When I was born my parents had one choice; to use terry cloth nappies. Mum would soak, wash, dry then fold them ready to use.
Now it seems more convenient to use disposables. Simply purchase from the supermarket and use then throw.
When I fell pregnant with my daughter I was expecting to do the same. In fact I found a direct to public wholesaler whose nappies were made right there in my local area. Bonus.
It was the last few months of my pregnancy that I started learning about MODERN CLOTH NAPPIES, otherwise known as MCNs. These were not the terry squares of old, but a cloth nappy in the shape of a disposable. Either held together by velcro or snaps. Could be washed in the washing machine and either line dried or thrown in the drier and these looked CUTE.
I decided to research some more and found a buy sell swap page on facebook in Australia. So decided to purchase some. I learned to strip wash the nappies, so that no trace of the previous owner was found. I also bought some trial packs from Australian businesses. And when the postie dropped them off i was AMAZED. They were soft, flexible and didn’t have the plastic feel of the disposables.
As a newbie, I did not use the MCNs straight away. For Ayla’s first 3 months I used disposables before I was confident to use the MCNs. And now I am an ADDICT.
At last count I had 90-odd for one child.
Let me explain. In the world of MCNs there are either OSFM (OneSizeFitsMost) or fitted (NB/S/M/L) nappies. Either CCs (“China Cheapies” mass produced in cheap factories), ethically madev(Australian businesses using international ethical factories) or WAHM (Work at home Mum). PUL (plastic material or known as SMOOTH) or Minky (so soft and fluffy ) And depending which options you choose is how much you will pay.
Most CC can be purchased online or via Ebay for roughly $3-6 per nappy and these are predominantly OSFM. Ethically made nappies are mid-range priced from $15-35 per nappy depending on size, and style. Then there are the WAHM nappies, these are known as PRETTIES. Why??? Because these are made by small home businesses most are EMBROIDERED and embroidery takes time and sewing patience. These nappies range from $30 for a basic nappy to $70 for a custom made nappy of your choice. I have even seen nappies go for over $150. Yes, that’s right. $150 during an auction!
I still hate to think of what I have spent over the past 2 years on MCNs, yet my husband enjoys them as much as I do. To think of the positives of MCNs over disposables for me include: resale value, less waste and landfill, we have yet to have any nappy rashes, and with bub#2 on the way, I have kept all nappies for future use.
So in the end I will have approximately 4 years of use out of my nappies. Not bad I say!
Yes, its washing, maybe 2 loads a week, some time snapping together (quite relaxing actually) and drying time (sunlight is a cloth nappy’s best friend) it is still worth it in my eyes. Our ‘stash’ has evolved from CCs, that haven’t lasted long, to many WAHM embroidered nappies that my 2 year old daughter loves choosing. Now the stash is being built up with Newborn sized MCNs to await the arrival of bub#2 and I can not wait to start from bubs first bottom change.
If you are interested in MCNs, there are now Nappy Libraries in most states that allow you to try many different bands for a smaller fee than purchasing. This is great as different bubs need different brands and styles.
Here are some of my favorite brands and brands that I have used and all can be found on Facebook.
The Monkey Cloth Shop
Kats Creative MCNs