As Other Mothers Do – Andreia Rodrigues

Every week, I share on my Instagram account @asdicasdafafa.ecomommy the experience of a different mother with cloth nappies. After all, we are all different and with this series I intend to show that cloth is simple and that there isn’t just ONE way of using them, rather the one that works best for you and your family.

Andreia Rodrigues is a familiar face for the Portuguese –a tv presenter who looks very much like the girl next door and it’s hard not to warm up to her immediately. She sometimes shares sustainable tips on her Instagram @andreiarodriguesoficial and one of the ways she found to reduce her and her daughter’s carbon footprint was through cloth nappies. She was the first mum I helped out “for real” through private consultancy, of sorts. I loved it! Seriously, any excuse to look at other people’s stashes. Her answers are honest and paint a true picture of her experience with cloth. Shall we find out?

1. How did you first learn about cloth nappies?
I was pregnant and was first told about them at the Centro Pré e Pós Parto clinic, where I did my birth preparation classes. I knew they existed, I think I saw a picture of one on a Facebook post or something, but I didn’t look into it, not really. Yet, all of a sudden everything changed. And cloth nappies started to make sense to me.

2. Did you use cloth since NB? If not, why?
I tried, but Alice was a small baby and I didn’t really get the hang of it at first – I had leaks. Then, I bought some smaller ones and a while after she was born, I started using them. However, other setbacks led me to leave them in their drawer (again) unused. Except I never gave up: for Alice, for the planet and for the investment I’d already made! And once again, the Centro Pré e Pós Parto clinic came to my rescue and spoke to me about you (Fafá) as someone who could help me get back into using cloth. And so it was. The initial enthusiasm returned and it’s been a fantastic experience. Any setbacks are simply that, they are no longer a problem!

3. What are your favourite types of nappy and why?
I love pocket nappies and I like the idea of my baby’s bum being dry. In fact, I use several types; pockets, fitteds, all in ones and all in twos. I use them according to what makes sense at the time! I use fitted nappies at night with PUL pul-up shorts. During the day, it depends on whether we’re home, if we’ll be out and about, if I can change her nappy or not in a given amount of time. I like to pair all in twos, which I use quite a lot, with a stay dry reusable liner – I love the combo! For a complete rundown of the various cloth nappy types, click here.

4. What is your wash routine?
I do a first cold wash without any detergent and I then wash them at 60º with detergent. Every couple of weeks I add a nappy disinfectant and add an extra rinse. I don’t wash the covers daily.

5. What is for you the greatest advantage of using cloth?
Protecting our baby’s skin and as such, ensuring better quality of life and less problems and less chemicals to solve those problems! The environmental matter is very important, a baby’s carbon footprint is huge and it makes no sense to me to bring a baby into this world that will be a burden. So I try to offset the negative impact as much as I can. Then we have the savings… if we talk about a second child in cloth, the impact on the environment and our wallets is even less!!!

6. What is the greatest disadvantage/challenge?
The initial investment may not be easy for some. My suggestion is to build up your stash while pregnant and ask for cloth nappies as gifts instead of the usual clothes and toys that very often go unused. Leaks can also be a challenge, but believe me, it’s possible to not have them, or at least have very few.

7. What was your partner’s attitude?
He was always very open to the idea and we’re in tune as to the reasons for using cloth nappies. I’ll admit I couldn’t really understand otherwise. It seems obvious to me!