Gastro is never a nice thing to have to discuss, however; after the week we’ve just had I feel compelled to share my gastro and cloth journey with you all. Sooner or later this is something that you will most likely have to endure and I’m telling you now . . . it’s not pretty! BUT it’s OK! I have tried a few things and done some research so I now have this little cheat sheet!
What nappy works best?
I figured out quite quickly that I didn’t want to be using nappies that had too much fabric, folds or anything fancy. I needed something easy to wash, to make sure all the bacteria was getting out of my nappies in the wash.
I decided to use only cotton terry flats. The great thing about terry flats is that they are a loopy fabric, which soaks up liquid quickly (either cotton, bamboo and hemp would do this). They are easy to wash. You can wash cotton terries in hot water to kill bacteria or soak them in a soaker of your choice. They dry really easily. You will want to put a nice PUL cover over the top preferably with double leg gussets as this will act as a double line of defence and keep everything in.
If you decide not to use flats, MCN would be fine if you made sure you washed them really well (see the washing section of this cheat sheet!). Also to keep everything in you could always put another PUL cover over the top.
Of course, if you want to take a break from cloth during this time, you could always use a one use or disposable nappy. If you choose this option, have a look at a biodegradable and compostable absorbent pad that you can put straight into a PUL cover and dispose of when you change the nappy (Gro Via and Cushie Tushies both offer these options). This way you can keep using your gorgeous nappies and only have the cover to wash.
What’s the best way to Wash?
If you can wash the nappies as soon as you can, or at least rinse them, there is less chance of the bacteria being spread.
In times like these, it is recommended to wash your nappies in at least 60 degrees c, which is the temperature that kills most bugs and nasties. You should run a rinse cycle first. Then of course dry in the full sun if possible.
Unfortunately, I have an old-school laundry with only cold water as an option. If this is you, you may need to do what I did. I rinsed off my nappies in a bucket, threw the water down the toilet then soaked the nappies in hot water (If using flats you can add some laundry soaker- no soaker for MCN).
Some people have suggested putting Vinegar or tea tree oil in the rinse stage of the wash as an antibacterial. Just be careful when using vinegar on any elastic or PUL though.
Also be aware that gastro bugs can live longer than your bub’s gastro attack, so keep hot washing for about a week after bub seems better.
Of course just be extra diligent with washing your hands after changing and washing nappies (which you would anyway 🙂 ).
What about their little red bum?
To help with my baby’s sore little bottom I used a zinc-based cream. I know zinc isn’t usually recommended for cloth nappies, but I was washing in hot water and I was using flats. Washing in hot water with a full dose of detergent should get most of the zinc out. If you find that some is staying on the nappy, try scrubbing at it with a laundry brush, some hot water and a little detergent. Using a liner with zinc based creams is always a good idea. We also recommend making sure that the cream is rubbed in really well. You can sprinkle a little baby powder over the top to help reduce the transfer of the cream onto the nappy (steer clear of talc based powders though – maybe look for a tapioca based powder like Nature’s Child Organic Baby Powder).
So don’t fear the gastro. As with anything you put your mind to, you can do this! You will get through it and all will be back to normal before you know it!
Heidi and the Nesties xxx