappy rash. Sam is a bit more difficult, he sometimes leaks but I think it’s because I have been trying to stuff in too many boosters and using them on their largest size so haven’t been getting a snug fit around his legs and belly. I find that the Baby Beehinds Bamboo (I have 3) fitted nappies are great for him (& Sophie) with an extra micro fibre booster as long as I have a good cover on too.

3. Liners – These are surely the key to low rates of nappy rash (although my MCH nurse tells me that it is simply that some babies get nappy rash and some don’t regardless of what sort of nappy they are in, including disposable). I use polar fleece liners (micro fleece was recommended but I couldn’t get it originally) which I made from 1/2 metre of polar fleece that I bought on sale one spring for $2. It has made more than enough liners for both babies and I am still using the original ones.

4. Wipes – I made a heap of wipes before Sophie was born by over locking old towels into rectangles that fit into the commercial nappy wipe containers. Before Sam arrived I made a few more with flannel on one side and towel on the other – I like these and will make a few more one day…. I used to make a chamomile tea for the wipes but now I just use warm water.

5. Lotions – My lotion of choice is Lavender Baby Balm from Drummond Body Products in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia. You put the lotion on twice a day at the first signs of redness, it works so well and I am still using the original jar I was given when Sophie was born. For nappy rash I really like Desitin which is a really thick Zinc cream – excellent but a bit messy.

6. Washing – I wash the nappies with a potion I downloaded from the net… basically just grated pure soap, bicarb soda and washing soda. Sometimes I put vinegar in the rinse cycle to act as a fabric softener. Sometimes I put in essential oils but not very often. I wash on the coldest setting on my machine (30 degrees Celsius) and line dry – UV is an amazing antibacterial and bleach.

7. Covers – I think that covers are the difference between liking and hating cloth nappies. There is nothing worse than having to change a little one completely because of leaking nappies! For me wool cover are the very best! Longies look fantastic and I always get comments from strangers when they are in longies, little knitted shorts are great for spring/summer and nappy wraps are my favourite all round cover so that they can wear other clothes. Because I have shrunk a few of Sophie’s covers too much (by mistake when I first got the front loading machine) she has been in a few of those polyester wrap you can get from Target and K-Mart and she has 2 Eenies pants that look a lot like the traditional “plastics” but they breath. There are some great patterns for nappy covers and some great examples of home-made ones which I would like to do when I have a bit of money and time…

I feel like we are achieving goals in our way of living with our water bill, for 5 of us in the house, being below the conservative usage rates saving us money and declaring our water wise ways. My next big target is to really reduce our gas and electricity bills even though we subscribe to green power. We already do every thing the government suggests and have for a long time but I keep looking for ways to further reduce our usage.

Off to Spinning Class number 2…