Frequently Asked Questions
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What kind of nappies do you make?
The Green Nappy is a two-piece style of fitted nappy, with removable absorbent soakers. Green Nappies are the ideal cloth nappy choice for parents who want an effective, convenient cloth nappy system for full-time use.
What is a soaker?
Our soakers are one-sized absorbent pads featuring soft layers of hemp/organic cotton or bamboo and a layer of stay-dry microfleece which goes next to your baby's skin. They are designed to open out in the wash for a thorough clean and quick drying. Our soakers can be used with any sized Green Nappy cover, so you only need to purchase one set (20 recommended for full-time use). Our hemp soakers are a natural colour and the bamboo soakers are white. When fully washed-in (after at least 30 washes) our bamboo and hemp soakers will both hold over 200ml each.
How many nappies will we need?
A newborn baby will need changing 8 to 12 times a day, regardless whether they wear cloth or disposable nappies. Older babies are changed less often. We recommend 20 soakers and 8 covers for full time use, washing every second day.
What size do we need?
The Green Nappy Company's nappy covers come in three sizes, Newborn, Infant and Toddler. Our nappies are designed to fit from 3.5kg (average birthweight), although they have been used for smaller babies. Sizing depends mainly on the waist measurement and the chubbiness of the thighs. The ages below are given as a guide only. The waist measurements are the best guide for sizing. Some slim children can stay in the Infant size until they are toilet-trained. We now also offer a snaps version in the largest size. Please refer to our detailed information about sizing here.
|Nappy Size||Weight (kg)||Waist (cm)||Rise (cm)||Approx Age|
|Toddler||10+||36-65||48||Over 12 months|
How much does the The Green Nappy Company's cloth nappy system cost overall?
Our nappies are available in convenient packages with enough nappies for most babies. From birth to toilet trained, we recommend one set of 20 soakers and 2 boosters, and three sets of nappy covers (8 in each size, Newborn, Infant and Toddler). The total current cost is $669 ($349 for starter pack, $160 for infant covers pack, $160 for toddler covers pack). The Green Nappy Company offers an economical choice with the luxury of a sized, trim-fitting design. Compared with disposables ($3000-$4000 per child) you will save thousands!
How much work is involved?
Nappy changing routines are the same as with disposables, simply place soiled nappies in a bucket rather than the bin. On alternate days the bucket is emptied into the washing machine and hung out to dry. This process takes 5-10 minutes and that's only on alternate days!
Our dry bucket technique saves your back from lifting heavy pails. Fewer pieces to each nappy means less pegging each time you wash!
How much mess is involved?
Our nappies are kept in a dry bucket and do not need soaking. A dry bucket of nappies is no smellier than a bin of soiled disposables and there is no "nappy soup" to spill.
When you are out and about, simply place your soiled nappies in a waterproof bag as you would with a disposable, and add it to your bucket when you get home.
Can we use this nappy system for twins or a toddler and a newborn?
Yes, our cloth nappy system is ideal for families with several babies or children in nappies. Not only will you save thousands of dollars, you will also save water, power and time. Most other cloth nappy systems produce a full load of washing second-daily per child, however, our nappies are not bulky at all and two full sets could easily fit in most domestic washing machines. This means that even with two babies in cloth nappies, you only need to do one wash second-daily. You can use the same set of soakers for both children, simply use the appropriate sized cover.
Why do the nappies have synthetic components?
Our nappies use a high-tech PUL (polyurethane laminate) fabric and 100% polyester microfleece for the cover. This is lightweight,cool and breathable. Another inner layer of non-absorbent microfleece ensures that no wetness spreads around the baby's abdomen or thighs, which is a problem of nappies composed wholly of hemp or cotton fabrics. Alternatives are to use no cover and change your baby's clothes every times they are wet or to use wool covers, which are waterproof and more environmentally friendly but we have found them to be too hot for Australian summers.
The total amount of PUL and microfleece used for ten covers has an environmental impact similar to that of an adult's rain jacket, but will probably be reused many more times!
The main component of our nappies is 55% hemp/45% organic cotton or 100% organic bamboo fabrics. This forms 80% of the weight of a full set of Green Nappies. Hemp, organic cotton and bamboo are all environmentally-friendly sustainable crops grown without pesticides.
What is the difference between hemp and bamboo fabrics?
