Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Stripping Nappies

As per this post, I am a cloth nappy user. J is almost 7 months and despite predictions by some of our friends we are still on the cloth nappy train. All I can say is that after 6 months of it my tolerance for poo has gone way up!

We were away over Christmas and New Year and when we returned from holiday our washing machine packed in.This meant J was in disposables for about 3 weeks, as cloth is just too much work while you are away and there was no way I was getting back into the cloth without a working washing machine.

While J was in the disposables I realised how many leaks we had been having with the cloth. I got peed on so many times and the piles of washing around the house (known as Mount Foldmore) was getting out of control. It wasn't until we had him in the disposables and I noticed we didn't have a single leak I realised something was not quite right.

One of the issues that can cause leaking is a detergent build-up in the nappies, making them less absorbant. Nappies should be washed with a small amount of detergent (depending on the hardness of your water) to avoid this. I usually only add a tablespoon or two of  washing powder so I wasn't sure if that was it but I decided it would be a good idea to strip the nappies anyway to see if it helps. Anything to stop the pee leaking all over the shop. One of the ways you can tell if nappies need to be stripped if that they smell like wee after being washed. Now, I didn't notice this being a problem with J's nappies but maybe my sense of smell has been dulled by having a small child around the house.

There are lots of methods online as to how to strip cloth nappies, most of them involving dishwasher tablets, washing-up liquid or vinegar. I agree with the nappy lady on this one, I wouldn't wash my underwear using any of those methods so why do that to my precious baby's bum?

I followed the nappy lady's advice which involves doing three washes with no washing powder at all.

The first wash should be at 30C or a cold wash if you can (which is what I did, our washing machine has a cold setting).

The second wash should be at 60C and use the longest wash setting possible. The nappy lady suggests using a sensitive setting that uses more water but our washing machine had no setting like this.

The third wash should be also be at 60C and during this wash you should see no suds. I had a good look in the door like a mad woman but couldn't see anything.

The nappy lady also recommends doing a wash once a month with no detergent (or once a week if they are teething). This isn't something that I had been doing so will definitely do it in future.

So far, we've been back in cloth for two days and no leaks have been reported so far. Hurray. Hopefully it will continue and I can remain (mostly) pee free in 2014!


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If anyone is out there I would love to hear any thoughts you have after reading this blog!