Introducing Pokkelokkie`s very first online workshop. We are tackling newborn cloth moms. We understand how daunting it can be, so we are reaching out to help you settle any worries and to help you get going.
Each day will be summarized and added to the blog for a full comprehensive article that you can revisit at any time.
- Newborns can use up to 15 nappies a day.
- That is 450 nappies in a landfill and R1350 of your hard earned money thrown in the bin. In only ONE month! 3 months = R4050
- For under R5000 you can cloth your baby from birth until 10kg (if using Pokkelokkie medium sized flats). That can be anything up to 6 – 8 months of wear. Enough said
- Do not feel pressured to cloth full time. This is not a competition - this is an effort to save our planet, save us money and to have fun and enjoy your little cloth bum.
- Start small if you feel overwhelmed. Aim at using some cloth nappies at home. Set yourself small reachable goals. Example: Today we are going to use 3 cloth nappies. Tomorrow we are going to use 4 etc.
- Cloth involves some patience, some practice and a bit more washing.
- Having support is important- by that we don’t mean family and friends – we mean US. We offer full support to get you going with your Pokkelokkie nappies via email or whatsapp.
- You WILL succeed and we will make sure if it. It only takes 3 - 5 days of giving it your full efforts. Your hands need to learn how to handle a small baby. That takes time.
- As with learning anything new in life, be kind to yourself and go slow. Reach out for help. You are not a robot.
- Feeling overwhelmed with dealing with a new human life and now having to manipulate a piece of cloth around this tiny bum and make sure to get it on right (what is right????). Give yourself time and practice - one day at a time.
- Crying. A lot of newborns hate nappy changing. You are not doing it wrong, do not feel hurried. You are the mom and you are doing what is best for her. Try take your time and do not avoid trying your cloth because he cries. She will cry no matter what. IT DOES PASS. Ask a friend/husband or nanny to stand with you while you experiment. TIP: always feed your baby before the change day time. This can buy you an extra 10 minutes. Expect this picture:
- Weeing in a fresh nappy. We know this one all too well. You have finally mastered the nappy, got it on aaaaand….a big wet spot. Yup … it’s a big wee. Remember with a disposable you cannot see that wee so we don’t even know about it. Expect them to pee in your fresh nappy!
- Cloth nappies will feel wet. Expect damp cloth. A nappy that has held 10 wees and has not leaked has done its job beautifully. YOU DID IT!! Aim for the nappy feeling like a very damp wrung out towel. If it`s sopping wet – more boosting is needed (boosting to be covered later)
- More contact with poop. Newborn poop is actually the best stage (if I can use that word). It can be easily rinsed off and popped in the machine. Cloth contains poop very well if the nappy is on properly. Just another reason NB cloth is worth it- much less mess! Remember- your baby`s poop is YOUR baby`s poop. This can only really be understood once you have your baby. The idea of dealing with it changes a lot once that bundle of joy is in your arms. It really does not matter in the end. Do not let this factor determine whether or not you use cloth nappies.
- Friends and family gasping in horror when you joyously announce you are going to use cloth. Yes - GASPING. Who knows why people are so unsupportive- oh well. You will show them wont you 😊
- Pokkelokkie flats and fitteds wrap around the baby.
- The whole nappy absorbs therefore there is little chance of leaking.
- The nappies mould a small frame giving a snug and trim fit.
- Boosters are the key to cloth diapering the Pokkelokkie way. Always invest in NB sized boosters.
Using flats on a newborn
- Use good quality flats. Buy well, buy once.
- The customized fit prevents leaks and provides the trimmest cloth nappy on the market today!
- Fastest drying nappy- the faster they dry the less you need, the more money you save, the less washing you do.
Day solution: 1 flat folded in origami and always add 1 (maybe 2) Pokkelokkie boosters per flat. Cover.
Flats need the extra layers during this high output stage. Boosters must be sized properly. Pocket nappy inserts do not make good boosters. Our cotton boosters are the bees knees! Used until potty training they never, ever go to waste.
- Watch the video on how to fold your flat below. FOLD A FLAT or if you don`t have a flat, cut up a piece of anything (even a dishtowel) - it has to be square and ideally around 50 x 50cm.
- Get a teddy or doll or your baby ready for TASK 2 a bit later.
Watch the first video on this page https://pokkelokkie.co.za/pages/flats
So now our flats are folded and ready to put on.
Let`s talk about BOOSTING flats.
Boosters and inserts?!???
- A Pokkelokkie booster is an additional item bought to add extra layers.
