When we think of traditional cloth nappies, many of us probably think bulky terry squares with pins and PVC pilchers. It sounds hot and awkward and just plain messy.
But the reality is really very different and the benefits are considerable.
Here are some of the reasons you might want to give traditional nappies a shot.
If you live in a very warm climate, your best option, particularly for during the day, is a flat or prefold cloth nappy without a cover. Layers of absorbency without the waterproof cover allows for the best circulation of air. Not using a cover also means you’ll know as soon as baby has wet the nappy and can change immediately, thereby drastically reducing the chance of irritation or rash occurring. Consistently, health care professionals advise that frequent changing is the best prevention of nappy rash.
If you’re going to be out and about, it won’t be very practical to use a nappy without a cover, but when you’re hanging around home, be sure to keep the cover off. If it’s REALLY hot, your baby will probably be getting around in just a singlet and nappy anyway, so this method simply eliminates the waterproof layer.
Because they're only one layer (or 2 layers in the case of our prefolds), traditional nappies dry much quicker than an all-in-one or multi-layer pad-style boosting system. This means that you can generally get by with fewer nappies as they'll be washed, dried and back on bub in much higher rotation than some of the other styles.
Because both flats and prefolds can be folded in different ways, they can be modified to fit any baby, regardless of shape and size. In addition, they can be used for other purposes during the nappy years - night boosting, burp cloths, seat protectors - and well beyond, as highly absorbent rags or "unpaper" towel.
Relative to other modern cloth nappy options, flats and prefolds are on the lower end of the price spectrum. This makes them a great starting point for parents who really just want to dip a toe in the water without investing in a full bells-and-whistles stash.
Our Diversifolds are $34.95 for a pack of 3. Along with these, you’ll need a nappy cover and our Cómodo Wrap ($24.95) fits the bill perfectly as it’s one-size-fits-most, meaning you can use it from birth right through to approximately 16 kg. So for $60, you’ve got 3 nappy changes that can be used hundreds of times.
Flats and prefolds are supremely easy to care for. If you’re using them as nappies, you’ll want to
1) flush solids
2) run them through a rinse cycle in the machine (it has recently been suggested that half-strength detergent during this rinse cycle can assist in a more efficient wash cycle)
3) run through a 60 C wash cycle with the same amount of detergent you'd use for the load size and water level
4) hang on the line to dry
Too easy. They can be tumble dried, and because they don't contain waterproofing or elastics, you don't need to stress too much about heat damage.
There are a few reasons that retailers balk at the idea of adding cloth nappies to their store. Here are some answers to those concerns.