ew, reusable nappies, why on EARTH would I want to do that when I can throw dirty ones in the bin??!! My first impression of cloth nappies will be most of the "Mrs Average" out there, as in, old fashioned terry towelling, nappy rash and pins, oh no, thankfully, those days are gone.
I stumbled upon a wonderful website when I was actually looking for something a little different for my baby Charlotte, I spent hours adding things into my basket but before I checked out and paid, I checked out the reusables as the funky designs caught my eye.
I didn't know a think about cloth nappies but I'll give anything a go so I contact the lady that runs www.babaandboo.com her name is Eve and she helped me out with what to do with them and gave me the confidence to give them a go... 20 nappies later in the most adorable designs, I am hooked and I wouldn't put Charlotte in those awful paper nappies ever again!
Charlotte just has one insert and she can go (& has done...oops!) for 6 hours with no leaks, they are really absorbent. They are also fantastic value for money - Eve does discounts for multiple purchases but the singles start at £7.50 I think so definitely worth giving them a try.
They wash really well and dry very quickly so I am never without clean nappies for her, that's another good thing, you'll never run out of nappies!! I do also use disposables but rarely, a small pack can last me more than a month - so much easier on the pocket! But when I put her in a disposable I cover it with one of the outers so her bum looks good haha!
I would definitely recommend this site for the cloth nappies but also for all the other goodies that she has on there, I can't wait for Charlotte to get bigger so she can fit into some of the gorgeous clothes she has and the bags are lovely too.
When I had my first son I really wanted to use reusable nappies but didn't have the guts. Why? Because when you think of reusable nappies what comes to mind - terry towelling squares, nappy pins, plastic knickers, soaking.....I gave up before I really looked into it.
When I was pregnant with my second son I decided to really investigate the subject and was pleasantly surprised. Things have moved on a lot from the old nappy systems and all for the better. They are now easier, prettier and faster to use than ever before.
So, what types of nappies are there?
There are 3 main types of nappies. Pockets, 2 parters (or fitteds) and all in ones (AIO's).
These are the closest you get to disposable nappies which make them dad proof, nan proof and generally the easiest type to use. They look like a disposable, have 2 layers of material - one which is a stay dry layer which is closest to the baby's skin and a waterproof layer. In between these layers is a "pocket" where you stuff absorbent material (which I will explain later). The nappies can either be sized so you get either small, medium or large, or you can get one size nappies which go from birth to potty using a popper system on the front of the nappy. The nappies then do up using either velcro or poppers.
2 Parters (fitteds)
These are as they say on the box - 2 part nappies. These types are the closest to the older type you get. You get the absorbent nappy and then the outer wrap as 2 seperate parts. The absorbent nappy can be made of many different materials, which I will explain later. The idea is that when you change the nappy you only need to change the inside section, and reuse the wrap, unless the wrap is soiled. These types of nappies are generally sized so you wll need more than one set from birth to potty.
All in ones
These are a combination of the two. You get the outer shell of the nappy, and the absorbent section which is either sewn into the nappy or poppered in. It is exactly what it says - all in one.
The absorbent bit
There are different materials that the absorbent bit of the nappy can be made out of. Microfibre, hemp or bamboo. They all have different properties.
Microfibre is fast to absorb, and holds quite a lot of liquid, but it will let it go quickly when squeezed. It is easy to wash and fast to dry.
Hemp is very absorbent but it takes time to absorb so will need to be topped with something like microfibre. It takes longer to dry than microfibre.
Bamboo is absorbent, quicker to do so than hemp, and doesn't let go of liquid once it has taken it in, but it takes a long time to dry.
So what else do you need? Well, you will need nappy liners - you can get either fleece, disposable liners, or minky liners. These act as a stay dry layer for your baby's skin. They also help with emptying solids into the toilet for disposal. You will need either a nappy bucket or a bag. Gone are the days of soaking nappies - now you dry pail. So much easier and more pleasant. When the bucket is full, you put in the washing machine - simple. You may also choose to use reusable wipes which can then be washed with your nappies.
Washing your nappies
I wash every 2 or 3 days by using a rinse cycle, followed by a 60 degree wash with about a third of my usual detergent, followed by another rinse. I then line dry (I very occasionally tumble if the need arises).
There is a big outlay for these nappies and if you use a sized version you end up paying 3 times, but the resale value of these nappies is great and you will definitely see most of your money back. Ultimately it is still a much cheaper way of seeing your child through to potty training than disposables - especially if you use them on subsequent children.
Now I have discovered the world of real nappies I will never look back.
This is a huge topic to try and review sensibly but I hope that it will provide some useful information to anyone thinking about whether to use cloth nappies. I'm going to write it as I would have liked to have read it while I was looking. Then I'll put a little section on what I have and how I use them.
Types of nappy
There more types of nappy than you probably realise!
Prefold (needs you to fold the nappy after washing, and use nappy nippas to secure. I have never used these myself so won't concentrate on these).
Fitted (made of an absorbent fabric that is held in place usually by poppers, but needs a separate waterproof wrap over the top).
Pocket nappy (like a disposable nappy no second layer is needed it's all integral but the booster pads need to be stuffed into it yourself after washing. Usually held by poppers or velcro)
All in one (the booster pads are sewn into the nappy, no second waterproof layer is needed. Usually held by poppers or velcro)
All in two (booster pads are sewn into the nappy but it does need a second waterproof layer. Usually held by poppers or velcro)
Reusable nappies aren't just for the daytime either there are specific night nappies you can buy as well that are more absorbent to cope with the long period between changes.
Why use them? Well from a personal point of view I didn't like the thought of throwing something away several times a day and clogging up the landfill. But more importantly I don't use paper pants myself so I didn't want to put my baby in them full time. (Disclaimer: sometimes you can't avoid it!) I wasn't too concerned with the cost saving benefits but that is a nice bonus. You can buy nappies second hand using websites like usednappies.co.uk or clothnappytree.com
There a huge number of fitted nappies on the market and also free patterns available on the web if you feel creative enough to make your own. Fitted nappies are either sized (i.e. you will need to replace them with bigger nappies as your baby grows) or one sized (i.e. birth to potty they will expand up to about 32lb in weight). The big disadvantage to a fitted is the need to put a second waterproof layer over the top. This is fine when your baby is small but once they are wilful and wriggly it gets slightly more difficult. I use fitted nappies over night because their big advantage is they can soak up a lot more urine meaning there are no leaks in the morning. To keep his bum dry I have cut up an old fleece blanket and put a couple of layers of fleece next to his skin.
Many different fabrics are made into wraps. Fleece (think your outdoor fleece), wool (treated with lanolin so it repels moisture) or a waterproof fabric like PUL. There are some beautiful wraps available in minkee or other materials that then use an integrated PUL layer to make it waterproof. I use PUL wraps mainly with some beautiful fabric wraps for day use and showing off. Wraps can be plain boring white or as colourful and gorgeous as you like. It depends on your budget and how many you need. They can be sized (which will need replacing) or one size to take your baby through to potty training.
