Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

We have been using square (or rectangle, if you get the crap brand that doesn’t realise nappies need to be freaking SQUARE) terry cloth nappies since Devin was born. Our decision was based almost entirely on our financial situation – buying disposables each week was next to impossible on our budget, and there was no way we would afford the huge initial outlay for those lovely fitted cloth nappies ($700+ for a workable system!) I was pretty happy with this, though. I felt good that we weren’t going to create mounds of excess waste with the disposables, and I was pretty confident about managing the washing, especially with my mother on call to guide me.

When Devin made his great escape, though, and I saw this huge nappy almost swallowing my tiny 3kg baby, I had doubts. It was so thick, his poor little legs never touched the bed. Surely that must be uncomfortable for him, I thought.
He’ll grow into it, I countered. He’s just a skinny baby. And short. And all the babies before disposables survived in terry squares.

See how the bottom is filled out, but the rest is loose, and we had to roll up the sleeves?

For three or four months, the double-folded triangle was what we used. It still limited his legs, but I figured that once he grew and we’d need a different fold, he’d have more freedom.

Where are his legs? It's all nappy!
Legs! He has legs!

Well, he grew and we needed a different fold. A single-folded triangle was not absorbent enough, so we used a fold suitable for boys, with all the thickness in the front middle. Yet again, his bottom half was overrun by nappy.

Look at that thing, barely contained by his singlet suit.

Not to mention, through all of this, that baby clothes are not made for these huge nappies. It was and still is a struggle to find fitting clothes, especially onesies. Overall, he was tiny. He was in 0000s at birth, and eventually grew to 000s. But that was his top half. The bottom half of things were stretched to the limit over his nappy. And it drove me nuts. It drives me nuts.
He still wears 000 t-shirts at 6 months, but now size 00 bottoms and onesies are barely making it over the nappy. Snap buttons are popping open like little gunshots. This, you can imagine, makes it very difficult to buy one-piece outfits.

So we don't buy one-piece suits, we buy shirts and pants. Donut pants.

And, now that he’s becoming more active, the terry squares are even more limiting. He can’t roll over when he’s wearing a nappy, though he wants to. He can’t use his legs to push when he’s on his belly, though he wants to. It’s frustrating to watch, and I’m sure frustrating for him.
I just don’t understand how babies got/get around in these things. I’ve tried many folds, and the only way to make it less constricting is to severely compromise absorbency. Which is no good, since we already have to change nappies very often.

'Stuck. In a mis-matched outfit. On Mum's floral quilt. With an owl on my bum.'

All this is starting to make us reconsider. Now that we’re a little better off than we were six months ago, and after reading several things that suggest all the water and cleaning products involved in washing nappies may be on par with the waste created by disposables, we’re just not sure.

It has nothing to do with the effort involved in washing the nappies. Sometimes it’s gross, but honestly, it’s like ten minutes at the most out of your day. I don’t get the big deal about ‘not having time’. (I’ll concede, though, that that is very easy for me to say, since I don’t have anywhere to be, ever.)
It has nothing to do with how every nappy change takes slightly longer with cloth.
And I could live with the clothes fitting issue (though I’d still grumble about it).
It’s just the fact that we hate seeing him so constrained by his nappy, of all things.

Perhaps it is, overall, just a small concern.
He certainly doesn’t look too worried about it.

Liss

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