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Modern cloth nappies

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#1 Grassyrat

Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:31 PM

Ive been looking into possibly using MCNs at least some of the time and would like to know who utilises them? I was alarmed when I realised each disposable nappy takes approximately 200 years to break down! And that the average baby will go through about 5000 nappies from birth to toilet training. Also, the amount of water, chemicals etc that go into manufacturing disposables, which will only increase for Australians who use Huggies with the closure of their factory in south west Sydney and production moving to China.

Am I mad?! This is our first baby and I'm nervous to even ask friends if they think it's a good idea as looking after a tiny human will be daunting enough without having to add washing their nappies into the mix. I know my mum didn't wash cloth nappies, she always had a nappy service take care of it.

The financial aspect isn't much of a worry, but nice they work out more economical in the long run.

For those who have tried MCNs, from what age have you used them? What brand and type? Is there anything in particular that you can or can't use on baby's bottom or with washing the nappies?


#2 Riotproof

Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:37 PM

Oh exciting! We haven’t had an MCN thread in so long!!

I used them with both my kids, pretty much from birth, when they came home from the hospital. I bought one box of newborn disposables and only use them otherwise when we’re away.

My recommendation for newborns is to buy prefolds and fitteds with sized nappy covers. Don’t buy any osfm until you work out what type of baby you have. Some are long and skinny, some have chunky thighs, etc.

There is an mcn review group on Facebook that probably has up to date information, but I used Thirsties covers for newborn with some prefolds and fitteds. I can’t recall the brands but they were bamboo.

You use normal detergent but the washing machine does all the work. No need to soak, bleach, anything like that.. just scraping off solid poo when they start eating food. It’s one extra load every 2 days or so, not really onerous.

When my kids got a bit bigger, I liked Babybeehinds multifit pocket but I had a few others. Now that dd only wears them at night, and the baby behind finally died, I have found RAWR nappies which I heartily recommend. She also has lots of information on her website. Good resource.

Edited by Riotproof, 16 May 2019 - 09:42 PM.

#3 Treasure Island

Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:48 PM

There used to be a big MCN community in here, I wonder what happened to it? Mine have been out of nappies for several years but this is where I learnt all about MCN. I used them from when my 2nd was about 1 and then from birth with my 3rd. There are so many nappies out there but my main ones came from Bubblebubs, Itti Bitti and Cherub's Kiss. Have a google and check out some facebook pages. Have fun :)

#4 ipsee

Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:00 PM

I used them with little babies (not from birth).

Normal machine wash and line dry in the sun is all you need to do for washing. You do need to change nappies a bit more often with cloth.

I usually used disposable out of the house and cloth at home.

I also used a cloth nappy for nighttime when they were toilet training, otherwise it was annoying to throw out a dry nappy every day or two.

#5 amdirel

Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:08 PM

I used them with my 2nd and 3rd babies (didn't know they existed when I had my 1st). With my 3rd baby I used them fulltime from birth, even in hospital, and he never once wore a single disposable. I really loved using them, they were so easy, and so cute!

#6 Prancer is coming

Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:22 PM

You are not mad!  I would not mention to others your intentions, people are quick to assume you will fail.

I used them from birth.  Like you, the chemicals concerned me and I did not want them in my delicate newborn’s skin.  I think the first kid had a few days of disposables in hospital where one of them went straight into them.  My other thought was to go as I meant to go on, plus the hospital were quite helpful with teaching me how to fold them ect.  If you use them from the start, then it never seems like extra work, if that makes sense.

Babies are usually too tiny and legs too skinny for mcn.  I found old fashioned white terry squares easiest and cheapest for newborns.  And 12 years on we still use them for cleaning up spills on the floor!  Also, get some thin face clothes or hem some flanelette for wipes. If you google the ingredients in wipes you will probably be horrified and you may as well do cloth wipes since you are washing nappies.  Water is all you need, none of these expensive systems or scents.