I love pocket nappies they are the best idea in cloth nappying as far as I'm concerned - they leave no room for excuses over the difficulty of getting a nappy on a baby, they are exactly like disposables. They have a pocket sewn in to them which is used to put the booster stuffing in that will absorb the urine. Usually they are lined with fleece that will keep your baby's bottom lovely and dry. I have noticed that my son's bumgenius nappies often keep him dryer than some makes of disposable.
There are loads of fabric possibilities these are my favourites.
Bamboo: super absorbant and keeps really soft after washing.
Hemp: super absorbant but can harden slightly after washing depending on your water type I find them quite hard personally I prefer a bamboo hemp mix that stays slightly softer.
Microfibre: really absorbant and dries really quickly, absorbs liquid quickly so is really good to use with something like hemp that absorbs more slowly.
Fleece: wonderful at drawing moisture away from your baby's skin and keeping them dry. Good to use a fleece liner in your fitted nappies. Pocket nappies are often lined with fleece. Thick fleece fabrics are often use as pretty outer layers but fleece does bobble after lots of washing.
Minkee: so gorgeously soft you won't believe it. This is a fabulous fabric you will spend most of your time stroking it lol.
Essential things if you are using cloth nappies:
Nappies! I use bumgenius version 3 as my stock nappies and it cost me £280 for 20 nappies which is enough to wash every 2-3 days. Don't forget second hand (especially for fabrics like hemp or bamboo that needs lots of washes to be more absorbant) I have bought many to try second hand for a fraction of the price (about 4 fitted nappies and 2 pocket nappies for £30). Buuut I have also splashed out on lovely custom nappies from weenotions (weenotions.co.uk) a one size pocket with lush embroidery costs around £18.
Nappy bucket (don't be taken in by the expensive buckets many nappy shops sell I bought a cheap plastic bin with lid in my local DIY shop for £2 it does the job!)
Nappy bucket mesh bags (not essential but does mean you can lift the bag out the bucket and put it straight in the machine. I bought mine from the nappy needs shop on ebay £4.99 I think)
Washing machine (would hate to do it by hand lol)
Extra booster pads (I have half a dozen extra to allow for drying time etc.. usually around £10 for 5 depending on the fabric. Look at ebay tho' I had a bargain 5 microfibre inserts for 99p)
Washing powder (worth going with the powders recommended by nappy shops but remember you only need a quarter of what you would usually use)
And seriously that is all you need!
My top tips
1) Don't use too much washing powder you will get leakage as it affects absorption if you do have any problems do a couple of extra rinses at the end of the wash
2) Make sure you adjust the fit around the legs if there is gaping to stop leaks
3) Dry pail your nappies in a bucket there is no need to soak
4) Don't worry about staining a day in the sun will help sort that out
5) If a nappy doesn't work for you then sell it on usednappies.co.uk the money you get can be put towards something else
My system for using reusable nappies:
For the daytime I have about 25 nappies, mostly pocket nappies with one or two one size fitted nappies.
I have 5 fitted one size nappies for the night time and one upsy daisy night time pocket.
I wash my nappies every 2-3 days using the following cycle: cold rinse, 60oC wash with 30-50ml of washing powder depending on the size of the load, extra rinse cycle once a week. I line dry them in the sunshine or on an airer indoors. I rarely tumble dry I am too tight!
If using nappy rash cream use a fabric or paper liner inside to prevent cream build up in your nappies this might make them leak.
Best nappy shops I use regularly:
www.babykind.co.uk: for any nappy or accessory
www.mothercare.com: some nappy choices handy if you have a discount code
www.southwalesnappies.co.uk: can get money off if live in Monmouthshire
www.nappyneeds.co.uk: also check out their shop on ebay
I hope I've covered most things...! We re-wear all our clothes after washing why not do the same with nappies?
I have written many reviews on the various types of cloth nappy I have sampled in the past 2 ½ years with my two young daughters, but I have decided to write a general review to give my thoughts and opinions on my experiences with the various types of reusable nappy, and try to compare them and come up with a solution as to which is the best system to use!
Quite a difficult task I think and as I write this I am wondering if I will be able to finish this piece and come up with a convincing conclusion without making it all sound too complicated.
When I first became pregnant, I was researching everything from breastfeeding to nappies to baby activities, everything and anything I could think of to prepare myself and my child for a very enjoyable future together. But one of the main things I focused on was looking at the huge array of reusable nappies available and because there was so many different sorts on the market I really wanted to make sure I selected wisely, because they didn't come cheap either!
So after much deliberation I opted for Motherease Onesize Stay Dry (a bit of a mouthful). The reason I chose these was because they were a birth to potty system which meant my daughter would be wearing the same nappies from when she was born up until she was potty trained. This was because the nappies had various adjustable poppers which would allow me to adjust the sizing of the nappy as my daughter grew.
They had a 'stay dry' lining which meant that the moisture in the nappy would be sucked away from my daughter's bottom and thus keeping her dry. I wanted this lining because I'd heard so many stories of baby's bottoms being wet and getting nappy rash so this was a big concern for me. Had I known then what I know now, I would not have been stressing about having a stay dry lining as a baby having a wet bum does not equate to nappy rash. It's the poo that causes all the rashes!
These nappies also needed a waterproof outer to keep the moisture at bay. These had to be bought in different sizes because they were not adjustable. So I bought 4 small, 4 medium and 4 large. The ones I chose just had Velcro fastening around the waist and had no adjustment around the legs, something which I found I needed later on in my daughter's life.
I ended up buying a full set of these nappies (20), including 10 night time booster pads, a nappy bucket and a wet nappy bag, and it all came to just over £250. It sounds a lot of money (especially if you were to buy them singly, they are between £8 and £10 I think), but if you think that these are going to last throughout your child's nappy life, then it really isn't a lot of money to be spending, and you are saving money in the long run.
So I found these nappies easy to use and very absorbent, especially during the night with a booster pad inserted (you will find most cloth nappies need an additional booster pad at night).
I did, however, have a couple of issues, the first being that the wraps supplied started to fail somewhat, my daughter used to get leakages around the legs. I think this was mainly due to the fact that she was quite a slimline baby with slender thighs, and because these wraps were not adjustable around the leg it was not possible to get a good leak proof fit around her legs.
So this was when I moved onto Nature Babies multiwraps. These are made from PUL (waterproof breathable material) and have poppers around the waist and legs so you can adjust the wrap to fit your baby exactly. I found these worked really well over the Motherease nappies, and the fact that they came in some wonderful designs was an added bonus.
Another issue I had with the Motherease nappy was that they sometimes took a while to dry and after 18 months of constant use, started to retain a slightly cabbage type odour which would be emitted from my daughter's bottom area as soon as she did a wee...it seemed that when the nappies became wet, they just became extremely smelly. A few washes (one after another) seemed to keep this at bay, but I was not so happy about having to wash them numerous times when she hadn't even worn them, if you see what I mean.
So I found this quite disappointing, especially since I was now expecting my second child and these are advertised at being good for 2 or 3 children!
So now that I realised I was going to have two children in nappies and was now quite short on cash (due to me not working) I needed to find a cheaper option so I that had enough nappies for two babies.
The cheapest available was of course the traditional terry square. I went for quite a budget make at first (Junior Joy) because I was just going to test them out on my toddler before the new baby arrived and I wanted to practise my folding techniques. So I think I paid approximately £20 for 20 nappies plus 4 newborn wraps which I thought was pretty good value.
