If your baby has finished with cloth nappies but you need to store them for future children, there are some things you’ll want to consider. The key issue that usually arises when it comes to storing any kind of clothing is with the elastic.
A t-shirt will often come out of storage in much better shape than a pair of shorts that has an elastic waist. Over time, elastic can become brittle and break down. In the past, I’ve stored beautiful baby dresses with elastic bodices and been disappointed to find the bodice completely loose and deteriorating to the point of “flaking” after a little while in storage.
As modern cloth nappies contain elastic, they can also be prone to elastic degradation over time and if you plan to store your nappies for any more than 6 months between uses, we’d recommend loaning them out to a family member, as at least you’ll know they are still being used and loved and can come back to you once you need them again.
If you don’t want to loan them out and do want to store them for a long period, here are some ways to help preserve the elastic.
- Ensure your nappies are thoroughly clean and completely dry – it can be helpful to wash them an extra time before they go into storage to ensure you’re getting out any lingering smells or staining.
- It is best to store nappies in a cardboard box rather than in a plastic crate, as there will be more airflow in cardboard. Having said that, cardboard is not pest-proof so if you have mice, silverfish or other bugs, you may need to consider storing in crates.
- Ensure the nappies are not crammed in, but spread them over a couple of boxes if you need to, in order to allow for more airflow.
- Store your nappies in the house, NOT in the garage where there is minimal airflow and highly fluctuating temperatures.
- It is best to store your boosters separately to your shells/covers and not made up/ready to go, as being made up can place unnecessary pressure on the elastics by holding them in a taut position.
These methods are not a guarantee that the elastic will still be in good condition after extended periods in storage, but they may help.
If you’re particularly concerned that the elastic will degrade or are concerned you won’t be able to use them again for a very long time, it might be worth selling them and then re-investing once another baby arrives. Depending on the type of nappies you have, replacing the elastic can be simple or very time-consuming, so do take this into consideration if you’re a sewer.
Finished with your cloth nappies and not sure what to do with them now? Here are 4 ways you can part with them.