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Reusable Nappies(14 Posts)
I have a feeling this is my first Mumsnet post, so hello folks. Our first child is due in 9 weeks time and thought has turned to nappies. My wife has tasked me with researching the benefits and cost-effectiveness of reusable nappies, so here I am.
The whole reusable scene seems quite...intimidating! I'm not sure what you need (covers, liners, all-in-ones etc.) and whether it's actually cost effective to do. My initial research as thrown up all-in-ones being the best (though I assume they still need a liner?), but how many of these would I need?
We've used reusables with both our boys (DS1 is 3.7 so only has one on at night now, although he doesn't need it, but likes to wear it 'just in case' and DS2 is 23 months). It's been great - the same set of nappies has done fine for both boys, although we've added a few extra night nappies and some newer 'plastic pants' along the way so feel it's been excellent value for money.
I went on www.thenappylady.co.uk and filled out her questionnaire to get advice; found it really useful and then chose what to buy from her recommendations (you're not committed to buying from her, although I did).
We have two types of nappies:
For day nappies, we use Teddy Nappies (we have these in both size 1 and size 2) with Motherease covers (Rikki wraps for when they're little as they're velcro fastening and Airflow which are popper fastening for when they're older).
For night nappies, we use either Motherease Sandy's or Bumbles with the same Motherease covers.
The Teddy Nappies come with boosters and we add a reusable liner. The Sandy's are thicker but we add a separate booster and liner as we use them at night. The Bimbles come with a clip in booster and we add another as we only use them for night. We did get disposable liners to try but they felt a bit rough so we just use reusable ones.
To be fair, we did use disposables for the first week or so with DS1 as I was in hospital for quite a while the first time as I had a c-section and transporting dirty nappies home for cleaning and back again would have been too complicated. With DS2 I had a c-section too and we only used disposables for a very short while before moving over to the reusables as I was out much quicker.
How many you need kind of depends on how often you want to wash, how quickly the nappies you choose dry etc. I think we had something like 16 size 1 teddies, 11 size 2, 5 rikki wraps, 5 small airflow, 5 large airflow, 4 bumbles, some fleece liners and spare boosters. But I went with quite a lot as I didn't want to wash every day; you could easily get away with less.
We also use reusable wipes - find they're much better at cleaning bums than the wipes you buy in shops.
Any questions, just shout and I'll try to answer.
PS - there is nothing so cute as a tiny baby in a mahoosive fluffy reusable nappy
I second North's advice on the Nappy Lady and her questionnaire.
The all in ones or pocket nappies are good for daytime use IME, but no good for night time. The two part systems as mentioned above are best for that (I use tots bots bamboozles) as although they take longer to dry, they can hold an awful lot more wee. Not such an issue in the beginning when you have to change during the wee hours anyway, but becomes very important down the line once they stop pooing at night.
Don't buy a whole stash of one brand until the baby has arrived either if you can avoid it as different shaped babies fit different brand nappies best. I bought a load of tots bots all in ones (thankfully second hand!) before DD was born, but she has spindly legs and the nappies gapped and leaked. I sold them on and bought bum genius as recommended by the nappy lady and I've found they've fit brilliantly, even now at 19mo. I very very rarely have leaks. Like North we also used disposables for the first couple of weeks which gave us a chance to find our
grip back on reality feet, and because we had bought birth to potty to save buying two sizes of cloth nappy so DD was too small for them for a few weeks.
Also yes, yes, yes to reusable wipes even if you end up not running with the cloth nappies. No disposable wipe cleans up poo anywhere near as well, I found one cloth wipe easily does the cleaning of 3 disposables. They are fab.
I've spoken to the Nappy Lady, and I must admit her response hasn't eased how overwhelmed by all the terms and info we are.
Still committed to reusable, just going to have to sit down with a guide to what all the terms and items mean!
What terms would you like explained? It seems so complicated before you start but I promise it's not!
I also found it really complicated when I was reading about it - I found it much easier when I could actually see them in front of me. You could either buy a few secondhand ones to look at (there are loads of facebook groups) or I'm told some places have cloth nappy 'libraries' where you can have a look and try them out - I never found one near me.
In the end I bought a trial pack from Little Lamb which was on sale so about £30 at the time I think. Once I had them in front of me it all made much more sense.
