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This topic is for discussing nappies. If you want to buy or sell reusable nappies, please use our For Sale/Wanted boards.

Pros and cons of reuseable nappies

(12 Posts)
LisMcA Sun 28-Nov-10 13:32:52

I'm expecting my first DC in April and I've started to think about whether or not to go for reusable nappies over disposables.

Being clueless in all things baby related I'm hoping to tap into the collective experience of Mumsnet!

I know next to nothing about them but like the thought of being "green". A quick google search shows there are lots of different brands and types and it looks like a bit of a minefield.

As the inital outlay is quite a bit, I want to make sure I know what I'm doing in terms of what brand to get and the level of work involved washing and drying them. Otherwise it could be quite a costly mistake in a time when money is tight.

All comments welcome! Thanks Ladies!

AmyFarrahFowler Sun 28-Nov-10 20:42:48

If you go here www.babykind.co.uk/nappytrial.htm they do some trial kits, you could wait for baby to arrive and try a few out before you commit to buying a full kit you end up not liking. Other places do similar trial kits I think if you look around.

I like something like a diddy diaper on a newborn and then pocket nappies when they get a little bigger.

PerArduaAdNauseum Sun 28-Nov-10 20:47:27

motherease do a birth to toddler nappy with sized wraps which I used on DS - I'd make them up for the day and the childminder found as easy as a disposable - not all CMs/nurseries can cope with re-usables.

Best thing about reusables for me was being able to use flannel wipes - just carried a bottle of water, and the wipe went in with the nappy - much easier on the fingers than standard wipes. Oh, and not having to faff to find the right sort of bin to chuck a nappy into.

Work involved - you get used to it! When they're learning to digest you've got the washing machine on constantly anyway grin

Frog253 Sun 28-Nov-10 21:12:29

Pros: Always a nappy when you need it, babies tend not to wait until you were going to change them anyway and poo in a clean nappy. Also when your child has diarrhoea I much prefer being able to get rid of the waste in the loo and washing machine over putting a sticky nappy in the bin waiting for its fortnightly collection.
Cost, especially if you use terries and if you are planning more than one child. Terries also dry very quickly, I never need to use a tumble drier on a terries. Be aware that nappies sold as very absorbant will also take longer to dry.
Also seems kinder to put a baby's bottom in something soft and fluffy.
Cons: Getting clothes to fit, girls' clothes in particular tend to be slim fitting and not so good with big bottoms. Boys' clothes are a tad easier.
The washing is a con but tis not much hassle assuming that you have an automatic washing machine.
Final con is people thinking that you are a bit mad...I've put all 3 dcs in cloth and I have always been (more or less) the only person in whichever group I'm in doing it..
If I were to have my time again I'd use Terries (I bought a birth to potty Cotton Bottoms system when DC1 was on the way, pricey but used for 3 DC with a few extras so cheaper in the long run) with Nature Baby wraps. I wouldn't bother with liners at all (poo just seems to fall off the Terries). Oh and I would buy some boosters for nighttime (have been given boosters for DC3 and they are great). There's a Terries website I think that gives tips and advice on folds.
HTH

KaraStarbuckThrace Sun 28-Nov-10 21:20:22

Pros - Reusable nappies do work out a lot cheaper.
2 years of disposable nappies could work out to be around £800 9see here

My DS is still in nappies at nearly three, so would have cost us £1200!

I hold my hand up and say I have spent about£500 on nappies, liners and some sposies, but you can get away with spending much less that this (I'm a nappy addict and have way more than I need blush)

Cons - dealing with a messy poo when out and about and there isn't a proper nappy change facility nearby!!

Extra washing - I do cope though despite not having a tumble dryer, even in winter, by using a mixture of fast drying microfibre & fleece nappies and cotton ones.

Hevster Sun 28-Nov-10 21:28:12

i have been using them for 3 weeks now with varying success rates! I invested before DD2 was born and in retrospect this was a mistake as what i purchased doesn't fit her very well! soft bots have a website with a questionaire to fill in and then they advise you by email on what nappies to look into taking into account your preferences for drying time etc.
We are now using bumgenius flips as I get leaks with just about everything else (including disposables) as DD2 seems to be an odd shape.

check and see if your council will give you money back on buying reuseables or give you a trial pack of nappies. I think you can also rent nappies from some websites too so that you can trial without buying.

whichever way you go you'll be saving cash as I was shocked to see that pampers had gone from £5.98 to £6.47 in Asda and I only stopped buying them for DD1 in June.

ilovemydogandMrObama Sun 28-Nov-10 21:33:47

I used the same cloth nappies on DD and DS, and still managed to sell them shock smile

Agree with the advice to wait until baby is born before investing as different babies have different shapes, plus there are lots of different systems out there, and you need to work out which one will work for you.

