We are getting distressingly close to the third anniversary of our lovely ‘pool in the dining room’ homebirth! Both myself and Noah have also recently transitioned into full-time education (university & preschool respectively ), so big changes all round, which seems like a good time to reflect on our experiences!
We had been trying to conceive the final addition to our brood for almost a year when we finally got two lines on a pregnancy test, and on the next one, and the next one, and the next one…. I’m sure you get the picture. Twelve. I took twelve pregnancy tests in 48-hours. That’s a lot of pee, which would prove to be a good preparation for things to come! I was immediately apprehensive, and joined a multitude of online support forums, a lot of which came with the added bonus of freebies. Who doesn’t love a good freebie?! My first came in the form of an ‘Emma’s Diary, Mum to be’ pack. It was essentially an envelope full of leaflets and washing powder tablet samples. One leaflet in particular caught my eye. It was a little information booklet from bambino mio, telling me all about the new miosolo cloth nappy. It sounded fabulous! Armed with the excuse of being a baby massage instructor (what self-respecting plastic dolly can be seen in public in the nude?!), I went off to the computer to purchase my first ever cloth nappy (it would soon be joined by many many comrades in poops, more on that later!)!
A few days later, it arrived and it was lovely! At this time there were no fancy prints and with an embryo the size of a grain of rice, I opted for the colour ‘marshmallow’. It’s basically a sweet word for white, but it was so ridiculously soft. I of course rubbed the soft fleecy inside on my face mandatory when you receive fluffy post. The poppers were popped to the smallest setting and my new nappy was applied to dolly’s posterior. I was hooked! From then until the time Noah made his way earthside, we acquired a good working stash. We had a combination of new and pre-loved miosolos and a bundle of pre-loved ‘itti bitti tutto’s’. I also treated myself to a pre-loved (read as BRAND NEW- unless you are in fact my husband) ‘Bum genius’ in an Einstein print, because I am a total geek.
Noah was in cloth nappies day and night from birth until he potty trained this summer. I have had it fairly easy compared to many other cloth bum mummies, but It was something that I was determined to follow through and my pride and financial investment wouldn’t allow me to fail. The first few days were an exercise of military precision. What I thought was a big stash, quite simply wasn’t. we had to wash the nappies every morning or we would run out before bed time. It was tough. I wanted to do everything properly which resulted in every wash lasting 3hrs26mins. With a new-born, a husband and two bigger boys to wash for……it was relentless. Then it happened. My washing machine broke. It just stopped. Mid nappy wash. Oh no!! We had to call in an engineer over Christmas, which in itself was a nightmare, made worse by the day old nappy soup that was being held captive in the drum. I won’t lie- I was embarrassed. I braced myself for a barrage of questions and a telling off from the engineer for being ‘dirty’ or ‘disgusting’ for having a washer full of s***! Thankfully in reality the engineer was lovely, but alas my washer’s prognosis wasn’t good. We ordered a replacement but it wouldn’t be delivered until after Christmas. I had no idea what I was going to do!
One thing that I have discovered about other fluffy mums- they are all absolutely lovely! I had made a friend in a homebirth group who literally lived round the corner. She saved the day (and my nappies!) she took my dirty nappy bucket complete with poops and leaky boob pads, to her house. She washed them for me with her little one’s nappies and I collected them to dry at home. We continued this cycle until my new machine arrived. My friend also introduced me to the glorious invention of the pre-fold nappy. These were an absolute godsend in the dark days of no washer, and I now recommend them to everybody with a new-born. They may not be pretty- but they are so thirsty!
The itti bitti nappies didn’t work for me so I sold them on. They were lovely nappies, but certain nappies suit certain shapes- they just didn’t work for my chunky thighed babba. We continued without miosolo stash, which lasted us all the way to potty training.
Initial stash- cost me around £200 in total. (some were pre-loved and on special offer)
1 custom made WAHM (work at home mum) nappy £65. It was a massively extravagant purchase for his 1st birthday.
10/15 additional miosolo nappies for when he started nursery, to live in his bag approx. £70
And that’s it!
Our entire birth to potty journey cost us the grand sum of £335- and I even made back around £150 from selling them on afterwards.
So £185 for two and a half years in nappies.
I think that is absolutely fabulous! But even more important than the financial benefits- just thinking about how many disposable nappies I have not sent to landfill, makes me happy. I just wish that the local councils around the country would be more open to these HUGE differences in both cost and waste. But that is a rant for another day.
My cloth story doesn’t end there! Myself and my friend actually started a nappy library, where we had a fantastic 18 month run before I relocated. The library is sadly ‘on ice’ at the moment in the hopes of finding a new custodian to love it- but it worked! We converted many local parents to the benefits of cloth, and help many others with kits to help them out over those stressful first days.
From nappies and breast pads- I have transferred my fluffy obsession to reusable menstrual products, and Noah? Well Noah has big boy pants now.
Thanks for reading
Becca & Noah