A few years ago, back when I was single, I rented a house in Richmond with a girlfriend and convinced her that if we put a door on the formal lounge room we could get a 3rd housemate in to reduce our rent.
As fate would have it a gorgeous vivacious girl named Meredith came to rent that room.
Back then I wasn’t that eco-aware, beyond doing my bit to recycle and turn the lights off, but Mez always had the big Sukin bottles in the shower, and was always a little bit earthy.
Fast forward a decade and it was Mez who I turned to when trying to navigate the possibility of cloth nappies. Here’s the advice that she gave me after years of trial and error:
+ Invest in the good nappies. They’re easier to put back together after the wash and they don’t leak. Grovia One are the best. Apparently a baby uses around 6,000 nappies in the first few years, so investing a couple of hundred dollars in a dozen reusable nappies saves good money in the long term – when you think of it like that even the expensive nappies really don’t cost the earth.
+ Two cycles to wash. A quick cycle first on hot with a fast spin to flick off the debris, then a long cycle for the big clean, which you can add in extra towels etc to the second wash. A strong washing powder is key. I keep the soiled nappies in a pail by the machine, and put a wash on at the end of the day so they dry overnight.
+ Carry a wet bag. For putting soiled nappies in when you’re out and about to seal in the smells and moisture, I’ve got a Grovia Wet Zipped Bag which is pretty lovely.
+ Cotton wipes. I change Samuel on a towel beside the bathroom basin, so that it’s easy to rinse his bum under warm water if he’s soiled his nappy. I also keep cotton cloths under the sink to use as re-usable wipes and keep a few in the nappy bag for when we’re out and about – I just quickly wet them with my drink bottle (then store them in the wet bag until we get home).
A word on giving yourself a break: We use washable nappies every day in our house, but when we go away on holidays we use biodegradable Tooshies, and there have even been the odd Huggies at night. We’re not aiming for perfection here, and when you’re welcoming a new bub into your home there are times when you need to give yourself a break, so go easy on yourself – every little bit really does help, and doing your best is enough.