Cloth nappies vs. Disposables

How to use cloth nappies

Washing cloth nappies

Extra Questions

Customer Care

Are cloth nappies better for my baby?

Babies have very sensitive skin and may be sensitive to some of the ingredients found in disposable nappies.

From Kimberly Clark 2008 report:

http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Kimberly-Clark_%28KMB%29/Raw_Materials

“Superabsorbent materials are important components in disposable diapers, training and youth pants and incontinence care products. Polypropylene and other synthetics and chemicals are the primary raw materials for manufacturing nonwoven fabrics, which are used in disposable diapers, training and youth pants, wet wipes, feminine pads, incontinence and health care products, and away-from-home wipers.”

Do you know exactly what is in disposable nappies? A full report of ingredients can be obtained from the manufacturer. If you are at all concerned, call the manufacturer and ask before you buy.

Another issue frequently discussed is concerns around ‘dioxins’, according to a Mothering Magazine article, entitled ‘The joy of Cloth Diapers’:

“Of more serious concern are the toxic chemicals present in disposable diapers. Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases, is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers, and trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves.”

http://www.mothering.com/community/a/the-joy-of-cloth-diapers

 

Babies are all different shapes and sizes how can your nappies suit all?


Real Nappies provide a comfortable fit for all ages and stages.

Our prefold cloth nappy inserts and Snug Wrap covers are available in four sizes to ensure a slim, leak-proof and comfortable fit for all ages and stages, from newborn baby to infant to crawler to toddler.


Beware of one-size-fits-all cloth nappies which supposedly adjust to fit babies from birth through to potty training.


No single nappy can adequately address the needs of a tiny delicate newborn and a growing, boisterous toddler. A newborn in a one-size-fits-all design is generally saddled with a very bulky, often leaky, awkward and uncomfortable nappy, while on the other hand a toddler is left with one that is less than adequate.


Using the correct size nappy will ensure a comfortable and leak-proof fit. The following sizing chart provides a guide to which Real Nappies size will best fit your baby. Please take into account that babies vary in shape and size and this is a guide only. You should use the nappy size that fits best.

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Is my baby more likely to get nappy rash with reusable nappies?

 

Research has shown that baby’s wearing cloth nappies are no more susceptible to nappy rash than wearers of disposables. In fact baby’s in reusable nappies may be less likely to develop nappy rash as parents are more aware of when to change the cloth nappy and how well to cleanse the entire nappy area.

 

 

Can I use cloth nappies at Daycare?

More and more Day Care Centres are happy to use cloth nappies. If in doubt pop in and show them to your Daycare. Most Day Care Centres are pleasantly surprised to see how easy they are to use and are more than happy to accommodate your wishes. Many Day Cares actually prefer cloth nappies as they can dispose of the poop where it belongs and no smelly bins! You will need to provide a waterproof bag or similar for storing the wet nappies and then simpy take them home at the end of each day ready for washing.

What do I do with the poop?

One of the great advantages of using cloth nappies is that you can flush away the solids down the toilet, where they belong. No longer will you have smelly trash bins! Another advantage of Real Nappies is that you can use flushable liners, these catch the poop and you can flush this away down the toilet with the solids. Easy!

Please be careful and only flush one liner at a time. Check on your individual sewerage system before use. You are responsible for your own plumbing system.

Will my house stink of smelly nappies?

No, the great thing is you flush the smells away. Your wet nappies we suggest storing in a dry bucket until wash day but no more than 2-3 days between washes. If you bucket does begin to smell you can add a drop of tea tree oil to you bucket to keep things smelling fresh. Make sure you only use a drop or 2of tea tree as some babies are sensitive to tea tree oil.

 

How can I be sure my baby will be comfortable?

Firstly because we use them on our own children too!


Real Nappies use premium quality 100% natural cotton fibres in our cloth nappies for superior softness, absorbency and durability wash after wash.


Our natural soft cotton cloth nappies are comfortable to wear, breathe naturally, and are certified to the highest Oko-Tex ecological standards which involves rigorous testing.


You can rest assured that Real Nappies cloth nappies are free of chlorine bleach, plastics and chemicals, and won’t irritate your baby’s sensitive skin, keeping baby dry and comfortable in their nappy.


Think about it – what would you rather wear, plastic underwear or cotton?

Do cloth nappies leak?

 

Real Nappies when put on correctly, do not leak, follow our tips to get maximum absorbency: – Always use the correct size for your baby. There should be no gaps around the leg holes. Ensure velcro is fastenened so the wrap is snug around your baby. – Use the correct nappy fold . – Ensure all the cloth nappy pad and liner is inside the wrap – Wash your reusable nappies before use as this will fluff up the absorbency – Do not use fabric softener or bleaching agents on the wraps or nappy pads as this damages the waterproofness.

