Cloth Nappies: Why We Use Them and How . . .

When we were getting ready for Squirm’s birth, there was one thing we were pretty sure of from the beginning – we were going to use cloth nappies. I’d seen some of the fancy new fangled type when one of my old workmates had been showing some off, and I was pretty confident that we could manage those.

We had many, many reasons for choosing cloth nappies over disposable. Mr Pilot and I both lean to the more environmental side of things, so we liked the fact that cloth nappies don’t produce the amount of rubbish that cloth nappies do. Although there’s some extra water and electricity used to clean cloth nappies, we did some research and found that there was also a lot of water and electricity used to produce disposable nappies.

Cloth nappies were also possible for us because of some of our own circumstances. We’re lucky enough to live in Queensland with excellent sunshine all year around which makes drying the nappies easier. We’re fortunate enough to own a dryer and have under cover space if the weather is bad. We had the means to create a good nappy collection to begin with. Squirm also has lovely chubby legs which seem to work really well with the nappies we’ve bought – we have very few ‘leakage’ problems.

Plus, even with the plain colours we mostly went with – cloth nappies are really cute 🙂

When we first started looking into cloth nappies, there was a lot to learn! They’ve definitely moved on from the old cloth squares which my mother used when my sisters and I were young (though you can still buy those and all the pieces if you want some truly old school nappying). These had different styles and sizing. And nappies with multiple sizes all in one.

We wanted something that would be relatively easy to look after, but also nappies that would grow with Squirm. We didn’t really want to be buying new nappies every time he grew! In the end we ended up with one-size-fits-most pocket nappies. This means that they were adjustable nappies (through folding or press snaps) which had a plastic fabric outside sewn to an absorbent material (fleece or bamboo) with a space left to put an absorbent insert in. The inserts were sold with the nappies, so after a couple of washes, everything was ready for Squirm to use them!

Washing turned out to be easier than we thought it would be. We remove the inserts from the outers and dry pail the nappies when we change them (no soaking required), then put them through a long cycle on the washing machine and hang them on the line for maximum sunshine. The nappies were slightly coloured after we first washed them, and I thought the whole venture would be a disaster, but by the time we took them off, the sunshine had removed all the colour (amazing stuff). We can put them through the dryer, but we try to use that only when we need to.

In the end, it’s all been easier than we thought it would be. Sure, it means washing every two or three days, but there’s an increase in washing anyway now that Squirm is here. We’ve been really lucky that the brands we bought (we bought three different brands – Softbots, Snappy Nappys and Sweet Peas) have worked so well for us and allowed us to head down this particular route.

Adventures of a Subversive Reader:Nappies


  1. I loved using cloth nappies on my daughter. The routine of washing every two to three days was not too much problem most of the time. In fact it was something that helped to give my days a sense of time and rhythm.

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