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Switching from  
Disposables to Cloth


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Tips and Tricks
Switching from Disposables to Cloth

I can't tell you how many times I have spoken to people and heard something like "Wow, they look great! I'd love to give them a try ...". But then - nothing happens! If you are stuck in a rut using disposables and finding it hard to take the first steps to using reusable nappies, here are some tips and tricks to get you going.

1. Decide your motivation and stick to it.
Some example motivations might be:
- Environment - "Every time I use a cloth nappy I'm saving recsources and reducing landfill."
- Cost - "Every time I use a cloth nappy I'm saving 10c from my weekly budget."
- Health - "Every time my baby is in a cloth nappy I know what she is wearing and that she is comfortable".
Choose your own motivation and remember it along the way.

2. Decide your approach. Are you a softly, softly person or a cold turkey person?
The most successful approach to change depends on your personality. Think of your dependence on disposables as a bad habit - when you want to change a bad habit what works best for you? Gradually changing over time or going "cold turkey"? It's often quite hard to change a habit so try to identify the best plan for you.

3. Get your support in place.
If support is important to you make sure you have it before you start. Try to get hubby, your mum, your friend(s) to come on board from day 1 for encouragment. If you feel you lack support nappy sellers (I'm here!) or discussion forums can provide a great mechanism for ongoing support.

4. Get organised.
- Get your nappies. For a softly, softly start you will need only a few nappies. For a cold turkey start you will need a full set. (See Choosing Cloth Nappies for how to choose the best nappy for you.)
- Some flushable liners can be nice for a gentle start to washing nappies
- A nappy bucket (from Target or a Baby Store)
- A wet bag if you are going to use cloth nappies when you are out
- Make sure your washing machine is in good working order and identify the nappy manufacturer's recommended cycle.
- Get the nappy manufacturer's recommended detergent.
- Wash your new nappies a few times (very important - see your manufacturer's instructions).

5. GO FOR IT!

Troubleshooting
- Oh no they leak! Don't panic. Check the fit and wash them again. New nappies may need a few washes before they work properly. If fit is a problem contact your nappy seller.
- Baby gets a red bottom. It's not unusual for a baby's bottom to react to any change in nappies (disposable --> cloth or cloth --> disposable). Watch carefully to make sure it doesn't develope into full-blown nappy rash. Use a barrier cream. Alternate cloth nappies at first, gradually using more until you are full-time over about a week.
- Baby isn't sleeping - Oh no! Then put the disposable back on! Sleep is more important ... Use the cloth in waking time so that she will get used to the cloth nappies. Use a "stay-dry" liner for comfort. Your baby is hopefully just getting used to the new feel of the cloth nappies, but some people end up using disposables at night permanently. Remember you are still helping the environment, your budget and your baby by using the cloth nappies during the day.

If it isn't working out ...
- Revisit your motivation regularly
- Use your support network. Contact your nappy seller/doula - all nappy sellers want to see your nappies work out and can often provide invaluable advice and support.

Please check out a lovely blog post we have from one of our users who has made the switch to reusable nappies and has been kind enough to write down her experience. If you need motivation - it's here! The Nappy Change - My Story from Disposables to Cloth.

Top Customer Tips


"Just do it ;) use nappy liners (whether cloth or disposable) as this makes the dreaded poos so simple to clean up :)" - Cindy

"Get a little squirt !!!! They're AWESOME !!! :)" (Little Squirt = Diaper Sprayer) - Lauren

"Buy gorgeous colourful ones to make it enticing - and make sure you buy reputable quality ones so that you don't have leaks and be put off cloth nappying :)" - Kirsten

"Start small. For the first few weeks just use the cloth nappies when you are home (and use disposables for outings/nights) until you feel you are getting comfortable with the habit of rinsing them and washing them etc." - Emily

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