What Do I Need?
Not much! For full-time use I recommend having 20-25 nappies and part-time about 12-15, however it’s completely up to you. How many nappies you have really depends on how much you want to be washing them. Having 20-25 will allow you to wash roughly every 2-3 days. It is also worthwhile to remember that a newborn baby is going to go through a lot more nappies than an older baby.
A nappy bin – This is for home use next to the change table. I like to use swing top kitchen bins. It is easy to pop nappies in one-handed and then take the top off to put nappies in the wash. It also contains any smells. Some people like to use a large wet bag as a liner. This means once the bin is full you just take the whole wet bag out and put it straight in the wash with the nappies in it. I like to have 2 so when one is in use, the other is outside airing and getting some germ killing UV rays!
Some people are quite happy using a large wet bag and hung on a door or the change table. Again it is whatever works for you!
Small wet bags – these are great for when you are out and about to store soiled and clean nappies. They are made out of the same waterproofing material as the nappies so they don’t leak and contain smells really well. It means you can just pop the soiled nappy in and deal with it when you get home. They come in various sizes, shapes and styles.
Other things you may need (but are optional) include:
Re-usable cloth wipes – Many people use cloth wipes as an alternative to disposable wipes, another way you can save money and the environment! You can either have them pre-wet ready to go on the change table or in a wet bag when out, or wet them as you go with a little water or a wipes solution. They are often two-sided; one side to help get any mess and the other side (usually a velour) for a quick bottom polish! Just throw these in with the nappy wash!
Disposable/Biodegradable Liners – These are great for making cloth nappying mess free! You simply tear off a square, lay it in the nappy and pop it on. Once soiled you just shake it off into the toilet and flush! This means no rinsing dirty nappies! If they are only wet you can wash them in with your nappies and re-use and they can often be re-used numerous times, another money saver! Just be wary of supermarket liners, these are usually not biodegradable and therefore not great for the environment.
Re-usable liners – These have the same use as the disposable ones except that they are made out of materials such as micro fleece and silk. They serve the same purpose and are also recommended if you need to use oil-based nappy rash creams as they will protect your nappy from getting damaged. Some people just like to use them to keep their nappies in top condition! These are also great as they are usually made out of stay-dry materials to draw moisture away from baby’s bottom and keep them dry. Again they are a personal choice!
A Little squirt – A little squirt is a hose-like attachment that attaches to your toilet. It allows you to hose soiled nappies off straight into the toilet.
Wool covers, soakers or shorties – These are great to put over night nappies or for use over fitted nappies. They are made up of pure wool which is a great because it is both breathable and a natural water repellent. They only need to be washed every few weeks or if they become soiled. They do need to be lanolised, however these days this is fairly simple and you can even buy lanolising sprays. Wool covers are a great natural alternative to PUL or polar fleece and can be used in both summer and winter.