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Reusable nappies - realistic?

(22 Posts)
benne81 Thu 04-Aug-11 11:25:19

Hi I'm a first timer and I was wondering about other peoples experience with reuseable nappies. There is a talk on them tonight run by the council where I will get a £25 voucher.

Obviously I know the green benefits and I would, in therory, like to use them but at the same time I'm quite realistic and not going to kill myself and call myself a failure if I don't. I was just wondering about others experiences/ advice - is it worth giving them a go? are they simple to use? do they take up loads more time?

Nagini Thu 04-Aug-11 11:31:55

I use them. I don't weave lentils.

I stick them in a bucket (dry) and wash them about every 3 days. The bucket has a lid so you don't smell it apart from when you are actually load the washer.

With my DS I used to rinse them first but you don't need to do that. Use liners so that poo just goes in the bin (you can put them own the loo but I wouldn't advise it).

I use disposables at night for better absorbency and when we go out.

I have liners on a roll and I've used 800 of them this baby so far (8MO) times that by your 15p or whatever a nappy. This is the second go round so no outlay smile


look massive on tiny babies... I use disposables at the very beginning.

can't fit tight clothes on baby.

that's it.

icravecheese Thu 04-Aug-11 11:48:50

We bought a load of reusable nappies for our first born prior to his birth. Like nagini said, we used disposables for the first few weeks as the reusables were quite massive, then we tried reusable nappies after that. Unfortunately, our son developed bad baby eczema from about 4 wks of age, and we had to give up on reusables quite quickly as, for some reason, they just seemed to really irritate his skin even more and he was left with a massively red, sore bum. We tried using them on baby2 also, but she had baby eczema we sold them on in the end.

I have friends who use reusables....some good reports, some not quite so good...again, as per nagini says, my friends sometimes had to buy the next size up in clothing as tights / leggings / trousers didnt always fit over the resuable nappies. Also, I found that they can look quite odd on younger babies as they are really rather bulky.

In the end we compromised as bought the Nature babycare eco nappies (I know they sell them in most supermarkets). They are biodegradable disposables....

Would just say, by all means research, but perhaps wait until baby arrives before you invest in purchasing a load of resuables. Even though we managed to sell ours on, we were slightly gutted at the amount we'd spent out on buying all the kit only to then find they didnt work for our babies.

TerrysNo2 Thu 04-Aug-11 11:54:49

benne81 if you are interested in using them but not sure about it can I suggest using a Nappy Laundry Service at the beginning. I felt exactly the same as you and in reality whilst I am sure I could have coped with washing the nappies too it would have been extra pressure at a time when so much is going on.

I then bought my own reusables when DS was 3 months old and cancelled the service.

HTH! smile

mopsytop Thu 04-Aug-11 12:05:14

benne81 I am a first timer too and going to try it, but like you, if it doesn't work out, not going to beat myself up about it.

Advice I have been given by ppl who have used non-disposables is not to buy a whole kit before baby gets here because different non-disposables suit different babies and some just won't fit your baby's shape. So to buy or borrow one each of several different brands and try them on your baby and see how you go. Also I was advised to wait until 6-8 weeks before using them as they are so big on tiny babies and unwieldy.

Also similar advice re: dry pailing (good advice to stick a sanitary towel on the inside of the bin lid and add a few drops of tea tree oil now and again, apparently really helps the smell when you open the lid!) and then just wash every 2-3 days and to use disposable liners and throw in bin, as can block loo.

So that's my plan. My friend gave me 4 or 5 different types that she tried before deciding what ones to use and I will buy a few more and see what suits and if I want to continue. Also there are usually some disposable nappy groups around that you can maybe borrow or rent the different nappies from at the start to save money before you buy, and look on ebay as lots of people sell on once finished.

IssyStark Thu 04-Aug-11 12:07:39

I used cloth nappies with our first (and will do with no. 2 when it arrives in December). DS was born in December as well, and we managed fine with cloth nappies during the winter even 'though we don't ahve a tumble dryer.

Have to agree with Nagini about the frquently of washing. Dry pailing is also much easier than wet paling (I've done both). You can put bicarb of soda or lavender oil etc in the bucket if you are worried about odours.

You can pick up cheap cloth nappies at NCT sales on on so you can get an idea of the different types. I would really rec. you do this rather than buy a huge stock of a certain type before the birth just in case you don't get on with a particular brand as which type will suit your baby will, to an extent, depend upon what shape baby is.

The birth to potty nappies are huge on newborns and the couple I had I didn't use when he was little but you can get sized nappies for the really little, or, as the others have said, just use disposibles (you may find that your hospital instists on disposibles while you are in).

Personally I found that the nursery coped better with stuffables/pockets rather than two part shaped nappies with wraps. I would make up the nappies in advance (usually in front of the telly) so it was like putting on a disposible as far as they were concerned.

I also prefered nappied that fastened with poppers rather than velcro just because you didn't get the huge 'rat king' effect of everything sticking together when you washed them.

I used both the liners on a roll and also fleece liners. The latter are reuseable and can work out even cheaper (also if you can get you hands on thin fleece, you can cut out your own for even less cost!)

DS was a big wetter at night so we used disposibles at night most of the time as otherwise we would have to stuff his nappies so full I worried about how comfy he'd be. But we used eco disposibles and at one I day I didn't feel as if my green credentials were slipping ;)

Purplebuns Thu 04-Aug-11 18:27:11

I have used reusables on DD I didn't get into it until she was a few months old and are still using them full time at age 2. This is a very good reliable site and they have this deal, could be worth trying it out?
I also just bought a few at a time and built my stash up with different types, which was great fun!

lolajane2009 Thu 04-Aug-11 18:45:34

I plan on using them on my first born, due in september, and tbh they look rather easy to use and I managed to get them on teddy without issues. Got a lot of mine off ebay at extremely cheap prices and all washed up they look as new.

