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Reusable nappies!

(63 Posts)
Darksideofthemoon88 Thu 17-Apr-14 16:51:12

Didn't know quite where to post this, but hopefully someone here will know the answer...

DP and I would really like to use reusable nappies rather than disposables, but there seems to be a huge range out there and I don't know what will work best! Can anyone give some recommendations? Ideally, I like the sound of the 'expandable' ones with poppers that are supposed to increase in size as your baby does - but please tell me if this is a bad idea!

Thanks in advance smile

Gen35 Thu 17-Apr-14 16:55:57

Hmm I've seen other threads on this but not sure where. Incised bumgenius with dd1 (had poppers) were great and still fitted at over 3! There's a real nappy website but doesn't cover all areas. I wouldn't do it for the first few weeks though, depending on the birth you might not be up to initially. It can work out as quite a large upfront expense, was shocked at the outlay and they recommend something like 36-48 (especially if not tumbling as takes longer to dry, reckon in 12/day on av.) but nice not to have the ongoing cost. Also used Eco disposables for travel!

Rockchick1984 Thu 17-Apr-14 17:04:23

Go on the nappy lady website and she will recommend ones based on your circumstances and requirements and you'll get 5% discount from her. Also check if your local council offers a discount scheme.

I've been using the birth to potty nappies (the adjustable size ones) and my favourites are Charlie Banana, I've also got some Little Lamb sized pockets and they are fantastic and last for ages without needing changing!

Villavillekula Thu 17-Apr-14 17:26:32

I use bambinex shaped nappies, a mix of teddy (fast drying) and bamboo (take longer to dry but are less bulky and more absorbant). I did get 2 sizes, though they do have poppers so you could get away with just size 2. If you are doing this for cost or environmental reasons, you could buy second hand (if you are not put off by the idea). I felt the size 2 nappies with all the poppers done up were a bit bulky on a tiny baby. I also got some fleece washable wipes.

I tend to wash in the evening, hang up to dry and the teddy ones are dry by the next morning and bamboo ones later. I also have a heated airer, which helps speed things up in the winter. I think I have about 12 nappies and wash every other day, the number you need would depend on how often you plan on washing them.

As above agree, you might not want to use them from the start (I started at 6 weeks with DS1 and 8 weeks with DS2).

To see the different options and get advice, you might be able to get a demo. I went to one with the nappy lady, who recommended which ones I should get and how many, based on various things like washing facilities, budget, babies body type, etc.

Hope that helps.

whereisshe Thu 17-Apr-14 17:59:10

Definitely do the nappy lady questionnaire, it helps. And see if your local authority do a trial kit or vouchers which can help: eg Surrey, London.

I have little lamb v2 osfa, Charlie banana osfa, bamboozle sized with motherease wrap and canny mum osfa. The Charlie bananas are my favourite, they fit well around the legs and waist and they're very soft.

Darksideofthemoon88 Thu 17-Apr-14 18:25:37

Thanks, guys smile I as hoping to start asap, but have some disposables for immediately after the birth as I heard meconiam (sp?) poos aren't the easiest to wash out! Also, what do you need in terms of liners/waterproof outers etc? That's what's really confused me: couldn't make head nor tail of it!

I'm happy to buy second-hand, Villa - as long as they've been washed! grin Anywhere you'd recommend? I've only really looked on Ebay, but gave up pretty quickly as I couldn't work out what I needed!

ChocolateWombat Thu 17-Apr-14 18:31:00

Yes yes to Nappy Lady website.
They tailor their recommendations to your budget, drying facilities and how you want to use them.

And do the questionnaire and buy some before birth. Once you start with disposables and have a new baby, you just might never get round to it all, which would be a real shame.

whereisshe Thu 17-Apr-14 18:32:00

I use fleece liners for DD (4 months). No point in the disposable liners until the poo is solid ie baby is eating solids. Stains come out if you do a cold rinse before washing, no need to soak or bleach. And sunlight will make stains go away if rinsing doesn't work.

The waterproof outer is only needed if it's not a pocket nappy or all in one. If you look at (for example) bamboozles, you can see that the whole nappy is fabric - it will all absorb liquid and needs a wrap to stop leaks. All in ones or pocket nappies have a waterproof outer layer built in.

The other variable is boosters - you can put extra layers inside, in the pocket if there is one, or outside if it's a fabric nappy (outside nappy, inside wrap). If your baby can ewe for England like mine can this becomes necessary!

whereisshe Thu 17-Apr-14 18:32:20

*wee not ewe hmm

ShoeJunkie Thu 17-Apr-14 18:36:43

Another vote for the nappy lady!
She also has lots of videos on YouTube which explain how 'reusable nappies' generally work - worth a look.
We've been using totsbots easy fits with DS for over two years now, they've been fab for us.
Lots of cloth nappy users on the 'nappies' section here too.

whereisshe Thu 17-Apr-14 18:42:13

I used disposables when DD was tiny - the osfa are difficult on newborn babies, they don't always fit properly. Also 15+ nappies a day is a lot of washing!

