Part-time cloth nappy user may need between 10 – 12 cloth nappies. Full-time cloth nappy user may need between 20 – 24 cloth nappies. The number of nappies needed will depend on a few of things: 1. Your washing and drying routine 2. Climate you live in 3. The season
Finances – To full-time cloth nappy one baby could cost anywhere around $700 - $800 depending on which type of cloth nappy/nappies you decide to use and the quantity you buy. Keep in mind that the upfront costs of purchasing cloth nappies would cost you less that if you had to keep buying disposables (see Financial Costs table below). To ease the upfront costs, you could consider buying a part-time pack or fewer nappies and slowly build up your cloth nappy collection for full-time use. You may need to do the washing more frequently or substitute with disposables. Sized or one size – Some newborns are too small for a OSFM so it may be necessary to invest in some newborn nappies or flats/prefolds until they fit a OSFM. Depending on the size of your baby, they may be able to fit into a OSFM from the start. One size will save you money but sized nappies could provide a better fit. You would probably get more use out of sized nappies if you were wanting them to last through 2 or 3 kids. A collection of one size nappies could last you through to your second child if they are cared for properly. Day and/or night nappies – Some nappies can be used for day and nights. Others are designed specifically for day or night use. Even though night nappies are for nights, you can use it during the day but day nappies generally work best for their intended use. Closures (hook & loop (aka Velcro) or snap button) – Hook & loop closures are easiest to use and resembles a disposable the most. Hook & loops tend to wear out faster than snaps, they also tend to snag on other nappies, and they’ll catch lint and fuzz which means you will need to clean it from time to time for them to work effectively. Snap closures are more secure and durable. Great option when bub is able to pull off the hook & loop. They are a little fiddly, and when bub starts rolling around you need to be very quick in putting them on. Tip: Nappies with two rows of snaps - snap the bottom row first then worry about the top row once the nappy is on bub. Skin sensitivities – use nappies made from natural fibres like bamboo and organic cotton Climate – important to consider the climate you live in as it will impact on the type of material and type of nappy you should get. The climate can affect your nappies drying time: bamboo takes longer to dry then synthetic fibres. AIO take longer to dry as well, so if you live in a cool climate you may want to consider an AI2, pocket nappy or any 2 part systems. Humid climates provide a breeding ground for mould: best option for those who live in humid climates is to use bamboo.
Disposables Made of a plastic outer layer, a layer of super-absorbent chemicals and an inner liner Advantages: Quick and easy to use and fasten Convenient: throw away after use Disadvantages: Full of chemicals Disposables (nappies, pads and incontinence pants) creates 450 000 tonnes of landfill in Australia alone. The bacteria and viruses contaminate our groundwater Quick Facts Approximately 6000 nappies will be used over first 3 years of your child's life To make a disposable, it takes 3 times more energy, 20 times more raw materials and 2 times more water than the manufacturing process for cloth nappies Australians use 5.6 millions nappies everyday. That's approximately 2 billion nappies ending up in landfill every year. Disposables take approximately 500 years to decompose Cloth Nappies An AIO (all in one) nappy is made of one or any combination of cotton/hemp/bamboo/polyester plus a layer of PUL. Advantages: Quick and easy to use Financially long term you are potentially saving $2280 (compared to use of disposable over 3 years) Fewer chemicals Disadvantages: More laundry Use of water, detergent and energy to clean Quick Facts Nappies create an extra 3-4 half loads of nappies (can be combined with regular washing to make a full load) Nappy laundry costs approximately an extra $100 per year (for water, detergent, and electricity). You can reduce this cost by hanging out the nappies on the line and let it sun dry.
Disposable nappies cost families between $1900 (for generic, less leading brands) and $3000 (for premium brands) over 2½ years. The outlay for a full time set of cloth nappies starts at approximately $150 for traditional nappies, through to $700 for modern cloth nappies. Entire nappies or parts of nappies can often be used for subsequent children dispersing the cost further. Laundering cloth nappies costs approximately $200* for 2½ years. Costs vary depending on the water efficiency of the washing machine, the method of drying and the cost of water set by local authorities. (Figures courtesy of The Australian Nappy Association)
Detergent – you need to get a detergent that is safe to use on cloth nappies. They MUST NOT CONTAIN optical brighteners, fabric softeners, phosphates, and enzymes, specifically cellulase. Most commercial products nowadays don’t contain phosphates so it’s not a major concern. Those with sensitive skin should try to avoid using detergents with enzymes in them. Something to consider is the water type you may have running through your pipes. Having soft or hard water can affect how efficient the detergent works. See below for more information about water types. Nappy bucket/pail – You will need a bucket/pail/large wet bag to store your dirty nappies until they get washed. Consider the space you have, and where will you store it until you wash it? Will it go near the sink in the bathroom or the toilet or in the laundry etc. Will you put the lid on the bucket or zip up the wet bag? Liners – non-essential. The purpose of a liner is to 1. Catch poo which makes cleaning easier, and 2. Provide a layer of protection between baby’s bottom and the nappy itself (recommended when you need to use a zinc based nappy barrier cream). There are two types of liners you can buy, reusable or disposable? Reusable microfleece liners provide a stay-dry layer. Disposables usually stay wet against baby’s bottom. Some are marketed as flushable or biodegradable, it’s our recommendation that you tip the solids down the toilet and throw the used liner in the bin, or throw it in the compost if that was the reason behind purchasing biodegradable liners. Wipes – a necessity but do you buy disposables or cloth? If you’re already using cloth nappies it doesn’t take much work to use cloth wipes either. You will need approximately 20 – 30 wipes. Cloth wipes are easy to use, cheaper than disposables and don’t contain chemicals. You can use them with plain water, make or buy solutions, or use them dry with foam sprays. Dry cloth wipes with foam sprays are the easiest to use when out and about. Wet bags – an essential item when out and about. Having a few bags is recommended. They have a PUL lining so it will keep the wetness inside. They are great at keeping the smells in. Some bags have double compartments, one for clean nappies, and the other for dirty nappies. Nappy sprayer – non-essential but does make cleaning soiled nappies a lot easier.
Meconium - simply put it in the wash as you would with any other nappy. Solids - If it's solid enough you could drop it into the toilet and flush. Rinse out any residual or runny poos out before you dry pail the nappy. At this stage we highly recommend buying a nappy sprayer to make the rinsing process easier.