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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.

Reusable vs Disposable

(57 Posts)
missbumpy Tue 04-Sep-07 13:19:41

Sorry if this is a topic that's been covered a million times before.

I'm expecting my 1st baby in Oct and I'm starting to wonder what nappies I should be getting. I have no idea where to start hmm.

I'm quite environmentally minded so I'm interested in reusables but I live in a small flat with no dryer so not sure how feasible it is. Would I be better off with an eco-friendly disposable nappy?

Also, what brands should I be looking at? There just seems to be so much to choose from.

Roskva Tue 04-Sep-07 13:42:31

Eco friendly disposables cost a fortune, and I seem to remember someone telling me that in landfill they don't biodegrade any better than any other nappy. However, I believe they have less chemicals in than conventional disposables.

When dd was tiny I used prefolds, they're great and they line dry overnight indoors. I've not long discovered little kiwi nappies, the lite version here dries really quickly - I have a red one which I still have to hand wash because the dye runs, and it dries from that quickly. And pocket nappies like fuzzi buns are good because they are in 2 parts: an outer and something absorbent to stuff it with; the outers dry quickly, and if you have more than one thing to stuff them with, you can use the cleanouter again without waiting for the stuffing to dry. They come with one absorbent pad, but you can put virtually anything absorbent in them - my prefolds now go in them. Microfibre nappies like fluffles dry really quickly, too.

BabiesEverywhere Tue 04-Sep-07 13:51:57

Third option if you are enviromentally minded, is Ecing with back up nappies (either cloth or disposable)

i.e. Introducing a potty to a newborn or young baby. This fosters a high degree of communication between mother and child and as a side effect, once you both get the hang of it, a lot less or no nappies to wash.

To give you an idea, my one year old DD uses cloh nappies at night and underwear during the day. So our average daily wash load is one nappy and either one or none underwear (sometimes more or less it just depends)

It takes more effort at the start and some people start after 12 weeks when the newborn explosive poo has stopped


Pixiefish Tue 04-Sep-07 14:00:43

Have you thought about nappy laundry?

hippopowell Tue 04-Sep-07 14:01:35

I started with fluffles when my dd was 6 weeks old(after getting over the initial shock of looking after a newborn). We lived in a small flat with no tumble dryer at the time. I thought they were excellent & will use again for No2 in Jan. They come out of the washing machine almost dry & only take a short time to dry fully after that. Also the containment was brilliant, so much better that the disposables I used before.

horsemadgal Tue 04-Sep-07 14:28:38

Maybe a mix of both cloth and disposables? Disposable at night and while out and about maybe.
But whatever you decide, not all babies suit all nappies, so don't buy a birth to potty pack until you decide what's right for you.
Check out the classifieds here or nappy lady classifieds and buy a few of each kind 2nd hand.
nappy lady
Then when baby comes try and see what is best for you both.

I think you can't go far wrong with Motherease wraps with really any nappy inside. Sandy's or Little Lambs maybe.
I didn't do the prefold/flat nappy/muslins thing sorry so can't advise on that.

Good luck, M x

NAB3 Tue 04-Sep-07 14:30:02

Fuzzi bunz dry really quickly (ie over night) and microfibre inserts come out of the washer practically dry.

The money you save on nappies could go towards a dryer for later maybe??

FlameBatfink Tue 04-Sep-07 14:41:15

Oodles of fast drying nappies out there - fluffles, teddies, the quick flip lights are great. Pockets like fuzzis which have been suggested too are great for fast drying goodness.

If you look in the small business section there are a few of us who offer tailored advice so you can find the nappies that suit you best.

hippopowell Tue 04-Sep-07 14:45:56 do a trial/hire service, where you can choose a selection of nappies that take your fancy(best to get advice first, thenappylady is fab for that, but plushpants avice too)and use them on your baby for a week before commiting to a full set of 1 or several types. It is very reasonable on cost, and much easier to work with the real thing on your real baby first. Or you could get a nappy advisor to come to your home to show & talk through a selection of nappies based on your needs.
Best thing to do is get advise from a nappy advisor. Lots to choose from. someone here,, Do a google search for cloth nappies & most internet shops do advise as well.
Cloth nappies are really fab, & not hard work as some would have you believe.grin

nappyzone Tue 04-Sep-07 14:47:06

Hello, i have a large range on my site here as do a few other mumsnetters who are more than happy to give you tailor made advice to suit. I find pocket nappies great on my son for a quick drying nappy, they go on in one piece and seperate for laundering making drying quicker, with no dryer bamboo shaped nappies will be harder to dry over winter except for terries which open out so would dry quicker if your deft to a bit of folding. Shaped nappies like fluffles are quick drying alternatives. Its best to hang ot here and get a view onthem all then have a look on a few sites to see what you fancy. Depending on where you live you may be able to track down an advisor so you can see them in the flesh. Good luck and feel free to drop me a line through my site. Its free!