JammyTodger Thu 17-Apr-14 18:43:26

We used Bum Genius birth to potty and they were excellent. Although I dabbled with other prettier brands the BGs were the most consistent and despite being worn and washed for 2 years they are good as new. I'm actually trying to find a good home for them now so if you're interested in trying them, pm me.

PurplePidjin Thu 17-Apr-14 19:02:51

Most birth to potty nappies (the ones with expandable poppers) are suitable from 8lb

Nearest the baby's skin you want a disposable liner (as said, pretty pointless for nb poo!). Then a fleece one to wick away the wetness. Then microfibre, then bamboo then hemp. Depending on your baby you may need no more than a microfibre layer, most people get good results from 1 mf and 1 bamboo.

Nappies where it's all together are called All In Ones (AIOs). They usually have a long tongue that you fold into a gap between the PUL (waterproof outer layer) and fleece inner. Most big chains now stock these - off the top of my head, Boots and Tesco do Totsbots Easyfits and Kiddicare and Sainsburys do Bambino Mio Miosolos. AIOs are the easiest type to use, although mine have always needed an extra booster to get a decent length of time (3-4 hours for a day nappy)

Pocket nappies are nearly as easy, and a LOT cheaper on ebay (known as cheapies) plus they come in all sorts of amazing prints. The nappy itself consists of a PUL or Minky waterproof outer, and a fleece inner. It's then up to you what you put in the middle (most people use 1 mf and 1 bamboo booster and new ones tend to come with these)

Then there are 2 part nappies. That's where you get a nappy-shaped absorbent bit (a fitted) with a separate PUL or minky outer (wrap). That's what Villavillekula is using, although there are many brands - including Totsbots available from big retailers.

Wraps can also be used with flat nappies - either traditional terries, prefolds (lots of layers of cotton sewn together) and for newborns muslins are really good. You can also get fleece and wool wraps (pants shaped are called soakers, fleece trousers are called flongies and wool trousers are called longies)

AIOs or pockets are great for daytime. With the right combination you can get 3-4 hours and I change less often than some of my disposable using friends. Two parters are better for overnight because you can buy a shitload of boosters and make them last for hours - 17mo ds is currently asleep in a bamboo fitted boosted with a prefold and a bamboo booster and i expect it to last a good 12 hours! Plus no worry about the nappy getting overloaded and bursting.

Different brands fit differently - I know quite a few people who spent £200+ on a kit only to give up because it was too hard/they didn't fit when actually they bought the wrong thing for their needs (or were expecting an unboosted nappy to last overnight!). You'll need more in the early days but as the baby's system develops they'll stop pooing at night and wee less. So muslins or prefolds in a wrap (you just fold down the lines of a prefold and put it between their legs then the wrap goes over the top) are brilliant in the early days, and can then be used for other things I keep one in the car for demisting the windscreen or to stuff in a pretty pocket.

Make sure the elastic on the legs is tucked well into the knicker line, this stops leaks along with having enough boosting/changing frequently enough.

Sorry about the epic post. DS has been in cloth since he was 5 days old and I'm trying to fit 17 months worth of experimenting into one post!

Congratulations thanks

PurplePidjin Thu 17-Apr-14 19:08:10

Oh! Washing! Use powder with no fabric softener as products build up on the nappy inners and bugger up the absorbency. I wash at 60 with a prewash and 2 extra rinses, and only use a scant tablespoon of powder. The heat kills the bugs. Clean nappies should smell of fresh air or whatever you cooked that day and used ones don't really smell as much compared to the chemical reek of disposables.

My nappies - even the heavy duty bamboo night ones - dry in about 5 hours on a sunny day on the line, or 10ish on the maiden next to the radiator. 3 if they're actually on the radiator but never put PUL in contact with a heat source - it stands for PolyUrethane Laminate so imagine what would happen to a laminated piece of paper on a radiator for 3 hours [btugrin]

You don't need to store them in a bucket of dirty water these days either - that actually damages the PUL - you just need a lidded bin and a mesh laundry bag. If it starts to smell, pop a drop of Olbas type oil on a sanitary pad and stick it to the lid [btuwink]

PurplePidjin Thu 17-Apr-14 19:08:32

Dammit tbugrin and tbuwink]

PurplePidjin Thu 17-Apr-14 19:08:46

<gives up>

Darksideofthemoon88 Thu 17-Apr-14 19:11:17

Wow Purple, that was an epic post! grin Thanks for your expertise though - mind truly spinning with the options! Don't think the flat/terry/whatever ones would work for me - I can't imagine being able to fold them properly. I want something as easy as possible, but are you saying that I'd need to use several liners at once whatever I buy? And can you clarify the overnight situation for me (sorry, think I have a serious mental block with these nappies - I'm actually not as stupid as I sound! hmm): what type of nappy can I use to allow me to pad it out with extra liners?

whereisshe Thu 17-Apr-14 19:23:43

Epic post Purple!