Help! My nappy bucket is smelly!

Keep your dry bucket smelling fresh by adding a few drops of True Blue Organics tea tree oil (see accessories tab) each time you empty it – a few drops on a piece of muslin or fleece on top of the cotton nappy pads is the best idea.

Tea tree oil has excellent antibacterial qualities that will help to keep your nappies sanitised, however, proceed with caution as small babies may be sensitive to tea tree oil.


Are there detergents I should avoid?

As a general rule of thumb, we suggest you avoid the following ingredients:

  • Whitening enzymes (help dissolve stains but can cause skin reactions on sensitive babies)
  • Whiteners and Brightners (tiny particles that remain on your clothes making them seem brighter after washing. These are not necessary and may cause skin irritation)
  • Fragrances and Dyes (Unnecessary chemicals for babies’ laundry)
  • Bleach (harsh chemical against babies’ delicate skin)
  • Fabric softener (leaves a residue on your nappies and will cause them to be less absorbent)
  • Soap Flakes (leaves residue on your nappies)
  • Borax (this will break down the PUL covers eventually)

For a comprehensive list of Detergents we do and do not recommend, click here.

 


Do I have to clean & sanitise my machine after washing nappies?

Definitely not: if your nappies are clean, your machine is clean.

I heard I can use baking soda & vinegar when washing, how does that work?

All that you need is water, detergent and the sun! We do recommend using a Sanitiser like Nappy Fresh to keep your nappies clean, white and sanitized. You only need to add a dessertspoon of Nappy Fresh to your detergent. Of course sunlight is an excellent natural whitener and sanitiser.

If you like, you can occasionally add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle in order to remove any residual detergent. This deodorizes, sanitizes and brightens.

Baking Soda and vinegar mix is ONLY to be used for stripping your covers or for very smelly nappies that still smell after washing. BE CAREFUL, stripping is a ONE TIME ONLY solution as this will eventually HARM your covers.

My nappies are stained, can I use bleach to whiten them?

Covers:

Don’t use bleach or whitening agents. The will breakdown the fibres of fabrics and destroy the waterproof membrane on your nappy covers. Do not soak the covers.

Nappy Inserts:

You can soak your cotton inserts (NEVER soak the covers). When washing or soaking your cloth nappy inserts, a good alternative to chlorine bleach is the environmentally friendly oxygenated bleach. But be careful, not all are created equal make sure the product you choose contains no additives beyond sodium carbonate. Our choice is Nappy Fresh (see accessories page).

Remember a hot wash (for inserts and covers) and then hanging on the line: sunlight is an excellent natural whitener and sanitiser – it’s amazing to see, you can literally see the stains disappearing in the sun!

TOP TIP: Try rinsing the covers as soon as they come off to avoid any stains setting. Sunshine is the best whitener once the covers have been laundered.

Still not budging? If that still fails, you can mix up the Nappy Fresh like a paste to spot remove stains (half tsp powder to 1 tsp water) apply to the stain and leave for 5 minutes before washing.

My nappies are smelly, what can I do?

Wash them again! Most of the time when nappies are smelly they are not clean yet or you have detergent build up, the easiest way to solve is to simply do several really hot washes without soap.

When washing again check the machine during the rinse cycle and if you see soap suds, use less detergent next time to wash (about 1/4 of manufacturer’s recommended amount is fine).

OR If that does not work:

  1. Try doing an overnight cold soak with a cup of baking soda
  2. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the final rinse.
  3. Rinse really well to make sure tea tree oil does not affect babies’ skin.

OR Recipe from a customer:

  1. Prewash nappies to rid any detergent residue.
  2. In the wash cycle use small amount of detergent (when washing nappies you should only use 1/4 of recommended amount), 1/2 Cup of Baking Soda, 1/2 Cup Borax,
  3. Add 1 Cup of Vinegar in the rinse cycle.
  4. Then second rinse.
  5. If you can machine dry the nappies on a high heat.

For smelly nappies or if little one has recently had a yeast infection, try adding Canesten Laundry Rinse to your final cycle

Are you already using vinegar on your cotton prefolds?

If yes and no luck, stop using it! If you are not using it, try it! Vinegar can help the smell with some and not with others, so give it a go, White vinegar or Cider vinegar are the best to use, try switching between both types of vinegar too if one has not worked.

Hanging your nappies or covers out on the line on a really hot sunny day will bleach out the stains and the odours too.