Nappies go straight in the washing machine.  You can get a hose that attaches to the toilet to spray out any poo when they start solids.  It is quick and easy, and we still have not taken our hose away despite no kids in nappies as so handy for accidents and cleaning off gastro casualties.  Some people freak out about not wanting to handle poo, but if you read the back of disposable nappy packs it will tell you to dispose of poo as it should not be placed in the rubbish.

I used to wash every day or two and it would take like a minute to tip nappy bucket into the washing machine and start a load.  Then maybe 5-10 minutes hanging out, and maybe 5 to out away, but they can live in the clothes basket.  I used to often use the clothes horse as then I could hang them whatever time suited me and also good if getting out to the clothes line was hard.

At first I felt pressured using cloth (long story) but by the end I totally loved it.  BBH petites were my faves, and the bamboo fitted were a big part of my stash and good for nights.  Good Luck!

#7 TinyGiraffe

Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:35 PM

You are not mad! My baby is 8 months old and has been in cloth since around 6 weeks when she was big enough for the OSFM ones I had purchased.

I found the baby expos really great to look at a few different brands in person and get my head around what I wanted as there is alot of options and different price points. There are alot of facebook review groups and most states also have shops you can visit along with some councils are running info sessions to help get people started, have a look at the australian nappy association website for extra info: https://www.australi...ciation.org.au/

For washing, check out https://cleanclothnappies.com/home/ for science based good wash routines.

At the end of it, cloth nappies are just laundry and are really not a big deal.

Good luck and if you have any questions, post up here on PM me and I will try and help.

#8 Sancti-claws

Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:43 PM

Both my babies (who are now 19 and 9) were cloth babies - the first was terry flats, the second some MCNs and terry flats for the most part (although had to do childcare from early and they insisted on disposables)

#9 TinyGiraffe

Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:50 PM

To answer the second part of your OP (was too excited at a cloth nappy post) most of my stash is Bubblebubs Candies as being bamboo inserts (for better absorbancy and is more environmentally sustainable) and being ethically manufactured were both important to me. I through trying a few have decided I prefer side snapping nappies as I think they are a trimmer fit with less bulk through the front and I like not having to adjust rise settings. I have a few other brands too but Candies are my favourites.

Natural fabrics like bamboo and hemp are the most absorbant while being the trimmest. Cotton still perform well but are not as absorbant and have high environmental impact on growing the cotton so not many companies are using anymore

Microfibre (incl those marketed as charcoal bamboo) are the least absorbant, are thickest in bulk and cannot go directly against the skin. If you use a microfibre insert you will normally need to add a micro-fleece liner as a stay dry layer to protect bub and potentially a bamboo booster to assist absorbancy as microfibre is prone to compression leaks (absorbs quickly but when pressed it leaks back out like a sponge).

Hope that helps.

#10 ainira

Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:56 PM

Not mad at all! Highly recommend getting a hose attachment for the toilet, which also comes in handy for hosing down potties.

#11 TinyGiraffe

Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:59 PM

View Postainira, on 16 May 2019 - 10:56 PM, said:

Not mad at all! Highly recommend getting a hose attachment for the toilet, which also comes in handy for hosing down potties.

100% this.

#12 hotsonfornowhere

Posted 17 May 2019 - 01:24 AM

We weren't able to easily.attwch a hose to the toilet but ended up buying a $20-30 hand held sprayer from Bunnings that attaches to the laundry tap. Life changing in regards to cloth nappies! Finally got it when doing cloth with the third child (have done cloth nappies with all three kids).

#13 rowd

Posted 17 May 2019 - 05:44 AM

Totally achievable! I remember thinking the same thing when I was pregnant and wondering if I was just being idealistic, but I love cloth and would never go back. My favourite thing is probably cloth wipes. Disposable wipes are terrible, so thin and weird feeling, but cloth wipes do the job so much better. We keep a few wet cloths in a ziplock bag in the nappy bag and I don't think I've even used a disposable one with baby # 2.

