So you’ve read about modern cloth nappies and decided it’s for you for whatever reason, whether it be that you’re wanting to be eco-friendly or you think they look incredibly cute, or want to save money, or all of the aforementioned scenarios. But what next? Where do you start? Well I am here to help!
- First of all find out if your local council have any real nappy incentives. Most councils will have some form of incentive as you will be helping them save money by saving nappy waste go into landfIll. These íncentives’ vary from council to council and could be a free starter kit or a money off voucher to spend on real nappies. To find out what you’re entitled to in your area and how to contact your local council, the brilliant people at ‘Fill Your Pants’ have written a list which can be found here.
I got a free nappy starter pack fro my local council but I had to apply before my baby was 6 months to receive it. It was a fab little kit containing a Close Parent pop-ins washbag, a roll of disposable liners, a Close Parent pop-ins v2 BTP nappy, a little lamb bamboo nappy and a little lamb wrap. It also contained a leaflet about reusable nappies, a very basic guide to reusables, and a local website where I could purchase nappies. (It did say that the council would contact me soon to find out how I got on, but 6 months later I still haven’t heard from them.)
- Find your local nappy library here. You can hire out nappies if you don’t want to buy any or if you want to try a few different styles to find the one that works for you so you can purchase some. The people who run these nappy libraries have fantastic knowledge that they are more than happy to share with you and they will I’m sure help you find the right nappies for you to try.
- Take The Nappy Lady’s questionnaire. I found this a very helpful guide. You simply fill in the questionnaire and The Nappy Lady team will send an email reply giving you some advice on what system you might find best.
- Take the plunge. When you have decided which nappies you like best or which you’d like to try then go ahead and buy them! I began buying a few from TJ’s Cloth Nappies to see if I’d like pocket nappies, and I was so impressed that I ordered a few more. Various companies do offers on bundles to help start you off, but unless you know that you definitely like those nappies it might be best to try one before you buy a lot in one go. There are also a fair few pre-loved nappy groups on facebook if you want some that may be expensive but second hand they may not be. As with anything you buy over the internet second hand be careful.
If you want to delve into cloth nappies but can’t justify a large outlay straight away, then try the nappy library, or buy a couple every month or so while you’re pregnant or if you’ve had your baby just use cloth part time until your stash builds up. You can always bulk out your stash with cheaper nappies from places like Tj’s, Tiny Nippers, Dudeybaba, Little bloom (amazon & ebay).
If you don’t want to go to your local nappy library then you could always try buying some cheaper nappies to see how you get on. If you like them then great, order more! If you don’t like them or realise cloth isn’s for you then you haven’t wasted too much money and you can always sell them on. (Although they might be handy just to have in just incase you ever run out of disposables on a bank holiday weekend with no shops open to buy more!)
Cloth nappies fit slightly different to disposables so if you want to get the right fit there are some great videos on youtube to help you.
If after you have done all this and have taken the plunge into cloth nappies you find you don’t like it, then don’t worry it’s ok to say you’ve had enough. Most nappies I’ve heard have a good resale value if they are in great condition. If you can’t/don’t want to sell them you can donate them to your local nappy library or there are some great charities out there that will welcome donations because they will be used to help other mothers who can’t afford to cloth, or women in desperate need. They can also be sent out to Africa to charities over there.
What I did
I didn’t even know that nappy libraries existed when I began so it was never an option I thought of. I found that my council did an incentive scheme and signed up straight away, then I found the survey on The Nappy Lady and Filled it in, which was definitely a great help to start me thinking what I needed to be looking at. (You don’t necessarily need to use the types they suggest or even the varieties they suggest, just use it as a rough guide.) I came across TJ’s Cloth Nappies on facebook (I don’t even know how!) and I spent ages looking at the website and drooling over all the gorgeous prints. I really wanted to order but kept thinking ‘what if they don’t work?!’ I realised though at the price they were it didn’t really matter if they didn’t work I’d just give it a go. I ordered a couple of days later and delivery was so quick.
After all the pre-washes it was time to put cloth on my baby’s butt! I was so nervous and I feel so stupid thinking that now but I was so desperate for something to work and not give my baby a horrendous chemical burn. I kept checking his nappy to make sure it wasn’t full and he was ok, but really I should’ve just cracked on with it! I was so hooked on these nappies they were fabulous, so I ordered more!!
The Nappies I got from the council were a Close Parent pop-ins V2 which was a birth to potty nappy (just what I’d be looking for) and I loved it it was such a good design and when I looked at their range online I found their lovely prints. When I first saw the Little Lamb bamboo nappy, I’ll be honest I thought I won’t like this it looks just like the old style nappies and I want the nice funky nappies. Boy was I wrong!! They are FABULOUS! I use these at nighttime as they are so absorbent and the wraps are AMAZING they are completely bombproof.
I have built up my stash from various websites but I always go back to TJ’s. It’s run by Jackie who is fabulous she has great customer service skills, and is always getting new prints in. Read her story on her website about how and why she set up Tj’s.
Good luck if you are starting out your cloth journey, and If you want to read anymore posts in The Cloth Chronicles series you will find them here.
Side note: It’s real nappy week this week (20th – 26th April 2015) so there are various offers floating around on all things cloth!