The Ups and Downs of Reusable Nappies

Once pregnant and knowing that I wanted to use reusable nappies – I started researching. However, information on the different types, pros, cons, costs was overwhelming and frustrating. There are so many different types, colours, fabrics and manufacturers can’t seem to fault their products. Here, I am trying to offer a balanced review on reusable nappies because however easy manufacturers say they are to use (which is true) you do have to be slightly more organised.

             Pros

    • They are definitely cheaper. One you’ve paid the initial outlay you get it back within a few months even with increased washing volumes. I chose the ones I wanted then bought them brand new unused from eBay. 
    • So much better for the environment – 3 billion disposable nappies are thrown away each year in the UK. 4,000 per child. Most reusable nappies are made from natural fibres so can be repurposed.
    • Babies will feel wet more easily, as disposables wick the moisture away from the skin. This is a pro and a con. A pro because this means that nappy rash is rarely an issue and a con because you can’t ‘get away’ with not changing them for long periods of time.
    • They are really easy to use and velcro like normal nappies – they just have a separate outer wrap.
    • When you are out, you did need to carry a little bag with you to put the dirty nappies in. I never find this a problem – I just have a simple drawstring bag that is waterproof on the inside.

             Cons

    • Fabric and meconium don’t mix too well, so until your babies bowel has settled it may be best to use disposables. There are biodegradable disposable nappies widely available in the UK. 
    • More washing and drying! but I honestly don’t notice it. I do one load extra a week since he arrived and that includes all his clothing.
    • They’re not great at containing diarrhoea – but neither are disposables at times.
    • Impractical if you’re on holiday without access to washing facilities and bulky to take abroad. Generally we will use disposables if we’re away longer than 5 days.
    • If your child has done created solid waste you need to be near a toilet – otherwise you’ll be carrying something undesirable around with you! Thankfully baby changing rooms usually have this facility.

I decided to go for all white Tots Bots nappies – I didn’t want them to be obvious, or attract attention. There are so many different types so definitely do some research. There is such a thing as ‘real nappy parties’ where a rep comes to your house to explain all the different ones to you, plus any friends you invite. Check out the link for more information: http://www.goreal.org.uk.

Summer 2011 014

E xx

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