Kekoa recommends washing your brand new nappy(ies) on their own in a warm hand wash before wearing. This helps remove any manufacturing residues such as sewing machine oils, additional wing dye, pattern marks etc. We then recommend a 40-60 degree Celsius wash with mainstream detergent before adding to the rest of your nappies.
Due to the nature of our wing fabric, occasionally additional dye can remain so by hand washing until the water runs clear this helps ensure colourfastness.
Your inserts also do not need to be soaked. Just pop through the wash as usual and if possible drier. They will gain more absorbency the more washes they have as fibre rough up against each other.
There is no fixed number as such as it will depend on how many nappies your baby uses and how often you wash. BUT as a rough guide usually 12-15 for part-time use and 24-30 for full time use is a great starting place. Once you find your grove you'll know whether you need more or less.
We also created a handy guide showing how often you main wash your nappies vs how old your baby is. Given New Zealand is a damp climate, the estimate takes into consideration two more days worth of nappies at each stage to allow for washing and drying days (you need nappies to wear whilst the first lot are drying). The numbers can seem a bit scary so you can start with less shells and get more inserts (shells dry quickly) or adjust once you know how long your wash is taking.
To see our handy guide check out "How many do I need?" in our journal!
Cost of reusables?
Yes! Our premium newborn and one-size nappies are some of the trimmest on the market without compromising on longevity. It was important to us that our nappies lasted the majority of babies into toilet training.
Our core range are designed to be slimmer through the crotch but are not considered a trim nappy due to nappy cut and insert material.
Our newborn nappies are designed to fit from birth (as low as 2kg) until approximately 4months (7kg). It will depend on the shape and chunkiness of your baby. These are a small and trim nappy with no bulk between the legs and additional external leg gussets for containment.
Our one-size nappies are designed to fit from approximately 3kg to 18kg (premium) and 3.5kg-17kg (core).
Like all one-size options the smallest and largest settings often don't fit as well as a sized option, but for the majority of babies these are an amazing cost effective option that just takes a few tweaks at both ends of the spectrum to get right.
It's a personal choice what you choose to start with. Our newborn nappy inserts are compatible and designed to work with our premium one-size nappies as boosters. The system was designed to avoid minimal use products.
The short answer is...no.
Reusable cloth nappies work out much cheaper than disposables even when you factor in washing costs and detergent! A full-time stash is cheaper than the cheapest disposables on the market and you can bring the cost down even more by buying only what you need. They also have a resale value so once you're finished or a style you try doesn't suit, you can on sell easily. You definitely can't say that about disposables!
Here is a great comparison chart "Cost of Nappies" to give you an idea of what's available in New Zealand.
Likewise our journal article of "How many nappies end up in Landfill" might also be of interest.
A generation or two ago it was common practice to have bucket filled with bleach cleaners that dirty nappies were thrown in to soak before washing.
After many hours of testing and measuring, the protocol has changed. Nappies are now removed, soiling is loosely cleaned off (once on solid food), and everything is kept open, as dry as possible, and airing out.
Dry pails are baskets with lots of holes to allow air to circulate. They can be plastic or metal and we encourage using plastic ones to prevent rust marks due to degradation of cheaper metal baskets.
Leaks can be caused by multiple different things. Below are a few hints that might help, otherwise feel free to email us or pop onto Facebook/Instagram with some photos so we can help.
First, check that clothing hasn't gotten caught up in the underwear line. This is a common cause as bodysuits are great at wicking.
Second, check the fit of the nappy. There should be no gaps around the legs with the elastics snuggly hugging, but not too tight. Often the waist is done up too tight, and legs are too loose (not enough rise snaps done up). Have a play around with fit, we expect sock marks but not deep red marks that last beyond 1 hour when the nappy is removed.
