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I am currently toying with the idea of reusable nappies and would love to hear your views, experiences and recommendations.
The only two things that put me off at the moment is the increase of laundry this means and where to hang the nappies out to dry, and the fact they are bigger than disposable nappies which affects the size clothes.
I am pretty sold on disposables for night-times and days out/trips away, but would that defeat the object of the exercise?
mmmm! decisions decisions...
I would disagree with the cost being much the same.
All mine have been in washables and tbh I've given away a few of the expensive brands because I thought they were crap the ones in regular use are the 3.99 and 4.99 each ones of the birth to potty pocket types and I've had no issues with them (apart from when I've inadvertently used harsh washing powder)
With DD we
- Started her in disposables;
- At around 2mo borrowed the council's trial kit and figured out what to get;
- Started out using disposables when going out, but soon switched to washables for short trips.
This way you can get used to things gradually.
We still use disposables if we're away for more than a day trip (tends to be a holiday) and have spare disposables in the change bag in case she needs more changes than anticipated (because they take up less space).
Do bear in mind the bits & bobs you may want with the nappies too:
Nappy bin(s) (we have 2, but it's not essential)
Wet bag(s) (Waterproof bags for wet/dirty nappy changes when out)
Nappy liners to keep nappy creams off the nappy (we don't need them much)
Washable wipes - if you're washing nappies why not?
Nature Baby have been rebranded to Naty, so if fabric ones fail that's also my recommendation. They're no more expensive than Pampers etc and they are often on special offer.
Hoping I get the use of the fabric ones this time, though. I had no idea Surcare would help his skin so much - we use Napisan when I do a maintenance (empty 95 degree) wash to clean the machine, and like an idiot I got some in the softener drawer without realising. DS had instant red raised rash all over his bum and down his legs before we checked the machine, just like when he was a baby. It's worth using a sensitive skin detergent if you do use washables, I think.
Ones that were okay were Naty nappies. I'm much happier using these than normal disposables but plan on using (at least trying!) my cloth nappies on this baby.
We've used them, and washable wipes, with DS but DD got awful thrush with them. I borrowed different types from friends and washed them in all sorts of ways but nothing helped. She ended up with open wounds on her bum The only
Wait til muconium poo is over and then go for it. We have about 20 which is just over 2 days worth with a variety of boosters and fleece liners. Mother ease wraps and a bucket with 2 mesh liners. 1 zip up wet bag for out and about. We use disposable liners which go down the loo.
Put the nappies in bucket and lid on, no smell escapes. Then the mesh bag goes in the washing machine at the end of the day. We hang the nappies on one of those radiator airers and as we have 2 days worth they're dry by the time it comes round to using them. During the better weather they go out on the line.
Dd sleeps in disposable and we use sposies when away or out for the day when I can't carry much (I babywear usually).
It's saved us a fortune, nursery are fine with them and dd has never had rash.
We've been very happy with them and will be using them with future children
Different brands of nappies fit very differently so I think it is worth waiting until your baby arrives before buying any. My local NC T group had a selection of brands which I borrowed for free for a couple of weeks to see which ones fitted D S best and to see how we got on with cloth before buying anything. He is 28 months and has been in cloth part time since 3 months (disposables overnight, at nursery and when anyone other than D H or I are looking after him). He is very skinny so wearing cloth helps his trousers stay up
I switched to reusables when my DD was 1yr, it's been much easier than I thought, so much so my next baby will be in them from birth.
Pockets and all in ones are quite slim and very easy to use out and about. I only use 2 parters at night and find going up a vest size helps with fit for those. Clothes not a problem with pockets.
The websites recommended by pp are great.
I chuck mine straight in the machine and run a rinse cycle with a few in there and if there's a poo one. I add clothes and wash all together. No need for a bucket then and rinsing stops them smelling. Took me ages to figure it out but it's by far the easiest way.
£5 a week on nappies means you'd have that £200 back in just under a year...
Thank you all for your feedback. There is certainly a lot of food for thought and reading to be done.
My son had crippling eczema with them, and normal disposables. Nature Baby were the only brand that worked out of all of them. But now we realise he's pretty allergic to most detergents, and urine hitting nappies would have made that a lot worse. I'm going to try again with this one using Surcare and no Napisan etc, and see if that fixes it.
I would only buy a few to start with. We bought masses and they were only used for a month. They're not any extra work to speak of, though - ours were microfibre so dried almost at once, and were really soft, and they're velcro. Flushable linings meant most poo went down the loo. It isn't the work I'm worried about, it's the effect on their bottom.
They don't have to cost a fortune. All ours are second hand, from FreeCycle, eBay, local Real Nappy Network swaps, handed down from friends. Plus most councils do a generous voucher scheme.
I'm on my second DC in cloth and have spent around £40 on total on nappies in that time.
I've used reusables on both mine. I use disposables overnight though, it always felt easier for me. I think I do an extra two washes a week, so not masses. It takes ten minutes to stuff them and put them away all ready to use. I use bumgenius. Never had an issue with them and they look cute.
Remember cloth doesn't have to be all or nothing. Even using three a day can save you money in the long run.
Just been racking my brain trying to remember why we stopped using cloth - it was because ds turned into the devil incarnate at changing times around 1yo and we could leave him in sposies for longer and not have to go through the trauma of changing him!
Saved around 2000 nappies from landfill that year though.
