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Disposable vs reusable nappies

(29 Posts)
DesertDweller Mon 16-Jun-14 18:32:01

I'm about to have my first baby and have bought disposable nappies for the hospital, but I was wondering whether it was realistic to attempt reusable ones for after? Or are they a total nightmare? I'm hoping to ultimately save money and be more environmentally friendly - or is it just nuts to try? Everyone I know used disposable nappies. And says they cost a fortune.

lljkk Mon 16-Jun-14 18:34:04

Lots of cloth nappy fans on the internet. We wouldn't do it if was that expensive or too much faff.

NorthEasterlyGale Mon 16-Jun-14 18:52:33

With both mine (DS1 is two and DS2 is 16 weeks) I've used disposables in hospital (c-sections for both) and then reusables. If you go on The Nappy Lady site, you can get lots of useful info and advice. We also use reusable wipes. Dead easy to use and far fewer problems with nappy leaks compared to disposables from my experience, which is a bonus!

Even with two in nappies we don't find it any problem. Usually do at least one wash-load a day but they dry really quickly. If you've got any specific questions, please just ask and I'll try to help.

gubbinsy Mon 16-Jun-14 18:59:47

We've just switched to cloth - DS is just 7 months - switched at 6 months. Definitely less poo leaks and not really a lot of hassle. I think I'd still stick with disposables till past the newborn stage - DS used to pretty much poo after every feed for a while and go through a lot of nappies in a day. Would definitely use cloth again once that phase had passed though.

LissieD Mon 16-Jun-14 19:00:19

We've been using washable nappies since DD was about 3 months. She was a tiny thing and they just swamped her before that. They're great and will hopefully save us money in the long run, especially as I'm hoping to use them for DC2.

Only downsides - 1) we don't use them at night though as we found DD was waking up because she was cold and damp. But absolutely fine in the day and much better for not leaking.
2) it can be tricky getting trousers and vests big enough to fit over them. H&M are quite good and we have some stuff from Frugi (but that is expensive).

trilbydoll Mon 16-Jun-14 21:02:56

You don't have to use them full time - we mix and match, I figure each reusable has saved me 10p and it is one less nappy in landfill. Probably means the washing makes less impact on us too.

Artandco Mon 16-Jun-14 21:07:27

We used and loved.

Curent ones to look at I would say are the close pop in ones or Wonderoos v3. Both last birth-potty, and are all in one nappy so no wraps etc needed, bamboo liners means good for night time also. As both birth-potty I would maybe pick one and just buy one and try and see how you go. Can buy more if you like. Even if you only use at night, x2 a night x7 is 14 nappies a week you can save buying. You could do this with just 4 reusable nappies.

TribbleWithoutATardis Mon 16-Jun-14 21:08:26

I've used reusables on both my children, I only ever used them in the day though. I used disposables during the night. It's worked really well for me.

weegiemum Mon 16-Jun-14 22:38:06

I used them on all 3 dc, including nights (especially dd2 who had allergic reactions to disposables), including washing them by hand for ds and dd2 on a backpacking trip in Latin America. Can't even remember what we used now, towelling fitted nappies with fleece wraps. Saved us a fortune and went on to be used by at least 3 other children of friends.

littleluna89 Mon 16-Jun-14 23:10:53

I had real issues with using them at night, so we use them during the day and use dispo's at night (and when hubby forgets to empty the washing machine and we run out of boosters >.<) but she's quite dry in the morning now so I'm considering giving them a go over night. either way they've saved us hundreds!

Lostinspace1 Tue 17-Jun-14 07:21:44

I've used reusables since DD was 3 weeks. We bought 18 totsbots easyfits and 2 bamboozles and do a short wash every other day. In the winter you need to have somewhere to dry them permanently so the airing cupboard was always in use. So far night times are ok with easyfit and we do get minor leaks all the time, but it doesn't affect my laundry levels as we chuck in all her clothes with the nappy washes. No nappy is perfect.

When I go away for the weekend and use disposables it's shocking the amount of waste they produce in such a short time. Our rubbish only gets taken every 2 weeks so in the summer thats 2 weeks of dirty nappies, which would stink to high heaven!

It seems a faff at first doing all the laundry but then you get into a routine and it helps to stay on top of the dirty clothes as they are continually piling up.

Stubbed Tue 17-Jun-14 07:44:00

The washing isn't really a faff at all (currently have 2 in reusable nappies) but you need to consider the drying. Some nappies can't go in a dryer, for example, and this is not so environmentally friendly anyway. Hanging outside is fine when it's not raining, but consider what you would do if you have to hang them inside.

You might want somewhere well ventilated to hang them, the really absorbent ones might take a couple of days to dry if the heating's not on.

My last tip is to try a variety. I recommend a mixture of super absorbent v quick drying ones, some two parters and some all in ones. The all in ones in particular are easier to understand, in case other people such as nursery will do the changing occasionally.

neversleepagain Tue 17-Jun-14 13:07:06

We used them on our twins from when they were 6 weeks old. Not a faff at all smile

DesertDweller Tue 17-Jun-14 15:50:54

Great advice, thanks ladies! Now how do I wipe the cat bum mouth expression off my husband's face every time I mention reusable nappies haha!

SqutterNutBaush Tue 17-Jun-14 16:01:56

We started using cloth when DC2 was 9 weeks old because the chemicals in disposables irritated her skin.