Something to consider Dark - babies have different preferences and pee capacities. I have super-boosted bamboo nappies for night (two bamboo boosters, bamboo nappy, nappy lady super booster) and DD can go through it in 5 hours. Then she gets grumpy as she will not tolerate a wet nappy. Other babies don't care if they're in a wet nappy and will wait for you to change it. So I need 30 nappies (jealous of people who only need 15!)...

Also you may not feel like washing nappies when you have a newborn - I didn't (one if the reasons I waited until DD was about 6 weeks to start).

PurplePidjin Thu 17-Apr-14 19:24:33

A liner catches poo. A disposable (worth spending the extra on flushable once you're weaning IME!) liner so you don't have to touch it, then a fleece one to wick the wet away - like capillary action on an old fashioned tent, you touch it and water comes through.

Then you get boosters (small ones) and inserts (big ones). These are made of various materials all with different properties - microfibre absorbs fast but doesn't hold much, bamboo absorbs at a medium rate and holds a medium amount, hemp holds loads but it takes a while to soak in which is why you use them in a particular order.

How many and which type you use depends on your baby, so it's worth having a few of each to start then you can sell on what doesn't work and buy more of what does.

Most AIO and pocket nappies last 3-4 hours, and are slimline to look nice under clothes. No one sees your baby at night, and I'm buggered if I'm getting up every 3 hours to change a nappy now I don't have to get up to feed him, so you want to stuff the nappy until their bum is the size of a planet in order to maximise your rest. Fitted nappies are the easiest for this - it's worth the extra effort at bedtime for the pay off of only doing it the once for the entire night.

I would recommend a two part nappy for over night - a fitted (shaped) nappy, lots of boosters, with a separate wrap over the top. Again the material depends on the baby but a bamboo fitted with a microfibre booster laid on top then a fleece liner suits most people.

Have a search for your local nappy library and/or nappy laundry smile

PurplePidjin Thu 17-Apr-14 19:27:42

whereis i have one like that - can outpee an oldstyle bamboozle in 2 hours! And don't start me on V3 ef's tbuhmm

I have at least 15 night nappies, just from trying to find the right ones. Luckily all bargains or lends from friends or I'd be even more skint tbuwink

Wool and boosting my bamboo with prefolds - so basically wearing 2 nappies at a time - seems to be the current answer...

whereisshe Thu 17-Apr-14 22:32:33

Ah, I'm going to try that with a prefold! She'll look even more like a bell when she goes to bed, with her massive nappy bum wink...

I have a wool soaker but keep going back to the motherease wrap as my relanolising doesn't seem to be working (work in progress with different techniques!). Hopefully the next one will wee less (sigh).

Jcb77 Thu 17-Apr-14 22:40:03

The nappy lady and fill your pants websites are great for info (I knew nothing to start with and now bore people to tears.... LO not even born yet!). Also in products section under topics there's a whole section on nappies - much I it about reusables.

nevergoogle Thu 17-Apr-14 22:41:18

devon county council provides a kit for a months free trial.
the kit contains lots of different brands of nappies to try and then if you decide to go for it, they give you 20% discount off your first order.

got my eye on the littlelamb bamboo ones but will be good to try out the full range.

the scheme has a 70% success rate in that 70% of people who do the months free trial, go on to use washables full or part time.

PurplePidjin Thu 17-Apr-14 22:54:34

whereis dissolve 1" lansinoh and a squirt of baby bath in a jar with some boiling water. pour over soaked and mix with hot from the tap. leave to soak for a couple of hours, squeeze water out by rolling in a towel and standing it, air dry smile

Villavillekula Thu 17-Apr-14 23:00:56

Darkside, I got mine new but a couple of friends mentioned they got theirs second hand, from ebay and gumtree I think. I don't know why I dind't think of it! Looks like you have an offer from JammyTodger, if you decide to go with Totsbots.

Purple seems to have covered most things. The only thing I can think to add is to watch out when buying baby clothes as I found a lot are designed based on disposables and have too slim a fit for cloth nappies, so look out for wider fitting sleepsuits / trousers. I used to go up a size a lot with DS1.

Wishing you the best of luck!

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