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real nappies vs disposables

(88 Posts)
Holly290505 Wed 19-Jan-05 21:11:45

My dp (despite not yet experiencing the reality of nappy changing!) is very keen on using real nappies when our first baby is born. I have had experience of them briefly as a nanny a while ago and it was a pain. I know where he's coming from on the eco-front but is it practical? And if so how does one go about getting the right system going etc? All debate greatefully read!

Laylasmum Wed 19-Jan-05 21:25:35

TO be honest and i'm sure loads of other mums on here will strongly disagree i'd go for the disposable route every time and i assume after some leave your dp will be back at work leaving you with all the mess!! Unless you can get on one of those nappy laundering schemes of course

Laylasmum Wed 19-Jan-05 21:26:17

TO be honest and i'm sure loads of other mums on here will strongly disagree i'd go for the disposable route every time and i assume after some leave your dp will be back at work leaving you with all the mess!! Unless you can get on one of those nappy laundering schemes of course

Laylasmum Wed 19-Jan-05 21:26:18

TO be honest and i'm sure loads of other mums on here will strongly disagree i'd go for the disposable route every time and i assume after some leave your dp will be back at work leaving you with all the mess!! Unless you can get on one of those nappy laundering schemes of course

Laylasmum Wed 19-Jan-05 21:26:18

TO be honest and i'm sure loads of other mums on here will strongly disagree i'd go for the disposable route every time and i assume after some leave your dp will be back at work leaving you with all the mess!! Unless you can get on one of those nappy laundering schemes of course

Laylasmum Wed 19-Jan-05 21:28:07

sorry about the multiple posts!!

Gem13 Wed 19-Jan-05 21:30:09

I haven't found it a pain and I have 2 (2.5 years and 11 months) in nappies at the moment. Both have been in them since they were born. We do use Moltex (eco-disposable) when we go on holiday but apart from that they are in cloth.

It is more work but so long as you have a good amount and a decent washing machine I don't think it is much more work than running out of disposables and dashing off to the supermarket, forever emptying the bin, etc.

Having a DP who is keen on the idea is a bonus as it is helpful to have someone else to put them on, put them in the drier, work out when you are running low.

Your local baby shop should be a good starter or the Nappy Lady's website is really informative (and she is very helpful).

We went for Motherease one size (20 of them) with 10 boosters and probably ended up with 6 wraps in each size. We prefer popper wraps but others like the velcro ones.

We also use washable wipes (small squares of cloth) which save a fortune on the commercial wipes. We dry pail - few drops of tea tree oil in the bucket, then a net liner - chuck the dirty nappies in, then when it's full pull the net out and chuck it in the machine.

DD is in DS's old nappies (he is now in Toddlerease - big nappies - although they were sharing for a few months) and so not only did we save something like £1,500 with him but another £2,000 with her (was probably £500 to buy all told with the paper liners, tea tree oil, etc). £3,500 is lot of money to otherwise chuck in the bin!

We started out doing it for enviromental reasons but have appreciated the financial benefits too and I hate putting the children in disposables now - it just feels wrong.

Have to say too that while we have had the odd wet leg with them we have only had really disastrous (more than wet) leaks in disposables [yuck!]

colditzmum Wed 19-Jan-05 21:30:33

Make him entirly responsible for the laundry, he will soon change his mind IMO

bubble99 Wed 19-Jan-05 21:37:38

Why not compromise and use an eco disposable. Nature nappies are the same price as Huggies/Pampers and are available from Waitrose, not sure about other supermarkets.
Gem, haven't come across Moltex- where do you buy them from?

Satine Wed 19-Jan-05 21:42:12

I found my Cotton Bottom reusable nappies brilliant for the first 6 - 8 months, when the waste is manageable but I'm afraid as my ds got older, he soaked the nappies very quickly, meaning that I had to change him every couple of hours at least (I know, I probably should do this anyway but I'm very lazy) and the poo was frankly a bit much, even with flushable liners. But now my dd has grown out of them, the cotton prefolds (inners) now make the best cloths EVER for cleaning, mopping up spills, changing mats....

Gem13 Wed 19-Jan-05 21:42:28

I buy them from our local baby shop but I've seen them in various health food shops too.

There is another thread on here today about buying them on the net.

Gem13 Wed 19-Jan-05 21:44:23

Spirit of Nature and NAture Bots were recommended.

Socci Wed 19-Jan-05 21:45:38

Message withdrawn

Tissy Wed 19-Jan-05 21:46:48

I think Laylasmum has made her point!

I disagree. We found using real nappies far superior to disposables. I had made a vague plan to use real nappies for our baby, but hadn't got round to it before she was born. When we brought her home we used a selection of disposables, from P*mpers to Eco-disposables, and wer horrified , firstly by the smell and secondly by the volume of waste generated by one tiny baby!

We used Tots Bots, which fit snugly, are very absorbent and don't leak, with a variety of covers, but settled on Bumpy wraps eventually.

You can use flushable liners to dispose of the poo down the loo, which is far less smelly than having full disps lying in your bin (even in bags)till you have the energy to go out to the dustbin; or you can use fleece liners, which you have to hold in the flush to "sluice", then wash with the nappies. Fleece liners keep the skin lovely and dry.

Washing just isn't a problem, I went back to work full-time when dd was 4 months old, and she is now, at 3, still in Tots at night. Dry-pailing (i.e. not soaking) in a bin with a snug lid is pretty much smell-free, and you can wash at 40 or 60 overnight and either line, radiator or tumble dry depending on your wishes.

