Modern cloth nappies … what you need to know 

Social media is full of beautifully clad baby bottoms , all wearing modern cloth nappies. Bear uses disposibles as I was overwhelmed by the new cloth nappy choices. When my other bears were little we used plain old towling squares held into place with a snappi. And so I was eager to learn more.

Jolene Smith from Smitten  Baby  Boutique was happy to answer my questions .

Can you share your personal journey using cloth nappies?

I started using modern cloth nappies with my little boy and my passion for cloth encouraged me to open my own cloth store manufacturing and supplying other mommies with modern cloth nappies. Every time I used a cloth nappy it was a massive achievement for me. I loved the way they looked on my little boy and loved the fact that they were environmentally friendly. They also contained no chemicals!! It was a win-win for me.

What made me start using cloth nappies? My boy suffered serve chemical burns from disposables and I needed to find an alternative solution for him. 

As a new mom what would the mom‘s need to purchase and how many of each?

I started with basic pocket nappies. I purchased 10 new ones and found 10 preloved ones in my area. I washed nappies with his bodyvests and towels every 3-4 day and dried them on the washing line. 

After a few month’s I discovered other types of modern cloth nappies (All-In-Ones, Hybrids, SIO’s, Flats etc). My complete nappy collection now contains various brands and various types of nappies. My toddler is now potty trained but baby number two is nearly here. So I get to reuse all my nappies again on another bum. So where the nappies cost me a little bit to start out, I will now pay nothing for baby two.

How many nappies does baby use daily (disposible 4 to 6 ) and How does this compare to disposibles.


Full time cloth users can use between 5-8 nappies a day. The amount you need completely depends on how often you will be washing your nappies. 

How do you wash cloth nappies?

Some mommies wash daily and some do it 2/3 times a week with other washing. Washing routines are much easier than the ‘old school’ toweling nappies. We don’t soak or sterilize modern cloth nappies. Dirty/wet nappies are placed into a ‘dry’ bucket (washing basket, large bucket) when taken off baby’s bum. Then when you are ready you wash you place all the nappies into the washing machine and do a rinse cycle. This rinses excess urine etc. off nappies. Then you just do a normal wash (not a quick wash), cold water is completely fine with only washing powder, no fabric softeners. Once this wash is done you hang your nappies to dry on the washing line. You can even add other washing into this wash. Like towels, linen, clothing etc. Save on water and electricity. You don’t need hot washes or tumble dryers.

Why do you think cloth nappies have become so popular?


When I started using modern cloth nappies it wasn’t something I saw when I went to the shops or people spoke about at baby showers. Now I can walk into any mall or play area and see a cloth bum. Mom’s are becoming more aware of modern cloth nappies and choosing them over disposables for various reasons. Some of those reasons: disposables are becoming expensive, you are paying more for poorer quality nappies. Another reason is modern cloth nappies are completely breathable and chemical free. You don’t even require bum creams or barriers with modern cloth nappies.

As a preschool teacher I didnt encounter babies on cloth nappies , do you find schools open to parents nappy choices


Crèches are slowly coming around to the idea of using modern cloth nappies. I think it’s intimidating for any crèche owner or caregiver to be handed a bag of modern cloth nappies and expected to use them. Luckily all cloth moms absolutely love teaching others how to use cloth and are only to happy to show crèches how they work. There are a large amount of crèches that actually don’t mind cloth bums and enjoy embracing it.

Why would you recommend cloth?

Ask any cloth mom how modern cloth nappies work and you will see the passion and love they have for modern cloth nappies.

What do you do with your nappies when baby no longer needs them


There is a huge market for preloved modern cloth nappies so when you are finished with your nappies you can sell to another mommy and you will recoup even more of your initial investment back. 

As a completely overwhelmed  mom what advise would you give me with regards to cloth nappies

I have been running Smitten Baby Boutique since 2014 and I can’t tell you all the success stories I hear everyday from my customers. I always tell all new cloth users that it’s very overwhelming in the beginning to get started. But within a month or two they will be pro’s and talking all the cloth lingo like the experienced cloth users do.

Best tips for new cloth users

Best tips I can give potential new cloth users: Find a mommy in your area that uses cloth nappies. Ask to be able to come look at her nappies. She will happily explain all her different types of nappies with you. 

You mentioned not buying bulk nappy packages, why is this

Don’t buy bulk packages of one specific brand of nappies. Buy a variety of different brands and types. Each nappy fits differently on each baby (no two babies are alike). Get a feel for what you enjoy using and invest in more of those. Sell those you don’t reach for. That way you don’t get stuck with 15-20 nappies you don’t enjoy using. That’s why Smitten Baby stocks a variety of different brands and types of nappies, so that Mommies don’t have to shop around at various stores. They can shop at one store and get everything they need. I also courier all over South Africa.

My website is: www.smittenbabyboutique.co.za

My facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/Smittenbabyboutique/

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