Pastabee Thu 04-Aug-11 19:03:14

Great post as really interested in this myself. There is a website that's called cherries and cheeks that sells a trial pack called 'the greatest hits'.

You basically get three of the market leaders plus liners. The kit is £50 but you can use £25 council voucher towards the cost. We are going to get this because we can try both the idea in general and the 3 leading brands for a small outlay.

Great to hear from other mums that it's not that unrealistic to want to use them!

StoneBaby Thu 04-Aug-11 19:25:29

Look into this [[ MN] nappy board. I use reusables since DS was 6 weeks old.

StoneBaby Thu 04-Aug-11 19:25:55


msbuggywinkle Thu 04-Aug-11 19:32:02

We use them (and do weave lentils!).

I use muslins for the first few weeks as they're cheap if they need throwing from meconium, they aren't so gigantic and they dry really fast.

mopsytop Thu 04-Aug-11 20:18:51

errmmm sorry to be dense, but what does lentil weaver actually mean??!

SnoozleDoozle Thu 04-Aug-11 21:32:54

I used them for my first, and will use them for my second too (due in November).

When newborn, I used pre-folds, rather than shaped nappies, as they weren't as bulky. They are basically just a rectangle that you fold in three. They also dry easily as they fold out flat. When she was more mobile, the fitted ones were better.

As for extra work, I honestly didn't find them any more work than disposables would be. For me, putting an extra wash on every second night before we went to bed and taking them out in the morning was nowhere near as much hassle as having to heave a big bag of disposables home from the shop. And when changing, lobbing them into a bucket next to me was nowhere near as much trouble as walking out in the pouring rain to put a nappy in the bin.

So, all round thumbs up from me! We did use disposables on holidays etc though, for convenience.

duzida Thu 04-Aug-11 23:06:37

one thing to consider is size of your house/flat. I really intended to use cloth nappies, but we don't have a tumble dryer, and more importantly, have a very small flat, so there is barely any space to dry clothes at the best of times. It just didn't seem possible to find space for nappies AND clothes to dry quickly enough before the next wash.

if you've got more space, it would be easier...

ilovemydogandMrObama Thu 04-Aug-11 23:10:56

used them on all 3 dcs. find the system that suits you. we use nappy and wrap, but some people swear by all in one

CrazyAlien06 Fri 05-Aug-11 16:41:28

I'm planning to use them with my first born due in October :-) aiming to use them from birth as that's what I believe in. Will have to wait and see if they work but I hope so!x

nocake Fri 05-Aug-11 16:51:03

We use nappies made from microfibre so they dry really quickly (Close Parent Dream Dri). They dry overnight, hung up in the house, so we don't have damp nappies hanging around for days.

notcitrus Fri 05-Aug-11 17:15:21

I got talked into giving them a try by SIL dumping a pile of nappies on me, and then seeing a load on Freecycle.
Ended up using them from around 3 weeks (when the free disposables started running out and we got more sentient!), and became a total convert.

Take off, put in lidded bucket, chuck the lot in machine when full, on 40 deg with non-bio. Couldn't be easier.

I did occasionally use a disposable (usually when I got caught out and had to use the couple in the back of the pushchair), but one advantage was not feeling I'd wasted cash when checking to see if ds needed a change and in fact he didn't.

You might consider using the voucher for size 2 nappies (roughly 6 weeks plus) and getting virtually unused small ones from a site like clothnappytree or washed-only ones from Ebay (you can't sell used nappies on Ebay...), as the smallest size hardly get used and go for peanuts.

Scaredycat3000 Fri 05-Aug-11 22:16:21

I've used a birth to potty two part nappy system from about 4 months with my DS. I agree with most of the posts, wait a bit, try before you buy, clothes can be harder to fit, not as hard work as people assume, use disposables when I need to. I'm about to get free nappies for DC2 due in October grin

galwaygal Fri 05-Aug-11 23:50:04

I did not find out about fleece liners until dc3, and it made a huge difference for me. I found the disposable liners on a roll sometimes leaked, once I started using the reusable fleece liners, I had no leaks. The fleece washes really well and easily and dries extremely quickly.

I did use disposable nappies for the first few days meconium, and I did often use them at night, as they are more absorbant and my kiddies never poo'd at night, so I never had to then change nappy during the night that way.

But over the three children I have made a huge saving finacially with nappy costs. I used two piece prefold nappies and have just had to replace some of the outer wraps, but changed to cheaper versions and found they worked just as well as the more expensive versions. Time wise they are not any more hassel than disposables in my mind, you just get into a routine and all is great.

I think that getting a trial pack of a few different brands is a great idea, that way you can work out what works best for your baby and yourself.

ravenAK Sat 06-Aug-11 00:04:53

I've used them for all three dc. Saved a bloody fortune - most of mine were 2nd hand, & will be on here 'free for postage' in a few months as too tatty to sell, but still very useable.

Buy a couple each of lots of different types; that way you can find out which work best for you.

Also, different kinds work best in different situations. I rate totsbots as good all rounders (no explosive poo escapes!) but they're bulky. & don't bother with the coloured ones - they all end up greyish-yellow grin.

Stuffables are easier to leave for babysitters but icky to dismantle after use.

I don't use liners - I just hose the poo off down the loo then wet pail.

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