Let's Talk MCN: Modern Cloth Nappies in Summer
As we move into the summer months, using modern cloth nappies (MCN) gets whole lot easier. But sometimes things happen that you need to fix or tweak, and our Cloth Nappies in Summer blog makes navigating these as easy as relaxing in a summers breeze!
Summer washing tips for your cloth nappies: When the ground and pipes that carry the water to our houses heat up due to frequent sunlight, naturally so does the water inside them. For our front loader friends, this means that any laundry boosters or powders you put in your detergent drawer dissolve a lot quicker and leave fewer (if any) clumps behind. Top loader users will see that their wash temperatures may increase a little, as the cold water coming into the machine will be warmer. If you've been bucketing in hot water to maintain wash temperatures, you may be able to forgo doing this on hotter and sunnier days.
If over winter you've been prewashing cloth nappies every second day, or overnight, you may need to switch this to first thing in the morning. As the ambient temperature of your laundry rises, so do any unwanted smells. If you're noticing a stinky pail from a humid laundry, you might need to increase airflow to both your pail and the room. Do this by hanging nappy inserts around the top rim of your dry pail, utilise a coated wire basket to ensure you're providing maximal air flow to all layers, open any windows or doors you can, and rinse faecal matter as soon as you're able. You shouldn't be smelling anything like hair dye though, and if you are you might need a wash routine review. You can find our Cloth Nappy Besties facebook group here.
Another bonus to daily morning prewashing is house flies and other bugs aren't attracted to your dry pail. As we all know, the closer we are to summer, the more the fly population grows. There would be nothing worse than opening a nappy and discovering maggots! If this were to happen, back to back 60c hot washes and a sanitise of everything in the dry pail will be enough to remove any bacteria.
Now for the positives! modern cloth nappies (MCN) are an entire summers day outfit. Pants? Who needs them when your stash of cloth nappies is that cute! Pair with sandals and a shirt if needed and you've got an entire days worth of mess free minimal washing. If your child is obsessed with their genitals and decides they want to initiate nappy free time, thin snap-crotch singlets are your best friend. They're light weight but cover the nappy enough to prevent any unwanted removal.
The hot and dry air that summer brings (sorry tropics residents, wet season starts now) is absolutely perfect for drying your nappy inserts. Hang them around almost anywhere and they'll be dry quicker than you'll know. This will enable you to reduce the amount you use your dryer, and save you money on your power bill. You'll also be able to put away any extra nappy inserts you've accumulated over winter. Just be mindful of where you're drying your polyurethane layer (PUL) nappy covers, as high UV exposure can fade the print, and prematurely degrade the PUL. This level of degradation will make it more prone to tears and cracks. If you need to dry your nappy covers/shells in the sun, avoid the hottest periods of the day, aiming for earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. Ultimately where you dry your cloth nappies is up to you, but many companies may void warranty on UV damaged products.
When the nice weather comes out of hiding, a lot of us decide it's time to go swimming. Snap and wipe function nappy shells/covers also double as a reusable swim nappy, just place on without inserts and you're good to go.
You'll also find you're getting more OTB shots too, as your babe isn't wearing pants there's more opportunity for cute photos!
No matter what the season, as always we are so proud that you're taking the dive into cloth nappies!
Find more out the washing cloth nappies in our article: Cleaning Cloth Nappies - Wash Basics
written by Morgan of @morganaveril.mcn