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Getting started with cloth nappies

Updated: May 3, 2020

Baby sitting up in Smart Bottoms 3.1 cloth nappy in Nurture print

One cloth nappy a day can save around 900 disposables from landfill. A lot of people (myself included) think that choosing to cloth nappy means it has to be all or nothing, you should either cloth full-time or not at all.

If you’ve read my ‘Our cloth bum journey’ post you will know how much time I spent researching to make sure I picked the right nappies. In hindsight, I realise both how lucky and foolish I was back then. Like with disposables, not all styles suit all babies and there is no way of telling from the internet if the style you are buying is going to be the right fit for you.

Before we started our journey, and after all of my research, I hadn’t even considered anything other than full-time once I started, nor had I considered trying different styles before committing to one brand.

It was helping my friends in starting their journeys which opened my eyes. They weren’t as certain as me, they had their reservations, so going all out and buying an entire stash outright wasn’t for them. Then I found this stat - one cloth nappy a day can save 900 disposables from landfill - I shared it with them and could see the relief on their faces. Even if they only started with one or two nappies, they were making a difference.

Babies stood up wearing different reusable nappies

As my friends started to show interest I talked them through the different nappy types and lent them a couple of ours to trial. One-by-one they started investing in a couple of nappies here and there to build up their stashes and for most, like me, they were hooked. This method also educated me, as they were trying different styles, they were finding which ones suited their babies and which ones didn’t. I’d really lucked out that the brand we invested in was right for H, otherwise my cloth journey could have had a very sorry end.

I decided if I wanted to help other mums with their cloth journeys I needed to increase knowledge of as many brands and styles as possible, so I started shopping.

Colourful stack of modern cloth nappies in baby's nursery

I’ve slowly built my stash with a mixture of new and pre-loved nappies from all the main brands and a few smaller brands so that when sharing my knowledge it comes from first hand experience. Next, I started a WhatsApp group with some local cloth bum mums so that I could learn from their experiences with different aged and shaped babies, and all in different stages of our journey. I do not profess to be an expert in cloth, after all it has only been 10 months, but I will share what I know and update as I’m learning. Hopefully this will help others see you don’t need to know it all to get started, as with everything in parenting it’s a learn on the job kind of thing.

If you are here because you want to give cloth a go and don’t know where to start, then here are my top tips for you:

  1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

  2. If you have access to a nappy library - use them

  3. If you don’t, buy what you can when you can in a variety of styles and build your stash slowly

  4. Try each style a few times before deciding it’s not for you, sometimes a small tweak to fit or boosters can make all of the difference

  5. Ask questions, ask me, ask the Facebook communities, ask your local library, or best option ask the experts - we're all happy to help

  6. Finally, be kind to yourself, parenting a tiny human is hard no matter what choices you make - you are doing a great job!

One other option if you don’t have a local library and want to try a selection of nappies risk free. Fill Your Pants have an amazing ‘try cloth for £10’ scheme - buy a kit of 9 brand new nappies (in the prints of your choice) for £110 including a complimentary roll of liners, nappy guide and getting started instructions. Once you’ve received your kit, try your nappies for 30 days and either keep them, or return them and be refunded £100 - so the whole experience has only cost you £10 + postage - bargain!

If you are thinking of giving cloth a go in one way or another - do it, what’s the worst that could happen?

Baby crawling over sensory foil in Buttons Diapers cloth nappy in Inspire print

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