When they arrived I was quite disappointed, the wraps just looked rubbish and a complete waste of material so they were resold straight away as I just didn't want them. And I really didn't expect to actually be able to see through the nappy. They were unbelievably thin and not very good quality at all, but with me being a complete novice in the terry square department, I just thought that this is what they must be like.
So I tried them on my toddler and I had to change them less than every 2 hours because they really weren't very absorbent at all. So I was quite disappointed in this and thought I would have to choose another type of nappy, but I looked to the trusty old internet and did a bit of research and found a better quality terry square, and by now I was writing on Dooyoo and had earned enough miles to redeem a voucher so could afford to splash out on some Zorbit terries from Amazon, at the time they were £30 for a pack of 12, but I have recently seen these for about £20.
When these arrived I was much more impressed and satisfied with my purchase, they were lovely and soft and really quite thick - you couldn't see through them at all! So on trying them out on my daughter, I found them to be very absorbent and she could wear them for 3 hours at least, and they worked fine over night with an additional booster pad. So I thought I was set for toddler and baby, both in nappies.
However, I found that I really liked using the terry squares, much more than the Motherease shaped nappies because you could fold them into a shape that suited your child, and because they fastened with a nippa you could get a tight snug fit. Whereas with the Motherease you had to rely on the poppers and sometimes they didn't quite have such a snug fit around my daughter's tummy and often they tended to sag, giving her bum quite a square saggy type shape (not very nice to look at basically!), and the smell issue was really beginning to put me off.
So before the baby was born, my daughter was wearing my terry nappies full time, which meant I would need to buy some more to make sure I was fully equipped for two children in terry squares!
So I went back to the internet and found some smaller terries which I thought would be perfect for my newborn and would mean I could potty train my older daughter, and by the time she was trained, the baby would have grown out of the small terries and would be into the bigger ones and everything would work out perfectly (so I thought anyway).
The smaller terries were made by Little Ewe and were 40x40cm so were quite small but were perfect for a tiny newborn bottom. They were also lovely a soft and thick and were really absorbent, not that you really need much absorbency when your baby is small because you are changing every few hours anyway. But I was really happy with these, and they were great for overnight use, even without a booster pad.
Unfortunately my daughter grew out of these quite quickly (probably before she was 3 months if I remember rightly) so I still had two children in nappies and not enough nappies (unless I forced myself back to Motherease which I really didn't want to do).
But then I had a brainwave and suddenly remembered my Junior Joy terry squares which were disgustedly stuffed into the back of my toddler's wardrobe. These were perfect for the baby because she was still too small to be wearing a full size terry, but because these were so thin, they could be folded down to a newborn fold and not be too bulky! They really did a good job on her and I was actually really pleased that I had purchased them (after my initial disappointments).
But as she neared about 5 months of age, she was getting pretty big and these were now no good, they couldn't contain the moisture and I had to discard them (they now are used for mopping up clothes, window cleaners...anything really). So onto the Zorbit terry squares she went, but I really was in need of topping up my supply of squares as I now only had 12 decent ones and my toddlers was somewhere near being trained but was still wearing nappies at night.
So for my toddler I looked into Pocket Nappies because I'd always wanted to try them out but never bothered because I thought they were quite pricey and I wasn't sure if I'd like them. But because I wanted a couple of night time nappies for her, I thought I would sample a few of these types.
The first one I tried was a Fuzzi Bunz and I was really disappointed with this, the outer just wasn't waterproof so I'm not going to discuss that one any further.
I then tried a couple of Blueberries, which I am thrilled to bits with. I have done a review on them so I won't go into detail here of all the ins and outs of them, but basically they are a pocket nappy with a lovely fluffy outer and they come provided with an insert which is absorbent enough for a few hours wear, and even overnight on a half potty trained child. I also bought a Slinki Minki, which doesn't come provided with an insert but you can stuff it with anything (including useless terry squares!). It does its job, but is rather bulky.
So now I was sorted for nappies for my toddler as she was only wearing them over night and I was quite satisfied with the pocket nappies I had chosen.
The beauty of pocket nappies is that they can be as absorbent as you want, whatever suits the occasion. You can fill them to the brim for night time use, and have them a lot slimmer for day time use, this is very handy for an active toddler, who perhaps doesn't want to be running around with a lot of bulk around their bottom.
These are also a genius idea for anyone who's children are going to be cared for by other people such as Grandparents or nurseries, because you can stuff them beforehand and they can be put on just like a disposable (Velcro tabs across the front), no fiddling, no fuss. They also have the advantage of being taken apart for washing and drying, enabling a quicker drying time than some bulkier nappies.
So back to the terry squares, I had 12 and needed to top up my supply which would mean I would not have to worry about washing them so often. I couldn't afford any more Zorbit ones (no more Dooyoo miles...) so whilst in Boots one day I spotted a 6 pack of terries for £9.99 so I thought I would give them a whirl.
They looked really nice and fluffy and do actually work really well. They are not as thick and absorbent as the Zorbits, but they are perfectly adequate for daytime use. The only drawback was that in the pack of 6, 2 of them were actually rectangular in shape and had loose threads, so that was really disappointing.
Now I had a total of 16 functioning nappies for my younger daughter and that was going to have to do for me as I had grown tired of searching for the perfect nappy at the perfect cost, and everything at the moment was running smoothly with regard to washing and drying. So that was me done, no more nappy purchasing required.
So, after having trialled a few of the various types of reusable nappy available, I have actually reached some sort of conclusion. Don't get me wrong, I know that there are many many more different types of nappy available than the ones I have tried, so this is nowhere near a fully informed review, but I think it gets somewhere near to perhaps helping someone make an informed decision on what type of nappy to try.
Surprisingly,I actually realised that the traditional terry square was the best option for me, and had I known that in the beginning I would never have spent all that money on the Motherease nappies.
The beauty of terry squares is that they are simple yet effective. You can fold them however you want (look it up on the internet for the various folding techniques, you will find one to suit you and your child), and you can make them as tight or as slack as you want. If you have an active child, then the tighter the better.
When it comes to washing and drying, the terry square will always come out on top as well. I just wash mine at 40 degrees, over night because I put them on a long wash, and then they are ready to peg on the line in a morning. If it is a particularly windy day then the fluff is blown back into the nappies and they are lovely a soft again and are usually dry before lunch.
On a non-windy day, they are usually dry by mid afternoon. Simple.
I think what also helps a great deal to get a good nappy system is getting a decent wrap that works. I swear by Nature Babies Multiwrap, I think these can fit over most cloth nappies and I seriously have never had a problem with them, they are so versatile and look really cute too. They also dry in no time.
To be honest, when choosing a reusable nappy system, it really depends on your circumstances. For instance, if you are the type of parent who is constantly out and about with your child, then something like the Pocket nappy would be best because you can prepare them all in advance and the nappy changes are quick and easy. And again the pocket nappy is well suited to someone who may be going back to work and so the child's carer will have no issues about reusables, pocket nappies can be changed easily by any cloth novice.
