In our Cloth Nappy Doctor Chats Facebook Group, this is the most common question/s we receive. So lets me put it in one place for all future parents getting started on their cloth nappy journey.
“Im due soon and would like to purchase some cloth nappies, BUT I have no idea how many are roughly needed for a stash, what else I may need? Or what brands are going to be better? I’ve heard some leak etc. So confused so I’d appreciate any advice 😊 Also to add we’re on a tight budget. Thanks in advance”
Do those questions ring true with you? Let me put your mind at rest and giving you a fabulous starting point.
Those are the best questions to ask when getting started. Ill also pop a lot of links below for you to suss out. Here is what I know after chatting to lots of parents:
– if you are right at the beginning and not sure which style you like, try grabbing a few different styles of cloth nappies to find your preference. Believe me its like choosing a bra or pair of undies. Check out our Discover Your Style Trial Pack
– choose the brand or brands that you love. Business owners love cloth nappies so much they want to keep improving the design, which has ended up with a plethora of choices for parents which makes it confusing. Thats why we started Apikali.
– what works for your friend or recommendations in a Facebook group is not guaranteed to work for you. We have lots of parents come to us disillusioned by the recommendations for the usage of the big brands, that just do not work for them or suit their parenting goals.
– when choosing a cloth nappy you are looking for absorbency first. The cheaper the nappy, the lesser the absorbency. This means after the first few months you will need to buy more absorbency, which can generally lead to a bulkier nappy. The ‘higher end’ nappies have higher absorbency which is due to denser materials, better design leading to a trimmer nappy.
– as to budget for getting started, we recommend worrying about this last. Sounds counterintuitive I know, but it has gotten a lot of parents wasting money in the first stages, which I completely understand is frustrating. So first find your style/s then you will find your brands. Check out my e-course on choosing the best style for yourself.
– as to quantities for getting started, here are the general recommendations. The trick here is to look at the number of changes NOT the number of cloth nappies. If you go for an AIO you are looking at $30-ish a change as you need the whole nappy, if you like the look of a prefold or AI2 it will bring the cost down to $3 to $15 a change.
– when to buy is also critical, we suggest grabbing a few trial packs of brands that you like, try them on bub then start purchasing the entire stash. Don’t buy before bub is here unless you know you want to do prefolds/flats and covers. This style is pretty universal.
– Leaks occur due to not enough absorbency, out wetting the included absorbency, fast output of a child or not fitted properly. Once we trouble shoot a leakage issue, it is always due to one of these. Its not generally due to the brand (unless a cheaper brands with dodgy materials). For the number of parents who say x brand leaks, there are the same number of parents do advise they have no leaks. While watching many of the Facebook groups for a long time, brand fads are common, which are then replaced by another brand fad. Beware of fads and follow your gut instincts.
Finally as to your specifics, getting started with the budget options are actually some of the best. They provide you with more versatility in absorbency customisation compared to the more expensive cloth nappies. So you will want to look at flats, prefolds and covers with maybe a sprinkling of AI2 and pockets. You can use the flats/prefolds in the AI2 and pockets. The covers dry within a day, while the inserts can take longer in winter. You will never be without inserts if you like a AI2 or pocket.
Share your experiences below with getting started with cloth nappies. What do you wish you knew in the beginning?