Five Things - Montessori, Love and the Child
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My love-hate relationship with cloth nappies

I love them in theory, hate them in practice. Well at least I did. 

It may shock many Montessorians to know that my first son Caspar was raised using disposable nappies. I tried cloth and failed miserably. Looking back now I see that I set myself up for that failure. 

Where I went wrong

  • I tried too early. I tried cloth on Caspar as a newborn. The nappies leaked as they didn't fit properly. Being a first time parent is hard enough. With a newborn there is so much going on, lack of sleep, learning to breastfeed, not necessarily a good time to experiment and add to the laundry pile.
  • I gave up too easily. It wasn't working, I gave up. I really should have been more persistent.
  • I chose the wrong nappies/wrong system. With inserts and covers I didn't choose the system that was best for me. 
  • I honestly couldn't tolerate the mess. 

When Otis was born I knew it was time to try again. We are still part-timers but mostly cloth. 

Where I went right

  • I waited until he was a couple of months old. I waited until he had put on some weight and properly fit the nappies. I waited until I was comfortable and ready for the extra laundry. 
  • I persisted. I haven't put too much pressure on myself, I still use the occasional disposable. It's not all or nothing, cloth and disposables can coexist and not having this pressure has helped me stick with it. 
  • I chose nappies that suited our needs. We have all in one nappies that can go in the dryer (low setting), fit well, have absorbency without bulkiness and most of all work for us. 
  • I can tolerate more mess and I also worked out a good system of rinsing, washing and drying so there is less mess and fewer dirty nappies lying around. 

We use the Imse Vimse All in One Nappy with flushable biodegradable nappy liners. This one is brand new, it's not discoloured as it appears in the photo. The absorbent pads fold out so the nappy dries quicker.  



Two of my favourite blogs Montessori ici and Feeding the Soil recently featured posts on cloth nappies and toileting. Both are well worth a read. 

I do want to add that Caspar didn't have any trouble toilet training. If you are using disposables don't be discouraged. Using disposables doesn't need to be a barrier to toilet training (toilet learning) the Montessori way, you can absolutely still apply the same principles.


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