If you are someone on a tight budget, then terry squares would be the best option, they are by far the cheapest and most versatile. They can be somewhat fiddly if you are out and about. Folding a terry square in a public nappy changing room is quite difficult as your baby is usually laid on the only surface available. I find it easier to fold them before we go out. These are also best paired up with a decent wrap, if you get a good wrap that works then you really can't go wrong with these.
Something like the Motherease shaped nappy is good for anyone who doesn't want the fuss of folding, or the fuss of stuffing a nappy.
But like I said, it all depends on your circumstances, your budget and of course personal preference.
I'd just like to add at the end here, that cloth nappies really are not all the hassle some people think they are. They have fitted into my daily routine perfectly, the washing and drying of them is really no hassle. A dirty nappy just goes straight into the bucket and then I usually wash them every other night.
They hang outside on the line to dry, or if it is raining, they are inside on the airer (which to be honest does annoy me a little bit as it just gets in the way, but I can't have everything - no tumble dryer).
Cloth nappies also do not cause nappy rash (unless your child is allergic to wash powder). I have only seen one really bad case of nappy rash on my elder daughter, and I think this was because she had done a poo and I didn't realise, so it was festering in their causing her little bum to get sore.
So if you are thinking of using reusables, do not be afraid.
Embrace the cloth!!
Just read a review by someone else and thought what a great topic.
When I found out I was pregnant I decided that seeing as I was a generally green type of person that I did not want to be filling land fill sites with 1000's of nappies. I did a little research into reusable nappies and found out that a lot had changed since my mum used terry towelling nappies on me and my sister when we were babies.
Whilst trying to buy nursery furniture I spotted a birth to potty pack of reusable nappies and thought what the heck, I'll give them a try.
Sorting them out at home I was really pleased to discover how easy they were to use. You had 4 sizes of nappy outers, 2 sizes of inners, and you could buy any type of liners that you wanted. The outers were a white plastic material with velcro, no need for the dreaded nappy pins, the inners were a white cotton material and we purchased flush-able liners, although you can get reusable liners too.
The inners need folding into 3 and putting into the outers, you lay a liner on top to catch any poop and the job is done! Ok it's not as simple as just grabbing a disposable out of the packet, it means you have to wash the nappies and dry them on a regular basis, when they are small either every other, or sometimes every day! But I feel when it comes to the environment, as Tesco says 'every little helps'!
I do use disposables if we go out of the house as trying to carry round all the bits needed gets tricky. My bugbear is that baby clothes are no longer designed to fit big nappies, so sometimes we have odd selections of clothes sizes to make sure his bottom will fit in his trousers, but with the trend for reusable nappies coming back I imagine this will be sorted soon.
People think I am making extra work for myself by using reusable nappies, but I like to think that it is slightly more environmentally friendly (some people think the energy and water used to wash and dry reusables makes them just as bad for the environment but in a different way, I am not so sure of this), and also cheaper than using disposables, especially if you use them on 2 or more children! Also when your health visitor comes to see you she will be really impressed and you can feel smug!
Knew that I wanted to use reusable nappies. Firstly they are much better for the environment; secondly they work out much cheaper; thirdly I'll just feel better putting them on my baby (?@!#) and lastly, due to a set of circumstances, we will have help with washing and cleaning when the baby comes so no excuse on the being-too-busy-for-cleaning. However when I came to look at buying them, firstly I was confronted with hundreds of different brands and styles. Then I read reviews which again baffled me as some raved about one type which others classed as useless. So I decided to just got for it with Motherease as they seemed to be more consistent with their positive reviews, plus they are apparantly the original in reusable nappies. Then I looked at a website called thenappysite.co.uk - here second hand reusable nappies are advertised and you do business directly with the seller. There are a lot advertised here; some say 'slightly stained' others say 'barely used'. I guess it's up to you what you're happy with - but I found exactly what I was looking for - Motherease nappies, 18 of them plus some wraps and liners - for 60 pounds!!! This is cheap people!!! Plus they are described as in 'good condition'. I have yet to see them (picked up by brother in law who lives in same city) and also yet to use on baby - so we shall see. But for bargain nappies and being extremely kind to the environment by reusing - go to this sight or similar for your nappies.
I chose to use resuable nappies primarily for cost and practicability reasons. I dont drive so faced lugging home sacks of nappies from the supermarket each week and then filling up precious space in my wheelie bin with dirty nappies. I also worked out that my daughter will cost us about £1000 in disposable nappies over the course of her time in nappies (conservative estimate) but my nappy collection cost me only £400 and I can recoup some of this by reselling them when my daughter is done. Of course for any second or subsequent child the nappy cost is nothing!
There are three basic types of reusable:
Prefold/terry: flat nappies made of cotton layers or toweling which you have to fold yourself. You need a separate wrap for these.
Shaped: Shaped like a disposable & Stuffable: Shaped nappies to which you add the level of stuffing appropriate to your baby. You need a separate wrap for these
All in Ones (AIO)- wrap and nappy in one for ease of use.
As children are different shapes and sizes, so are the nappies and its a good idea to try several types before you splash out on enough for your child.
Wraps- Fleece, wool or PUL (plastic)-fleece is healthier for the skin but you cant have anything too tight over the top as the moisture inside 'wicks' out onto clothes. Wool doesnt have to be washed regularly but it does have to be treated with lanolin every few months. PUL- plastic layer keeps moisture away from clothes. They all come in lovely patterns and colours, as well as shapes and sizes.
I have about 20 nappies and five wraps and I wash every 3 days or so at 60 degrees (you can wash as low as 40 degrees). When the nappy is really wet or soiled, the solid waste gets flushed down the toilet and the nappy goes into a bucket. They all go in the washing machine with a small amount of washing liquid (too much liquid can stay in the fibres and hurt your child when they wee) and a few drops of tea tree oil on an hour cycle. When they come out they can be hung or tumble dried (although not the wool or PUL wraps)
Nappies are fixed wiht velcro (known as applix), poppers or nappi nippas (a cute little rubber pin that doesnt hurt the child). I prefer nappi nippas on nappies as my daughter can undo applix really easily now!!
Things you need: nappies, wraps, liners, bucket, nappy nippas.
Liners: come in a variety of materials. Fleece is popular because the wee soaks through and the top layer next to the skin is dry. You lay a liner over the top of the unfolded nappy next to the child's skin. This means that the solid waste can just be dropped or flushed off in the toilet, without having to put the whole nappy into the toilet bowl. Fleece liners are just washed with the nappies. Disposable paper liners enable you to jsut flush away the whole liner + poo in the toilet. Silk liners are good for nappy rash.
You can also buy several layers of absorbent fabric to 'boost' the nappy for a heavy wetter or for night time.
Materials: nappies come in a variety of materials from bamboo to cotton. My main nappy is the tots bot fluffle as its quick drying adn doesnt require tumble drying to keep it soft. Its not everybody's choice of course, there have been complaints about a lingering ammonia odour and a lot of people dislike the material-a more synthetic terry material. We use them with nature babies wraps, a PUL popper wrap with a variety of bright prints. At night she wears a Minki Huggle which is a super thick, super soft nappy made out of Egytptian towelling, with a tots bots red fleece wrap over the top. She does look a bit like a weeble, but very cute.
