12 Eco Switches... Cloth Nappies

Springing into 2021 with a hop, skip and a jump.... at home of course! What a year 2020 was, I'm sure many of you have had enough of staying at home, but needs must and think of all those things that you can prepare and get organised at home. I'm certainly trying to use my time working from home wisely to organise and plan the outlines of projects and plans for the year ahead in the hope that everything goes a little more smoothly.
I wanted to start a series of Blogs, written by myself and also guests, that I hope you will find interesting, helpful and some hopefully may give you a little chuckle!
This first blog of ours kicks off a series of ideas for 12 Eco Switches that you could make, some easy peasy and some require a little more work than the alternative, but the future of our planet for our children is worth a little extra work.
Perhaps making yourself a plan on your calendar for 1 Eco switch per month this year? Over our first series of blogs we can help you with some ideas of Eco switches you could consider for this year.
We're starting off with a whopper... Cloth Nappies, one that does require more work than the alternative (disposable nappies).
It may seem overwhelming but we are here to help.
I wanted to give you an overview of cloth nappies, I remember trying to read and understand and it is quite overwhelming all the information out there.  Whether you are expecting, or have a 1 year old, switching a few or all your nappies to reusable will help in the war against plastic. As a busy mum I tried my best but we still used some disposables when my youngest was in nappies, life is not all plain sailing! But no matter what you decide you need to figure out a system that works for you and your family and remember even 1 Cloth nappy is 1 less disposable in landfill!
Cloth nappies are becoming a normal part of parenting. There are so many questions...systems, terminology, materials, brands. We have tried to simplify and give you a brief outline of the Baba & Boo Nappies that we sell and have used. I've included a couple of videos from Baba & Boo below too, please take a moment to watch.
How many Nappies will I need?
If you want to commit full-time you will need to build a basic collection of around 20 nappies, which will mean washing approx every 3 days. It sounds like a big outlay but compared to buying disposable the saving will come to you in no time at all, especially if you cloth bum more then one child and sell off your used nappies when you have done (there is a huge second hand market on facebook). If you wanted to spread the cost of building your nappy collection then why not sign up to a nappy subscription from us? We send you a parcel of nappies every month depending on the level of subscription you order.
If you just want to "test the water" or try it out part-time to see how you get on any quantity is fine, from 1+. Remember EVERY cloth nappy used is 1 less nappy in landfill! We also offer a Nappy Mystery box, which if you don't mind which prints or colours you try is a great way to try out Baba & Boo Nappies as it offers you a good saving on nappies. 
Sizing advice... Baba & Boo Newborn nappies fit from 6lb in weight to around 6 months. If you have a large baby (like my 2nd, 9.3lb) then the newborn size would not fit for very long at all. Some parents go straight in with the One-size Nappy which fit from around 10lb in weight, obviously these are not going to fit from birth for all babies, but whilst you are settling in to your new routine you could start with some Biodegradable disposables (there are lots on the market).
How to use Baba & Boo Nappies:
Baba & Boo nappies are a 'pocket nappy' which means you have absorbent inserts (also called boosters) that you lay flat inside the pocket of the nappy. The main body of the nappy is made from a waterproof outer layer and a microfleece inner layer that has a pocket at the back - which is where you 'stuff' your absorbent inserts in. The stay dry fleece inside which is against babies skin wicks moisture away from the bum.
The absorbent inserts you stuff inside the nappy can be made from different materials (which all absorb fluid at different speeds and quantities). All Baba & Boo nappies already come with 2 absorbent Bamboo inserts made from 70% Bamboo and 30% microfibre - good thirsty materials! When your baby is small you should only need to use 1 insert, as they grow and produce more fluid you can add more inserts/boosters inside the pocket - this is all trial and error to get the absorbency right for your baby.
Other inserts/boosters include:
Microfibre - these boosters draw the liquid really fast away from your baby and could work really well with one of the bamboo mix ones.
Charcoal - perfect for heavy wetters, these boosters are the king of absorbency.
Hemp - again high absorbency.
On top of the nappy, some parents like to use a washable or disposable liner like these disposable bamboo liners or our Fleece liners. The liner acts as a barrier to catch any poo. Anything solid in the nappies can easily be tipped down the loo and biodegrable liners popped in the bin, please don't flush liners. (see video below, getting started with reusable nappies)
Once your nappy is prepared (I found it saved time by stuffing and preparing the nappies all at once when dry so they were ready for use) you use the poppers or velcro to secure the nappy on your baby. Make sure you can easily fit a couple fingers inside the waist of the nappy at the front and tuck the nappy into the creases of babies legs. (See video below about how to fit a nappy)
How long will a cloth nappy last?
The answer to this question varies greatly. It depends on how old your baby is and how much wee they produce, but normally the same length of time as a disposable. If soiled you should obviously change your baby right away. You will get used to feeling when the nappy is full and needs changing over time. 
How to change a nappy:
When it is changing time, with Baba & Boo nappies you just take the whole thing off and replace with a fresh (ready stuffed/prepared) nappy.
Discard any poop into the toilet and any disposable liners into the bin. Separate the inserts out of the pocket and pop them into a Nappy bin or wash bag.
Collect the dirty nappies until you have a wash load.
How do I wash my Baba & Boo nappies?
Personally, I found that doing a cold rinse first and then a full 60 degree cotton wash with a dose of our normal washing powder was great. Also whilst I was building up my supply of nappies after the cold rinse I would fill the washing machine with some towels to then do the full 60 degree cycle, making sure i wasn't wasting water on a part empty washing machine. DO NOT USE CONDITIONER ON NAPPY WASHES, conditioner will ruin the absorbency of your nappies.
I dried on an airer in the kitchen over night, because the inserts are separate to the nappy itself the nappies dry within a few hours, but the inserts would take longer, by morning they would be dry though in a warm house. Instructions say you can also tumble dry nappies on a cold setting.
Take a look the Baba & Boo washing guide here for more tips.
Any info and tips?
If using Cloth Nappies at night add some extra thirsty boosters like a charcoal as well as your normal inserts.
Cloth Nappies aren't really hard work, it's just an extra couple of washes a week, when you have a baby in the house your washing pile increases anyway. But during those early days it might be too much to cope with with becoming a new parent and finding your routine, don't worry, lots of people start their cloth journey after the newborn stage. Just enjoy those Newborn Snuggles and once settled into a routine give reusables a try.
Every baby is different and it does take some trial and error getting reusable nappies right, but those cute prints, the thought of all that plastic waste you are saving from landfill and the achievement far outweigh the downsides.
Remember if you are struggling, reach out. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and Baba & Boo also have a great help section on their website and offer support for troubleshooting issues with their nappies.
Please watch the videos below, very handy visual guides. I hope this has helped you understand a little more about Cloth Nappies, it is simple once you get going, I promise.
Good Luck on your amazing Journey of Parent hood!
Keep an eye out for the next Blog about Eco-switches from us and our guests, also pop over to our facebook page and give us a follow. We also have a lovely Chat group where you are welcome to post and chat away with like-minded parents.
Annie x





 Videos and Images by Baba & Boo, written by Annie Golding at Ele and Me 7/1/2021

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