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nappies..cloth v disposable

(76 Posts)
BabyHMummy Tue 02-Apr-13 14:43:21

Ok folks so this has prob been done to death but am a relative newbie at this baby lark.

All my friends have used disposable and have been you guys discussing the pros and cons of the various types of cloth nappies and am trying to work out which i am going to use.

Have done some research so i know the green debate is pretty much a mute point as work out about same risk to the environment and cost lose electricity being an ever increasing cost means that by and large they cancel each other out. So which do i pick.

Please help by telling me What choice have you made and why?

VisualiseAHorse Tue 02-Apr-13 14:47:00

There is a nappy board over here:

BabyHMummy Tue 02-Apr-13 14:53:24

Ohhh thanks hun will have a look

nannyl Tue 02-Apr-13 16:46:13

the green point is actually huge

have you read that study... all god knows how many pages, about it?
(I have)
The assume you buy new cotton nappies every 6 months, and that they are all cotton which is a product that uses loads of water in production.... and you then wash 12 a day on a boil wash, tumble dry always (many nappies cant be tumble dried and dont even need to be as dry overnight on an airer) and spend 5 mins ironing each nappy.....

also the amount of water they assumed the washing machine used was far far more than even a 7 year old washing machine uses...

Oh and yes they accounted for the fabric softener too.... buy it, transporting it to shop, then the petrol loads of it in your car.... even though you must not even use it in the first place...

so the study sponsored by of the big disposable brands is a complete load of crap... most modern nappies are either made of bamboo (much more environmentally friendly than cotton) or fleece (ie recycled bottles)....

just something to consider wink

ButteryJam Tue 02-Apr-13 16:53:09

Personally I would never use cloth nappies. Its not just about the work involved, I just don't think it is very hygienic.

Fairylea Tue 02-Apr-13 16:54:13

I switched to cloth when ds was 8 months although I still use pampers for night as he sleeps 12 hours and even with all the boosters in the world nothing else compares! smile I love Charlie banana and I also buy nappies from a page called pixie pants on facebook. I do need to add additional boosters though - I use one microfibre, one bamboo and one hemp. In the Charlie banana I use 2 inserts. Fill your pants is another good site. Although as the absorbency of nappies is increased with washing eBay etc or nappy cloth tree have good second hand ones.

You will need to wash new nappies 4-6 times to get them anywhere near absorbent enough.

It's more fiddly than disposables in terms of washing them and stuffing the pockets (if you use pocket ones) but the main reason I switched was ds started to get nappy rash in all disposable nappies whereas with cloth it's completely cleared up.

I didn't start when he was younger as newborn poo is horrid quite frankly and older babies poo just tips down the toilet.

Fairylea Tue 02-Apr-13 16:57:07

How is it not hygienic?

Disposable nappies sit around with poo in them in bins for weeks.

Washable nappies are no more unhygienic than washing a babies baby gro that has poo on it! Unless you just throw them out ?? smile

All poo is flushed down the toilet where it belongs.

FoofFighter Tue 02-Apr-13 17:20:37

Also struggling to see how it's not hygienic confused

I'm starting buying my stash grin so far got some Little Lambs, Diddy Diapers both are fitted/shaped nappy types that you need a wrap over the top of. I also have some pre-folds which are essentially like your old terry squares but flat if that makes sense?, which will be used with the above wraps again.

I honestly cannot see how it's hard work these days, they look just like dispoeables really, easy as to change, just use a liner to catch the worst poo (reuseables or dispo) then the nappies get washed in a machine (no longer do you need to stand over them for an hour and boil wash them on the hob and scrub them by hand!) so 2 minutes work there to fill the machine, another few mins to empty it again. Add in about ten mins to hang them out to dry, or on an airer and bingo you are done. (You could tumble them too but I won't be)

You can get them in many types of fabric now and some can even come out of the machine virtually dry (microfibre ones).

Toowittoowoo Tue 02-Apr-13 18:12:13

I used cloth nappies for DD 1 until she was 18 months when I couldn't find any to fit properly as they kept leaking. As she was also looking like she was ready for potty training at that point I decided to switch to disposables for a few months while I geared up to potty training. As it turned DD1 then broke her leg, then had chicken pox, then it was Christmas and she lost all interest in the potty and now refuses to sit on it! We have consequentally been in disposables for about 9 months and I wish I had spent more time looking for a different 'style' that would not have leaked!