If all else fails try washing your cotton prefolds with oxygenated bleach which is environmentally friendly. This should only be used as last resort as bleach breaks down the fibres on your cotton and as a result the nappies wear out much quicker. Make sure you rinse several times to get rid of the bleach.

Always try and use the highest water levels in your washing machine to ensure complete rinsing of nappies and covers. Any detergent residue will affect the performance of nappy products!

Tip: Do not try and wash too many nappies at the same time and make sure your machine water level is up to its highest level.

My clean nappies still smell like ammonia, how can I fix this?

Don’t use too much detergent in your wash as this can lead to stinky ineffective nappies and covers and skin irritations. A little goes a long way!

If they smell stinky or of detergent – wash them again with less detergent and more water (we recommend only ever using 1/4 of recommended detergent amount, remember LESS IS MORE~)

An occasional hot wash is also recommended.

Ammonia smell can be caused when nappies have sat for a while between washes – urine gradually turns to ammonia as it sits. A great preventer is to give the nappies a rinse before popping them in a dry bucket till wash day. If the problem persists try stripping your cotton diapers (see section: ‘how can I strip my covers of detergent build up?’)

Keep your dry bucket smelling fresh by adding a few drops of tea tree oil each time you empty it – a few drops on a piece of muslin or fleece on top of the cotton nappies is the best idea.Tea tree oil has excellent antibacterial qualities that will help to keep your nappies sanitised, however, proceed with caution as small babies may be sensitive to tea tree oil.

If, when you take the nappies out of the laundry they do not smell clean, then you need to use more detergent, or a different detergent, or hotter water.

Detergent ingredients to avoid:

  • optical brighteners
  • fabric softener
  • bleach, including colour safe
  • enzymes
  • fragrance

If your nappies smell fine out of the washer, but smell bad when bubs urinates, it may be that the detergent has not been totally rinsed out. The occasional hot wash with nappies and covers goes a long way! If you change detergents, you may need to try stripping your nappies. This simply means running a full hot wash cycle without detergent, repeating until the water is free of suds. Then dry as usual. If this has not worked see section above ‘how can I strip my covers of detergent build up’.

Do I have to wash the nappies before use?

We recommend washing your nappy inserts 3x before use : this fluffs up the absorbency and shrinks the nappies to the perfect size. You do not have to dry in-between washing. For maximum absorbency, if you have access to a dryer, machine dry the nappies in-between washes. If not line drying is fine : )



Which accessories do we need?

There are so many different accessories you can buy, and each one has a different use.

Here is a list of the basics we recommend:

      • Nappy Bin/Pail a 19L is a good size, with a secure lid: you can line this with a bin liner or the more eco friendly reusable choice of a tote bag or similar.
      • Flushable nappy liners our liners are laid upon the prefold cloth nappy when baby is being changed. They are flushable and biodegradable and can be thrown away when wet and flushed with solids. This keeps your cloth nappies clean and easy to wash.
      • Booster Pads/Doubler Fantastic for when your baby is sleeping through the night and needs extra absorbency in their nappy.
      • Nappy Fresh SanitizerAn environmentally-friendly, biodegradable nappy cleanser. Sanitises and whitens naturally, No need to soak or hot wash.
      • Cloth baby wipes are a lovely addition: when changing nappies, the wipes usually end up on top of the nappy so it makes no sense to have to separate the wipes and throw them away. Why not wash the wipes with the nappies and make life easier?

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How many nappies do I need?

We recommend for full time use:

  • 18-24 x nappies
  • 6-7 x covers

This means washing every 3 days : ) Check out our sets for ready to go packs

How can we contact you?

You can can contact us by email at info@realnappies.co.nz, we endeavour to get back to all our customers within 24 hours.

Alternatively you can call us Freephone on 0800 REAL NAPPIES (0800 732 562) from within NZ, or 1800 638 759 from within Australia.

We look forward to your call.

Can I get free delivery?

Absolutely, all you need to do is spend over $90 and your shipment will be delivered absolutely FREE anywhere in NZ or Australia.

How long will my shipment take to arrive?

All items that are shown as ‘In Stock’ on our site will be despatched the same day as you place your order, provided your order is placed before our cut off time of 1pm.

We have teamed up with Toll Couriers and NZ Post and Fastways for Australia wide orders. Deliveries are usually within 3-5 working days, but please allow an extra day for Rural Deliveries. Please note we can not deliver to PO Box addresses.

When you place an order we will send you a tracking number that you can track via Fastway Couriers, feel free to contact us at anytime with questions at info@realnappies.co.nz

 

 

All about nappy fasteners

Confused by which fasteners are which? There are different choices when looking into fasteners for nappies:

Fastener

Definition

Advantages

Disadvantages

Nappy Pin

Metal or plastic safety pin with a metal or plastic head and a sharp point to be inserted through 2 pieces of fabric to hold them together.

