Not a chance though - we do have our favourites, but there are far too many choices out there and I’m nowhere near qualified to help on that front!
If you want to get into cloth nappies but don't know where to start, here’s who you should talk to instead: Wendy from The Nappy Lady. Fill in her advice form (for free) and you’ll be fine*. This is also a very good blog post on the various types of nappies that are currently available.
Once you’ve got your cloth nappies, there are a few things you can do to get the best out of them. Non-cloth converts generally think that using cloth nappies is a hassle, but it really doesn’t need to be. Essentially, it’s about getting a streamlined routine down, as well as using a few simple props and tricks.
- A bucket for your soiled nappies, preferably with a lid.
- A waterproof nappy bag (ours is by My Little Patch - a bit fancy but fantastic quality) for when you’re out and about.
- A hose attachment fitted onto your sink or bidet for rinsing any stuck-on poo straight into the loo (very important in the liquid, newborn poo days).
- A basket that keeps your liners, wraps and nappy cream within reach of the changing mat.
- Wash every 2-3 days, depending on how many nappies you have (twenty is plenty for an every-2-days routine). Don’t wait until you have no clean nappies left because there’ll be a day a week when your house is swamped with nothing but damp nappies!
- If your nappies have any bits that need stuffing or attaching, do it as soon as you take everything off the washing line, then store them near your baby’s changing area. Lest you find yourself with a naked, angry baby on your arm, the wrap on the line, the inner popper on the sofa…
- If you don’t have time to rinse the nappy as soon as it comes off (I don’t), rinse them all in one go in the evening. At P&P Towers the routine is: one parent bathes the Bean, the other deals with his pile of pong. It takes about 10 minutes rinse a day's worth of nappies.
- Rinse your nappies in cold water before you put them in the bucket to reduce smellines.
- Don't inadvertently do something stupid, like wash your nappies with biological detergent (it destroys the fabric) or leave your wraps to soak.
- Expose them to direct sunlight as often as possible to help any stains to fade.
- Find somewhere for the nappies to dry that won’t p*ss you off. In our 60m2-flat, laundry taking up precious floor-space is an absolute no-no. So instead of a clotheshorse we have two clip-on thingies that hang off the radiator and the window in the bathroom, or off the balcony when the weather’s good enough. We also have a ceiling airer installed above the radiator in the bathroom. Airing cupboards are great too, but I've not seen them outside the UK!
- Know your limits. Cloth nappies are great and we try to use them whenever we can. However, sometimes they don't work for us: on holiday (laundry duty does not a holiday maketh) and when in the grip of diarrhea bugs (can't keep up!). I refuse to feel bad about the occasional use of disposables. Ok I do feel bad but sometimes it's unavoidable. Better to figure that out and find a work-around rather than quit using cloth nappies completely.
NOTE: I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, and any brands I've mentioned should just count themselves lucky.