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This is a guest post brought to you by the lovely, mummy of four, Orlena from the blog Snotty Noses.
For me, real or fabric reusable nappies were always the only option. I bought them before the birth of my first son so that I wouldn’t be tempted to opt out. That was over 5 years ago (gasp, I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone) and now 4 children later I’m still really happy with them and have never looked back.
I feel like I’m doing a small bit for the environment and definitely a large bit for my bank balance.
For me, they’re really easy. I collect them in a nappy bin (with a tight fitting lid), chuck them in the washing machine every morning (along with all our other clothes). Hang them out, fold them up and that’s it really. I guess I’m used to it and it’s just part of the daily routine. I wash everything in cold water and I used to only wash them for 30 minutes until I realised that actually the
I guess I’m used to it and it’s just part of the daily routine. I wash everything in cold water and I used to only wash them for 30 minutes until I realised that actually the 30-minute wash uses more water and electricity than a longer wash (I guess it’s like driving your car around in first gear.)
However, I think the concept of reusable nappies is a bit like Dr Seuss’s ‘Green Eggs and Ham’. I think most people are scared to give them a go. And that’s not unreasonable. Especially if you think about all the money you have to spend up front for something that you may not like and is going to add to your washing load.
There are ways around this problem. Some councils offer vouchers to real nappy users to give you a start. Some cities have laundry services so you don’t even have to do the washing. They come and collect your dirty nappies and drop off some new ones.
This does mean that you are limited to their standard nappy but it also means you can ‘try before you buy’. And generally, people who use real nappies are into recycling and are always looking for a loving home for their nappies when they’ve finished with them. (There are websites that specialise in real nappies, with forums and exchanges.)
Nappies come in different shapes and sizes. My standard (but slightly dull) nappy is the plain ‘pre-fold’. It consists of a plastic, waterproof outer (the ‘wrap’) with a folded piece of fabric on the inside. A bit like the olden day terry towelling nappies.
I use a paper liner to catch the stinky stuff and then flush it down the toilet. This system is relatively cheap and it’s easy to wash and dry. If you put the nappy on correctly (snug against the leg with none of the paper liner sticking out) you shouldn’t have a problem with leakage.
You do have to buy different sizes of both fabric and wraps as your child gets bigger.Instead of using a folded piece of fabric, you can get a fabric nappy that goes all the way around the baby’s waist. And then put a plastic outer on. Many people really love this system but I find them quite bulky. They use up too much space in my washing machine and take too long to dry.
The final system I’ve used is the ‘pocket’ nappy. A plastic outer with a fleece liner and you put another fabric liner inside the ‘pocket’. You know all those adorable photos that you see of really cute kids in beautiful nappies, normally they are this kind. And they can be so so cute and soft.
Having said that, they are often more expensive but also they can come in ‘one size’. The nappy has poppers so that you can make it bigger and smaller so you don’t have to buy more as your child gets bigger. I do love these nappies but I do find them more bulky as well, so I don’t use them all day.
My final thought is this. This summer, my friend had just sent me a gift of some new nappies and I was so excited I put them on the baby twins. A cute fluffy pink one on Celeste and a cute 2 fluffy blue one on Sebastian. And then we went to the beach. (We live in Spain, aha I hear you cry, it must be really easy to dry the nappies, well yes, in the summer it is.
But I managed for 3 years in Wales without a tumble dryer and it rains a lot in Wales.) Anyhow, it was so hot that the babies were wearing nothing but their nappies. As we rounded a corner we passed a Japanese tourist saw the babies and burst into fits of laughter. Now, would you ever get such a happy reaction from a couple of disposable nappies? So there you go, I’m spreading joy too!
To find out more about our life in Spain, the cheeky twins and other random thoughts, check out my blog at Snotty Noses Blog. And for kids medical and health advice check out my paediatric website Snotty Noses.
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