Hemp or bamboo is used for the absorbent part of our nappies. They have similar absorbencies and thickness. Hemp is well-established as a durable fibre that will stand up to years of use. Bamboo fibre is relatively new in the textile field, and so it is not known how hardy it is. Bamboo tends to have a longer drying time, 2-3 times longer than hemp. For example, hemp will dry in 6 hours in full sun, whereas bamboo tends to take a whole day or more. Some people prefer the feel of bamboo, which is a little softer than hemp. For more comparative information about Bamboo and hemp, click here.
What if I change my mind?
Due to hygiene reasons, we cannot accept used nappies. However, in the unlikely event that your nappies are found to be defective in any way, we will replace them. Please view our policies on the top menu.
Help! I'm still confused about modern cloth nappies!
Understanding Cloth Nappies
Congratulations on making the decision to opt for a more sustainable nappy method! Having made the decision, you may feel confused by all the products available. Here I will attempt to explain the various types of nappy, including the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Cotton Terry Towels (“flats”)
These are the kind of nappies our mothers used when we were babies. They required pins, soaking in bleaching solutions, and using lots of chemicals to wash them adequately. Cotton fibres tend to hold smells and stains easily. Cotton flats are commonly used with PVC over-pants (pilchers) which are not breathable and can cause overheating. In addition, the manufacture of PVC releases harmful dioxins into the environment.
A prefold is a piece of absorbent fabric (usually cotton) which is sewn in layers, with various thicknesses throughout. For example, more layers in the middle. Prefolds are folded like cotton flats, but the extra layers add absorbency. Like flats, prefolds require an additional waterproof cover.
A fitted nappy is made from several layers of an absorbent fabric sewn together and shaped like a disposable nappy. This type of cloth nappy is easy to use, but requires a waterproof cover as fluid will seep through.
Nappy covers are waterproof covers used over the top of the absorbent part, which may be a terry flat, a prefold or a fitted nappy. Nappy covers come in various styles and materials. The Green Nappy covers are stretchy, meaning that they can be perfectly adjusted to a baby’s waist. They are made from a waterproof breathable fabric. This means that if the nappy is saturated, some wetness can leak out of the cover. Of course, the nappy should always be changed before this happens! We do not recommend the PVC nappy covers that are widely available, as they can cause overheating and hold in wetness contributing to nappy rash.
An all-in-one is a type of nappy incorporating an absorbent part and a waterproof cover. We used to make an all-in-one but it has now been discontinued as the two-piece Green Nappy design is far more economical in practice. All-in-ones are convenient to use but tend to have a slow drying time.
A pocket nappy consists of an outer shell into which absorbent fabric is “stuffed”. The outer shell is usually made from PUL and the inner part of the shell from a stay-dry fabric. The advantages of pocket nappies is that they are quick drying, trim fitting and the absorbency can be varied according to need. The main disadvantage is that the whole nappy (shell and insert) must be washed after every use, meaning more washing and more nappies to buy.
So how does The Green Nappy Company fit into all of this?
We don’t! Our nappies are a unique Australian design. We are not aware of any other nappy like this. Before The Green Nappy, my preferred design was the pocket nappy, as a quick drying time, stay-dry lining and trim fit were important features to me. Our nappies were designed with these features in mind and have all the features of pocket nappies, without the fiddly stuffing or messy un-stuffing!
Other Common Cloth Nappy Terms
Booster – extra optional absorbent layer. Note that The Green Nappy Company's boosters do not need to be snapped on, unlike many others.
PUL – polyurethane laminate. The usual fabric for cloth nappy covers. Ours is made from 100% polyester with a thin layer of polyurethane on one side. It is waterproof but breathable.
Microfleece – similar to polar fleece but thinner. Microfleece is porous but non-absorbent. We use it for the stay-dry lining of our soakers as it allows fluid to pass through while staying dry.
One-size-fits-all – great if you don't mind a huge bulky nappy on your newborn and don’t intend to dress your baby in conventional clothes! Can also be a problem with larger toddlers growing out of the large setting. With The Green Nappy Company you can have a sized nappy without spending more! Our toddler size is far more generous than one-size-fits-all on the largest setting.
Snaps or Hook and Loop – snaps are like press-studs or poppers. They are less bulky than hook and loop but they leave less versatility for the tightness of the nappy. With hook and loop (commonly known as Velcro), the nappy can be adjusted perfectly for any sized waist. Hook and loop is easier to use during middle-of-the-night changes and on wriggly babies. Some toddlers learn how to open their own nappy, which is harder with snaps than hook and loop. This can be overcome by wearing the nappy back-to-front at times when the baby can access the tabs if they are not wearing clothes over the top.
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