Thirdly, what inserts are you using? Microfiber can compress like a wet sponge when fully soaked. Microfiber wicks pee away quickly and is often paired with a bamboo insert behind which holds the extra fluid. However, if both are fully soaked front to back, this indicates baby is likely to need to use more natural fibres. You can either swap out your microfiber for a bamboo booster (premium or core), or purchase additional bamboo inserts (premium / core small or standard size). We also have hemp cotton inserts which work with both the premium and core range nappies. You can read about how and when to boost your nappies here.
Fourthly, are inserts soaking wet? If they are soaked within 1-2 hours you will likely need more absorbency or different absorbency i.e. only natural fibres, no microfibre or charcoal bamboo. Once fully soaked you will find pee likes to leak out of the sides of the nappy through places like stitching lines making the outside of the nappy shell wet (leg elastic seam, stitched in logos etc).
If inserts aren't soaking wet then it could be baby is flooding i.e. holding onto their pee and letting a lot more out quickly in one go. Flooding takes some playing around as they may need bamboo terry on top (to absorb quickly) and bamboo cotton/hemp cotton underneath to hold the excess. Most babies go through flooding stages and they usually don't last too long, so don't be discouraged.
Lastly, how old are your nappies? The older your nappy the more likely it has some damage to the PUL or laminate water-resistant lining. If there is no damage but leg elastics have broken (gone) then this means you cannot get a good enough leg seal and so leaking occurs. Nappies are designed to last approximately 300 washes (roughly 3 years, main washing every three days) and anything beyond this is a bonus!
PREMIUM VERSUS CORE RANGES
Kekoa’s vision from the start has been quality, both in fabrics and workmanship, ethics, and a lesser footprint. We believe in innovation and progression, not just releasing our prints in the same widely available standard offerings.
Our premium range has been designed with eco-luxury and innovation in mind, whilst being more sustainable. Made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles destined for oceans and landfill, this fabric uses 75% less water and 90% less energy versus virgin or new polyester.
They contain bilayer technology, which ensure that even the trimmest nappy can function easily as pocket. We might even go so far as to say the easiest pocket nappy to stuff, wash after wash.
The nappies are trimmer (narrower in the crotch), less bulky, slightly shorter, all without compromising on fit or sizing.
The tummy panel has one additional set of snaps so on it's largest size no snaps dig in. We have also added an additional rise snap within the standard one-size range to allow for micro adjustments.
Our core range is just that, a slightly above basic nappy that offers important features to keep your nappy fitting well and baby dry.
Core nappies feature a PUL tummy panel to prevent leaking out the top; flexible wings to give your baby greater freedom to move and are easier to fit; athletic wicking jersey (mesh) lining to keep baby cooler and make clean up a breeze; and natural fibre inserts (80% viscose from bamboo, 20% polyester for fabric stability) in a range of sizes to suit from newborn to toilet training.
They are an entry-middle of the range nappy designed to suit most budgets whilst providing easy to fit features.
CHANGES TO THE RANGE
As part of our commitment to reducing plastic waste we have opted to no longer offer microfibre inserts as a common option. We may look to bring a small number back for people to purchase separately if they are in demand.
Each core nappy will now come with your choice of either a small insert or a standard size insert (or both) and they can be paired together as baby grows for 12 layers of absorbency where you need it.
Like all polyester based fabrics, they shed microplastics when washed. Our shells need to be made of polyester with a laminate to keep them waterproof but we can do better by offering natural fibre inserts.
Not only do our bamboo inserts absorb more, they are less prone to compression leaks - very common with babies!
We have also increased the end size of our bamboo terry inserts so you get more absorbency where it matters!
Yes! Through customer feedback we upgraded our hourglass bamboo terry inserts to provide more stability to the seams and more absorbency.
They are both 6-layer bamboo terry but the newer inserts feature wider front and back for increased absorbency and double seam stitching.
We had a wrong order come through which included double gussets. Whilst some love these, we personally found these nappies can be easily over stuffed. When this happens, the internal elastics push the external leg elastic away from baby's leg and leaks happen.
So whilst there are many brands with them, we feel a great fitting single elastic is all that is needed for containment.
Each individual core nappy listing states if they contain double gussets. If you can't see this on the listing, they are back to our original single.