maisiemog Tue 04-Sep-07 15:46:58

Hi there, it is confusing isn't it? When I bought mine I did tons of research and didn't really understand what a nappy and wrap were or a stuffable etc etc... and now there's even more choice.
There's quite a good guide here just covering the basics.
Once you have an idea of the type of nappy available then you need to consider a number of factors
Firstly as you mentioned what your drying facilities will be, as thicker nappies take longer to dry, the fastest natural fabric nappies being muslins, terries and prefolds. Pocket nappies are very fast to dry as they are completely synthetic and you remove the absorbent 'stuffing' to dry the cons of these are they are pricey and not everyone gets on with them (leaks, too hot or too synthetic).
There are also completely synthetic nappies which dry fast, such as microdiddy/dizzy, bambinex teddy and tots bots fluffle. These al require a separate waterproof cover. Again there are pros and cons, they are not biodegradable and I would imagine would be quite hot to wear, compared with bamboo or hemp.
Then there are cotton nappies and bamboo and hemp, these are the most biodegradable and I would imagine the healthiest against the skin, but all of them can take a while to dry, so you would be likely to need more if you can't tumble them.
The number of times you want to wash them per week will dictate the number you will need to buy, fewer washes will require greater numbers of nappies.
Obviously your budget is important and the size and shape of your baby both at birth and later when you need the next size up.
Later it may transpire that your baby is a heavy wetter, or has giant thighs or a tiny bum, all of which might affect the fit.
There are one size nappies, or birth to potty nappies, which you can fold in various ways to fit a small baby, but they are all very large on a newborn, which would drive me up the wall.
I would say buy some small nappies for the first six months and then sell them on to fund some larger nappies, depending on your baby's needs.
There is a great second hand market for many nappies so often buying 10-20 odd little nappies will raise enough second hand to almost cover the purchase of the next size up (when you will need fewer)
Obviously, you could save a bit of cash by buying second hand, try forums like UKParentslounge ,Mumsonline, Mumsnet Classifieds and lots of others. They really are pretty straightforward and there are lots of nappy mad cloth users on UKParents who will be happy to add to the excellent information you will get here on Mumsnet.
There are quite a few nappies out there, but for a newborn I reckon some muslins and terries would be useful as they are small and cheap and dry fast.
You might like to buy a few really cute, fancy nappies to show off, like Kissaluvs, Cuddlebuns or Swaddlebees all for newborns.
I have a nappy review blog here where lots of cloth users have left reviews for cloth nappies they have tried, perhaps the information might help you to choose.
Hope that all

missbumpy Tue 04-Sep-07 15:53:09

Thanks for all the brilliant advice. TBH, I'm feeling a bit more baffled than ever... I had no idea there were so many different kinds and brands of reusable nappies blush. I'd never heard of nappy advisors or the advice websites that some of you have mentioned so that's really helpful.

Getting a trial selection sounds like a good way to go since I've got no idea how to choose what's best right now.

So do I need to go to a specialist website to get reusables? I never see them for sale in high street shops like Boots.

Thanks again for all the info.

missbumpy Tue 04-Sep-07 15:56:37

Thanks for that Maisimog. My instinct tells me that synthetic isn't as good as natural fibre but what would I know. Do people really buy/sell 2nd hand nappies? I know I'm going to sound really stupid now but is that hygenic?!

Babieseverywhere, what's 'Ecing'? I like the sound of early potty training. How does that work?

primigravida Tue 04-Sep-07 16:03:06

Missbumpy, have a look at what your council has on offer too, they might give you a voucher towards buying reusables or if they're like mine (Manchester) they'll give you a month's free use of nappies and nappy laundering. Also you can buy some resusables and eco-disposables from waitrose, probably cheaper over the internet though. Good luck, I'm having my first baby in October too and have been doing research along the same lines as you.

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Tue 04-Sep-07 16:03:34

missbumpy, i found that pre-folds were brill for my ds when he was little, they dry really quickly and you soon get the hang of what folds fit them best. if you go to then you can download a 'how to nappy' guide which was brill for me to read through and make a decision. if i were you i wouldnt buy a birth-potty set of pre-folds as i did as when they start moving they are so hard to get on them, shaped nappies are easier!!

missbumpy Tue 04-Sep-07 16:05:33

Primigravida, I'm so impressed with your council! I live in London and I'd be amazed if my council offer anything like that. I'll look into it though.

Good luck with your October baby

fleacircus Tue 04-Sep-07 16:07:18

Babieseverywhere - can you tell us more about ECing? How does it work? What do you actually do? Am fascinated!

missbumpy Tue 04-Sep-07 16:08:28

PS. Just reading through all these messages again and wondering how on earth I've got to 34 weeks without even considering any of this blush.

Did you all just work it out as you went along or did you have a clear plan of what you were going to do before the baby was born?

missbumpy Tue 04-Sep-07 16:10:22

I'm fascinated too fleacircus. I just googled it and found this. Looks interesting.

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Tue 04-Sep-07 16:10:46

missbmpy, i decided when ds was about 3 months old as we were spending £14 a week on nappies (for dd 2yo and ds) out of a £25 a week budget, add ds's milk powder £7 and we had £3 for food, so a no brainer really!! was an initial outlay but if i didnt become obsessed and keep buying more blush it would have shaved us loads (probably still has but i really should stop buying them now!)

missbumpy Tue 04-Sep-07 16:13:11

Sleepless, that's good to know. I'm on a tight budget too so it's reassuring to know that it can be done!

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Tue 04-Sep-07 16:18:15

saved not shaved obv blush

FlameBatfink Tue 04-Sep-07 16:26:29

Lol, a lot of my demos are ladies at 37 weeks saying "Can you come now?" because they have suddenly decided it might be worth thinking about and that they have no time left! grin

NAB3 Tue 04-Sep-07 16:34:02

If you check out the site you could get £30 off your order, depending on where you pay your council tax too.

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Tue 04-Sep-07 16:45:39

<<hijack NAB3 can i draw your attention here please?? hijack over>>

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