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Can anyone talk me through reusable nappies?(22 Posts)
First baby, due August. I'd like to use reusable cloth nappies, but having read about it I feel quite confused!
Can someone please give me the lowdown on what I would need to do with them, and where to order from (would need to order online as don't live near a big city)?
Also any massive advantages/disadvantages? The main reason I'd like to use them is to reduce plastic waste, but I've never met anyone that's used reusables.
Nappy lady questionnaire is your first thing. Then do her hire kit- saves buying loads that don't suit your child's shape etc. We've don't it for two years and it's been great. Lots of advice on here too. Spend money on great wraps like motherease airflow. Most other stuff like bucket bags etc you can do v cheap on eBay or amazon. Feel free to pm me.
Thanks, Toad. Just done the questionnaire. Will see what they come back to me and say. :-)
Well my daughter is 8 now but as a baby I used Bumgenius nappies and they were great. Lasted years, easy to use and look cute.
I wouldn't buy too many of anything until your baby is born and you can see what shape he/she is - different nappies suit different babies. Also, not sure if anyone has said this to you, but don't start with the washable nappies until your baby has got all of the meconium out of his/her system. It's horribly gooey tarry stuff and you don't want to be washing that out of your beautiful fluffy nappies.
I tried a number of different options and bought one or two of several different types of nappy before committing to anything. The Nappy Lady doesn't seem to do my absolute favourite, which was the Itti Bitti D'lish . These are in between an all-in-one and a two-part nappy, because they have a soft minki outer, and pop-in absorbent bamboo pads. You can buy extra bamboo inserts, so if they're wet but the outer is clean, you can pop in a clean insert, but for me, the benefit was more that the outers dry really quickly and the inserts take ages to dry (bamboo is massively absorbent, but that does result in longer drying times) and having extra inserts meant I could dry them on the line rather than having to use the tumble dryer and negating some of the eco-friendly reasons for using them in the first place!
I used all three sizes for my son, who was long and skinny. I'm having triplets in the summer - I'm really hoping the Itti Bittis will work for them, but I will be trying the ones I've got before buying any more.
Second the nappy lady advice. Something else to look at is g-nappies - can either be reusable (with bamboo) or disposable biodegradable inner. I haven't tried them yet (37 weeks with DC3) but got some at half price from ocado and looking forward to trying them!
Random question, but what are the benefits of using re-usable nappies?
pandora main benefit from my point of view is the lack of disposable nappies going to landfill. My reusable nappies are 3rd hand so the manufacturing energy has long ago been 'paid off' and though they need washing you end up doing lots of loads already with a baby so it is not as though the machine is going on just for nappies.
Pandora - the benefits are mainly environmental as you aren't sending loads of nappies to landfill - they take between 200 and 500 years to biodegrade, depending on the brand. They can also be cheaper, especially if you use them for more than one child.
I use cloth nappies. I bought them off ebay, second hand and some off facebook groups - if you are on facebook, clothbums anonymous and pre-loved cloth nappies are great groups.
I bought a selection of nappies as I didn't know what we would like and have slowly built up a stash of those that work for us and sold on the ones which don't. Washing them at 60 degrees every few washes ensures that no nasties remain and they can therefore be used between babies. It also makes them work out even cheaper.
There are several types of nappy, all in ones, two parters or more traditional terry cloth squares. You get really cute designs on the outer wrap- th waterproof part. You need approximately 1/3 wraps to nappies if using 2 parters.
You can get one size fits most, birth to potty or sized ones.
I found initially that my washing machine was a little smelly, but doing an extra rinse each nappy wash has solved that issue.
We do not find them anymore difficult than disposables, I use 2 parters and fold immediately after drying, stuffing them in to the wrap so they can be used like a disposable.
As well as nappies you may need some booster (for if your baby wees a lot, liners to keep the urine away from their skin- these can be fleece washable ones or flushable ones. They also catch the poop), a nappy bucket/ pail which you can get for £6 off amazon, and something to dry them on when it's raining (line drying outside is best).
If you are considering reusable nappies you should definitely consider reusable wipes- they are fab!
It's not cloth or nothing either - loads of people use disposable at night / long journeys etc.
What works at 6m might not work at 1yo so definitely worth trying out a few types.
It saves ££ as long as you don't get hooked on expensive prints!
Well what you need to do...
Assemble the nappy (I used to do this before I put them away so I could just grab and go), take old one off and put it in your nappy bucket or wet bag, put the new nappy on. You'll need to wash them every day to begin with as a little baby will need 8-12 nappies a day. If it all starts getting a bit stinky then some tea tree oil in the buckets and bags can help so it's hood to gave this in advance. You can also use reusable wipes which is no extra effort if you are doing nappy washes already. You won't need nappy liners until they have solid poo from solid food as the milk poo just flows around liners.
