My Green Nappy Discovering Modern Cloth Nappies and Eco-Friendly Disposable Nappies

June 29, 2010

Starting Cloth Nappies with a Toddler…

Starting Cloth Nappies with a Toddler…

“I have a young toddler and want to make the switch to cloth nappies during the day to save money. Is that a good idea? What’s a good strategy – where do I start?”

You’ll see a wonderful range of responses, and no doubt will gain a perspective on the question that relates well to your situation and needs.

Amanda from Sweet Bubba Eco Store:

This is what I did. I bought a couple of second hand itti bittis, bumGenius, Green Kids and Baby Beehinds to see what I liked before commiting to a huge outlay.
Being on forums such as Nappy addicts and Essential baby, Bub Hub and Belly Belly etc you start to learn about other nappies and trial a few. These also have places or can tell you where to buy and sell second hand nappies.
Don’t get disheartened if a couple of nappy types don’t work – not all nappies fit all bubs and toddlers.

Janine from Ninky Bear:

Yes it’s a brilliant idea! I only started using cloth when my second was about 10 months old! And I am kicking myself for thinking it was too hard, and not doing it sooner! I have saved a fortune. I found it was easier to buy one or two nappies a fortnight, or layby, so I wasn’t paying out a lot of money all at once. The savings in the long run are incredible. You should start by buying a few different brands, until you find one that works best for you/your child.

Emma from Brindabella Baby:

Great idea! Many toddlers will develop toilet awareness faster if you choose cloth nappies that don’t have a stay-dry liner, so they can learn from the feeling of wetness.

Go for a simple prefold-plus-covers nappy system for a cost-effective solution that encourages toilet awareness. Mandy Mac bamboo prefolds are absorbent and quick drying, and Bumwear covers have two layers of leg elastic to help stop leaks.

Or invest in Bumwear pull-up pants instead, so you get the absorbency of a nappy with the grown-up underpants when they’re ready to use a potty or toilet.

Cassandra from New Age Nappies:

Toddlers are a great time to start using cloth as you have a large variety to choose from plus it will make you see how easy it is and hopefully put you down the cloth road with future bubs.

Kyra from E-Weez:

It’s definitely a good idea! Depending on your toddler, I would opt for either an All-In-One system (good for a toddler who won’t sit still long for changes) or a fitted and cover system (more cost efficient and some kinds can be used on younger babies if you are planning to have more kiddies). If you are short on cash you could start off by only purchasing one or two MCN’s nappies and then perhaps try to purchase another MCN every paycheck, this way you’ll build your stash slowly without the large upfront costs and save on disposables at the same time.

Eva from Oz Baby Trends:

I would recommend toilet training. Invest in some waterproof undies or specific training pants and use them instead of nappies (cloth or disposable). Refuse to look back! Once you’ve started toilet training, don’t put a nappy back on your child except for nights, naps and going out. The best way to do this is to only buy 4-6 cloth nappies so you’ll have enough for nights/naps, but never enough to fall into full-time use.

Cindy from Ticklefish Tots:

This is exactly what I did! OK, I had a newborn as well, but my toddler was 2 years old, and spent the next 2 years in cloth! This amounted to a HUGE saving compared to having him in disposables for the same period of time! Ultimately, it depends on your child, and how close they are to toilet training. My youngest has been toilet trained at home since he was 18 months old, but is still in nappies whenever we leave the house, mostly for my own sanity, but also because he is still very unsure about public toilets.

If you do decide to cloth nappy your toddler during the day, work out how many nappies they go through each day and how often you’d be prepared to wash (in my situation, I wash nappies every 4-5 days!). There are quite a few stores and sites online that do Modern Cloth Nappy hire (Ticklefish Tots is one of those!) Some even hire out a variety of different brand nappies to you at once so that you can compare and see what you like and what suits you – and this saves money in the long run because you are not buying nappies that may not be right for your child!

Once you know what nappies suit your needs and how many you require, you can either start off slowly, buying one or two at a time (as your budget allows) or you can buy a bulk pack which usually gives you substantial long term savings compared to the retail price of single nappies!

Marnie from Noonee Wilga:

It is a great idea to begin the switch to cloth. Toddlers come in all shapes and sizes, so first buy several nappies of different brands or styles to see what suits you and your toddler before investing in a large number of all the same type. The Australian Nappy Network has sample collections of nappies in most capital cities (need to check that!!!) and it is a great opportunity to see what different ones look like.

