HOW MANY NAPPIES DO I NEED?
The number of nappies required depends on whether you want to use cloth nappies on a full-time or part-time basis, as well as how often you plan to wash them.
If you choose to use cloth nappies on a full-time basis, I would recommend between 24-30 nappies, although this is dependent on how often you plan to wash and how many nappies your child goes through in a day.
If you choose to use to use cloth nappies on a part-time basis, this can be cut in half. Many parents choose to cloth nappy during the day and use disposables at night. So just buy enough cloth nappies to cover you for daytime use for approximately 2-3days.
Ultimately, it is dependent on your bub and your lifestyle. If your bub is a frequent wetter you may require more nappies. If you have an older child, you may require fewer nappies due to less frequent changes.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The total cost of choosing cloth nappies can vary greatly. Do you want to go full-time? This will cost more than part-time. Is your bub a heavy wetter and requires more absorbent inserts? This will cost more as you will require more absorbent inserts/boosters which usually come with a higher price tag.
Here at River & Bee if you were to purchase 24 nappies each with our bamboo cotton insert it would cost you $550.80. If additional inserts are needed, and purchased separately, this will increase your cost again. This is just an example to show the cost, and I would actually recommend trying a few different brands of nappies to see what works for you. I know the River & Bee nappies won't be right for everyone, and that's alright!
This may sound like a lot of money, especially if you purchase your entire cloth nappy stash in one go, but it is a lot cheaper than disposable nappies in the long run when you consider you can use these nappies all the way to toilet training, and for multiple children!
HOW MUCH WILL WASHING THEM COST?
Really not as much as you think! Washing cloth nappies might add an additional 3 full loads of washing (long 2.5-3.5 hour cycles) and 3 pre-washes (short 30 minute cycles) to your week, depending how often you wash them. The cost also depends on where you live and what your water rates are in your area. We've discussed the approximate additional water used over the course of a 3 year cloth nappying journey here, so feel free to use this as a reference to calculate the cost in your area.
WHAT DO I DO WITH THE POOP?
I get this question a lot! Everyone is worried about the poop!
If your baby is not yet onto solids then you can pop the soiled nappies straight into the washing machine, no rinsing required. This is because breast milk and formula are water soluble.
If your baby is onto solids then there's a bit more to do. Knock any solids off into the toilet (I recommend having a dedicated spatula or "poop knife" for this) then give the nappy a quick rinse in the laundry sink and scrub with a silicone brush, or use a nappy sprayer (this attaches to your toilet). Store the nappies in a dry pail until it's time to pre-wash.
You also have the option of using biodegradable nappy liners, which can be flushed under certain circumstances (check with the manufacturer of the liners). These sit directly in the nappy and catch any poop, so it can be easily lifted out and disposed of. You can also use reusable liners, which are usually made from micro-fleece. Just wash these in the same way you would your nappies.
More questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do our best to answer!