6 Fabric Friends For Mums

 

Disposable items are prolific in our culture. Throw away packaging, plates, cups, cutlery, nappies, gloves, the list goes on. Sometimes something being easily disposable is of benefit from the perspective of health or convenience. But in everyday life, they do create a lot of waste and for staple items; we are continuously buying them. Reusable cloth versions can, not only, be economical and environmentally friendly, but can also be more comfortable and easier to use. For products that get worn, they can also be more breathable, reducing the chance of rashes or other infections such as thrush.

So here are six cloth versions of some staple items you use as a mum that you may like to consider trying:

 Modern cloth nappies

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When I was pregnant with my first child, I had heard about bamboo cloth nappies that were shaped like disposables, but knew little else on the matter. Eventually after a little research, we got kitted out with some pocket nappies when our bub was 4 months old and after much trial and error, we eventually figured out how to get them to work great for us. Now, I couldn’t go back! Modern Cloth Nappies (MCNs) come in many shapes, sizes and designs, are easy to use and more importantly, easy to get hygienically clean, with no need for bleaching or strong chemicals. Stay tuned, I’ll be posting more about these.

 Cloth training pants

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This is an unsurprising next step from cloth nappies. There is a huge array of cloth training pants around. The cheapest and simplest are essentially undies with a little padding in the crotch area. As you get more sophisticated, features include snaps or ties at the sides for easy removal after poo accidents, a pocket opening so you can customise the absorbency level by adding or removing booster cloths, and a waterproof outer layer of polyurethane laminate (PUL) which is a very thin, breathable layer that gets bonded to a fabric (often polyester). Wash as you would your cloth nappies, or throw them in with your clothes if they haven’t been soiled.

 Cloth menstrual pads

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Yes, these do exist! I’ve not tried them yet. I’ve only had a few periods between bubs, so have had little need for them. But they are on my radar. Often made of the same, easy-care fabrics as MCNs, they are straightforward to wash (soak in plain water, throw in the wash with clothes) and I would bet are more comfortable than their disposable counterparts. They come with a waterproof bottom layer – polyurethane laminate (PUL) is common and is also breathable – so no mess on your underwear.

 Cloth breast pads

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These have to be the easiest cloth thing to get into if you use breast pads. Nothing yucky about breast milk to be grossed out about, and you can throw them in the wash with your clothes. There are many on the market, or you might like to make them yourself. The cheap ones I got work great and are simply a circle of cotton terry overlocked to a circle of smooth cotton. You can double these up or get bamboo ones for greater absorbency. And they are SO much more comfortable than disposable breast pads, especially in the warmer weather when you really notice the difference in breathability.

 Cloth wipes

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These are essentially exactly the same as face washers. Due to skin issues on my hands, this is one I’m about to get into more. If you are using cloth nappies already, cloth wipes are even easier, as you can throw them in the wash with your nappies. For use, all they need is plain water, or a simple homemade wipes solution. But even if you don’t use cloth nappies, or don’t want to use these for nappy changes, I’ve found face washers to be far superior for cleaning up kids’ faces and hands than disposable wipes. They are much less flimsy, seem to catch more of the mess and consequently, you don’t need as many for any given job. I carry a dry one in my handbag, and wet it with mine, or my kid’s, water bottle, and I have also carried around an already wet one in a snap lock bag.

 Hankies

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This may seem like old news to some of you, but to me, who was reared using only tissues to blow my nose, changing to hankies has been an experience I’m slightly raving about! Since becoming a mum, many things that once were gross are now just a fact of life. Snot is one of them. So hankies are not at all gross to me. Again, so easy to wash – just chuck them in the wash with the clothes. They are again, much more durable than tissues so no mess from ripping mid-blow or overflowing, much softer and more comfortable on the nose, and the difference in the amount of tissues we now go through is staggering. I know tissues are cheap, but they do create a lot of waste and hankies are an even cheaper and easy alternative. So I’m sold on them!

If you are wondering why you’ve never heard of some of these things, it may be because you will rarely find them in retail stores. However with a little googling, you will find many online stores that stock them, and many of the brands sell their products directly from their websites as well.

 Have you used any of these cloth things? How have you found them? Are there any other cloth items you would recommend?

Filed Under: BabyFamily LifeHomemakingParenting

About the Author: In yesteryear, I studied and taught music and was involved in youth ministry. Now I am a wife and a home educating mum, with kids aged 6, 4 and 1. I also like to read, knit and sink my vocal chords into chant and polyphony. Through it all, I am striving to battle the busyness to come closer to the Lord. For anything of value I write here, to God be the glory.

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  1. Ellen says:

    I have 7 children, the oldest 16 years and youngest being 8 weeks old. I have used cloth nappies for all of them except the youngest ( she’s still too small for my smallest cloth nappies). I can honestly say that cloth nappies are great to use and not at all difficult. And let’s not forget the financial cost of using disposables.
    Cloth breast pads are superior to disposable ones. So much more comfortable and just as discrete to use. I’ve found that they are so much more gentle on sensitive skin. The same can be said for cloth menstrual pads. It’s not just about the ease of use or comfort factor, let’s not forget how much money we must spend over a lifetime on menstrual items.
    Using these cloth items doesn’t require much more time and effort, and they definitely save you money in the long run. Give them a go, surprise yourself.

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