Frequency of Nappy Changes

Sorry if this post seems a little judgemental but i’m feeling judgemental today. I was just speaking with someone and they mentioned  that they only change their baby twice a day!!!!! Once in the morning and once at night time before bed. Really???? It seems to be becoming more common that people rarely change their children.

I change approx every 2 hours or when I notice the nappy is wet or dirty except at night time, if he is asleep during the day or sometimes if I’m out and not near changing facilities. With my first son I was changing about 15-20 times a day until he was about 6 months as he would cry and wriggle around as soon as the nappy was a tiny bit damp. He’d only wet a tiny, miniscule amount but would do so frequently. It was one of the reasons i changed to cloth nappies. The cost of buying so many disposables was huge. Yes, disposables can hold a lot but I think the question to ask is should they? Even the disposable companies themselves recommend frequent changing.

It’s not just disposable users that are decreasing the amount of nappy changes either. I still remember a comment I read on a forum a few months ago. A lady was complaining, as the brand of cloth nappies she had bought wouldn’t last more than 5 hours during the day.  

So Why is it important to change your baby regularly? There are 2 main reasons that I can think of

1. Comfort

2. Wetness against your baby, poo and the ammonia in urine can affect their skin and lead to nappy rash.

Is it any wonder with the reluctance of some parents to change their child’s nappy regularly that sales of nappy rash cream is skyrocketing?

In general the number of times you will change your baby will vary as each baby is different and will change as they get older. However,  newborns will have approximately 8-12 changes and these will decrease as they get older to approximately 5-6 changes. 

How often do you change your child’s nappy?

Lentils, Tomato and Carrot Puree

Today, I thought that I would share with you one of my son’s favourite purees.

This puree is easy to make and perfect for freezing. I freeze portions in the freezer so I can quickly pull out a portion and give it individually, mix it with couscous or spread it on toast as an easy lunch/dinner for my little one.

Ingredients

Olive oil
Small onion
1 large carrot
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tsp tomato

Method:
Heat up oil in frying pan. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the carrot and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, tomato paste and 2 cups of cold water. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the lentils soften (about 50 minutes).

You might want to drain some liquid depending on how much is left then puree in a blender until smooth.

I hope your baby likes this recipe as much as mine does.

lentil, carrot, tomato puree

Washing Your Modern Cloth Nappies

Washing your modern cloth nappies is not difficult, although the myriad washing instructions available can make it seem like a complex task. A washing routine will be different for each family depending on type of nappies, washing machine, water and detergent that you use.

Before washing remove any soiling by emptying as much of the solid waste as you can (a little squirt or flushable liner can help). Then put it into a dry nappy bucket. When I change my son I do this straight away so stains do not have time to set. If at home I also rinse any soiled nappies straight away before putting them in the bucket.

Wash every 2 days. Urine can be quite acidic and can eat through the fabric on your nappies . I like to unsnap the boosters if using all in two nappies as it makes it easier to hang them on the line but it isn’t necessary. If using pocket nappies you should take out the inserts. I find it easier to remove the inserts as I am taking the nappy off my son before I put it in the nappy bucket.

Wash in water that is less than 60C, (I use cold water) with the detergent that you would usually use or the full amount of a detergent developed specifically for cloth nappies (Rockin’ Green, Grovia’s Tiny Bubbles, Cushie Tushies detergent etc).  Detergent buildup can affect a nappy’s absorbency, so don’t use more than recommended of the detergent you choose.

Use the highest water level that your machine will allow. Not using enough water is the number one reason your nappies don’t seem clean or are smelly.  If you can’t adjust the water level you may need to do an extra rinse.

Do Not use bleach, napisan, vinegar or any detergents with enzymes, phosphates, perfumes, optical brighteners or fabric softeners. These can cause your nappies to degrade and the fabric and elastics to disintegrate. Some of these will void any warranty on your nappies while others can cause rashes on your baby’s delicate skin.

Do a rinse then a full wash.

The best place to dry your nappies is in the sun. The sun will bleach out any stains so a washing line or clothes airer is beneficial. Clothes dryers can harm the PUL and elastic in nappies and isn’t recommended for many brands. It is best to read the instructions for the brand of nappy you are purchasing and if using a drier don’t use a high heat.

Wash your nappies correctly and you should never need to do a strip wash.

