For parents keen to use reusable cloth nappies, there’s a whole host of variables to take into consideration. How much will it cost? How does this compare to using disposables? Can they be used on babies with sensitive skin? How well do the nappies wash? We have the answers to these burning questions, and a heap more!
Last week we lined up someone who can only be described as an expert in the field of reusable cloth nappies – the brilliant Jo Schanschieff, mother of three and co-owner of Bambino Mio. She fielded a host of questions from parents eager to gather knowledge on reusable cloth nappies. Here are her informative answers from our Facebook Chat.
Cost and laundering
Q. How much money will I save with reusables compared to disposables?
A. You’ll use about 6,000 nappies during the first two years compared to only around 15 reusable nappies (if you decide to use full-time). This will save you approximately $1,600 for your first child and even more if you decide to use the same nappies on a second child!
Q. If I buy a cloth nappy, what is their life span?
A. It all depends on how you look after your nappies. A more rigorous washing routine (hot wash/tumble drying) will mean that they might not last as long as if you were washing warm and line drying. Fabrics in our miosolo all-in-one nappy are designed to stay soft even when line dried.
Q. Do front loader washing machines cope with washing cloth nappies on a normal cycle, or do you find you need a top loader (with the extra water)?
A. No definitely not! Most machines in the UK are front loaders and this is never an issue.
Q. Do you think it’s still worth investing in cloth nappies if this is your last child? I know environmentally yes but cost savings etc? And how many do you need in total to get by without having to wash all the time?
A. Yes definitely. Even if you use one reusable nappy a day in place of a disposable you can still see significant savings. The cost of one reusable nappy is the same as approximately 100 disposables and you’ll use those in about two weeks! We recommend approximately 15 miosolo nappies for full-time use. We have lots of lovely prints and colours so you can choose which ones you like best!
Q. If you can’t wash everyday, or stomach washing everyday, what is the optimal number of days between washes?
A. There’s no need to wash every day. Store your used nappies in a lidded bucket and wash them every second or third day. It all depends on how many nappies you have to keep you going in between washes. It may be more efficient/economical to buy more nappies and wash less often.
Q. How would you recommend washing my cloth nappies?
A. Use biodegradable nappy liners so you can lift and flush away most of the soiling. Nappies can be stored in a lidded bucket ‘dry’ then washed in the machine up to 60 degrees with a scoop of our miofresh nappy cleanser in the powder drawer.
Babies with sensitive skin
Q. I used disposables with my first but I’m considering cloth for my second. My first had very sensitive skin. Are babies more prone to rashes and irritation using cloth?
A. Research has found that there is no relationship between skin irritation and cloth nappies. There are lots of other factors to consider. Our nappies rely on super soft absorbent fabrics against baby’s skin rather than the chemical gels which can be found in disposable nappies.
How many to use and buy
Q. On average, how many reusable nappies would be used a day?
A. Between six to eight nappies per day. This will of course depend on your baby. You tend to change the nappy when you feed and the number of times you feed depends on the age of your child.
Ease of use and getting the right fit
Q. How do you know if you’ve got the correct fit? I’ve only had wet nappies while wearing cloth so far and leaked a couple of times.
A. Check you have the nappy on the right setting at the front. Often if the rise is too long the nappies may leak.
Q. Does cloth nappying get easier once bub starts on solids? My girl is three months today and the poo management sounded A LOT easier in theory than it actually is in real life to be honest. Just want to make sure having to hand rinse wash a poo nappy every time and dump into dry pail after is normal at this stage?
A. No need to hand rinse the soiling off, especially with liquid poo as this will wash out easily. Perhaps wash every second day if you are not already. And yes you’re absolutely right, this all gets a lot easier once your little one starts on solids. Our miosolo all-in-one nappy has a hydrophobic top layer which is designed to repel water and will reduce risk of soiling. You could use our biodegradable nappy liners which sit on top of the nappy. This will reduce the soiling of your nappies also. Our miofresh nappy cleanser is a fantastic product (if we say so ourselves)! It is a great stain remover and will keep your nappies clean and fresh.
Q. If you decide to start reusable nappies from birth how do you pick the right size?
A. There are lots of varieties of reusable nappies on the market, think about your daily routine and what would work best in terms of storage and laundry as well as using on your baby. All in one nappies are usually birth to potty so no need to worry about sizing. Some parents like to buy a variety of brands to test out.
Q. As a first time reusable nappy user, would you recommend I ease myself in gently with half reusable, half disposable? Or go straight in with all reusable?
A. We think that’s a really good idea if you are unsure. We know lots of parents who use reusable nappies on a part-time basis. For example when they are at home and when they go out they still use disposables. Once you start using you will begin to get into a routine and may want to switch completely!
Q. What is the best option for at night time? We have few leaks during the day, but are yet to find a cloth nappy – boosters and all – that will go overnight without leaking.
A. Our miosolo all-in-one nappy has had some fantastic feedback from parents who say with our mioboost pad it has lasted up to 12 hours with no leaks overnight! Our mioboost is designed to maximise the absorbency of your nappies without too much extra bulk.
Q. My little one is almost three months and I’m wanting to try cloth nappies. He is a heavy wetter and I don’t have a dryer. What would you recommend? Also, we are on septic so are the flushable liners septic friendly?
A. We recommend trying our miosolo all-in-one nappy – the absorbent inner core can be pulled out for quick drying. Our fabrics are designed for maximum absorbency and fast drying. It’s best not to flush the liners if you have a septic tank. However, our liners are biodegradable and can be thrown away or composted.
Q. How does the miosoft two piece nappy fit together? And what are the benefits of a two-piece compared to the very popular one piece miosolo nappy?
A. Our miosoft two-piece nappy consists of two pieces (the nappy and the nappy cover). The nappy is one size and will fit up to potty training age and can be used with two sizes of nappy cover. They are two different nappies but the two-piece is a more economical system and will save you more money.
We have to thank our font of knowledge on all things cloth reusable nappies, Jo Schanschieff from Bambino Mio. If you’re keen to try out the award-winning miosolo all-in-one, it’s available directly from Bambino Mio.
(This is a sponsored post for Bambino Mio)