DID YOU HEAR OUR BIG NEWS?
We’ve welcomed a very special new member of the Frugi family...TotsBots! If you've not heard of them, TotsBots design and make eco-friendly washable nappies from bamboo and recycled plastic-bottles. We’re in love with their colourful and fun designs, their environmental ethics and their mission to make the world a nappier place…they really are the perfect fit for Frugi! Check out the range of cloth nappies here!
We chatted to sustainable parenting blogger Emma Ross (@mamalinauk) about her cloth nappy journey.
"Hi I'm Emma, mum to Jack (aged 4) and Sonny (aged 2) with another baby on the way, due in August. I'm married to Sam and the four of us live in North West London. We've just moved house which is very exciting!
When and why did you start using cloth nappies?
I first found out about cloth nappies during an NCT class. They were shoehorned in at the end whilst the other couples were starting to pack up and leave and they immediately piqued my interest. Real Nappy Week was taking place a few weeks after Jack was born which was the catalyst for me actually getting going with cloth nappies. I've not looked back!
How are cloth nappies better for the environment? (Please tell us about the landfill aspect of using disposables)
8 million disposable nappies in the UK alone get sent to landfill every single day which is an absolutely shocking statistic. From there, they likely (we don't fully know) sit for hundreds, maybe even 500 years, breaking down into tiny microplastics, or they get incinerated. Cloth nappies, on the other hand, are washed and reused time and time again, and can be passed on to siblings or other children.
Are there any other products you’d recommend using (cloth wipes for example)
If you're using cloth nappies, cloth wipes are such a simple and natural next step to make. Pop them in the washing machine along with your nappies, and they'll come out ready to go again. Similarly, cloth breast pads are wonderful and just make sense if you're breastfeeding, as do reusable cloth make up wipes. There's no need for any of these items to be single use!
How do you start using cloth nappies if it feels overwhelming?
It can be overwhelming - there are several words simply to describe the term 'cloth nappy' - so my main piece of advice, especially if you're making the switch from disposable nappies, is to start slowly and build up gradually. Use one cloth nappy a day, then two, then three and before you know it, you wont be needing to buy any more disposable nappies at all. Yey!
Any advice for new parents?
Again, don't be overwhelmed, and don't be put off cloth nappies by any negative stories you've heard. Go on your own journey, make your own mistakes, carve your own cloth nappy path.
For a first time parent…would you start cloth from newborn or wait until you have found your feet?
I'd always advocate starting cloth nappies as soon as possible to avoid as many disposables as possible but starting from newborn depends on your birth, your recovery and your general mental and physical postpartum health. If for some reason it all feels too much, listen to your body and hold off for a little while.
How many nappies do you need to start?
It really depends how often you're going to be washing the nappies, and also what type you choose. For example, bamboo nappies are far more absorbent but take longer to dry whereas a microfibre nappy is much quicker drying but is less absorbent. Approximately, I'd say you need around 15-20 nappies.
Do you need to pre-wash them before use?
Washing your nappies before use a few times will help them gain absorbency and is always recommended.
How do you dry them in the winter?
Get yourself a pretty wooden drying rack or two and make use of the warmest parts of your home. Tumble drying is best avoided, where possible.
How do you get rid of stains?
Mother Nature always does it best! Leaving your washed, wet nappies to dry out in the sunshine is a brilliant way to remove stains - even leaving them in the rain can help.
Do you use a nappy bin? Doesn’t it smell?
We have a nappy bin with a mesh liner and a lid. I also pop in a few drops of essential oil to avoid any smells when opening the bin. You can never smell anything nasty coming from the bin and you wouldn't even know it's there!
Can you use normal nappy cream with them?
My favourite remedy for nappy rash is coconut oil or better still, nappy free time.
What about when you're out and about?
Using cloth nappies when out and about could not be simpler - just don't forget your wet bag. Pop any dirty nappies in there, along with any cloth wipes, zip it closed and empty the contents into your nappy bin or straight into your washing machine once you're home.
Any favourite brands you recommend?
I love Bambino Mio All in ones for the day time and Tots Bots Bamboozle and Peanut Wrap with a booster and Motherease liner for night time. For our new baby, I plan to use muslins and a wool wrap.
Doesn’t washing cloth nappies use loads of water?
People think they're saving water when they use disposable nappies which is a total myth. Manufacturing disposable nappies is in fact an incredibly water intensive process and uses huge amounts of water. To give you an idea, to wash enough cloth nappies for a week (2-3 washes, which is how many I do) uses 500 L of water; to manufacture enough disposable nappies for one week uses 1500L of water (source : Baba And Boo)
Don’t cloth nappies cause nappy rash?
Cloth nappies are made from natural, breathable materials and are chemical free. Compare this to disposable nappies which contain plastic and are laden with chemicals. Indeed, cloth nappies are often recommended for babies who have sensitive skin.
You have to touch the poo don’t you?
The poo goes down the loo, where it belongs! If necessary, you can find all sorts of gadgets that help remove the poo off the nappy or I usually simply just hold the nappy under the flush to force anything left off. As for the nappy itself, you can take the mesh bag from inside the nappy bin and place it straight inside the washing machine, with zero need to touch anything. Easy as!"
Thanks Emma! 🙂
Watch @mamalinauk's video below for all you need to know about starting on your cloth bum mission!
New to using cloth nappies?
Check with your local council to see if they are signed up to a Real Nappy Incentive Scheme
You may be able to claim a free starter kit, money off vouchers or loan nappies to try.
The Nappy Gurus have a fab list of councils who are involved and heaps of advice on their website.
They also have a brilliant guide to getting started using cloth here