Traditional type of nappy fastener: probably what your mum used on you. Lasts a long time.

Can be sharp and stab your finger on the point. Can be fiddly to use on a wriggling toddler. Not very dad friendly

Velcro/Aplix (Real Nappies fave choice)

Hook and loop fabric sewn onto the nappy cover

Quick and easy to use. Very adjustable.

Eventually wears out: although we guarantee this won’t happen for 2 babies! Can snag on other clothing: so be sure to close the tabs onto the laundry tabs : )

Snaps/Poppers

Snappi

Metal or plastic snaps place onto the nappy or nappy cover

Y-shaped BPA-free plastic fastener with teeth on the end to grip the nappy insert

Easy to use and the snaps rarely runs out.

Modern day alternative to pins. Can not prick your finger. Fast and easy to use.

Not as adjustable as hook and look. Snaps difficult to fasten on wriggly toddler. Have to get your fingers behind the snap to put enough pressure on to close. Snaps can break.

Only lasts aprox 6 months.

Cloth Nappy Terms

Angel Wing Fold – Very popular newborn fold, excellent containment, click here to see how it’s done.

Bioliner – Also referred to as Ecoliners or flushable liners. A thin piece of soft material that allows moisture to pass through onto the nappy but catches the solids. Biodegradable and flushable.

Cloth Nappy – A nappy that is reusable and washable. Cloth Nappies require a waterproof cover.

Cover – A cover that ‘covers up’ the nappy insert (prefold), the covers holds everything in place and keeps baby’s clothes dry. Fastens with velcro. Available in 4 sizes and several colours. Also referred to as a ‘Wrap’.

Ecoliner – Also referred to as Bioliners or flushable liners. A thin piece of soft material that allows moisture to pass through onto the nappy but catches the solids. Biodegradable and flushable.

Flat nappies – Cloth nappy that is more like the nappy our parents used. Real Nappies flat nappies are one sized. Made of 100% cotton you can use them in our covers but prefolds are far less bulky and much more absorbent. Flat nappies will be too bulky for a newborn.

Nappy Insert – 100% Cotton Cloth nappy that is made up of lots of layers of cotton sandwiched together. BEWARE: Real Nappies use Indian cotton which is far superior to Chinese Cotton. Very absorbent, simple to use and will last and last. Can be referred to as an ‘prefolds’. All our packs come with inserts (prefolds).

Prefold – 100% Cotton Cloth nappy that is made up of lots of layers of cotton sandwiched together. BEWARE: Real Nappies use Indian cotton which is far superior to Chinese Cotton. Very absorbent, simple to use and will last and last. Can be referred to as an ‘insert’. All our packs come with prefolds.

Snappi – Y-shaped plastic fastener (BPA-free), used to hold the nappy inserts securely around the baby. Most used for newborns. You do not have to use these with Real Nappies, but can if you wish to. See how the snappi works here.

Wrap – A cover that ‘covers up’ the nappy insert (prefold), the covers holds everything in place and keeps baby’s clothes dry. Fastens with velcro. Available in 4 sizes and several colours. Also referred to as a ‘Cover’.

My nappy inserts are stiff, how can I soften them?

If your nappies are getting rough it is probably due to detergent build up which can be easily solved, vinegar will help soften this. Liquid detergent is more likely to build up on your covers and nappies and affect the waterproofness, only use 1/4 of manufacturer’s recommended amount, remember that less is more! Here are a few tips to try and rid them of detergent build up:

1. Wash the nappies and covers with no detergent on a hot wash, check the water and if there are bubbles, wash again until no bubbles appear from detergent.
2. You can occasionally add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle in order to remove any residual detergent. This deodorizes, sanitizes, brightens and softens.

My nappies / covers have suddenly lost their absorbency/waterproofness, why?

Most likely, this is due to detergent build up, which can be easily solved.

Tips to Avoid detergent build up:

  1. Liquid detergent is more likely to build up on your covers and nappies and affect the waterproofness, only use 1/4 of manufacturer’s recommended amount, remember that less is more!
  2. Do occasionally run a hot wash to rid any residue detergent
  3. only use 1/4 of recommended amount of detergent, whether using liquid or powder.

Here are a few tips to try and rid covers of detergent build up:

1. Wash the covers and nappies with no detergent on a hot wash, check the water and if there are bubbles, wash again until no bubbles appear from detergent.
2. You can occasionally add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle in order to remove any residual detergent. This deodorizes, sanitizes, brightens and softens.