We used cloth for ds up until 1yo, and will with the next one due in April. I agree with pp about cost - it's more the environmental benefits which attracted us as we must have spent over £200 on initial outlay.
Washing wasn't an issue - an extra load every two days, and depending on what type you get they dry fairly quickly. Ds is now 2yo and still in cloth at night, little lamb bamboo or totsbots bamboozle stretchy though we're gonna have to go up to size 3 I reckon.
If you use detergent to wash them, they will need stripping every month or so - easy to do, just bung a cheap dishwasher tablet in the machine and rinse rinse rinse we use ecoballs so no detergent.
I recommend fill your pants and funky monkey pants for nappy websites. We started off with some pretty newborn sizes, but quickly realised that the more
boring functional fitteds and wraps were the most reliable system. We used motherease one size shaped nappies with motherease airflow wraps.
Btw, that includes dp in hospital for a week after a stroke. I was staying with my mil for an indefinite period. It was still easier to wash than shop.
The chemicals in disposables are more, not less, likely to cause nappy rash. The main cause of nappy rash is not changing the nappy frequently enough.
Reusables encase the legs and back in elastic causing fewer leaks. I find it more hygienic to wash nappies at on their own wash than to chuck piss and shit covered clothes in on a low temperature.
Lugging a giant box of nappies plus screaming baby plus shopping around the supermarket, in and out of the car, then home where you have to store them is more of a giant pita than bunging a wash on every couple of days.
Buy a cheap lidded bin plus mesh bags plus a sanitary towel and some tea tree or lavender oil. Stick the towel to the inside of the lid and put a drop of oil on every so often. Use the mesh bag as a bin liner to transport the nappies to the washing machine.
Ds is nearly 11 months. He's been in full time cloth since 5 days old (stump fell off). Not counting the ones I've sold, I've had my money back already compared to using disposables. That's not including the sales, remember. Think the crossover point was about 8-9 weeks ago now?
I don't have a smelly bin to store. I don't contribute to landfill (i also use reusable wipes). I don't have to panic that the late night shop won't have the right size. I don't smell the disgusting chemical smell you get from disposables.
You're not allowed to put solid human waste in the dustbin, it has to be flushed, so I'd have to go upstairs to the loo every time anyway.
Oh, and i have cute and cool ones - spots, bright colours, furry minky, car print, a lion, guitars, a flaming skull with the words Carpe Diem... Ds spent most of the summer in a tee shirt showing off his fluff as it was too hot for clothes
DC3 will be my third in cloth. It's only recently that the cost has balanced against disposables. Outlay on pretty cloth nappies, allowing for several days' supply so you're not constantly washing and drying (which is less energy efficient) costs a lot. I used disposables as well, particularly overnight, when away, or if out all day.
I use pockets (mostly BumGenius and Blueberry) which aren't massively bulky and do wash and dry efficiently.
I have had skinny children. Getting clothes to fit round the middle now that they're potty trained is a pita!
I do feel that the environmental considerations are significant - as I say, mine have done (at least) two bottoms already and will go to a new home once we are all potty trained completely. Every time I use a cloth nappy I know that's a disposable not in landfill. That's particularly gratifying in the early months where you can easily change two nappies in ten minutes because of an irritatingly timed bowel movement where in paper you feel like you "wasted" one. Babies seem to like a clean nappy to poo in.
The economics are, honestly, closer. The better nappies are more expensive - I find there's more difference between cloth brands than between paper brands.
I think they're brill, have used them with all 3 of mine (the twins are still in them). They've saved me a bomb and cleared up some space in the land fill.
I think everyone has to find their own system/nappy, but the one site I always recommend is the nappy lady
Oh and depending where you are you can often find facebook groups that are nappy libraries where you can borrow different types whilst you work out what you want.
More benefits: my horrifically eczema suffering LO doesn't react to them, where as he does to disposables and shop wet wipes; my DD potty trained really easily, I think in part because she was much more aware of being wet/dirty (this doesn't work for everyone, of course) and lastly, I just like them. When I have to use disposables for travelling etc, I find they leak more, they're annoying and I just hate filling up bins with them...
My DD hated them and was very upset the moment the nappy was dirty with wee! It is not always possible to change them the minute they wee. I gave them away after a few weeks if trying now and then and the same result every time.
I would suggest buying a trial first to make sure you all get on with them.
Lifestyle and laundry facilities to.help you chose a nappy to try. Also, many local authorities give you a grant towards cloth nappies - not sure where yiu find out if yours is one, maybe search their website.
There are cloth nappy laundry/delivery services in some places.
A word of warning though, both my dc are very tall and both grew out of their birth- potty size nappies before they were potty trained. DS did about 6 months in disposables from 2-2.5 ish .DD has recently grown out of hers, and I reckon she' s git about 6 months in disposables too.
I have always used Bambo bamboo disposables overnight and if we are away, but carried spare/ used cloth nappies with me in a dry bag if we are just out for the day.
I have used them.on two babies and would do on another if we were to have one. One extra load of washing every three days or so was no.big deal. First baby I put them on an airer in the spare room. Second baby, pil gave us dryer as our spare room was now her bedroom. I have mostly used all in one types, just as simple as disposables for grannies and nursery as well as at home. Have a Google for "The Nappy Lady", lots of advice there and a questionairre about
Marking place as I'm thinking of using them too.
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