Nest Nappies is Brisbane's only, real life, cloth nappy store.

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Breaking down the costs of nappies – cloth vs disposables

I often get asked about cost comparison between cloth nappies and disposables.  It’s a really hard subject to tackle because there is so much difference in the price of each disposable nappy and even the different types of cloth nappies.  I’m going to give it a go though and try and break it down a little at the same time.  So here we go, what is the cost of cloth vs disposables?

 

How Many?

The first thing that we need to look at it how many nappies babies goes through and at what age.  At Nest, we have found that the average baby will need around 6,570 nappy changes from birth to toilet training.  This can be broken down in the following way;

Newborn (Birth – 3 months) approx 12 changes per day for a total of 1,080 nappy changes,

Infant (3 – 6 months) approx 9 changes per day for a total of 810 nappy changes,

Crawler (6 -12 Months) approx 6 changes per day for a total of 1,080 nappy changes,

Walker (12-18 months) approx 6 changes per day for a total of 1,080 nappy changes, and

Toddler (18 months -2.5yrs the average age of toilet training) 4 per day for a total of 1,460 nappy changes.

If you add in specialised night nappies from 2 years through until 5years of age (the average age of night training) you are looking at another 1,068 nappy changes.

If you have made the decision to use disposables, that’s 6,570 nappies that are going straight into landfill per child.  If you have chosen to use cloth, you will need as little as 24 nappies to do you from birth to toilet training and as a bonus you can use them on future children, pass them on to friends and family, donate them to charity, repurpose them and more.  This means your cloth nappies will take longer to reach landfill, if at all.  Now, while I say that it can be done with as little as 24 nappies, here at Nest, we recommend the following to make your cloth nappy journey that little bit easier;

Newborn (birth – 4/6 months) – 30 – 36 nappies,

One size fits most (6 months – toilet training) 18 – 24 nappies.

If you want a specialised night nappy, as well, Nest recommend three at any one time.  I you choose to go down the one size fits most, these could work from around the 4-6 moth mark all the way through top toilet training.  If you choose a sized option, three of each size will see you through.

Cloth vs Disposables – What does it cost?

Continue reading…

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Do you love prefolds?

It’s no secret we love a good Basic here at Nest! It’s not a prerequisite to love Traditional nappies if you work here but it sure does help! More than 75% of our customers are first time parents wanting to cloth nappy their babies from birth (or soon after) and most of them walk away with at least one kind of Traditional nappy in their shopping bag!

Helping families to successfully cloth nappy from birth is about introducing them to products that are flexible, cost effective, dry quickly and are able to be used for a significant period of time (ie more than a few months). The added challenge is that most of our customers come to us before their baby has arrived, which means we need to provide them with a product that is extremely flexible in regard to sizing, shape and fit to give them the best chance of success when their baby arrives. Cue the Basics!

Along with fitted nappies, pre-folds are one of our biggest sellers and with good reason.

  • Pre-folds open out flat so they dry quickly (though this can vary according to fabrics)
  • With different folds they can be modified to fit any baby, regardless of shape and size.
  • They are economical and can cost as little as $4ea for cotton pre-folds.
  • The separate nappy and cover means you get two lines of protection from leaks and can easily re-use the waterproof layer if it isn’t soiled.
  • Pre-folds have a life span well beyond the newborn stage and can be used as pocket nappy inserts, lay in inserts, or night boosters (not to mention vomit cloths, breastpads, floor wiping cloths, carseat protectors!)
  • They are an extremely cost effective birth to toilet training option.
  • Three simple folds means a quick turn around from washing line to storage – no more sorting through inserts and snapping them into shells – just fold at the line and put them away!
  • Available in a variety of fabrics including bamboo terry, bamboo stretch, cotton, hemp and/or microfiber. Our most popular version is a stretchy bamboo – which pulls nice and tight around little legs and creates a nice trim fit.  

Pre-folds consist of two main layers of fabric with three or four extra layers of absorbency sewn into a centre panel. This creates a flat nappy with three distinct panels; one thin, one thick, one thin. Despite the name ‘pre-fold’ the nappy still requires three quick folds to get it ready for use.

When using a pre-fold on a newborn, take the nappy, which has already been folded into a pad and lay it on the change table. Spread out a small section of each of the side panels at the top to create two ‘wings’. Pull the front of the nappy up between your babies legs and then wrap the side panels from the back around your babies tummy and fasten at the front with a Snappi (you can just pull a good fitting cover over the nappy and skip the fastener).

