Real nappy week is just coming to an end. Alright, it sounds a bit weird as surely there are no imaginary nappies, but what it’s referring to in this case is reusable, rather than disposable nappies.
I had actually been dipping my toe in the reusable nappy world in the last few weeks anyway, so this seemed like a good opportunity to go for it a bit more!
I liked the idea of saving the world a bit- the amount of nappies that a kid gets through is nothing short of disgusting, and the disposable kind take forever and a day to break down, although when I looked into it a bit more, it was apparent that actually, the environmental impact between reusable and disposable was actually very small- particularly if you were washing at more than 40 degrees and tumble drying every day or two. What became more clear as I did my investigating, though, was the money that you could save was really pretty substantial, which always sounds like a bonus to me!
I got particularly lucky in that my local council offered a trial pack, of two different types of nappy for a fiver (a bargain as they gave about £40 of kit) and on asking my best friend, who uses reusables, for advice, she mentioned that her youngest had finished with the smallest size that she had if I wanted to borrow her’s- Obviously I took her up on the offer!
A brief bit of background- the real nappy world is bloody mind-boggling- there are so many different types and brands but all basically consist of a waterproof outer bit, something to soak up wee in the middle, and usually a liner to catch poo on the top. I ended up with…
-A pocket nappy, which is the waterproof outer, fleecy inner, and an additional towelling pad tucked in a pocket inside the nappy for extra absorbancy
-A two parter (waterproof outer and towelling inner in two separate parts, so you can wash the inner bit once it’s been wee’d in)
Both of these were shaped like disposable nappies, with velcro fastenings and poppers so they can be made bigger or smaller to fit a baby from ‘birth to potty’.
I wasn’t really a fan- they were both absolutely massive even when poppered down to the smallest size- Sid’s only 10 weeks old and not a big baby, and I just felt like he couldn’t kick his legs properly. The pocket nappy, a BumGenius, was pretty leaky too. Not a good first experience.
The stuff that I’d been lent was by Bambino Mio- a two parter again, with a nappy-shaped waterproof outer, but rather than a shaped inner, this system just had flat cloths that you folded up and put in the outer. The outers were sized too, so there was no faffing around with poppers. The outers were a bit old, so the velcro was curling up a bit at the edges, which I found was rubbing on Sid’s tummy a bit, but apart from that I’ve got on with them really well- they don’t leak, they’re ridiculously absorbant, and personally I think they’re not as bulky as the other ones I tried, so I’m sticking with them.
I haven’t quite gotten my head around the whole ‘carrying around a bag of wet nappies’ thing so we’re just using them when we’re in the house and still take disposables when we’re out and about, but even that’s saving some cash- The only thing I’ve paid for so far is a big lidded bin from IKEA and a net bag that’s meant to be used for washing bra’s in a washing machine. I’ve been putting the used nappies in the bin, which has been lined with the string bag, then every couple of days, I just scoop out the bag and sling that in the wash with half a capful of detergent and we’re good to go. I’ve been drying them on the line, but they are getting a bit crunchy, so I think I’ll do the next lot half in the sun and then finish them off in the tumble drier to soften them up a bit.
The danger now is that while I’ve saved some money in that the system’s been lent to me, I’ve started looking around and really want to go shopping now! I’ve seem some great covers that I want and actually, there’s a whole other system, Gnappies, which I’m hankering after, after I saw a friend using it- It looks similar to the Bambino Mio in that it’s sized and has inserts, but the covers look much nicer and it seems really streamlined. And as well as getting reusable inserts, which can be washed, you can get disposable ones too, which can be composted, so seem like the best of both worlds! If I can find some on the cheap, I really want to give them a go!