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Why didn't I try this before??
Reusable Nappies in General
Member Name: sttb1997
Reusable Nappies in General
Advantages: Easy to use, pretty, good for the environment
Disadvantages: Are there any??
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.
Summary: The best thing since sliced bread