I really didn't find reusable nappy to be that much work. You just bung the whole bag into washing machine each night (or every 2 nights by about 1 year) and then hang them out to dry. To be honest compared to how much a baby turns your life upside I didn't think the nappies made much difference. The only thing I really like about disposables is how small the are so a couple of nappies and a pack of wet wipes can easily fit in a handbag when we are out and about. This has only become an issue however since DD has been walking everywhere so we don't have a buggy.

nannyl Tue 02-Apr-13 18:15:51

I fail to comprehend how it isnt hygienic

far more hygienic then hospital sheet that have been covered in anyone and everyones bodily fluids..... but then that doesnt matter either..... as they are washed properly and get clean again.

At least DDs clothes and vests etc dont get covered in poo etc unlike the clothes of so many disposable users.....

BabyHMummy Tue 02-Apr-13 18:53:21

I don't see how either or less or more hygienic. Its more the hassle of washing and drying them that worries me. I live in a flat and not a fan of the tumble dryer unless absolutely necessary so concerned that the dying side may be an issue. I think i will do.some more research!

For ref it wasn't surveys by big brands i was reading it was a couple of indep ones and boots web md

Phineyj Tue 02-Apr-13 19:00:02

I don't think it's very hygienic to be washing pooey nappies in a kitchen where you eat. You can't really compare a smear on clothes to a whole nappy full! If our washing machine was in a utility room I would consider cloth ones. We compromised and use Bambo eco nappies. I would have liked to compost them but it wasn't practical with DD arriving in December (there was a successful project in Ireland where they composted them -- IMO that would be a better solution, for those who have space).

Phineyj Tue 02-Apr-13 19:01:09

Also our bins are collected fortnightly and the nappies (in nappy sacks) do not smell at all that I have noticed.

BabyHMummy Tue 02-Apr-13 19:08:54

Due to living in a council flat our are collect weekly but i am old to hear that they don't smell in bins the aren't collected as often

Fairylea Tue 02-Apr-13 19:22:14

Well our bins are collected monthly - we are very rural ! - and I would rather wash nappies regularly than have to walk past the smell of a bin with nappies in nappy sacks.... but that's just me. I didn't do it for the eco reasons - I shameless use my tumble drier to dry all my nappies... and I use pampers for days out etc as its just easier. But again a lot of people use cloth all the time.

I don't understand why it's not hygienic to wash nappies in a kitchen... you're washing them in a washing machine, not on the food worktop smile .. and not a nappy full of poo either, you either use biodegradable liners so these catch the poo and are flushed down the loo.. or if you have an older baby like my ds he does very solid poo, like an adults (!) So you just take the nappy to the toilet and tip the poo in the toilet and flush. Almost all the poo is gone before it goes into the wash at all.

Eletheomel Tue 02-Apr-13 19:25:14

I fail to see how keeping dirty nappies in a lidded bin and then putting them in a washing machine (which is entirely sealed) is in anyway unhygienic and a risk to health? Methinks some people look for any excuse to justify sending hundreds of nappies to landfill....

I used cloth nappies when DS was 2 months old, until we switched he leaked in every disposable brand we tried - and when we went to cloth we found we were saving so much washing on his clothes that it was no extra work at all.

We had about 20 nappies and washed them every other day. I also used reusable wipes and put them in the same wash (and they don't need dried before use) and so saved many pennies that way.

I never tumble dried them (I have a tumble drier but hardly ever use it due to the cost of electricity) but hung them outside in nice weather or put them on clothes horses to dry indoors. I used bumgenius v3, which were microfibre lined (really soft on babies bottom) and dried really quickly (certainly overnight on a clothes horse whether the heating was on or not).

To me, it was no hassle at all and as I'll be using them again for my current bean, it's so much more cost effective.

Also, our landfill bin is only a half bin (our council is big on recycling) and is collected every 2 weeks, so we don't have room in our bin for disposables (we actually switched to flushable cat litter as the cat litter bags were filling up our bin!).

