When Mrs Lighty was pregnant, she definitely had a vision of herself as a bit of a hippy mum. You know, the earth mother type, with a baby permanently attached to me in the sling, going on wonderfully educational outings – to places that enrich the soul with the experience they bring to both mother and child – taking along a wonderfully nutritious homemade picnic, probably including something like homemade homous and edamame beans, to eat in a meadow somewhere while children frolicked around us.
Ok, so maybe that vision was a little bit far fetched, and I soon realised that instead I’d subscribe to the ‘do-whatever-you-need-to-do-to-get-you-through-the-day’ school of parenting, but even so, part of that vision involved cloth nappies. I’d always quite fancied the idea of them, and whilst I have friends who couldn’t think of anything worse than having to deal with a pooey nappy which not only do you get to keep but also wash in your lovely, clean washing machine, I never had a problem with this. Quite frankly, I never really thought that this mothering gig would be glamourous, so what was a few dirty nappies in my now-nine-year-old washing machine?
The trouble was, however, that I just didn’t really get them. With disposable nappies, you have a nappy…and that’s it. Job done. With cloth nappies, you have a wrap, the absorptive insert and a liner…or you have a pre-fold, or an all-in-one, a two parter, nappy nippas and boosters and terry squares and pockets…the varieties seems to be as endless as the abbreviations used on the real nappy Facebook groups, and left poor Mrs Lighty feeling a little bamboozled (not to be confused with Tots Bots’ cloth nappy of the same name, of course).
We were quite lucky, however, in that we didn’t have to have a massive outlay in order to find out if we could figure out what these cloth nappies were all about, as our neighbour kindly gave us some Flips and Bum Genius nappies that she’d used on her daughter. I can clearly remember, however, having a tutorial with our neighbour on how to use them when I was about 8 months pregnant, and thinking “I’m not too sure I’ve got the hang of this…”. Then once Baby Lighty arrived, and I didn’t know if I was coming or going, and I hadn’t got round to buying a nappy bin, things weren’t looking good for the cloth nappies…
I did, however, buy a couple of Bambino Mio nappies in the Aldi Baby Event, mostly because I was swayed by the super cute prints, and I eventually got round to having another tutorial with my neighbour as well as buying a nappy bin, and so I tentatively took my first steps into cloth bumming when Baby Lighty was about 4 months old.
But it wasn’t love at first sight, that’s for sure. My head was definitely more into them – as I felt that we’d save ourselves a few pennies by using them – than my heart was, which basically only loved them for their cute prints. They didn’t seem as absorbent as disposables, and I’d regularly have to change Baby Lighty’s whole outfit due to leakages, plus they were bulky which hindered him when learning to roll and sit unaided, and I couldn’t always work out if I’d even folded the inserts correctly and put the nappies on as they should be. I’ve discovered since becoming a mother that I’m very anxious about trying new things when it comes to Baby Lighty, almost as if I need to ask permission to do anything out of the norm, and the cloth nappies were no exception. I’d use them here and there but not consistently or regularly, as my heart just wasn’t in it.
At the same time as purchasing my Bambino Mios, I also spent a fair bit of money on an all in one Cheeky Wipes kit. This was about 11 months ago, and despite me having said above that this wasn’t the cheapest thing in the world to buy, it sat untouched and unloved in Baby Lighty’s bedroom in the cardboard box it was delivered in for months. Why? Because once again, I just didn’t get them. I’m like this with many a thing in my life, I must admit: don’t particularly understand it? No worries, just procrastinate until you do!
“So what exactly is the point of writing this post?!”, I hear you cry! “Mrs Lighty, you’ve basically said that you don’t understand the cloth nappies and you don’t understand the cloth wipes, so what exactly is the point you’re trying to get to?!” Well, something changed a couple of months ago: it was after going through about 4 packs of disposable baby wipes in the space of a week. “This is ridiculous,” Mrs Lighty thought, “I am spending an absolute fortune on wipes since we started weaning!”. And that’s when I realised that I needed to just bite the bullet, get out the Cheeky Wipes that I bought months ago, and actually read the instructions. Genius! And dya know what?! They actually aren’t that difficult or that scary. They’re basically a bit like flannels that you soak in a lovely-smelling solution, and as we’re currently only using them for weaning, I chuck them in with our everyday washing every few days. Both Mr and Mrs Lighty have come to love them, and we’re saving a fair bit of money on baby wipes, that’s for sure.
And the Cheeky Wipes have also inspired me to start using my cloth nappies a bit more too; having spoken to Mr Lighty about them, we’re both on the same page that we can’t see ourselves using them when we’re out and about, but they are good for when we’re indoors, particularly now that Baby Lighty can go slightly longer stretches in a nappy before it needs changing. We’ve been using them in the house for a few weeks now, and I’m starting to find that my heart is now following my head…we’ve had no leaks, they don’t seem as bulky now that Baby Lighty himself has bulked up a bit, and I figured that if I get the fit or folding wrong, it’s not the end of the world; I’ve given myself permission to try them and make mistakes and see what works for us and what doesn’t. Possibly a life lesson, or at least a lesson about this whole motherhood thing.
My heart has followed my head so much that I’m now thinking of buying another fresh wipes box so that we can keep one upstairs for bum changes, and I’ve been using my Bambino Mio reusable swim nappies in the paddling pool too (also bought in the Aldi Baby Event!). So even though we’re probably never going to be a fully cloth family, I quite like the mix and match approach we’ve got going on. Bit like our parenting style, really. We’re doing a little bit for the environment and for our wallet, and that feels pretty good – and just right for the Lightys.
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