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Victoria from Squiggles and Bubbles: Our Cloth Journey

Added on 10 August 2016 in Darlings Downunder

We are thrilled that Victoria from Squiggles and Bubbles (and supporter member of the Australian Nappy Association) has agreed to do some guest posts for us! She's been giving some of our cloth nappies a thorough going over and will share her experiences soon, but we thought it would be nice to start with her very own Cloth Journey.

Victoria from Squiggles & Bubbles: Our Cloth Journey

Victoria is a qualified early childhood educator who is lucky enough to be a stay-at-home-mum to her three beautiful girls, Squiggles (3years), Bubbles (5years) and Jelly Bean (5months). When her schedule permits, she writes at Squiggles and Bubbles about the activities she creates with her girls in the hope of inspiring parents to engage in simple, meaningful play.

As a mother of three children I have changed my fair share of nappies!

We are a cloth nappy loving family. My husband crows about the benefits of cloth nappies and recommends them to his friends and colleagues who are expecting. It wasn’t always so though!

(Photo Courtesy of Hayley Johnson Photography)

An Unexpected Pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant with our eldest six years ago, to say we were caught unawares would be an understatement! My husband and I had been married for a mere 10.5weeks, I was unemployed and preparing to go back to study after a year off, my husband was working for an employer who was unreliable when it came to paying salary, I had moved towns when we were married so was 1.5hours away from friends and 2hours drive + an hour’s flight away from family. We were not prepared to have a baby in any way.

(Photo Courtesy of Squiggles and Bubbles)

I’m not sure why but I had always assumed I would use cloth nappies. Disposables never even entered my mind until my mother-in-law offered to buy us a box of sposies. My husband reacted with horror and disbelief when I said I was planning on using cloth. I reacted with horror and anxiousness when he wouldn’t listen to me, when I said we couldn’t afford disposables. We were locked in a horrible stalemate that left me in tears each night and plagued me with panic that I wouldn’t be able to afford simple things like nappies!

(Photo Courtesy of Squiggles and Bubbles)

The Beginning

I have no idea how my husband and I would have settled our disagreement had it not been for an ad in a parenting magazine. An ad for a modern cloth nappy! Cushie Tushies to be exact! And that was when I fell down the rabbit hole!

I called my mother and told her very excitedly about these amazing new nappies-no folding, no pins, no bleach! Surely my husband wouldn’t object! They were dearer than the traditional flat nappies but still cheaper than sposies in the long run! My mother offered to buy us a couple to see what they  were like in real life and my husband reluctantly agreed to try them.

(Photo Courtesy of Squiggles and Bubbles)

Down the Rabbit Hole

The nappies arrived and I fell in love with the soft minkee. My husband said grudgingly that they looked better than he had imagined and easy to use.

Meanwhile my mother and I plunged head first into the world of Modern Cloth Nappies. It was really like falling down Alice In Wonderland’s Rabbit Hole. It was a whole other world. AI1, AI2, Pockets or Fitteds, OSFM or Sized, Velcro or Snaps, PUL or Minkee…the choices seemed endless! Choice is a great thing but I had no idea how to decide! How did I know what would work best for me and my family?

The reviews on the internet were no help. One person would crow about how amazing a certain nappy was and then another would say it was rubbish.

In the end we chose to try some OSFM pockets-OSFM because it was cheaper than buying all new nappies each time bub grew and pockets so we could add extra absorbency if needed.

(Photo Courtesy of Samuel Milne)

Eight Nappies

When I was 36 weeks pregnant we made the scary decision to move states! We packed everything up and moved in with my parents. When our baby was born we had a total of eight modern cloth nappies and twelve terry towelling flats. I used the flats once.

Mum was amazing and would put on a load of nappies as soon as the nappy bucket was full. We were probably washing nappies twice a day, which I understand is more than most would want to but I’m telling you this so that you know if you really truly want to use cloth instead of disposables it is doable!

My parents were amazed by the modern cloth nappies! In the beginning we all struggled to tell when the nappies were wet! Mum and Dad said they knew with the old towelling nappies because your leg would be wet, with the modern cloth nappies we struggled to tell even when feeling the insert because of how absorbent the materials were!

And that was the beginning of our love affair with cloth. As our baby grew we slowly added to our stash just buying a nappy here and there as we could afford it until we had 30+ modern cloth nappies. We used disposables once on our eldest when we travelled to Tasmania-unfortunately she was allergic and at 5.5years old she still has the scars from that trip! After that we used cloth fulltime-even on camping trips!

(Photo Courtesy of Squiggles and Bubbles)

Babies #2 and #3

When our second child was born there was no nappy cost except that of washing-we already had all the nappies we needed. We did use disposables with her when my appendix ruptured to give ourselves a break. It took me awhile to get used to the idea, but loving cloth does not mean I can’t also appreciate the convenience of disposables occasionally.

With our third we had to buy a few more nappies but again the cost has been minimal. I’m currently recovering from emergency surgery after having a strangualated hernia, we have been using disposables again to ease the load however I’m not sure it’s eased the load that much. In sposies everytime JB does a poo it goes straight up her back and we have to change her clothes!

That is one thing I can tell you with all honesty-my favourite thing about cloth nappies? It’s not how super cute they are, it’s not how great for the environment they are, nor how they’ve eased the financial burden.  It’s the lack of poosplosions!

Yes, you get the occasional leak with cloth nappies but I have only ever had up the back and out the side explosions in sposies and I’ll be glad to see the back of them when I’m better!

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