Pikapu Newborn Cloth Nappies Review

I started using the Pikapu Newborn Nappies when my baby was a few weeks old. This was about when they first came out. They are available in 3 colours white, lavender and baby blue and are designed to fit from 2 to 6kg.Pikapu Blue Newborn Nappy

My son was born at 3.77kg so I thought I would not have long to use them. How wrong was I! He didn’t start putting weight on until he was almost 5 months old. He is now 8 months and we are still using our Pikapu Newborn Nappies. At 8 months and just over 7kgs, they do require one of the newborn inserts to prevent leaks but they are still going strong.

These nappies are really easy to use. Just put baby on the nappy and velcro closed. There is no snapping required. I just put one insert under the all in onePikapu Lavender Newborn Nappy insert that is attached to the nappy, to increase the absorbency.

I have been using these a couple of times a week for the last 8 months and they are still in great condition. The only problem I have is that the laundry tabs are fluffy and do not hold as well any more. The rest of the nappy- elastic, velcro etc is perfect.    

For $22.95 RRP I think they are great value and while most children won’t get as much wear out of them as mine has, look after them correctly and they should be in a good enough condition to store for a future child or to sell second hand.

I would recommend these for anyone starting out with cloth nappies for their newborn. The microfleece they are made from means they dry quickly, a PUL outer makes them waterproof and the leg gussets really help to prevent any leaks or explosions.

Snaps or Velcro?

One of the choices you will have when using cloth nappies is snap closure or Velcro. I have a combination in my son’s nappy stash. Generally which you choose is personal preference.  

I prefer to use Velcro on younger, skinnier babies as I find they give a better fit. I also try and have Velcro nappies ready when someone else is looking after my son as I feel that they are the most like disposables so will be easier (my son’s grandparents don’t have a problem with snaps either though). They are also easier for people with arthritis who might not have the hand dexterity to snap the snaps together.   

Velcro can get fluff caught in it and will catch on things in the washing machine. I have personally found that with some of my nappies, the Velcro tabs don’t stick to the laundry tabs any more so they get caught up with everything in the wash. Some brands use much better quality, long lasting Velcro than others.  

Another reason some people don’t like Velcro is the ability for children to take the nappy off themselves. Although I found that my son managed to undo snaps very shortly after he learnt to undo the Velcro and putting pants/shorts on over the top was the most effective way to keep a nappy on.

Have you ever had to put a nappy on a screaming or wriggly baby? Velcro is easier for a faster nappy change.

On the other hand snaps are more durable. Snaps will last a lot longer than many other parts of the nappy. Nappies that I have had for over 3 years the material has worn through but the snap part is still fine.

There are benefits to using both types of closure and what is easier for you will probably depend on your child and circumstances at the time. I would advise to try both snaps and Velcro closure on your child’s nappies and make your own decisions as to your favourite.

Feeding Baby

I am a firm believer of the saying,  “food is for fun until they are one.” It was my mantra when my eldest refused to eat anything and helped me not to stress so much over his eating habits. At 3 years old he has days when he barely touches anything and then others when i wonder if he’ll eat everything in the house. lol.  

A picture of him enjoying his food when he was about 1 year old. Baby enjoying his food

Starting Out With Cloth Nappies

Once you have made the decision to use cloth nappies the hard part begins. Which nappies to choose? There is a huge number of brands and styles to choose from. Here are my guidelines to help you select the right nappies for your baby and lifestyle.

1. Choose a style of cloth that you think might suit you     

Selecting one (or two) types of cloth nappies will help you narrow down the choices to try.  

Types of cloth nappies

All in One (AIO)– AIO’s have the absorbent material sewn in although they sometimes include extra boosters to attach for extra absorbency. They are very simple to use and do not require an extra cover. AIO take the longest time to dry out of all the types.

All in Two (AI2)- All in two nappies have inserts that snap into the nappy. This can help them dry faster and can save you money as you can purchase extra inserts to use with the covers instead of buying entire nappies.

Pockets– These nappies have a waterproof outer and stay dry inner and includes an opening to insert the boosters. This allows for faster drying.

Fitted nappies– The entire nappy is made out of absorbent material and so this type of nappy will require a cover to prevent leaks. Covers can usually be used multiple times before needing washing.  

Prefolds– This is a flat nappy which has been sewn into three sections. The middle section has extra layers for absorbency. These require a cover to prevent leaks.

Flat nappies– The traditional type of cloth nappy. These require folding to use and need a cover.

This table shows a number of nappies that are available in each type. Nappies by type table

2. Would you prefer sized or one sized nappies?                         

This might depend on the age of your child. Sized nappies will cost more in the long term as you have to purchase new nappies as your child grows. However, they usually will provide a better fit on new babies and as you are not using them for as long you have a better chance of them being in a good enough condition to sell them used.