Fiona and Catherine from Darlings Downunder:

Unless your child is toilet trained it is almost never too late, economically speaking. At 12 months the average child can still have 4,500 or more nappy changes to go! At 2, they can look forward to another 6 months of nappying – maybe 1,000 nappy changes.

Where to start might depend on whether you are planning another baby.

If so, choosing a onesize nappy system that can be used for both children can be great since you know you’ll get the wear out of them.

If you want a nappy that can double as training pants, it can be worth looking at pocket nappies that close with snaps. When your child is ready for toilet training, use a smaller insert to catch any accidents, and fasten the nappy on a looser snap setting, making sure it’s loose enough for the child to pull them down like undies (but not so loose they fall off!). The snaps also make it easier to clean up poo accidents:-)

Kyra from Bubbalooba:

Modern cloth nappies aren’t really that much extra effort, especially if you have enough so you can wash every 2nd-3rd day.

Have a pack of environmentally friendly disposables handy in case of emergencies, but you will soon see how easy it is to use modern cloth nappies!

Nicole from Krap Katchers:

Switching to Modern Nappies is always a good idea! If you plan on having more children perhaps look at buying one-size-fits-most nappies so they can be used earlier on with the new one. Also look at sites that sell second-hand nappies, often is fantastic condition and it’s a great way to break into cloth nappies without the initial outlay while still spending way too much on disposables. However you can always just buy sized nappies knowing that if they don’t quite work for you, mcn resale value is pretty good so you can sell and by others instead.

Jacquie from Cheeky Cherubs:

Changing to cloth is ALWAYS a good idea at any age or stage!

I converted to cloth when my 1st child was 16 months and I was pregnant with my 2nd. My motivation behind it was that I didn’t want to be buying disposable nappies for two children!

We trialled the Pop In Original with a Dri Night Booster over a few nights and with the success, having found a nappy that worked well, we then took the plunge into full time cloth nappying.

Rebecca From Bean Sprout Bubba:

Yes, it is a good idea. Starting ‘late’ can have its benefits.

Firstly, toddlers wet much less than younger babies, so you may end up not needing to buy the usual recommended 20 nappies for full-time day/night use. 10-15 nappies in total might be sufficient to wash 1-2 days, and less if your toddler is toilet aware and beginning to use a potty/toilet.

Secondly, there is no need to buy one-size nappies (unless intending to try for another baby), so you could just buy medium or large nappies, which tend to be cheaper than one-size nappies. Alternatively you could got straight into cloth pullup nappies/trainers, or use side snapped nappies as pull up trainers if your child is ready to be toilet trained.

Thirdly, by starting ‘late’ your nappies would be in better condition than most after your child toilet trains. Second hand nappies that are in fantastic condition can attract a high resale value, can’t go wrong with that! 🙂

Thank you to all our nappy experts for their contributions,

The Winter Sponsors of the Green Promise Nappies Initiative were invited to contribute to this series of Congo Questions. Each donated a special cloth nappy to go out as a giveaway prize to become an ambassador for ‘Nappy Change’ as it stopped a disposable heading to landfill each time it is worn. You can register at any time to either play in the current giveaway or any other giveaway held on My Green Nappy.org.

It is also helpful to be reminded again that the modern nappies you buy can be re-sold again to a hungry market! Second hand cloth nappies are very popular – mums are experimenting with the nappy styles and brands to find the best fit for their baby, budget and lifestyle needs. You can re-coup half, at least a third, and maybe even more of the cost of your nappies when you are done with them.

P.S There is a question at the bottom of each of these features. Join in the conversation and share your own experiences and stories with us…

Thank you to My Green Nappy’s Sponsoring Partners:

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If you are just visiting for the first time today, and have found something new in this article, be sure to register & receive My Green Nappy Guide, you’ll be both relieved and excited at the things you will discover!

A question to you about your search for the best way to start using cloth nappies with a toddler…

Did you start using cloth nappies when your baby was a toddler? (many mums do!) How did you get started?

Quick Modern Cloth Nappy Tip: Get enough cloth nappies to fit in your washing machine to do the lot at the same time. On washing day, use your cheapies or older less absorbent nappies.

Did You Know? The Nappy Style Windows are a shortcut to finding stores that offer over types of nappy styles and accessories.

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