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
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
- 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!
- 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