WidowWadman Sun 28-Nov-10 21:41:52

Never had any problems with getting clothes to fit. We're using Bumgenius.

We had a look at a lot of different systems before deciding, try finding a nappuchino event.

KaraStarbuckThrace Sun 28-Nov-10 23:05:44

'I used the same cloth nappies on DD and DS, and still managed to sell them'

Good point - will be using DS's nappies on DC2 (who is due in June) so an even bigger saving!

I use Bumgenius as well and don't have too much of a problem with clothing, but my 2 part nappies are very bulky compared to disposables and it is hard getting trousers to fit. I gave up on poppered vests when DS was about 18mth - and he is a tiny fellow!

blake11 Sun 28-Nov-10 23:58:35

Another vote for Bumgenius here, use them on 8 mo dd and love them. They're great because even though they're very absorbent they dry really fast - now the heating's on, mine dry in just a few hours on an airer near a radiator. Haven't had a problem fitting her into trousers, recently bought a fairly slim pair of jeans from Gap for her and they fit over the BG no problem (without having to go up a size).

Just so you know, most people find BG aren't absorbent enough for night time, so you'd need a different nappy for that, or some absorbent boosters. We use Tots Bots Bamboozle, which are knitted bamboo, and these easily last 13 hrs with no leaks. This nappy requires a waterproof wrap.

I would also agree with the advice to wait and try a few types once baby is born. I bought a birth to potty set of Lollipop softees, which although great for performance, were very bulky on my relatively small dd. Also she had quite a large umbilical hernia, which meant we couldn't use cloth until she was 10 wks as the nappy came up too high (fortunately it went by 5 months).

I would also agree with the above post about people thinking you're a bit mad for using cloth, the number of times I've enthusiastically shown or described my nappies to people only to be met by blank faces! They just don't get it!

In terms of extra work, I really don't find this a problem. The satisfaction of not sending bags of disposables to land fill is fantastic. In fact now I'm used to cloth, the idea of disposables actually seems a bit silly. And I'm sure other cloth users will agree it's actually quite fun hanging out the clean nappies to dry in lovely rows!

Gosh I sound quite sad now! Good luck with it all!

HermyaAndThePomBears Mon 29-Nov-10 21:44:41

DS is in cloth and I have to say after using disposables for the first few weeks of his life I find reusables so much more easier.

For me it came down to the fact that I resented paying for something my child is going to poo in and then throw away. I felt like I was literally chucking my money in the bin. Yes cloth is expensive to start with but I'd much rather pay for something that I can use again.

Also the cloth nappies are so much more nicer on babies skin than disposables in my opinion. DS had such bad nappy rash the first few weeks of life, the nappies would stick to his skin at a change. But since we've been in cloth it's cleared right up.

I'm using bumgenius, I love them. DS is a heavy wetter but you can boost them with a couple of bamboo or a hemp inserts and you're onto a winner.

Tots bots easyfits are fab as well, DS looks so cute in them.

Be warned, cloth can be seriously addictive.

togarama Thu 02-Dec-10 13:27:58

Pros: no nappy rash, no overflowing wheelie bin, very few "blow-outs" in the early days.

Cons: some other parents think you're a bit of a weirdo, some baby clothes just aren't cut to fit with cloth nappies.

I've never found using reusables to be that much hassle. I think there's a perception out there that there's a lot more work involved than there really is.

It may also be worth checking whether there's a nappy laundry service in your area too. This takes most of the extra washing and drying out of the equation. The company picks up the dirties each week and drops off a load of clean prefold nappies. Normally you provide your own nappy covers but some companies allow you to hire these too.

For the first six months we used just the local nappy service at £10 per week. It was really easy and low-hassle.

Once DD started nursery I bought some pocket nappies and all-in-ones which were easier for the staff to use (most of them had never changed a cloth nappy of any description before).

I probably do 1-2 extra loads of washing per week compared to pre-baby days.

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