                                                                                   

(this is a great example from our friends at Oz Baby Trends)

If the pre-fold is too long for your baby you can shorten it by doubling over the front panel when you pull it up between your babies legs. This is particularly good for boys as it gives lots of absorbency up high where they need it most. Alternatively a less bulky way to shorten the pre-fold is to fold it angel wing style and then fold down the fanned out fabric at the back. This is also a great tip if you have an explosive poo-er as it creates a bit of a ‘scoop’ to catch anything that might try to escape out the back!

Another tip for using pre-folds on a newborn is to ‘scoop’ the fabric between your babies legs so it’s not so wide. Lay your baby on the back piece and then as you pull the absorbency up through their legs pinch the nappy so the piece sitting at their crotch is nice and thin, it will make a ‘scoop’ which helps to catch everything and makes it easier to get a tight fit around the legs. When fastening the back wings up and around your babies tummy, be sure to pull the fabric nice and tight around the hips and legs. As you pull the fabric it will create a gusset which should wrap snuggly around the legs and help minimize leaks.

A good fitting PUL cover will ensure your pre-folds are nice and trim and won’t leak. It pays to invest in one PUL cover for every 3 to 4 pre-folds in your stash (ie 2 covers for 6 nappies, 4 for 12 etc) and have at least two newborn size covers to cover you for the early days, even if you’re planning to use predominantly one-size-fits-most covers. We also recommend a Snappi for fastening your nappy in the early days. Microfleece liners laid inside can help make cleaning a breeze, whilst keeping your baby nice and dry.

If you are thinking about using prefolds or having issues getting a snug fit on your little one, take a look at this video that Elizabeth did for us.  Of course, you are always welcome to pop into the shop and we are more than happy to do a fitting for you – we just ask for a snuggle in return (with your little one unless you want one too!lol)

Are you a prefold user?  What are your tips and tricks when using them?

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Lanolising Your Wool Covers

Sheep naturally produce lanolin to keep their wool water-resistant and provide antibacterial qualities. This means that you will need to lanolise your wool cover to make it do it’s magic. You will need to lanolise before you use your cover and from time to time you will need to replace the lanolin. The period of time between lanolin treatments will differ for every family. A good way to tell if your cover needs treating is if it is still smelly after airing or if the outside layer is damp to the touch after use.

 

When I first heard this ‘lanolising’ word, I thought “No way, that’s too hard!” but guess what? It’s not hard at all! Once you’ve done it once, you will be all over it like wool on a lamb! (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one!).

 

I can hear you thinking, “So how do I do this lanolising business you speak of?”

Well, I’ve done a tutorial . . . (You are welcome lol)

 

Step 1.

Distract your children so you can get busy.

                                                                                                  

Step 2.

Hand-wash your wool cover using cold water and a gentle wool wash. Lay it flat on a towel to absorb the excess water.

 

Step 3.

Prepare you lanoline mixture. You can use the lanolin that you use for cracked and sore nipples. This one or similar:

                                                                                                   

Place a small amount of solid lanolin in a small glass jar. I used about half a teaspoon. Add a drop of baby shampoo and a tablespoon of hot water and shake vigorously to melt and disperse the lanolin. If the oil is not fully dispersed it will settle and can make oily spots on your wool. The first time I did it I used a cup and stirred with a spoon, instead of putting in a jar. This is totally doable if you need to, but it is easier if you can vigorously shake instead of stir really quickly with a spoon. My little ones are in love with this yummy jam, so we have heaps of these jars hanging around the place! It worked really well.                    

                                                                                                

Step 4.

Fill some water in a bucket. Enough to cover the wool cover nicely. Add the mixture to the bucket of water and swish to ensure it is evenly distributed.

                                                                                                   

Step 5.

Add your wool cover and massage the lanolin gently into the wool, concentrating on the areas that get the heaviest use. Gently squeeze the wool so that you feel that each wool fibre is getting wet.

        

Step 6.

Leave your precious woollies in this lovely lanolin bath for about 30 minutes.

 

Step 7.

Remove cover from the water and gently squeeze out any excess water.

 

Step 8.

Lay your cover flat on a towel and gently pat flat to remove any additional moisture. The towel will protect the delicate wool fibres from damage.

       

Step 9.

Shape the nappy to the shape you want it to be. As it dries it will stay in this shape. I just learnt this trick! You could do this with jumpers too!

 

Step 10.

Lay flat to dry, avoiding full sunlight. It takes a while to dry. Can take up to 24 hours.

Step 11.

Wrap that precious little woolly on your beautiful baby’s bum!

So there you have it! Lanolising! Tricky to say, not so tricky to do! Enjoy!

Heidi and the Nesties xxx

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