The start of a new year brings about a wonderful opportunity to make some small or even big changes. Making the switch to reusables is really a very easy switch. What a great time to make a better choice for your baby and ultimately the earth. Deep down you have always considered trying them. Well, 2023 is the time.You can decide to start smaller or dive in and go the full monty. Either way starting the process is somehow the “hardest part”. Change can feel daunting.
Cloth nappies can appear to feel a bit like a foreign language given there are lots of different types here in SA and certainly some new lingo to learn. Is it hard? Neah. Is it rewarding- hell yes! Once you have realised that using our nappy system is really that easy and a lot of fun, you will be dying to top up that stash to full time because the cloth nappy addiction is a real thing and the landfill and money saving is very apparent.
So how can you start?
1.Make the easiest switch of all – ditch the single use store bought wet wipes and replace them with a pack of reusable Wipey cloth wipes. Did you know that you only need around 20 – 30 reusable wipes to replace around 15 000 disposable wipes? Commercial wipes are full of chemicals (no matter how natural they say they are). A bright red rash between bum cheeks is often caused by these wipes. Using cloth wipes is dead easy. Simply wet a bunch in the morning and store them in a container near the changing station. Use as you go. They can be cleaned by simple rinsing them under a tap, rinsed again in the machine then washed with dirty towels or clothes on a main wash. Cloth wipes are the most handy items to carry around with you on the go too. Kids are dirty – clean hands, spills, faces in the car, at the park. The list is endless. Wash and reuse a gazillion times. Once you make this switch you will never buy another plastic packet of single use ones ever again. It all just goes into the bin.
2.What should I buy to get going?
The less nappies you have the harder it is to really get a good feel for using them. With that said you don’t need to get a full stash. We recommend starting out with about 10 nappies and 4 Superwrap covers. This will then give you a good amount for one days use roughly.
Flats and fitted type cloth nappies (both offered in the sets above) are easy to use. The waterproof cover must be used over every nappy. Our website shows you exactly how to use and wash our nappies. We also offer full support via WhatsApp if you need it. I assure you that once you have the nappy in your hand and you have popped it on, you will fall in love with the cuteness and wonder why it all seemed so “hard”.
3. Pack out your reusables in plain site or in the top drawer
Your nappies must be accessible. If disposables take priority place at the change area, those are the ones you will reach for. Simply because old habits die hard. I always tell mums to pack the single use items away, out of sight. Even away totally. Use those 10 nappies, one after the other. Give it a real good try for a whole day. Why? Because your hands need to learn how to use something new. Without using a good handful in one stretch, it can make it quite unrealistic as to what it “would really be like” to use them as your hands feel quite clumsy initially. Another thing to consider is babies tend to wee/poop in a brand new nappy. Having only a few nappies is not really ideal given how many they go through.
4. Do not get discouraged
You may very well experience a bump in the road here and there (I mean who ever started something new without a few mistakes?). Using cloth is a learning curve however it is not a difficult one (breastfeeding is way harder). The most common issues we help our new cloth parents with are fit or absorbency issues. These are not caused by the actual nappy but rather because of “ignorance” given you are a newbie.Having a baby is full of new experiences. Incorporating reusable nappies is just one of them. Once you have been using our system for a few weeks, it all falls into place.
5. Ignore the naysayers
So you’ve decided to use cloth and cannot wait to announce it to friends and family only to be greeted with big eyes and things like ” sjoe you will never manage that….”.
What is interesting is that most people who have this advice are those that know absolutely nothing about modern day cloth. They have never seen or used our cloth diapers but seem to know the most about them. This probably comes from the old days where mums used to spend hours laboriously washing nappies in buckets (we now have washing machines and our cloth nappies do not need soaking). What we do know is one child generates almost one ton of landfill of disposable nappies. This can cost up to R25 000 for the parents.
So no matter what anyone says, follow your heart. And opt for cloth. Never let anyone deter you. You will definitely show them!!
6. It`s never too late to start
Did you know that even if you only start using cloth at eight months old, you will still save around R15 000 and around 5000 single use plastics in a landfill!?!
One must consider that one cloth nappy is one less nappy into the earth, a ton less chemicals on baby’s bum, one less rash. Even if your baby is day trained… it can take over a year to fully train off night nappies (the most common age is around 3.5 – 4.5 years old. Using cloth diapers at night at this stage is possibly one of the easiest switches to make. There is also evidence to suggest using cloth does in fact result in earlier potty training!
The words of this (potty trained little ones) mum sums up the Pokkelokkie experience in a few sentences:
“The nappies were more than nappies. They were giggles and pickaboos during changing time. They were fresh sunshine caught by the sun rays when they were line-dried. They were a conscious decision of doing better for my children, the planet and everyone in it. Pokkelokkies became a symbol in our lives of freedom: from the weight of trash, the weight of of costly disposable nappies, and lastly, freedom from leaks, rashes and chemical burns. And ultimately, from living a life just a little bit off-centre from the rest of society. More mindful, more joyous, more present.” Gerda Kriek
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Photo credit @lilli.danielsen