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Cheaper, brighter and better for the environment
Reusable Nappies in General
Member Name: historywitch
Reusable Nappies in General
Advantages: cheap, bright, infinite variety so bound to find a type to suit your child.
Disadvantages: expensive up front cost, nappy bucket can smell, hard to find clothes that fit.
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.
Summary: A nicer alternative to disposables.