I often get asked if doing cloth at the newborn stage is worth it. Many parents only consider starting from three months old. So why do I tell them to rather just start as soon as possible?
Newborns go through the most amount of nappies (in a diaper lifetime) in the first 4 months as they wee and poop a lot. This is the time when it really makes the most sense financially to cloth and it prevents a huge amount of waste headed to landfill. You will carry out bags and bags of single use plastics weekly. It is quite staggering.
Cleaning newborn nappies is actually the “best and easiest" stage in terms of the actual cleaning poop part. Newborn poop is easy to manage as it`s runny and simply washes off a cloth nappy. Things change only once baby starts to eat solids.
Money saving: Newborns can use up to 10 - 15 nappies a day. That is 300 - 400 nappies in a landfill and R1200 of money thrown away. In only ONE month. Four months = R4800. Twins = 9K+. For around R6000 you can cloth one baby from birth until 9/10kg (nappy type depending). That can be up to ten months of wear. Nappies are sold at an excellent resale value or kept for the next babies.
Starting earlier just makes the whole process much easier and smoother. There can be a tendency to just reach for disposable nappies over and over again because that is what you have been doing for three months. The sooner your hands use cloth nappies, the easier it is and it is just your normal. We are creatures of habit. Another huge pro is you will never run out of nappies or have to go buy bags of single use plastics anymore.
The satisfaction derived from wrapping your baby in a cloth nappy is truly remarkable. The overall pride it generates is just amazing. This mum explains it very well:
“There is something very therapeutic and fulfilling about the process, I had no idea I would be so overjoyed about the whole thing . It enlivens an ancient remembrance in me of the wonderful way things feel when they are in harmony with our health and the health of nature.”
Is it too much work? No, this is a big misconception. What ends up happening is you really can’t wait to wash and dry the Pokkies in order to get them back on the bum. Modern cloth nappies have come a long way and washing them is very simple these days. No more soaking in buckets or Sterri nappy. Simply rinse then wash. Hang to dry. Use. Repeat.
What is different about using cloth on a small baby?
You will notice a bigger bum. Cloth is layered as it has to be. Is it uncomfy? No. Is it normal for the nappy to be damp? Yes. We must remember that before disposables dominated the market, we only had cloth nappies and everyone used them, successfully without any sleeping difficulties or developmental issues. Nappies have to fit properly. If they don’t you will end up with leaking which is what we don’t want. Sized nappies are the key to success. At birth a baby may look small in her cloth nappies but that’s because we have to make them a certain size to allow for growth. Babies grow extremely fast and within a few weeks nappies fit perfectly and a few weeks late start popping out of them. Is it worth using them for this stage- most definitely! You will divert around 1200 single use plastics from landfill and have a set of nappies for your next baby or you can get at least half your money back by reselling them.
Using cloth also allows you to really keep track of the number of wet nappies your baby has a day which is a clear indication of baby's health.
Disposable nappies and store bought wet wipes are often the cause of nasty nappy rash. With cloth, the main type of rash that can develop is due to wetness and this is easily solved by simply adding a booster to increase absorption and a soft fleece reusable liner which keeps baby dry. No chemical bum creams are needed.
The benefits of opting for reusables are just so many. Starting this journey from the beginning is such a good idea. I urge you to follow your heart and do it. Even if those you share your idea with think you're mad. You're not. You're smart!!
We will support you.
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