My husband is what one might describe as an eco warrior. We enjoy constantly challenging one another to find new ways to reduce waste and save energy. When we discovered I was pregnant, the subject of reusable nappies came up very quickly.
I’ll be honest with you, I was concerned about the idea. I knew from my sister and close friends how much work having a baby is, without the added complication of nappy washing. I started having nightmares about hand-washing stained Terry nappies and poking myself, and the baby, with safety pins. The image did not fill me with excitement.
However, I had heard stats about the environmental impact of disposable nappies, saying that they take over 300 years to decompose and that over 8 million nappies go to landfill sites in the UK every year. So I agreed with my husband that I’d look into it and we should try some out.

Nappies – A Whole New World

It was soon after that I discovered a whole new world that I never knew existed; a Narnia bursting with Bamboozles, bulging with Bambino Mios, lavished with Little Lambs and popping at the seams with Peanut Wraps. The names all had me chuckling to myself, but it was the super-cute designs that clinched it for me. I wanted my baby’s bottom to look like a bumble bee or to be swathed in zebra print.
Like I say, there was a lot to choose from so I continued my research. I had a lot of questions…which are most comfortable? Which do not leak? Which are the best for night time? My list of questions was long. I read reviews and asked questions on forums. What surprised me was the number of mums who said they’d tried them and would never go back. It became increasingly clear to me that they weren’t as much work as I originally thought and we’re supposedly better for the health of my baby’s bottom.

Taking The Leap

I finally decided to buy a Tots Bots trial kit and as I was buying that I decided to add a Teenyfit in style “Rumble” to my order. When the parcel arrived I was so excited, it felt like Christmas! The Teenyfit Rumble was literally the cutest thing I’d ever seen. I couldn’t wait to meet my little baby and put his/her bottom into the Rumble.
It could have been the Christmas feeling or could have been a spot of nesting, but at that point I decided I didn’t have enough of these colourful poo-catchers, and went a little crazy, buying about 10 more in all colours and designs.
Our little boy was born in June and left hospital wrapped in his little cloth nappy, looking even cuter than I’d imagined.
Since then I’ve got into a good system with the nappies, washing them every other day. It’s part of my routine and I don’t even think about it. My little man’s bottom is happy; he’s never had nappy rash. When he, on those odd magical occasions, sleeps through the night the cloth nappies keeps him dry. I absolutely love my reuseble nappies and can’t recommend them enough, and wanted to share my experience so others might give it a try.

It’s All About The Money

A big issue for people when deciding on reusable nappies is the upfront cost. The nappies can easily cost between £15 and £17 when bought new. There are a few ways to get your head around the initial outlay:
1. Calculate the cost of a few years of disposables vs the cost of the reusables and the reusable nappies come out pretty cheap.
2. Some people may not be keen on the idea, but there is a second-hand nappy market, with a lot of new, barely used and well-loved nappies for sale. This gives you the option to either buy cheaper or sell your nappies on when you’re done.
3. Some companies do discount for bulk buying or have special offers on a regular basis, like my Tots Bots trial kit.
4. A lot of local councils offer incentive schemes which give vouchers towards the cost of reusable nappies. Check here to find out if your council does.
5. NCT offer nappy libraries, where you can try a few before deciding on the style you’d like to have. It’s a good way to trial without buying.

{Edit} A Few More Points

  • We use biodegradable inserts. These are very thin liners which say they can be flushed if desired. (Please read the comments in the section below about this though).
  • To wash them we bought “Tots Bots potion” which means it gets all the nasties out washing at only 30 degrees. If we run out of the potion, we wash at 60 degrees. Every threemonths we do what is called a “strip wash”, which means we put them on a rinse, then a long 60 degree wash and then another rinse again. We dry them outside as much as possible and then on an airer near our wood burner. The sun is good for natural bleaching. It is recommended not to tumble dry them, as that ruins the absorbent fibres.
  • When out and about we just take a waterproof bag out with us, where we store the dirty nappies until we get home.
  • We use Cheeky Wipes. I love these! They always smell so great and are great for my son’s skin. We have the “clean” and “mucky” box system they provide, so we just put the clean wipes in the “clean” box where they soak in the lavender and chamomile oil and then when they’re used, we put them in the “mucky” box where they soak in tea tree oil until they’re ready to wash! There is also a portable “clean” and “mucky” waterproof bag system to use when you’re out and about.

Have you ever used or considered using reusable nappies? If so, I’d be keen to hear your thoughts!