It can be hard to find clothes to go over the top of cloth nappies, but there are a lot of slimmer nappies on the market as well. Cloth nappy websites will usually be happy to advise you on how many nappies you will need and what types will be best for your child.
I bought cloth nappies because they were cheaper and I couldn't bare the thought of putting the cost of disposables on my shopping bill every week.
Once home with our bundle, I realised the true benefits of cloth. When you are too shattered, or baby is too sleepy/grumpy to go shopping, you don't need to. Pop in a wash load and you'll have another day of nappies. When she wees on a nappy just as I'm about to fasten it, I don't cry and think of the money down the drain.
The nappies we use are pre-formed, so no pesky folding to do, and we use nappi-nippas (rubber bands with teeth on to hold them in place? so no pricking you or baby with safety pins. They really are as easy to use as disposables.
The only downsides are that you can't choose not to do the washing, but thats more of a discipline issue, and the fact that you can't fit too many in a nappy bag. I generally take two with me when I go out, but a few disposables in case I run into trouble.
A big plus, she loves them and new babies look so cute with their big fluffy bums!!!
Having a new baby means I?m spending my days washing nappies rather than writing opinions for Dooyoo. Well, so you might think if you are of the opinion I was prior to using reusable nappies. But it?s not like that. It?s actually really a rather nice thing to do, despite the extra washing, and makes me feel like a right goody-goody too. Don?t worry ? I?m not about to preach about the benefits of cloth vs disposables. I?m sure we all know the pros and cons. It?s a fact that most parents use disposables rather than cloth nappies. It?s also kind of assumed that this will happen, like they?re the default nappy for baby bums, and using anything else just doesn?t occur to people. In my early stages of pregnancy I too had assumed that I would use disposables, not even pausing to consider the alternative. No one in my family had ever used cloth; I?d never seen them advertised anywhere. In fact, I?d probably never used the phrase ?cloth nappy? in my life ever before. So how did I, a prime candidate for disposables, turn into the original earth mother and end up using cloth nappies? The answer is that I spent a few hours reading messages on internet forums specifically designated to discussing ?real? nappies and by reading these I became more and more interested in them and realised that lots of women were actually using them. This amazed me. Who ARE these people?? Where do they hide?! And do they really all eat lentils and knit their own sweaters? Putting my prejudices aside, I researched more until I realised that cloth could actually be a viable option for me, offering more benefits than hassles. I was very surprised to discover that there were all different shapes, sizes and even colours of nappies and different brand names. This really surprised me as I?d previously assumed that anyone using real nappies would have to be wrestling with terry squares and pins. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that the modern altern
ative to pins is the ?nappy nippa? which is made of rubber and has ?teeth? which grip the nappy and hold it together. Much safer and simpler to put on. There are even several sites offering homemade nappies by mums. Some brands, like Motherease and Totsbots are more popular than others, the most popular ones often being so well known that they?re referred to by abbreviations, like some underground nappy-nutters language (e.g. MEOS = Motherease One Size, and why bother saying two whole words when you can just say ?Tots?). Anyway, after much research I decided that I would embrace this clandestine group and order some for myself (well, for my baby, but you know what I mean). After many hours spent researching for the best nappies to purchase (after all, it?s a big initial outlay and you?ll be using them every day for at least 2 years) I then discovered there is the additional choice of which site to buy them from. I definitely wanted to wash my own so there was no consideration of using a nappy laundering service, and most sites appeared to offer very similar prices. When I finally made my decision and went for The Nappy Lady I placed my order for a selection of various nappies, as I wasn?t sure which I?d prefer. I bough Motherease Onesize, Tots Bots, Disana Tie-on, Schmit wraparound and Motherease Multifit. That was 7 months ago and I?ve not once regretted my decision to buy them. I?m not going to write my opinion on these nappies as they?re entire opinion in themselves which I?ll save for a rainy day. In addition to the actual nappies you also have to buy waterproof wraps to go around them. The wraps don?t have to be plain white - they also come in various colours and designs, particularly appropriate for little girls who can show off their bright colourful nappies when they wear dresses in the summer. Then you also need liners (either fleece or biodegradable paper) to insert in the nappy to catch the poo, and even booster pads which you
can put into the nappy to increase absorbency. Be warned - due to their bulk cloth nappies will make your baby look rather spherical in the bottom area. You will almost definitely need to buy trousers for an age group higher, and perhaps steer clear of particular clothes lablels such as Gymborie which tend to be quite petite. Personally, I dont mind this bulkiness and it certainly makes for a softer landing when babies bump down on their bottoms as they get older. <<<Washing and all that jazz>>> I don?t know if it makes a difference because I?ve only got one child, but I don?t find washing nappies any extra hassle. With all the new commitments with a baby anyway, it?s surprising how things get quickly incorporated into your routine and I just don?t question it now. My routine is: change baby, take used nappy into bathroom and shake any poo off liner into loo - or if it?s a paper liner I just bung the whole thing into the loo; put nappy into bucket which is stored in our bidet (or a bath would do) and leave for 3 days until washing. I don?t soak them as this just smells yucky. I wash them at 60 degrees with Fairy non-bio which is, in my opinion, the most gorgeous smelling washing powder, and I add some distilled white vinegar and a couple of drops of lavender oil to the fabric conditioner compartment to make them softer and smell nicer. You should never use actual fabric conditioner as it decreases the absorbency of the nappies. I hang them out on the line if it?s nice weather, in which case they?re dry in a day, or inside they take up to two days to dry, depending on the style. What else? I really can?t think of much else to add. My experience of cloth nappies has been positive so far and although I still use disposables occasionally for going out (we keep a supply in case of emergencies) I would not like to put my son in them all the time. It?s whatever you?re used to I suppose, and cloth nappies have jus
t become part of my routine as much as anything else. I suppose deep-down I am quite into natural alternatives so it wasn?t difficult to convince me into using them, but I bet most people would be surprised at how little work it is (particularly if you?ve got a tumble drier, still have to convince dear husband on that one). The best thing is the money I?ve saved. I?ve spent about £200 on nappies and wraps and although I might have to buy a few extra-large ones soon because my son is particularly tall, I?ll be much better off in the long run, especially as I hope to have more children. In conclusion ? I would thoroughly recommend, and I promise you won?t turn into a yoghurt-eating lentil-knitter. Well, unless deep down like me, you really are. Sites to get you started: For active discussions on cloth nappies: www.babycentre.co.uk www.babyworld.co.uk