It's your choice, and what I would say is that not every style of cloth nappy is going to suit you (or your baby). I got a subsidised nappy trial pack from our local real nappy network (basically got 6 different brand new cloth nappies and a nappy bin for 35 quid - massive saving) and this let me try them all out for a while before deciding on the brand I wanted to buy. Check your local council and see if they have any similar incentives (some places also let you hire cloth nappies for a while to see if it works for you).

Good luck with your decision :-)

SatsukiKusukabe Tue 02-Apr-13 19:34:51

I have a toploader washing machine so I fill it halfway until the morning then just dump the nappies in through out day then run it in eve. Disposables at night and sometimes during the day if we be out late. bought second hand nappies which we're spotless and saves us a fortune. it hasn't got time be one or the other really. Do suggest using disposables for the first week if exausted constant nappy changing though. you will have enough washing up from sick with out adding meconium to your evenings

SatsukiKusukabe Tue 02-Apr-13 19:35:55

also remember you can use them for next baby too, can't do that with disposables grin

Toowittoowoo Tue 02-Apr-13 19:40:54

It is obviously a personal choice whether you use them but I can't resist replying to hygiene comments.

Most nappies have a flushable liner (which might look like very durable kitchen roll or dry wet wipes) so when you change the nappy you just lift up the liner (which includes most of the poo) and flush it down the toilet. You tehn put the dirty nappy in a bucket lined with mesh draw string bag. When it is time to wash the nappies you just pick up the bag and shove it all in the washing machine. Having used both disposables and cloth nappies I don't think either are very hygienic but I'm not sure that one is worse than the other!

VinegarDrinker Tue 02-Apr-13 19:40:57

The nappies aren't "full of poo" though Phiney (unlike disposables) - especially if you use flushable liners (as we do) all the poo goes straight in the toilet and there is just a smear left, plus wee.

VinegarDrinker Tue 02-Apr-13 19:42:50

X posts!

I'm no cloth evangelist, we love them but each to their own. But the hygiene argument is pure tosh. It is no different to washing clothes with a smear of poo on. we even chuck them in with a normal clothes wash sometimes SHOCK HORROR

Dogsmom Tue 02-Apr-13 20:05:37

I've never used cloth so can't comment on experience of them but from what I've read I think I'd find them a faff.

My daughter is almost 4 weeks old and currently gets through about 6 nappies a day, I find the disposables so convenient, she's changed in a couple of minutes and I have no extra washing to do.

It might be different if I was more organised or our the routine was more set but I find my day is already filled with looking after her, the dogs, housework, shopping etc.

I'm using the Aldi ones which work out under 6p each.

glossyflower Wed 03-Apr-13 07:43:40


Thanks for that post! I'm expecting 1st baby in couple of weeks and have bought wasable nappies. I wasn't sure how they were used and recently been thinking I should find out how to do it!
For the first couple of weeks I plan on using disposables just until I get into a routine.

PurplePidjin Wed 03-Apr-13 08:31:20

Even "eco" disposables don't degrade in landfill because of the methane (iirc)

I find it a lot less hassle to chuck a wash on every couple of days than to take a newborn round the supermarket then drag a huge box into the house, then find somewhere to put it.

I have 5 totsbots easyfits (and 4 more on the way) 5 Realeasy by Hip Hip Baby (fluffy soft minky outer!) and a dozen or so cheapie pockets in bright colours and funky designs. That does 3-4 days on a 19wo although i try to wash on alternate days so he can wear his pretty ones blush

Overnight, bamboo fitteds (i have totsbots, little lamb and lollipop) boosted with microfibre with a wool soaker. I have 6 fitted nappies and 3 covers on rotation (they need re-lanolising if they get poo on and he seems to like pooing in the morning!)

I have spent about £200 (generous estimate) on nappies. 34 Pampers is £5.50. I'll have my money back in a year.

Everything dries on the radiator or washing line within a day - if i put a wash on now, he could wear his night nappy again tonight.

PurplePidjin Wed 03-Apr-13 08:33:51

Glossyflower don't bother with liners for newborn poo, it just goes everywhere as it's so liquid! Wait for solid weaned poo, and if you're clever with diet you get poo that just rolls off into the toilet apparently! Then you can use fleece liners grin

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