We've spent about £150 over the past 15 months on everything we need to use and don't intend giving up anytime soon so it'll definitely save us money.

I would however suggest finding a nappy meet or nappy library in your area or check out if your local council offers any incentive/trial kits as different nappies suit different shapes/sizes. My daughter is a heavy wetter and is also allergic to fleece so we can only use cotton nappies like motherease one size or prefolds.

SqutterNutBaush Tue 17-Jun-14 16:06:43

Oh I should also say that they really aren't much of a FAFF, we use cloth wipes too so pooey ones get a quick rinse in the toilet flush and chucked in the washbag (we prefer to use a Karrimor drybag than a bucket as its easier to clean and can be hung out of reach) then everything gets chucked in the machine every third day.

Our wash routine is just cold rinse, 60 wash with half dose powder, extra rinse and line or airer dry.

DP was horrified at the thought but quickly realised the benefits to littlies skin and our pockets. Plus the smell of wet disposables makes him heave grin

Livvylongpants Tue 17-Jun-14 16:07:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littleluna89 Tue 17-Jun-14 21:38:16

DessertDweller I would advise talking about the saving, and everything else you could spend the money on!

I worked out that we spent the equivalent of £25 a month using just disposables, which assuming a child is 2 and a half before they're potty training is £750, with two children that's £1500.

We bought a mixture of all in ones, pocket and two part nappies some new and some preloved from ebay, I went a bit overboard (and still do) but it'll never reach the kind of spend of using dispo's till DD and the next one!

SoonToBeSix Tue 17-Jun-14 22:37:32

How do cloth wipes work? Do you make your own or buy them and what do you use to wet them? Thanks

Artandco Wed 18-Jun-14 09:03:58

Cloth wipes - we brought the cheeky wipes ones. Bamboo ones and in packs of 25 I think. X2 packs so 50 wipes is plenty for x2 in nappies, some in change bag etc. we just keep 20 in a box ie Tupperware with lid with water and chamomile drops.wipes then wet and use as usual. When out squeeze wet wipes and put in baby small wet bag or take dry and use water from tap

SqutterNutBaush Wed 18-Jun-14 11:27:38

I bought cloth wipes from a local lady £12 for 20. One side fleece, one side flannel. I just soak a days worth in chamomile tea each morning and chuck them in a ziplock bag and use when needed.

They just get washed with nappies smile

Cric Wed 18-Jun-14 12:29:08

Love ours!! We use totbots.

PurplePidjin Wed 18-Jun-14 12:56:02

Ds is 19 months old and has been in full time cloth since he was 5 days old.

You need different types for different things - sized fitted nappies with a wrap are awesome overnight as they hold more so you don't need to change unless there's poo. All in one or pocket types are good for daytime as you can have the whole thing prepped and ready to go on the bum in advance.

I find it far easier to bung a load of washing in than to haul off to the supermarket, buy a big box of nappies along with all the shopping, carry them and a wriggly child into the house then find somewhere to keep them!

I also use washable wipes (and have saved a fortune) - pound shops often have baby flannels at 6 for 99p or whatever. I get soak them in a bowl with a drop of teatree and store in a sandwich bag, or you can get lovely kits with all the boxes etc.

Store nappies and wipes in a lidded bin (£4 in Wilko!) using a mesh laundry bag as a bin bag. Empty into the machine when it's full. Half the normal amount of powder (or it can build up and affect absorbency) with a prewash to get off poo and stains and an extra rinse afterwards.

marzipanned Wed 18-Jun-14 20:51:46

Love our cloth nappies! DD has been in them since 10-ish weeks and I'll start my next child much younger.

For dealing with your DH - tbh, I didn't give my DH a choice, I just bought the nappies. As soon as he saw how easy, cute, and better for DD (her terrible nappy rash completely cleared up within a few days) they are, he was on side.

ValiumQueen Thu 19-Jun-14 06:08:35

I used cloth from hospital with my first, but had to stop when I went back to work when she was 5 months old as the childcare provider would not use them. With my second she was in cloth for longer as the carer was more accepting, but when I changed carer again they would not use them. With my youngest I intended to be off longer, and was determined to use cloth. However he had a digestive problem which meant his poo was like green paint so I stopped using them as they would have been ruined and I love them too much! When this improved, i just could not keep up with the washing as his problems swapped to the top end and he was vomiting constantly. I figure over the three of them I have saved money. And they are very addictive.

I would recommend you get a selection and try them. Some babies do better with certain nappies etc, plus their shape changes as they grow.

Clothing costs are to be considered. I had lots of clothes I just could not use as they were too small for a cloth bum. I do not have the money for fancy cloth bum clothes so bought shorts in a bigger size.

It is addictive. Make sure you keep an eye on how much you spend as there are some adorable nappies out there.

Consider if you will be going back to work as that may impact on your decision. Also do you have space for drying and storing?

Please also be willing to try sposies if necessary. They are not evil, and not expensive if you get the cheaper ones. I use Tesco Value and they are great. I have two in nappies and spend less than £30 a month on them. In my situation they are the better option. If I were not working full time with three children I would be using cloth.

Also, if there is a problem with your child, for example severe nappy rash, when it gets ulcerated, please be open to trying different things. Sometimes people are so insistent that they will only use cloth, and sometimes a period in sposies would help clear the problem sooner with less suffering.

And if you don't get on with washables, it is ok to swap.

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