I love Pampers. When my first child was born 11 years ago, I wanted to be green. I bought some birdseye prefold American nappies and pins. What a disaster. He was allergic to his wee and got thrush infection after thrush infection. The bleach smelled the house up and the flat smelled of bleach, and dirty nappies. :( I gave up. Tried brand after brand of disposables, finally had success with Pampers. I used Pampers on all my kids.No soggy bottoms, very little rash, was a happy little bunny. Came to expect the arrival of E. and while looking through the Mothercare catalogue, new husband Jon saw Kooshies and gauze in the pages. You ARE NOT using cloth he said, which I said was fine because I preferred Pampers. He shared stories of smelling the boil wash his mum had to do with his sister and brother's terries, and the soggy bottoms. I shared about J.'s sore bottom and the wet sheets. We felt rather superior knowing that if we used cloth, the cost of all the creams and environmental impact of boiling hot washes and bleach would offset any real benefit. Then a couple of the companies I freelanced to went bust. I went without any real pay for several months. I found other writing gigs, but the money will take time to build back up. I heard about the new ways cloth nappies are used, and how you can wash in 40 or even 50 degree wash with eco friendly anti microbial washing goop, and how you can use waterproof wraps. Even flushable liners that are biodegradable that catch the poo. I confided to a few VERY close friends about my money dilemmas and how I hated to lay out for cloth when the initial outlay was SO very expensive. One of the ladies sent me some terries to trial. Another sent me some Kooshies her kids had outgrown, as well as the left over pack of bio degradable liners. I agreed to take the challenge to see if it really WAS greener, money saving, and livable, seeing as they were generous enough to send me freebies to trial. After reading the Rea
l Nappy Lady website and chatting with cloth using mums of experience, discovered my methods of washing dear son's nappies all those years ago was probably actually the reason for his original problems! Oh no! First thing I did was make a small amount of the washing goop. I did one load of our clothes with Fairy, and the next similar load with goop. The clothes washed in the goop were just as clean, smelled great, and dried a lot softer ont he line. The goop also cost practically nothing but spare change in the sofa and hubby's trouser pockets to make for a month's worth. OK, that was deffo cheaper and livable. Next I tried the terries (I got them first in the post). I think the terries would have been easier to use if I had had wraps, pins, or nippas to fasten them with. As it was I ended up with very soggy baby clothes and my frozen food clips are a bit bent LOL relief was in sight however as I later bought a Cotton bottoms Bummis super whisper wrap in which to just fold up the terries, and lay inside the wrap, closing it up like a disposable. Next I received the Kooshies.For those not in the know, Kooshies are a preshaped nappy. They are fitted just like a disposable nappy, with two velco stips that run all the way across the front so you can customise the fit. The size I received was for 22 to 45 pounds in weight, so basically should fit til she is potty trained. Not bad. the outside of the nappy is a cotton/polyester blend that keeps the clothes from getting soggied up. I looked up the price for new Kooshies. They are about £45 for a pack of 5, and sell for between £3.50 to £5 apiece used on UK Parents nappy buy and sell forum. They have a buillt in soaker pad, as well as a flap for you to put in an extra soaker flannel (incl.) Now Emily had a very nasty thrush rash that was healing up, and while trialing the terries, I used Pampers at night. I decided to throw myself off the deep end and try JUST Kooshies, as I had ro
ughly a 3 days' supply worth, with the terries for back up. Day 1,(July 25) E. started telling me when she needed a nappy change. She has never done this before. Upon changing her I notice she can "feel" the damp, but her skin is not actually wet per se. Her rash sems to be healing in leaps and bounds upon being placed in breathable cotton nappies such as Kooshies. Day 2,(July 26) E. smiles when she sees the Kooshies, I have had no problems with any yucky nappy odours in the house, and the poo in the liners go downs the loo where it belongs. Rash looks nearly healed today already. Washed a load of nappies in 40 degree wash with goop and hung out in the afternoon. Came out clean and smelling fresh. Nappies do take a long time to line dry as the nappy is padded with a lot of cotton for absorbency, but I still have a day's supply so not worried. Day 3 (July 27)hubby has came home and is skeptical. By tea time he has to dmit he does not smell the nappies waiting to be washed and is very pleased at how much faster her raw skin has healed. E. does a big wee and signs nappy while sat on Daddy's lap, but his lap is dry when I take her for her Happy Nappy. Day 4,(July 28) Hubby looks at his work clothes that I washed in goop. Says he likes the clean smell to them and was impressed I made it myself in about 10 minutes. Also impressed with he cleaning and disinfecting they do on her nappies, no boil washes smelling of hot wee and poo! Explained about the liners. He decides to wait till much later to go buy our next pack of Pampers, these Kooshies seem great and we may get some covers for the terries (makes a nappy similiar to Kooshies only assembled. (The super whisper wrap I already mentioned was ordered then). Day 5, (July 29) E.'s skin has completely healed, and I have not had to use any barrier creams between the three times daily Daktarin (has to be used for ten days to treat nappy thrush). No
redness, no soreness, just healthy skin on her. Woohoo! Day 6 (July 30) Still just using the Kooshies. Decided I really like them and eveluating the extra expense of washes, realised over past week it only equalled one extra load really, as prior to this I had done a few half loads to accomodate our needs. I washed her nappies with my clothes and towels to make up a full load, so no extra cost there really. And washing in 40 degrees with the antibacterial washing goop has kept her nappies sanitised, as has the sun (sunlight is a natural bleaching agent and antibacterial drying method). As for being harder, only extra effort has been flushing the liner down the loo and popping the wet nappy into a bucket or the washer to wait for washing (I do not soak them). No harder really than fishing out a nappy sack and making way to a bin or using my Sangenic. Discovered that adding white vinegar to the final rinse softens the fabric without compromising the absorbency. Also promotes whiteness and no vinegary smell afterwards :) Day 7 (July31) It is grey, cool and damp today, and I find myself cursing the lack of a dryer. The problem with AIO (All in One) nappies like Kooshies are they are thicker than the assembled type and take a while to dry. Enough air dried inside for me to have a day's worth of nappies yesterday and today, but I have a load washing now that likely will not be dry for tomorrow for the day after. I have some wraps coming for the terries, and on days like this where the forecast is not favorable to line drying, think I will use those more as they will definitely be dry once hung in the airing cupboard! I really love the Kooshies though, I have only had to use boosters at night, and then just a small flannel pad. Hubby is getting used to her having them on and commented she looked adorable in the light blue nappy with her yellow frock on sunday as it had little blue flowers on the hem in same shade of blue! I have had such good luc
