Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

My not so dirty little secret…

on January 6, 2012

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When I went into hospital to have my little monkey, I had a mixture of disposables and cloth nappies in my bag as I wasn’t sure how confident I’d be at using cloth, or how tired and drained I’d be after what I imagine would be a long, slow, arduous labour with lots of screaming, swearing at my husband, and generally the world ending around me in a sea of my own pain…

Now, without going into my full birth story – none of that really happened. It was fast – so fast that I might just as well have closed my eyes, opened them and – oooh – there’s a baby! I apparently didn’t swear, apart from the obvious moment when the head does that smarting crowning bit and I did the obligatory yelling for a ****ing epidural (ho hum…ah well…) Other than that, I’ve been told by my rather amused hubby that i made strange guttural sounds but was generally very quiet. Those of you who know me in real life will find that hard to believe!

I envisioned having a few weeks after getting back from the hospital of using disposables to make life ‘easier’ for myself whilst I adjusted to this mummy lark. But, as things turned out – I actually put my first cloth nappy on my little man as he was going home from hospital at less than a day old. If I remember clearly, it was a Lil Joey nappy – the dinkiest, cutest thing I’d ever seen (yes, I got gooey about a thing my baby was going to poo in…) or it could have been a Bumgenius XS (again – very, very sweet). We I walked (well waddled in a very slow, uncomfortable fashion) out of the hospital and home to my lovely, fluffy stash.

So, we used all our fluffiness right from the start – blearily changing them with half-opened eyes during those first few weeks where you just don’t quite know what’s hit you. He wasn’t a great sleeper – still isn’t, in fact, but we still kept on going. The great thing about using cloth from the start was that we didn’t really know any other way – so we had nothing to compare it to. Nothing to fall back on and say to each other ‘it’d be really much easier if…’ This is the trap that a lot of people who set out with all the best intentions to use cloth do. They put on a disposable for perceived ease, just once or twice, and then they never go back. I know so many friends who bought fluff, got really excited about fluff, and then fluff went up into the deep, dark, depths of their loft. It obviously wasn’t for them. Fair enough.

Onwards we went. Night Nappies went on, but at times we couldn’t figure out whether our little man was waking up because he was wet (babies do feel that they’re wet in cloth much more than they do in a disposable and require more frequent changing), whether he was hungry, whether he wanted a cuddle. It was hard to judge as we were novices and didn’t know his different sounds and cries. But we still persevered and they were working really well – often getting a good 8/9 hours out of one heavily-boosted nappy.

We used a range of nappies that were really absorbent and worked well at night. At the start, small Ella’s House Bumhuggers or small Tots Bots Bamboozles (old style) with a wrap over them were fantastic. As he grew, these were replaced by the newer Tots Bots Stretchies and Close Parent Pop-ins with the excellent added night booster. We were very pleased with them!

But, our problem was that our little lad developed quite bad reflux. Night nappies can be bulky things and the way in which they angled the lower half of his body meant that the nappies were pressing too much on his little tummy and, whoosh, up came the bile and sick. Yuck! The amount of changing and washing we were doing wasn’t fun and he was getting very upset.

So, against everything we really wanted, we made the switch to using a disposable at night. The reflux became much less noticeable. It was so frustrating but we decided that, for his sake, to carry on. Eco disposables were the obvious choice and have served us well, but I have to be honest and say that Pampers have snuck in there too. It’s not what we planned and now that his reflux is lessening as his oesophagus is maturing, we’re now moving back to cloth at night and I’m on the hunt for thinner ones that will be better (and will give me a stash that I can use with another baby). The good thing is that one pack of astoundingly expensive (in my eyes) disposables lasts us about a month and it’s only been a short-term thing.

So, I’m not the anti-disposable Eco warrior that people may imagine! I’m a mum who’s trying to do the best for her baby and have some fluffiness in our lives. But my little sposie secrets have helped. I believe that you have to find a balance between passion and what makes the most sense, no matter how tough that choice may be.

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