- An insert: The bit that comes with the nappy when you buy it (example: a fitted comes with 1 – 2 of our inserts already inside)
When to boost?
- Most NB flats need boosting for day nappies – 1 booster inside and possibly one between nappy that is on and the cover. This 2nd booster can be added if the nappies are drenched at 2 hours (as in no dry patches anywhere). If you need the nappy to last a bit longer, then add this 2nd booster (baby who sleeps for long periods day time) as per the picture.
- A padfolded small flat can also be used as a booster in the same ways.
- You can only asses the baby`s boosting needs once baby is here. We suggest having a few boosters on hand- you will always use them.
TASK 2: Putting the flat on a NB.
Watch the video and give it a go!
- Your hands need to get used to how this works - be patient with yourself.
- Use the stretch of the fabric when pulling the wings up and over- this gives the snug fit.
- Hold each leg between your thumb and forefinger- this really makes all the difference.
- The first few flats might look all gapey and loose- this is how you learn.
- Jelly roll the legs all the way around the bum.
- The more practice you get, the better the bum part starts to look and less you need to jelly roll as you become a master of flats.
Here is a video we made which highlights the most common issues moms face when attempting flats :
- Easy to put on.
- Great for dads and carers.
- Good for outings when you need a quick change
- Pokkelokkie offers day and night fitteds – night fitteds are made from a more absorbent fabric which copes better with longer periods (we will cover night cloth later).
- Velcro is a Pokkelokkie favourite option. TIP: always close the Velcro tabs in the wash or when not in use.
How tight is too tight?
- When putting a fitted on, it does not need to be put on so tight that deep elastics marks occur. If this is happening it is too tight.
- The wings in the front will slowly grow furthur and furthur apart as the baby gets bigger. Do not try to always get the wings to meet in the middle- this will make the nappy too tight.
- Once the nappy is, run your fingers, from the back, along the inside of the elastic casings, pulling the nappy down a bit which makes it sit comfortably. The entire nappy will move a bit forward, allowing the elastics to relax a bit.
Red elastic marks
- This happens if the nappy is on too tight OR
- The nappy is too wet. If there are no dry patches, boost the fitted. Lay an additional booster between nappy and cover.
- If elastics get wet – they can cause red like welts on baby. This is painful and difficult to get rid of. It can be avoided by simply assessing the wetness of nappies.
Some common concerns using newborn cloth
- Do not let the cord delay your cloth journey.
- Simply move it out of the way. You will not break it off. It just needs to heal which it will do regardless of the types of nappy you use.
- Cloth nappies sit below the cord. The cover does not need to be on so tight that it bothers the cord. Loosen it up around the waist.
Rashes and bum cream
- You don’t in fact need any bum cream when using cloth. Another money saver here.
- If anything- use some coconut oil.
- Rashes are rare with cloth – most common is a wetness rash which is red and splotchy both front and back. Solution: change nappies more regularly and add a booster to distribute wetness. Aim for nappies that feel like a damp wrung out towel. Too wet = no dry patches and wet to the touch.
- Cloth nappies are bigger. Adjust your mental expectation to a bigger bum
- It is not uncomfortable for baby. Opt for trim, fully absorbent nappies (flats or fitteds) and a cover.
- Crying during nappy changes is very normal. It does not mean baby does not like the nappy. Give it a good half hour. Feed and settle baby before assuming the nappy is the cause of the distress. Being naked in the colder air is more than likely the issue here.
Time for washing
- There is more than enough time for washing. You WILL manage just fine.
- It is not another 20 loads a day. It all depends on the number of nappies you use.
- Full time - you can easily wash every 2 - 3 days.
Storing and washing nappies
- NB poop is water soluble- so this means it can be washed in the machine as is. Saying that, I always rinsed my little ones nappies off before storing in the laundry bin.
- NB poop is the actually the “best” (yes the best). It does not smell and is very easy to clean.
- Rinse the nappy, throw it in the nappy bin.
The nappy bin
- Get a laundry basket with holes – nappies need ventilation.
- A pail liner is not necessary.
Do not let washing put you off using cloth. It is just washing. Your washing is saving the planet. Do not let anyone tell you it is a waste of water. It isn’t. More water is used to manufacture disposables than to wash nappies. That is a fact.
How to wash : https://pokkelokkie.co.za/pages/how-to-wash
- NB poop can leave yellow like stains on lighter coloured nappies.
- Rub some sunlight green bar or boerseep (my favourite) and then rinse and wash.