It doesn't have to be either reusables or disposables, you can use a mixture. I used reusables in the summer but found it difficult to dry them once the conservatory wasn't warm anymore so have stopped over the winter. This was probably because I bought bamboo ones which take ages to dry - the microfibre ones and cotton terries are really quick. So I could have overcome this problem by buying more microfibre ones but husband wasn't really on board with reusables so I didn't feel I could spend any more on them! I wasn't brave enough to use them at night either (though I know lots of people do) so I still used disposables at night. Partly because I'd have got grief from husband if reusables had leaked at night and woken us all up...
Where in the country are you? There are cloth nappy libraries that you can hire from, which helps you figure it all out without spending too much in first instance.
This link should help with all the different terms. I agree with Huffle and Imeg, the terms are initially baffling but it really is straight forward once you know the basics.
I second the idea of a nappy library as they often have newborn kits to lend out/demo. All types combine absorbent layers and a waterproof outer, they just do it in different ways. All in ones are convenient to use but a pain to dry. Pockets take a little time to stuff but then are just as convenient as all in ones to use and dry much quicker. Two parters are pretty bomb proof, great for night time but take a bit longer to use and are a bit daunting to nursery/family who don't change regularly. Different manufacturers have slightly different shapes so it's worth taking a bit of time to work out what suits your child's shape before committing.
We use pockets (little lamb and tots bots) for daytime and little lamb bamboo nappies with extra boosters and a variety of wraps for night.
On the cost effectiveness, if you air dry (in winter we pop them on a clip frame in our airing cupboard) and wash at low temperatures (we use miosoft nappy detergent at 30), it's cost effective for one baby and extremely cost effective for more than one. Just don't get addicted to buying all the cute patterns!
We have started with reusables (dd is 9 weeks) so early days. Had some advice from the nappy lady but only really makes sense once you get going! Currently not in cloth full time while we get to grips with things - using a combination of totsbots and little lamb. I bought a couple of trial packs to see what suits with the view to buying more as time goes.
The council in my mums area do a trial service so this may be worth investigating.
I also agree re the reusable wipes.... Love them, defiantly clean up so much better than disposable ones!
I'm not sure where u r, but we love the tots bots nappies...they do an all in one which is all ready to go. Obviously when we r out and about we use disposable liners and at night we double up with an extra booster. I highly recommend them!
I started using cloth nappies at around 7 months, so pretty late. I too, was really overwhelmed to begin with. Especially as people refer to brands a lot, so you end up getting lost in the jargon! The things that helped me most were;
1. I bought some of the little bloom nappies from Amazon. At only approx £3.00 each, these were a good, cheap experiment. I've ended up sticking with these. Just buy some fleece liners to go with them.
2. Look to see if your council offers free starter packs, or a grant towards cloth nappies. Mine did, and I got provided with three different brands of nappies for free (worth about £100!). Some I didn't like, some are still very much in use.
3. Joining a 'cloth bum mums' group on Facebook.
4. A friend went to a baby show and had a look at some before buying. I didn't, but this sounds wise.
There is also lots of chat about how to wash them. It's easier than it sounds. Bung them in the washing machine, use powder detergent, generally wash at 60. And, if every few months they smell a bit musty, just give them a second wash and additional rinse.
If you fancy it, you could also read up on elimination communication. My 13 month old now only poos on the potty (and has done since about 10 months), so I only deal with wet nappies, which makes it much easier. That might not be your cup of tea though, and I wouldn't want you to add more complication to the process if you weren't comfortable with it.
Good luck! It's so much easier than you think when you first start looking into it.
Second the idea of the local council. You could also see if there are any cloth nappies on freecycle and take pot luck. As others have said, it makes more sense when you've got them in front of you, and you can start to decide what's best for you and your LO.
We use an all-in-one birth to potty nappy design - no wrap or liner, just one cloth nappy with popper fastenings. It's a Bumgenius Freetime. It's adjustable so gets bigger as baby grows. Could be a good option if you're finding the idea of nappy systems a bit much.
But to be honest it becomes second nature very, very quickly once you start using washables. Trust the Nappy Lady, go with her recommendation, you'll get the hang of it in no time.
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