k I am mulling over taking her into town tomorrow in cloth, even though we will be gone from lunchtime til after 6. I do think these will help her potty train sooner though, as in addition to her asking for a nappy change, she has called to me in the mornings with her very wet night nappy and has undone the velcro waiting to be changed!!!!!!! She never bothers with the velcro otherwise, so I am sure it is because she wants dry Happy Nappy. Day 8 (Aug. 1) Well, yet again it is overcast, I just hope it does not come pelting down while we are out, as I absolutely hate that feeling cold and soggy for hours til we get home grrrrr. Well, I decided to try the Kooshies while out today. I figured no worse than keeping a wrapped pampers in its nappy sack, so i am taking nappy sacks, wipes, boosters, and spare Kooshies.Hoping I don't regret it! (Visions of people wondering why my bag smells suspiciously of wee). We have to go to the bank and then ride the bus to the train station to pick up my step daughter and her boyfriend . They are visiting E. for her first birthday, and have not seen her in the cloth yet. I hope it doesn't mean they will be afaid to give her the usual cuddles as she always expects to be spoiled whenever she sees them! Ah.the benfits of having a sister 16 years older than you, lol. Day 12 (Aug 5) E. again spent the day in cloth, this time in a folded terry nappy inside a Bummi Whisper Wrap. She stayed all nice and comfy and I felt guilty putting her in the pampers when we had to go out the other day, but I knew it was going to be hours and hours and hours before we returned home and my bag simply won't hold moore than 2 big thick nappies. We were out for about 5 hours, made it home and she needed yet another change. Back into cloth she went . I am poitive she prefers the soft cloth against her skin because when I removed her from her pram, she crawled over to my basket and pulled out an AIO from the middle of the basket. She
brought it to me smiling away and wurbling for a nappy change. There were Pampers sat out from where I had packed her nappy bag earlier and she had passed them by to get to the basket. She grinned big as could be when I changed her into her selected nappy. AWWWWWWWWWW babies are so cute! I myself spent the morning getting the kids ready to go back home on the train and making goop. They seemed fascinated at the notion that I ACTUALLy made my clothes soap! LOL Think I will pack terries and a spare wrap in my nappy bag from now on. They don't take up too much room like Kooshies do. Day 13 (Aug 6) After having done a week end of entertaining and then catching up on chores, I took the day off. It was play with E. and read, and relax. AHHHHHHH. Well, except for feeding us and changing napies of course. Those Bummi wraps are great. You just change the terry inside so one wrap is good to go all day. We have never looked back. our daughter has stayed in cloth, and with the impending arrival of our new baby this May (2003) we are getting prefolds and wraps and will only use disposables at the hospital. It was nowhere as difficult, smelly, or time consuming as we thought, nor as expensive. Total to add the new aby's nappy kit using prefolds and wraps to our collection? £70 for newborn to early toddler. After that, it inherits the passed alongs! We also in the meantime discovered you can get fleece liners to keep the skin as dry as a disposable. Just put on top, and if using a flushable liner, put that on top of the fleece. Cost of 10 fleece liners runs about £5. Those were factored into the costs I quoted above. Additional cost of washing...£25 in extra electric and soap ingredientswas all we noticed over the year and we scrutinised, and the real nappy Network has shown independent figures of an average of £50 a year in electric/gas for washing and tumble drying over 1 year. Kooshies are best for children who are not heav
y wetters. there are more absorbent brands out there. If thinking you want to give cloth a try, but are unsure about what type suits you, I recommend Plushpants.co.uk as they do a nappy hire scheme (yes wraps too) for £1 a week per nappy.They also have a bonus point scheme for those of you who love to save using bonus points, LOL. They ship UK and worldwide and are very reputable. If you work or are otherwise to busy to wash yourself, look into a nappy laundering service. They cost about the same as disposables to use, but are much more environmentally friendly, generally using Cotton Bottoms prefolds and wraps that get delivered to your door every week cleaned to NHS standards. You just put a bucket with your dirty ones inside, and they take them away and leave you clean ones. Also check as many local councils now give parents cash incentives to use real nappies, and this can offset any costs of purchasing nappies or using a service. many childminderrs and nurseries actaully do not mind taking a child in reusables, so don't let that put you off. Good luck!
My first baby is nearly 9 months old and I have used washables from birth. I never really thought about it before I just thought everyone used disposables. When someone mentioned using washables I started to do some research on the net. I didn't like what I read about disposables, the chemicals they contain and the enviromental problems they create there are even links with cancers and infertility. So I took the plunge and bought some prefold nappies and wraps. The nappies are about £2 each and wraps £8 roughly depending on size. They are easy to use, a square pad folds in 3 and lays inside the wrap with a flushable liner to protect the skin. I just put in a dry bucket and wash at 60degrees with other whites and line dry to save money. I did have some leakage with breastfed poo but had the same problem with disposable nappies so I think thats the poo and not the nappy. Now shes on solids the poo in firm and easy to remove and flush. I think the government should encourage washables and offer more subsidies for their use. I would always recomend washables even to first time mums- my sister is now expecting and will definitly be borrowing my napppies saving herself even more of a fortune!! I have also been told that babies potty train ealier as they are aware of the sensation of being wet which has to be an advantage to anyone!
I used disposables with my first child. I was just browsing through my dooyoo opinions and found an old write up about Asda nappies and thought I would just update my opinion in general. As I said, with my first, I knew no better and I not realising that there was another option, went for disposables, without giving it a minutes thought. Then I started a University course in Environmental Chemistry and did that bring it home to me. We were shown videos and slides of landfill and the devastation and stinky mess that it causes. We were told of the chemicals used in disposable nappies and how the gel inside a nappy can swell to over 300 times its own weight in volume. I was horrified. We were planning another baby to coincide with my finishing uni and in my final year I was pregnant with my second. I vowed to use cloth nappies and started my research. WIth thanks to some parentings websites and some yahoo groups I joined I got information on types of nappy and wrap and how to store them and how to wash them. When Toby was born I was all set with a few different types of nappy and wrap. I didn't use cloth rightway with Toby he was smaller than expected and the nappies I had didn't fit until 10lbs, however I tried them on him at 2 weeks (he was about 8lbs by then) and they fitted fine and so that was that. I don't claim to never use a disposable there are times when they are invaluable, which is why they were invented in the first place, for holidays and such (but I even took my nappies on holiday with me!) Toby is now 14 months old and still in cloth nappies. I have quite a varied collection now and have nappies to suit all occasions. It really is easy and not much more hassle than disposables and I don't have a stinky bin full of nappies to put out for the bin men every week. I have no idea how much money I have saved but in the early days when he was fully breastfed and using cloth nappies
there was very little outgoings for him at all.