- Hang in the sun - the sun is like magic and gets rid of stains- try it :)
All Pokkelokkie nappies need a waterproof or a fleece cover.
Things you need to know
- A cover does not leak – only a nappy leaks. If the nappy beneath is too wet /does not have enough absorption, the cover will not hold it in. The nappy holds everything in. The cover is the barrier between the nappy and the clothes. That is it`s job. So… make sure the nappy is nice and snug then no leaks of anything should happen.
- If any part of the nappy is sticking out and comes into contact with clothes or bedsheets, leaks will happen. Moisture is drawn out and the clothes act as magnet. Always tuck the nappy into the cover. NEVER tuck clothes into a nappy cover, ever.
- Fleece covers work- in summer, with no clothes or baby grows over them. If the fleece cover is ever damp the nappy needs more layers. Add a booster to your nappy. Opt for little T shirts or vests.
- Pokkelokkie softshell covers are soft, breathable and can be used day and night- 100% waterproof and gentle on tiny legs. We love them recommend them.
- Watch the video which shows you how to get a neat fit using the buttons. These buttons can usually be undone around 5kg (to be added soon)
- Watch this video too :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0eta2Mi7r0
A note on poop leaks
- Leaks can happen. Newborns like to poop.
- Cloth contains poop VERY well. But be realistic… a newborn experience without a few poopsplosions is like expecting to have a baby and sleep well (just saying).
- If every nappy is leaking- there is a fit issue. We will help you get it right. E mail us.
Dads do learn cloth - they are often nervous about it but once baby comes and they watch mom get the hang of it – most follow suit.
- Maybe avoid asking dads if they want to do flats (if they are against cloth)– they will probably shake their heads. Rather introduce those slowly. A nappy that resembles a disposable is more attractive (as in a fitted) if you want to win them over, especially if they are paying for it.
- Flats are not difficult and dads do get the hang of it, once mom manages. Dads just need mom to do it first to see that it is not as daunting as it appears. They need a teacher and a live dempo from mom is better than a video from me.
- Get some fitted nappies (Dawn patrol day fitteds or Sleepy dust hemp fitteds) for dads for the beginning if Dad is involved in nappies. Velcro is a winner and gains the confidence of dads very quickly.
- Ask Dad to do 1 nappy a day in the beginning. Dads will surprise you!!!
How has your hubby/partner coped with cloth? Share some inspiration moms who are elbow deep in Nb cloth!
- Newborns are changed through the night so do not wear 1 night nappy. Changing cloth is the same as changing a disposable. There may be 2 steps (nappy and cover) but it really does not take that much longer. That extra 1 minute is worth every second.
- Change then feed. Or feed, change then feed again.
- Do not use nappies that are not fully absorbent for nights ( as in nappies that do not wrap around the baby like flats or fitteds).
- All babies are different and sleep differently – if youre lucky and baby goes 3 – 4 hours, always boost night nappies to accommodate the time.
Using flats at night
- Pre-fold your flats for the evening once baby is asleep. Then no fuss in the dark.
- You will manage to put on cloth at night with half closed eyes! It becomes 2nd nature once you been at it day in and day out.
- Fold 2 flats together as one (first combo) as per this video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s6U94GppUI
- Expect a bigger bum – the layers are needed for longer stretches. Baby will grow into that bum within a matter of weeks.
- Keep a bucket next to the changing station /bed to throw dirty nappies into at night. You can then just pop this outside the door and deal with it in the morning.
- Our Sleepy dust hemp fitted is a great night option (get the velcro one).
- Add a 2nd booster if the nappy feels very wet (no dry patches).
Newborn cloth can be a challenge. Having a newborn = a challenge.
Should you try- yes!
Being a mom is hard. Some babies sleep all day – others don’t sleep at all.
We all have different newborn experiences – some easy and some not so easy.
Can you do cloth-= yes. If you don`t- does it matter? No. We do not know what we are going to get on that special birth- day. We get what we are given and we make the best of it no matter what. They are your babies after all. If you have to use disposables, so be it. It is what it is at the end of the day.
Do not ever be hard on yourself because the idea you had in your head did not work out in reality. If you bought a NB stash and could not use it- it does not matter. Sell it or keep it for the next baba. You had other more important things to deal with at the time. You did not fail. You succeeded because you used your energy in ways that was needed – you gave it to your baby.
Thank you for making the effort. That is all that counts in the end. You are making a change!
Remember we offer FULL support with newborn cloth. We will make sure you succeed.