Let's talk MCN: Sharing Cloth
When starting out with cloth, often you’ve got one child, and their germs are theirs right? But what happens when you have a second, or even third child while your eldest is still in nappies?
With a good wash routine, shared use among children who live in your household is perfectly safe. This is due to the same exposure of germs that live in and around your house and bodies. The only issue is finding time to sit down and work out who gets what print that use cycle!
As long as each child is subjectively healthy, there’s no reason for laundry sanitisers or added bleach to your main washes. But when there’s an illness in one of your children, what do you do? Vaccinations are a big question mark for new cloth users, especially when the Oral Rotavirus Vaccine is given. Do you need to sanitise? Use disposables for a fortnight afterwards? Segregate stashes and wash separately? Luckily, the current advice for ORV is to simply maintain healthy hand hygiene.
But what about fungal rashes? Surely those can be spread between children. And they can. While you’re maintaining a shared stash between siblings, ALL fabrics used on or around the affected fungal area need to be sanitised EVERY main wash to ensure that the rash is contained to a single child. This includes wipes, inserts, shells/covers, towels used for drying hands, and change mats. Sanitisation must happen every main wash until the fungal rash is clear to prevent recontamination or infection of an unaffected child. This same technique is also used for gastro management.
A diluted chlorine bleach sanitise after your main wash is the best way to ensure that this happens. Laundry sanitisers readily available on the market contain chemicals that exist in the environment for a far longer time than the chemicals that make up chlorine bleach. Pair this with the high cost per litre, using these specific branded sanitisers just isn’t sustainable for both your pocket and the environment.
Shared cloth is something that’s normalised across families, and to me it makes sense to have 40 nappies per sibling set, rather than 24 nappies each. But let’s be real, who stops at the recommended number?
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