Im a childminder and 2 of my mindees and my own baby use reusables. I also offer a washing service. Lots of childminders and nurseries will like reusables as it reduces waste they have to pay to get taken away! I know of one nursery nearby who insist on reusables!
I have 7 wraps and about 25 inners. I do about 2 loads a week. With a newborn I was washing every other day - getting through 10-12 nappies a day.
If you buy new, they need "breaking in". You'll need to wash them 5 or 6 times before they become absorbent. Don't use fabric softener (it stops them soaking up wee). If you line dry, the sun will bleach out any stains.
ooh, we had some disposables left over from when DD was born (gifts), and when I went on my own to visit my folks, I thought "I might as well take those, saves me having dirty nappies around in my bag for 3 days", so I tried one before we went, just to see if I would get on with them. she had it on for about 2 hours, so maybe one or two wees? and it fuckingstank It was worse than going down into the sewerage. [boak]
so, we took the proper nappies. My mum was okay with us putting the dirties in a tub in her bath, and she even washed them for us the day before we went home
yy to nance - I usually wash them twice before first wear (because it seems like such a waste!), but just change them more frequently until the absorbency improves. (we call them "quick nappies" when they're new - just leave them on for one wee)
little lambs are a great nappy, so reliable - though a bit more chunky than some other brands. I would strongly recommend buying size 1's second hand - they'll only be used a few months and you can sell them on again for pretty much what you paid for them. I'm not such a fan of their wraps, though, they are a bit cumbersome but very reliable.
There are so many "nearly new" ones on ebay, etc. because people want to try washables but give up for whatever reason. I used a mixture of cotton (daytime) and bamboo (night time) - i didn't like the feel of microfibre and it doesn't have enough absorbency for my DD. I also use bumgenius pocket nappies but again the microfibre inserts are not absorbent enough and i had to replace them with cotton, bamboo and hemp inserts instead. The nursery my dd goes to had never had anyone with washable nappies go to it but they have had no problems with it. I just put a day's supply of nappies in her bag, with a zipped wet bag for the used ones and they send it all back at the end of the day.
We use the little lambs. We had 20 of size 1 and 2. All bamboo. Had 5 wraps in each size. We just sold all of size 1 a few months back and got 3/4 of our money back. So well worth the initial expense. We also have the bamboo boosters
At newborn age we used 8-10 a day so washed daily. ( actually used disposable first 2 weeks). Then 5-6 a day so moved onto every other day washing. For 6 months we had a newborn in size 1, and young toddler in size 2, and washed daily again. Now every 3 days is fine with one 2 year old using.
We have an overdoor drying rack that hangs into our airing cupboard. If we wash in eve and hang there before bed, they are dry 12 hours later as warm in there. Otherwise take 24hrs.