In today’s blog, we’re going to go through some of the cloth nappy myths that you may have heard and break them down one by one. We want you to have a clear understanding of what modern day cloth nappying is. And isn’t!
Reusable nappies are hard work… they need to be soaked and boiled which all takes lots of time new parents don’t have.
BUSTER: No soaking or boiling is necessary – and in fact, it can damage the components of your nappy.
If I use cloth nappies, I will have to deal with the poo!
BUSTER: Actually, you’ll have to deal with the poo whether you use cloth or disposable nappies. All faecal matter should be flushed.
Cloth nappies don’t fit newborns.
BUSTER: There are so many great cloth options for newborns! There are specific newborn-sized nappies (great for prems!), flats and prefolds that can be adjusted to fit any size baby simply by changing the fold of the nappy… and then there are the multi-fit or one-size-fits-most cloth nappies, which fit most babies from around 3.5 kg.
Cloth nappies will make my laundry smell.
BUSTER: Solids should be flushed immediately and the soiled nappy placed in a bucket with a tight lid or in a wet bag with a draw string or zip closure. A few drops of essential oil in the bucket or wet bag can help to keep the laundry smelling fresh.
Reusable nappies are extremely bulky and severely restrict baby’s movement.
BUSTER: Modern reusable nappy designs are trim fitting and there is no evidence to support the claim that they restrict baby’s movement. Most babies learn to walk between the age of 12 and 18 months and there is nothing to suggest that the type of nappy used impacts on this development.
The wider position of baby’s hips in a reusable nappy can actually be good for developing hips.
According to the book Care of the Newborn by Ten Teachers, disposable nappies could be contributing to higher incidents of congenital hip dysplasia in some cultures: “…in modern Western society, putting infants for long periods in baby and car seats as well as the use of very slim disposable nappies which do not abduct the hips as widely, could also affect hip development.”
In days gone by, double cloth nappies were used to facilitate the correct forming of bones in babies with congenital hip dysplasia.
You need to buy multiple sizes as your baby grows to get the right fit.
BUSTER: There are so many cloth nappy options on the market so you can choose the perfect option for your baby and your lifestyle. Reusable nappies come in all shapes and sizes – just like the babies who wear them!
Nappy changes take much longer with reusables than with disposables.
BUSTER: Depending on the type of cloth nappy you choose, they can go on in one step, just like a disposable, or in a set (flat or prefold cloth nappy followed by a cover). Once you’ve put any nappy on your baby a couple of times, you’ll feel quite the pro and it won’t take you any longer than using disposables.
Cloth nappies take a long time to care for.
BUSTER: Once you’re in the swing of things, a load of cloth nappies can be rinsed, washed, dried and put back together within 10-20 minutes a day. In Australia, most of that time can be spent in the beautiful sunshine!
Cloth nappies take a long time to master.
BUSTER: Like any new habit, cloth nappying can take a little while to master. It’s an extra load of washing every day or two and a new way of thinking about something that will be a significant part of your child’s life over the next 2-3 years. But give yourself a couple of weeks and it will become second nature! Once you get the hang of things and develop a routine, you’ll be doing it with your eyes closed.
Cloth nappies take a long time to prepare before first use.
BUSTER: Cloth nappies can be easily prepped in a very short time frame, so you can get those gorgeous new nappies on bub ASAP! To learn just how quick and easy nappy preparation can be, Click Here.
Reusable nappies aren’t as reliable as a disposable nappy.
BUSTER: Our experience has been quite the opposite. While traveling, we’ve sometimes used disposable nappies, but have frequently experienced blowouts and random leaks that we just don’t get with cloth nappies. Having said that, you do need to make sure that the nappy you choose suits your baby’s needs. Some babies are light wetters and require only the absorbency of a synthetic fabric, such as microfibre. Other babies seem to outwet everything. If you happen to have a baby who is a heavy wetter, we highly recommend bamboo-based nappies and some extra boosters to get them through. The most important step you can take to lower the incidence of leaking and to protect your baby from rash is to change at least every 2 hours during the day, or as soon as you know they have soiled the nappy. For boys, it can be helpful to adjust the boosting of the nappy so that more of it sits towards the front where extra absorbency is most needed.
Cloth nappies can’t be used at night when baby sleeps through.
BUSTER: There are numerous cloth nappy options available for night use and for longer periods, such as naps or travelling. Some cloth nappies come with specially designed night components, others require the addition of another booster.
Like most things in life, there is fact… and then there is fiction. Much of what we all heard about nappies while we were growing up was not so much against cloth as it was for disposables. They were meant to be easier, quicker, cheaper… just better!
We now know that there’s way more to the story. Be sure to check back on the blog next week for another 12 cloth nappy myths busted!