If you are expecting your first child, you will probably be feeling a little overwhelmed by everything. The nursery, the onsies, the burb cloths, the car seats and now you're thinking about diapers!
If you are planning to use cloth nappies on your newborn, here are some FAQs to help relieve the pressure.
Are newborn nappies really necessary?
If you are planning to cloth diaper from the start, the short answer is Yes. This is because One size nappies cover the umbilical cord and don't allow it to dry out. Newborn nappies are either small enough to fit under the umbilical cord or have a snap down front. As soon as the umbilical cord has fallen off, your baby can go into one size diapers.
The good news, however, is that cloth diapering a newborn doesn't have to be expensive because you can use prefolds (which come in 6
packs) and covers. Prefolds are the most affordable way to cloth diaper a newborn because they are cheap, absorbent and dry quickly. It's also easy to customise the size and get a good fit. Covers can be wiped down and reused many times in one day.
Some moms choose to use disposables for the first few weeks and then switch to cloth.
How many nappies will I need for a newborn?
The average newborn needs to be changed 12 times in a 24 hour day. So you need about 30 - 36 nappies in total.
How will I cope with the washing?
You are probably going to be washing a lot anyway with a newborn. Washing newborn nappies is very easy. Milk-only fed babies have water soluable poo. So, throw the dirty nappies into the washing machine and run a rinse cycle. Then add your own clothes (burb cloths, bibs, babies clothes, blankets, towels etc) and run a normal cycle with detergent followed by another rinse. Hang up or tumbledry.
The only difference is to check that your laundry detergent does not contain softeners. Softeners coat the nappies and lower their absorbency.
What about the meconium (the black poo in the first few days)?
Most moms say that it washes out and provided that you hang it in the sun, the stains will go!
Will it save me money?
If you need 12 nappies a day, and you choose disposables, you will go through 1134 nappies in the first three months. That will cost you at least R3402 (assuming you choose a cheap brand of disposables.) A newborn stash of prefolds and covers will cost R1800. These can be used again for your next child, sold when you are finished, or later used as burb cloths or changing mats.