Reusable nappies! Since taking up using cloth nappies, I cant ever imagine why I thought that they were so difficult! I must admit that when I had my 1st son I thought that nappies came as ?Pampers? or ?Huggies? & I had no information on using cloth & noone recommended it to me. At the postnatal classes I only ever saw one person using them & at the time I thought that they were really brave & probably a bit mad! I was quite happy to use disposables without a 2nd thought. My mum gave me some terry squares, pins & plastic pants (probably that she had used on me!) I was very grateful and used them as sick cloths & burp pads etc, but I certainly had no intention of ever actually putting one on my baby! Well moving on to when I had my 2nd son, I had always had a few guilt pangs with my 1st son about throwing away nappies as there seemed to be so many in the bin at the end of the day, but when I had 2 children in nappies it became ridiculous. What also became ridiculous, was wasting £10 a week on them. My hubbies job finished & due to all the September 11th trouble, IT jobs disappeared over night. It suddenly seemed so silly to be throwing away so much money & so many nappies. I decided to try using cloth, so I started with the terry nappies that my mum gave me & they were pretty good, they washed & dried very easily & I found them very easy. Unfortunately I couldn?t persuade hubby to wrestle with a wriggling baby, a cloth square and some pins! So I had another think about it & I moved over to using Kooshies Ultras. These are cloth nappies that look almost the same as a disposable, they are the same shape & you fasten them with velcro tabs. Hubby had no excuse this time as they are easy & they are hubby-proof! I also found that I can use them on my 2 year old. I didn?t dare use the terries & pins on him as I thought that he would tug away at them & probably injure himself on the pins. He hasn?t actually noticed anything different & seem
s very happy in them. SO HOW DO YOU USE CLOTH??????? If you think that it sounds really daunting (& I confess that I used to think it was!) It is really really simple especially once you get used to them! All you need is your nappies, nappy liners (usually paper or nylon), some boosting pads & a nappy bucket. Once you get in the habit & routine with them, then you will wonder why you wasted so much money on disposables! With pooey nappies, take out the dirty liner & flush the solid bits down the loo & put the dirty nappy to soak in a bucket of water. Don?t add detergent as this can rot your nappies and shorten their working life. With weed nappies, remove the liner & put it in a washing net ready to go through the machine, you can put this nappy in the bucket if you wish, but I tend to leave wet nappies separately. Wash pooey nappies at 60 degrees with normal detergent (weed ones can be done at 40 degrees.) I tend to put weed nappies in the normal white wash as urine is harmless and sterile. Don?t put fabric softener in the wash as it can coat the nappies with a film meaning that they aren?t as absorbent as they should be. Sometimes an extra spin can wring the nappies out a bit better which means that they will dry quicker. Make sure that you have enough nappies to last you comfortably while your 1st lot are drying. To be ultra ?green? it is best to dry your nappies naturally without a tumble drier. I put mine outside & then air them on the pipes in the airing cupboard which works very nicely. I prepare my nappies as soon as I have dried them i.e. I put the boosting pads (small strips of cloth to increase the nappy absorbency) in the nappies & the paper liners, then I put them away ready for use ? that way I don?t have to do any messing about when I need a nappy. To anyone who is starting out with a new baby, I would urge them to consider cloth. The outlay may seem initially high,
but the savings are huge. Over the course of 2-2.5 years you can spend £1000-£1500 on disposables, whereas with cloth (depending on the make you choose) the outlay may be £200, but you will make huge savings on the cost of disposables & you can use them for more than one child. You can also sell them on when you finish with them! You also don?t have to get them new, ebay & the cloth nappy sales forum on UK parents are very good for second hand nappies (& advice on using them) I have bought all my nappies off ebay or via UK parents and it has been a very good investment. I am pleased to be no longer throwing away £10 a week or contributing to the landfill site problem. I am not feeling that holier than thou (OK just a little LOL as I have a cleaner conscience!) but I am definitely feeling the benefits in my wallet! The disposable nappy problem is huge & they are not easy to breakdown once in landfill sites as most of them are not environmentally friendly & the gels & plastic coatings will either not break down or will take hundreds of years. As there are thousands of babies in the UK each using about a packet of nappies a week, you can soon see why the landfill sites are filling up & the councils are having a lot of trouble finding new sites. I personally feel that much more should be done to promote the use of cloth nappies over disposables as most people are unaware of the alternatives or the benefits. Hospital antenatal clinics & parentcraft classes should mention it as a viable alternative & more information leaflets should be available to new mums. New mums get information on breastfeeding so why not give information on environmentally friendly nappies? The Bounty pack would be an ideal place to promote cloth nappies. Sure Start is another scheme that I believe should back it as Sure Start helps mothers in the most deprived areas (I live in one!!) I bet that many mums on low incomes would be very interested in saving money as I
certainly was! A few councils offer incentives to residents such as vouchers to purchase cloth nappies ? more innovative schemes like this are definitely needed! Anyway, without being all militant and burning packs of disposables! Cloth is definitely the way forward in a world of finite resources. (if you had said that I would say this 3 years ago, then I wouldn?t have believed you!) Anyway cloth nappies are definitely worth a try and you could save a fortune as well as the environment.
When I was in my 8th month of pregnancy, we went to see a woman locally (plushpants.co.uk) to get advice and to buy some cloth nappies. This was purely for environmental reasons, and I was a bit shocked at how much we managed to spend! In the first few days we used disposables, and thought that we might never use the cloths because they seemed so easy. But they leaked - a lot! After baby's cord had cleared up we tried the cloth nappies (muslin squares holding a terry booster with a Popo wrap) and basically haven't looked back since. My husband often does the nappy change and has no problem with the cloths, in fact he has become a huge supporter, raving about them to everyone we know - whether they are having a baby or not! The folding is simple, I fold a stack of them so they are ready for action. I have to wash every day anyway, so the nappies just get a longer cycle. With half an hour in the tumble dryer they come out lovely and soft and ready for use. You can get them in many different shapes and sizes, and we have tried a couple of the shaped ones, but we now swear by plain old flat terries. They are so versatile, you can fold them in loads of different ways to get the best absorbancy in the right place. And flushable paper liners mean poo is easily dealt with. No leaks, no smell, no problem! I realise that in writing this I am probably "preaching to the converted" but reusable nappies are fab. I feel so much happier using them and our baby is clearly very happy with them too!
Actually it's my darling son, who's just wee'd in his disposable nappy. I thought it was just a urine smell, but since converting to cloth I now know it's a chemical reaction...urrrgghhhh! And to think I'd never noticed it before I used washable nappies! I have 2 children, my eldest is 4 and I screeched with hysterical laughter when my mother suggested using cloth nappies when he was born - why should I? I could buy disposables, no extra washing and the whole lot just goes in with the rubbish....gone! "But they look lovely hanging on the washing line!" she said I screeched louder when she suggested it again when I was pregnant with son number 2 - surely 2 kids creates enough washing without having a stinking bucket sitting around in the bathroom and extra washloads every day? But they look lovely hanging on the washing line!" she said, again! Eleven months rumbled by and one day, whilst surfing the 'net I stumbled across the Nappy Lady website and I got reading - what I read shocked me to the core. Those nappies I thought were gone actually take up to 500 years to decompose and the stuff they use to make them? It sounds like a chemistry paper?! And did you know you're not supposed to let kids play with disposable nappies incase they tear them and then inhale the gel crystals because they'll suffocate them? So I placed a sample order for 2 TotsBots, a fleece liner, a booster liner and an Air-Rikka wrap. The TotsBots are the shaped nappy, much like a disposable, except mine fasten with a Nappy-nippa (the modern equivalent of a nappy pin), the fleece liner goes between baby's bottom and the nappy as a "stay-dry" layer (urine passes through and stays dry on top) and it also catches the poo, so all you have to do is drop it in the toilet (the poo, not the liner - although if this is a bit stomach-churning for some, you can buy flushable liners!
) and the wrap is the water-proof layer which fastens over the top of the nappy with poppers like a pair of pants (no more of those crunchy plastic pants of old!). I was very sceptical that such a combination could hold out as well as a disposable, but I was willing to give it a try and I was amazed. I washed the nappies a couple of times before I used them, (to wash off the coatings used for ease of manufacture and maximise the absorbancy), and put it on ds without much hassle (he is a nightmare to change!) and a few hours later I took it off. The nappy was sodden, but his bum was absolutely bone dry! Since that day, I've never looked back. I banged in my order for the rest of my nappies - I've got 10 nappies, 12 fleeces, 2 boosters (for night-time) and 4 wraps and I've been a "clothie" ever since! I do one extra washload a day, but that's my choice. I dry-pail (ie, put the nappies in a lidded bucket without any water - just a damp muslin with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil added) so that stinky bucket is a thing of the past - but even if you choose to soak (which means you can wash every other day, or every couple of days), a couple of drops of tea-tree oil in the water and there's no smell! One extra point, good quality washables, if they're looked after, can be used for subsequent children, saving yet more pennies! And, yes Mum, they do look lovely hanging on the line!