Depending on the brand, one size fits most nappies might not fit at the newborn stage. They are also more likely to be bulky when your baby is smaller but you will not have to purchase nappies as your baby grows.

Generally prefolds, newborn/small nappies or fitted nappies and covers are a good choice for a newborn although everyone has their own preferences. Then you can move onto one size nappies as they get a bit bigger. If you do decide to use prefolds initially they can always be used as extra boosters later with whatever other nappies you choose.  

3. Other Factors

Answering the above two questions is enough to get you started but some of you might have other preferences too.  If you have a history of allergies in the family, material choice might be a factor in your decision. For instance some babies have reactions to suedecloth or minky so bamboo might be a better choice.

Have a specific preference for velcro or snap closure? I will be writing a post on  this topic shortly so won’t get into it here. The choice is yours and is really just personal preference although may be limited by your answers to question 1 and 2 above as some brands only use one type of closure.

4. Making a decision      

Something to remember-  It is advisable not to buy too many of the one nappy to start with as babies are all different shapes and sizes and what fits one might not fit another perfectly. Children also change shape over time so I always recommend to have a variety of nappies in your stash. There is nothing worse than buying 24 identical nappies only to find that they do not fit your child. There is no reason why you have to choose one particular style or sizing system. I have a mix in my children’s nappies. It is just an easier way to start. Once you have tried a few you will know what you like and what works for you and can expand your stash.

There are also many businesses that offer a home demonstration service. If you are in the Perth metropolitan area I can conduct a home demonstration and let you touch and see the various types of nappies I sell.  I also sell a number of bulk packs that let you test a variety of nappies. Not sure if there is a home demonstration service near you- contact me with your location (in Australia) and I may be able to point you in the direction of someone.

Hope this helps

Why Use Cloth Nappies?

One of the most common questions I’m asked is why would I want to use cloth nappies? Most people have the vision of the olden days of flat nappies, of folding, being tied to the laundry and ewww, what about the poo???? But cloth nappies have changed over time. Modern cloth nappies now look like disposables and are as easy to use. Poo is relatively easy to discard especially if you use a flushable liner and have a nappy sprayer attached to your toilet.

Ease of Use- With modern cloth nappies there is no soaking and hours spent folding, although depending on the sort you use you might need to spend time putting them together. Many modern cloth nappies look just like disposables. WhenBaby Beehinds Magicall with Velcro you take them off your child simply empty any soiling into the toilet, put them into a dry bucket and then every couple of days, depending on how often you are washing, tip the bucket into the washing machine. Hang them on the line to dry and then put them together (if required) before reusing them.

Cost- Cloth nappies are cheaper over the long term compared with disposables, although they do have a larger up front cost. You can use cloth nappies reasonably cheaply by using terry squares or prefolds. Other middle cost options are buying OSFM (one size fits most) that should last until toilet training. Other people prefer to use sized nappies which have a larger up front cost as you need to buy larger sizes as your child grows. Cloth nappies can sometimes be reused with future children and can be sold second hand when you are finished with them if they are in good condition. 

Environment- Cloth nappies are better for the environment as it takes hundreds of years for disposable nappies to break down. Imagine all the disposables that are currently sitting in landfills around the world with their chemicals leaching into the soil. Every time a cloth nappy is used it helps lessen the amount of disposables going to landfill.

Your Babies Health. Disposable nappies do contain chemicals that contact the skin of your child. There has also been debate by medical professionals over the possibility that using disposable nappies leads to increased infertility in boys.  Grovia Plane All in One Nappy

They are cute! There are so many different types you can get and you can personalise them by getting embroidered nappies or fabric choices which match your childs interests.

Do you use cloth nappies? If you don’t is there a specific reason why? Let me know as i am always interested in other people’s opinions.

New Year

New year = new website and new blog!

I am very excited to start writing a blog which has been in the planning stages for ages. My new year’s resolution was to stop procrastinating and to simplify my life by getting things done straight away. I am proud to say that I have kicked off 2013 by starting the blog I have dreamed of writing for so long.

To coincide with what i hope will be a useful and informative blog, I have also relaunched my website with a new improved version. You can find the Australian Baby Supplies online store here.  I sell a variety of products for babies and toddlers. Whether you are looking for cloth nappies or nappy accessories, clothes, shoes, toilet training products, bibs and other feeding products or toys you will find it at Australian Baby Supplies. I am constantly ordering in new stock so if you are after something in particular that is not available feel free to contact me and let me know and I can tell you when I might expect it. If you have a question that you’d like answering about cloth nappies or babies and toddlers you can also contact me with it and I will do my best to answer.

Thanks for reading