Good luck!

#14 nom_de_plume

Posted 17 May 2019 - 06:26 AM

I used them with my 3 (all out of nappies now!) and they were fantastic. Definitely saved money, the environment, and never had any nappy rash or the dreaded ‘pooplosion’ as the elastic keeps everything in!

When the kids got a bit bigger and started sleeping overnight I did use a disposable overnight as I couldn’t find a night nappy that worked.

I also used cloth wipes (bamboo facewashers) and found them fantastic too.

I just dry packed everything and washes once the pail was full. We don’t have a dryer so I hung mine out to dry, but I believe there are some you can also put in the dryer if needed.

It’s nowhere near the amount of work it’s made out to be. I was back at work by the time my kids were 4-6 months old and had no issue keeping up with it.

#15 somila

Posted 17 May 2019 - 06:51 AM

Do it!
I used terry flats, Tots Bots nappies and Motherease.
I also tried ... Eenies?.. (with a 'biodegradeable' pad) but didn't like those so much.
I used disposables as well, although less so with the second.

If I had had a third baby I would have used mostly flats with Motherease PUL covers.  I love flat nappies - they dry so fast -  and found the folding therapeutic -- must be a mindfulness thing, I think.

#16 Pigling_

Posted 17 May 2019 - 07:32 AM

As others have said. Definitely not mad!!

We have used cloth with our 19mo from birth though it’s now on a part time basis with her being at day care 3 days a week.

We used prefolds and a cover when she was a newborn and have solely used Baby Beehinds since then. Their bamboo fitteds with a cover are fabulous but we now largely use their all in one magic all’s as they are much quicker and easier to get onto a toddler!

Highly recommend joining Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under on FB.

#17 EmmDasher

Posted 17 May 2019 - 08:13 AM

We used them from birth for both kids, one of which was a 35weeker (came home at 37ish).

Our favourite for the early days were Bubblebub Bam Bams with Thirsties Velcro covers.

Later on, my girls were long and skinny, we really liked the OSFM Bumgenius 4.0 and the sizes Bambooty Easy Dry.

We always used CJ’s Butter for nappy cream because zinc ones do horrible things to cloth nappies. I made cloth wipes too by cutting up a length of double terry bamboo cloth and zig zagging the edges. I’d sit a small stack in a container of water under the change table. They were great!

We had a pedal bin in the nursery with a reusable pail liner. Every couple of days I’d tip the lot, pail liner and all into the washing machine with a ‘pre-rinse cycle’. The washing machine did all the hard work and with the pail liner, I never even touched dirty nappies.

We had a few wet bags for out and about too.

We did stop using them about 9 months for each kid - when I went back to work, daycare couldn’t do cloth and it didn’t make sense for us to continue for only 3 days a week. I still think it was worth it though. By my calculations, all our happy use after 6m with the first kid was free. I got a lot of new or barely used nappies from Gumtree/Facebook and bought the trial packs from lots of brands on sale. At the end I sold my stash for $200 or so.

#18 cvbn

Posted 17 May 2019 - 08:21 AM

Not MCN I used terry nappy  squares but I did  for all 6 of mine (I had 3 in them at one stage)

Saved so much money, go for it!

PS If it doesn't work, doesn't matter, you can sell them.

#19 EmmDasher

Posted 17 May 2019 - 08:37 AM

People were really incredulous that we had decided to use cloth until they saw mcn’s in action. I think most people were think bulky terry squares, safety pins and crunchy pilchers and soaking and scraping. Most people were very positive once they saw what they were actually like.

#20 IamtheMumma

Posted 17 May 2019 - 08:44 AM

Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under on Facebook is fantastic.


I used them with my last. Had planned too with 2&3 but was talked out of it. I still have night nappies for the 4yr old. May I suggest you invest in a decent clothes horse so you can dry inside/overnight if needed.

