modern cloth nappy mum and son
Living with cloth

#42: Finding friends

This week we introduce you to Rebecca. Rebecca has spent much time washing and stuffing nappies, as she is currently using cloth on her third child – one-year-old Soren. She is a mum who knows the worth of seeking support from and sharing advice with friends and family, and extols friendships as the most valuable by-product of using cloth. If you find great joy in colour coordinating and photographing your nappies, then you’re going to enjoy Rebecca’s take on life.

Welcome, Rebecca @smitten.with.the.smiths

Tell us a little about yourself, your family and where you live.

I am a mum of 3 – Allison is 6, Penny is 4 and Soren is nearly 2. We live in Sunny Brisbane.

Can you describe what brings you the most happiness in life and why?

My children bring me the most happiness. I also love sewing and seeing others wear my creations.

What’s something you wish you had more time for?

Sewing.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

Anywhere with cocktails.

How do you like to relax and unwind?

Chilling out after the kids go to bed with some chocolate!

Can you tell us about your motherhood journey?

I have had 3 different journeys. My first was a very difficult baby – severe reflux, failure to thrive and then genetic disorder diagnosis. I find it most rewarding when I see my children smash goals/milestones.

Which moments of motherhood make your heart the happiest?

Seeing the love my children have for each other.

If you could go back before being a mother, what would you tell yourself?

Trust yourself. Mother instincts don’t lie. Cut out the judgemental mothers.

What do you find to be the best and worst parts of your children growing up?

Sending them off to school and trusting them to someone else.

Which of your own traits do you see in your children?

I have noticed my eldest is very particular as I can be. My second is what I was like as a child – loud and crazy.

How do you handle the more stressful parts of motherhood?

Seeking support from friends and family.

No one and no family is perfect. What is your advice to families concerned about the growing environmental crisis?

If everyone does a little, it will help a lot.

Where are some of your favourite spots to take your family in the neighbourhood?

To the waterfront.

Describe a typical weekend for you and your family.

Swimming lessons, shopping, park fun.

Can you explain what made you want to start using cloth with your children?

I started my cloth journey when I was pregnant with my first. My mum used cloth with me and I was determined to do the same for my children. My mum helped me research MCN (modern cloth nappies) as it was different back in her day, and we did a lot of looking around choosing some brands. We looked into secondhand cloth too.

I have always been a full-time cloth user (using both cloth and disposable overnight at times). I wash every day and it is just part of our daily life.

Describe what you love most about cloth?

I love the friendships I have made from my cloth journey – friends that have the same sort of parenting ideas/philosophies as me.

What has been your biggest challenge as a cloth family and how have you overcome it?

We haven’t really had any challenges. I did need to educate childcare on cloth but that wasn’t too hard.

Looking back at your cloth journey so far, of what are you most proud?

Helping other parents be eco-friendly. I have lent out nappies to those in need, especially newborn size.

What do you consider to be the key to success with cloth?

Be determined, do your research, make friends with people also using cloth.

What’s the one piece of advice you would pass on to all cloth families/ mothers?

Shop around. Don’t buy just one brand before trying a few.

What has the response to using cloth been like from your family and friends?

Family are supportive and some friends turn up their nose but their opinions don’t matter to me. My sister has her eye on my cloth stash, working out which ones she wants to pinch.

What is the most uninformed comment you’ve received from someone not supporting reusable nappies, and how did you respond?

That it is disgusting rinsing out poo nappies. I responded by saying that my nappies never leak so I never have to rinse out poo clothing.

How would you describe to non-cloth families the benefits of reusable nappies?

The sheer amount of nappies that go into landfill is mind blowing. Even having just a handful of cloth nappies will make a difference.

How do you believe you are contributing to bettering the environment by using cloth nappies?

They aren’t ending up in landfill. I have used secondhand nappies and I pass my nappies along when I am done.

It’s commonly shared that using cloth wastes so much water. How would you respond to this statement?

It actually uses far more water to create disposable nappies than we use to care for cloth nappies.

One of the first questions non-cloth users often ask is ‘What do you do with the poo.’ How would you respond to this question?

Rinse out in the laundry sink and throw it in the washing machine.

What style of nappy do you use & why do you like it?

I use OSFM. I have used sized nappies in the past. My fave brand is Bottoms Up Junior. They started the tummy elastic and it makes for an easy fit every time.

What are your rituals for/ is your favourite way to stuff nappies?

I stuff on the weekends. I like to then colour coordinate them and take stash shots.

How do you stay on top of the washing with cloth?

I wash every day with the children’s clothes.

How do you approach dressing with cloth?

No changes to dressing has been needed.

How would you describe to a grandparent how to fit cloth?

Make sure there are not gaps around the thighs.

Can you share any toilet training tips for parents approaching that stage?

Just because they are showing signs doesn’t mean they are ready to fully train.

Quick questions

Number of bums in cloth. Right now, just one. However all 3 of my children have used cloth.

Time in cloth. 5.5 years.

Number of nappies. 30+

Full or part time. Full time.

Nappy style. OSFM.

Stuff or snap. Stuff.

Pre-stuff or lay as you go. Pre stuff.

Line or tumble dry. Both (I never tumble my PUL, only inserts).

Favourite cloth related product. Reusable breast pads.

Describe your journey with cloth in one word. My Tribe!

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