Real nappies save you a lot of money compared to disposables. Don't let anyone tell you that the calculations don't include the cost of detergent, electricity, wear and tear on your machine, they do! Also you can re-sell them, and recoup some of your initial outlay, saving even more money. I bought dd's Tots size 2s 2 years ago for £5 each second hand, and they are still going strong. I expect to make around 3 each for them even in their well-used condition, when I eventually sell them on.

There is the environmental argument, but i suspect your dh has already given you all the gen on that, but there is also the "what would you rather have next to your delicate skin?" argument. I'd go for soft fluffy terry rather thsn paper any time. Yes, if you want o keep your baby comfy, you do need to change a cloth nappy regularly, but just because a disposable nappy can accommodate 12 hours worth of wee doesn't mean that it should.

Also, nappy rash isn't caused by wet nappies, it is caused by wet and pooey nappies staying on for too long, whether they are cloth or not. The combination of bacteria and urine releases ammonia which burns.

As for choosing your system, try a few and see what you like. Most good nappy retailers will sell/ lend you a selection pack to try out. We love our Tots, but they're not for everyone, as they do give a "big-bummed" look!

HTH

Tissy Wed 19-Jan-05 21:47:36

Sorry Laylasmum, your replies were the only ones there when I started my essay!!

Socci Wed 19-Jan-05 21:49:10

Message withdrawn

pootlepod Wed 19-Jan-05 21:54:58

I use reusuable nappies most of the time and love them. I used them from about 4 weeks so don't really know any difference with the 'work'aspect, I have a machine that does that for me. There is loads of info available out there, definately try the \link{http://www.flylady.net \nappy lady} and also kittykins and also the cloth resource for starters!
You say you used real nappies when you were a nanny, there seems to have been lots of developments since the early 90's- you don't say what you used but if it was a while ago, you may be surprised with the changes.
Oh, and definatley get DP to do the research/washing too, since he suggested it!

pootlepod Wed 19-Jan-05 21:55:49

I use reusuable nappies most of the time and love them. I used them from about 4 weeks so don't really know any difference with the 'work'aspect, I have a machine that does that for me. There is loads of info available out there, definately try the nappy lady and also kittykins and also the cloth resource for starters!
You say you used real nappies when you were a nanny, there seems to have been lots of developments since the early 90's- you don't say what you used but if it was a while ago, you may be surprised with the changes.
Oh, and definatley get DP to do the research/washing too, since he suggested it!

pootlepod Wed 19-Jan-05 21:58:48

whoops!

I'm just excited that I've finally worked out how to do links!

fruitful Wed 19-Jan-05 22:30:00

Don't buy a full set - get a couple and see what you think (there is a thriving secondhand market for them if you decide against and want to sell them on).

The bonuses for us were:

* no poo leaks - friends who use disposables always seemed to be dealing with breastfed poo explosions in the early months, but we never had a leak that got past the wrap onto dd's clothes (except on holiday when she was in pampers)

* much much cheaper especially with child 2!

* smell soooo much nicer than disposables

* not having to keep emptying the bin (important for us as dustbin is down two flights)

* cloth nappies are cuter

* knowing my dd wasn't being forced to wear paper knickers (I mean, would you wear disposable knickers?)

* less nappy rash (compared to when she was wearing disposables on holidays)

The downsides for me are:

* putting on 3 extra loads of washing every week (but I had a routine and it wasn't a big deal; do have a tumble drier tho)

* bulkier changing bag

colditzmum Wed 19-Jan-05 22:34:34

Fruitul, I don't wear paper knickers, but then again, I don't poo in my knickers either

Mirage Thu 20-Jan-05 08:49:17

We have used Kooshies & Bambino Mio for dd & will for the next baby too.I bought the kooshies from a friend who had used them on her twins & they were spotlessly clean & still have plenty of life in them.I prefer Bambino Mio nappies as you don't need to change the wrap each time you change the baby.

We have 2 nappy buckets in the bathroom-we dry pail because the thought of dd tipping a full bucket over fills me with dread.A drop of tea tree oil in the bucket stops it smelling.

DD has only ever had nappyrash once,& that was when she was poorly.

I find them no extra work at all-and am happy that I don't have to spend a fortune on disposables every week.

starlover Thu 20-Jan-05 09:58:25

I have got my supply of nappy nation no folds, plus litewrap as highly recommended by a friend.
The nappies are SO cute. They are shaped, sized nappies but they fold out for quicker drying (i live in a flat with no clothes line or tumble dryer!). I washed them all the other day and they dried overnight.
The litewrap is nice and soft and in my opinion better than the motherease which is very similar, because as well as velcro fastening it has a little popper over the leg to keep it a little more snug. Of course, you can leave it undone for chubbier legs!

All came from twinkleontheweb

starlover Thu 20-Jan-05 10:01:07

hmm, that link didn't work... but here's a better one anyway

nappy nation nappy

wraps

misdee Thu 20-Jan-05 10:02:30

i used tots bots and ME popper wraps with dd2 from around 1yr old. i have now stocked up on more tots bots, more wraps and also cotton bottom nappies starter pack (i can claim £40 back for the cotton bottoms once bubs is born from the council, so they only really cost me £5). i do have some diosposibles for the first week or so already in the cupboard, as feel iwont be organised neought to start with, and as dd2 was large i havent got many of teeny baby size washables just in case its another big unlol.

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