I would recommend trying a mixed pack for styles. Initially I thought front snapping nappies would work fine but realised the side snapping ones fitted DS better. I also used to wonder who would spend $50 on a nappy. I didn't initially but later on, yes I did. The quality was just that much better.

You could also consider using cloth for yourself. FeFiFoBum supplies gorgeous nappies and cloth pads. She's currently on hiatus but will be back.

I like Baby Bare, FeFiFoBum/Mum, Bubblebub covers (found their inserts useless) and Sustainable Hemp Nappies good.





#21 Apageintime

Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:18 AM

I used them with DS. much nicer on his skin I thought.

we just washed and line dried - nothing special.

I brought most of them second hand too - from FB groups - and sold them on when DS toilet trained - so the actual cost outlay was super minimal.

The only time we used disposables was when we travelled overseas.


Posted 17 May 2019 - 12:16 PM

I used them on all my kids, youngest is now 16.

They are easy to look after, I used the dry bucket method and washed every couple of days.

Saved alot of money initially, but then I became obsessed and bought everything I could.

Sold them all at the end i, still in perfect condition.

I only used a disposable on flights.

#23 PrincessPeach

Posted 17 May 2019 - 12:52 PM

I love them. Used them on both kids once they were out of the newborn sized disposables (my stash was OSFM, so didn't fit that little).

Washing is so much less complicated now then when I started, just a decent laundry liquid & long warm/hot wash.

Only time I reverted back to disposables with them was for a holiday where I had no washing machine facilities.

#24 400

Posted 17 May 2019 - 02:11 PM

I’ll throw in a few negatives as a little spanner in the works...

We use MCNs for DS (11 months) - now only during the day and only when at home. We started once he fit the OSFM (around 3 or 4 weeks from memory) and once we got the routine working, it worked well. Being born in winter we had to be on top of the washing so that it would dry properly- so had a set of 24 for 8 clean/8 in the wash/8 drying and found the number spot on for a little bub using MCNs full time (approx 8/day). We dry pail with a waterproof pail bag, and chuck the whole lot straight in the wash so no need to touch the dirties. I wanted to use a very mild soap to preserve the life of the nappies and also because DS has very sensitive skin (I use Baby Organics washing liquid), but found that I need a solid pre-rinse to stop the nappies from smelling, especially when drying inside in winter without direct sun. I basically put them on a pre-rinse before bed at night, then the proper wash first thing in the morning so I can hang them out straight away. I too used bamboo cloths with water instead of wipes and cannot rate them higher.

We had a lot of problems with leaking- firstly from using the bamboo liners (meant to catch the poo so you can just chuck out the liner) but these seemed to divert the wee out, so we stopped using them. We found even when changing a few times overnight, if DS had a clicky singlet on it would act as a wick and he would get frequently get wet in the leg crease. Then when he started to roll he became a tummy sleeper and would leak upwards every night. We tried a woollen cover (only once and it stained the sheets) but because of a combination of sleep regression, me returning to work, and the constant leaking, DH (who is primary carer) made the executive decision to swap to disposables overnight at around 4 months, and he then swapped to disposables when leaving the house a couple of months later. The change was so successful that we haven’t had the drive to go back to full time MCNs, although I would like to. We honestly didn’t troubleshoot enough to find a better solution, there was a lot of reluctance to spend more money and try other brands and designs but I suspect that we have used them for long enough now that they have paid for themselves. I am considering getting some super night reusables to try to get back into them round the clock, because I just don’t think that my son in particular is such a super heavy wetter that he would leak through everything.

Oh the plus side, he has never, ever had nappy rash despite his sensitive skin and I think the reusables played a large part in that.

#25 Grassyrat

Posted 17 May 2019 - 03:26 PM

Thanks everyone for sharing your advice and experiences. It's made me much more confident in giving MCNs a go, at the very least while we are at home and overnight.

I'm going to the baby expo tomorrow and will definitely check out the brands there so I can gather some more info and hopefully grab some at a good price.

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