As Other Mothers Do – Luísa Barbosa

Sharing other mums’ experience on this “as other mothers do” series has gone a long way towards breaking down myths around cloth nappies. By sharing a different experience every week, it’s possible to show that there is no one single way of using cloth, rather the way that best fits your routine and life.
The mum on here this week is a familiar face (and voice) for the Portuguese – Luísa Barbosa is a TV and radio presenter. Shall we get to meet her? Replies written in full.

1.How did you first learn about cloth nappies?

We found out about cloth nappies during our course to prepare us for childbirth at the Centro Pré e Pós Parto clinic. I then researched a lot on pinterest, the internet and went over to the store Ecological Kids, where they explained everything to us and where we bought a cloth nappy pack.

2.Did you use cloth since NB? If not, why?

Yes, we did. We only didn’t use cloth during Aura’s first 5 days, until her umbilical cord stump fell, as it caused us some confusion and we didn’t want to hurt her. We used disposables, as we could fold them at the front and avoid touching her.

3. What are your favourite types of nappy and why?

We prefer All in Two’s, where we can separate the inserts from the shells, as they are more versatile and we can tumble dry the inserts (the shells dry so much faster and cannot be tumble dried). Plus, we can adapt each nappy’s absorbency depending on the inserts used, which can change. View here a summary of the various cloth nappy types.

4. What is your wash routine?

At this time we wash every other day, We run a short, cold cycle to remove and residue and then we run a longer cycle at 30/40 degrees with a cloth specific detergent.

5. What is for you the greatest advantage of using cloth?

All of them! I realize it may seem complicated to set up a routine for washing and stuffing the nappies but once you do it, it’s all about the advantages: we save money, we never have to rush out to find nappies as we always have some at home. We’ve never had one of those “poonami” situations (although I understand that it’s about how you fit the nappy rather than the type of nappy). We feel more comfortable using these nappies on our baby. We hated using disposables when we were forced to – being in a hotel and without washing facilities. We felt we were putting a plastic bag on her bum. And, of course, the environmental issue is something we bear in mind. I’d rather wash and put out to dry nappies than throw away 10 disposables a day, knowing that there is no method for composting or recycling them.

6. What is the greatest disadvantage/challenge?

Above all, we need to understand there is a learning curve, especially because there isn’t a lot of information available in Portugal. We need to figure out which detergents to use, what care we must take t make sure the nappies work well, namely when it comes to washing and drying them, how we will incorporate their routine in our daily life… It can all seem very complicated when we bring a newborn home. But it actually isn’t! It becomes a habit and part of our daily chores.

7. What was your partner’s attitude?

Francisco loves it and always says it was the best decision we made when it came to the baby’s stuff. He recommends it to all his friends and he’s always taken care of the nappies. In fact, the first time he used the washing machine was to wash the nappies, which goes to show how easy it really is!.