For me the main selling point was the financial saving, reusable wipes alone saved us about £250 a year! And disposable nappies can easily be £500 a year, my DS potty trained at about 3.2. That's over £1500, our nappy kit probably cost about £400 all in including extra stuff we brought over the years extra laundry £80 a year I guess so £240 for 3 years. That's a saving of £850 for the first child!
The big plus for me (ignoring finances) is how customisable they are - you can have a nappy with small leg holes but lots of absorbancy which is pretty handy. If doing birth to potty rather than sized nappies you might need to wait a while before they fit.
Local nappy libraries may be cheaper than the nappy lady.
I picked ours up on eBay (after an initial loan from the nappy lady).
Used them for 3dc then passed them on free to friends - gave loads away on here actually!
Saved a fortune & happy not to have left 6 years worth of disposables clogging up landfill. I was a totsbots fan, but they are quite slow to dry, which is ok if you have good weather or lots of radiators.
Definitely try a few different types. See what works best, buy 2nd hand where possible.
(I also used disposable nappies quite often when out or on holiday).
I used them with my second baby. I wanted to with my first but DH didn't. I'd convinced him by the time we got into number 2!
Do you have any local council schemes? The best thing to do is touch and feel then- you will understand it a lot better.
Feel free to ask me any questions!
Wow, thanks for all the replies. Lots to read about. Sadly, my local council doesn't do grants for reusable nappies anymore, and I don't live near a nappy library.
I think that maybe the hire kit would be a good idea initially, until we figure out if we get on with it. Glad to hear from a few people that it's doable.
I didn't spend that much on them, but I use them alongside disposables. £50 for 12 off Amazon (Little Bloom). These are pocket nappies that you stuff with a nappy insert of yoyr choice. Bamboo inserts are apparently more absorbent as they are natural so that's what I use. With a bamboo liner to try and catch the poo.
Big tip- wash both nappies and inserts a few times before the baby comes. Or soak them in water for 12 hours. This increases the absorbancy. I didn't do this and thought they were crap at first. But they aren't! They're really good but my DS is a heavy wetter and they sometimes can't contain the wee.
They are very cute as well as being environmentally friendly :-)
Very doable. I have used them with both children. I discovered wool wraps with my second which finally got overnight cloth working for us.
I don't use reusable nappies (although thinking of introducing some over the summer, drying issues has been the main reason for not using so far as DS was born in October) but cannot speak highly enough of reusable wipes - I bought the Cheeky Wipes kit and it's fantastic. DS has never had a sore bum and they are actually much more effective than regular wipes. Look them up on Facebook as they always have discount offers/freebies of you spend over a certain amount
Grr trying to post on here but it keeps failing. Will this work?
I've just posted about this on another thread, so I've cut and paste here!
I don't find it too much of a hassle tbh. I use tots bots nappies. Just stick them in a bucket with a net, then when it's full chuck them in the machine. I stick a bit of napisan in with the washing powder as it seems to help with the smell. If you can line dry them even better, as the sunlight bleaches the poo stains when they are really little, so they come out white again! My nursery agreed to use them as well. I've got about 25ish tots bots which is about enough, I've got a few Closer too which I use if I've run out, but they are not as good IMHO.
Downsides are they are bulkier to carry round with you, you need wet bags to carry the wet ones, you are always doing washing, what with baby clothes too. Have to change them more often than a paper nappy. Might not be cheaper if you are planning to use childcare who won't use them.
Upsides are cost. It does work out cheaper, especially if you are planning more than one child, and it feels cheaper to me. I spend about £180 on 20 nappies, a bucket, couple of nets, few other bits from the baby show. Then I buy the napisan, liners, had to buy a few wetbags, but the running costs seem small. They seemed to leak (poo) less than paper when he was new born. Obviously less waste and environmental impact. Another advantage is you can use washable wipes as well, which saves a lot of cash and waste!
My DD prefers the cloth ones so we actually have fewer changes in cloth which is a big plus and the wet bags are useful when you have a changing related incident - to be fair to the cloth nappies they contain poo so well it smells less so you get poo on their clothes in the changing process rather than before if you see what I mean.
Before cloth we filled our wheelie bin so fast we had to take bags of nappies to the tip between collections. Which was a pain to say the least.
Definitely prewash the nappies but I wouldn't wash more than one of a type unless you've tried that type before - a brand that should have worked for us always leaked for no apparent reason while others didn't!
would like to also add that its not "all or nothing" when it comes to cloth. We use reusables about 50% of the time, and disposables the rest (like at night, out and about in town, etc).
Got most of mine second hand (ebay, FB or free off of friends) to begin with to try and find the right combination that worked for us.
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