As Reusable Nappy Week is just around the corner and we’ve been using reusable nappies for just shy of 2 years now, I thought I’d share some thoughts on our experience. Reusable Nappy Week is celebrated in April every year, this year’s dates are 24th – 30th April. It’s a week dedicated to raising awareness, busting myths and generally sharing the love for reusable nappies and shouting out about their benefits.
Reusable nappies can understandably seem dauting at first, especially if you’ve no experience of friends and family using them and no prior knowledge. I’m hoping that I can play my part in de-mystifying the world of cloth nappies for you. When searching for info on what you need to get started with reusables, you’ll probably see some pretty extensive lists that can seem totally overwhelming. In truth all you need to get started and to take that first step is, a reusable nappy and means of washing said nappy. Wear wash repeat!
My Super Simple Wash Routine
The washing, it’s often one of the things about reusables that may put people off. There is absolutely no need to over complicate things here though, washing reusables is much more straight forward than I had ever imagined previous to using them myself. Yes there is a some extra laundry but in all honestly an extra load every few days hasn’t made much difference here and has hardly been noticeable. Our regular laundry piles up far quicker and is much more of a chore than reusable nappies have ever been for us. This is my usual super simple, fuss-free wash routine
- Empty my wet bag into the machine, throwing the the bag in too
- Put them on a short 15 minute wash with no detergent, no spin needed
- Put on a full length wash on 40 with a spin (around 2 hours in my machine) using a full dose of detergent. I use a non-bio powder, this Tots Bots Potion one is my favourite (smells amazing!) but I also regulary use standard non-bio with no problems too.
- Leave to dry. Line drying outdoors is my preferred method. A socktopus hanger is your friend for drying when you’re short on space too
- You can then put the nappies back together ready to use over and over again.
Some things to note :
- Avoid the use of any fabric softeners as they can affect the absorbency
- Don’t dry them over direct heat sources as this can damage the waterproof PUL layers contained in the nappy
- When my inserts are starting to feel a bit ‘stiff’ I pop them into the tumble for a few minutes and they’re nice and fluffy once again. If you don’t have access to a tumble dryer giving the insert a vigorous rub against each other will help too.
But what about the poo?
‘What do you do with the poo?’ is a question that often pops up and to be honest it was one of the things that I was apprehensive about pre using reusable nappies myself. Pre weaning is super simple, you can chuck them into a wet bag or pail / bucket until you are ready to wash them, they can then go straight into the wash, no rinsing or scraping needed. If you’re worried about staining, a little rinse before chucking them in the wetbag will help minimise them. Post weaning it becomes a little more interesting shall we say as the poo takes on a more solid form. This is when I started to use disposable liners. For me this made dealing with pooey nappies much easier, no scraping involved – hooray! Simply place the liner in the nappy, remove when soiled and dispose. You can also use reusable fleece liners which are super soft too. When soiled you can take them out and ‘plop’ the poop into the toilet, if it’s a little more stubborn, you can use the flush to help remove the mess. Just don’t forget to keep a tight hold of your liner you don’t what to be flushing that away
Aren’t they really expensive?
The initial cost of buying cloth nappies can seem prohibitive at first especially with the costs of absolutely everything going up. I started small, buying a couple of different types and brands of nappies to see which I preferred and which worked best for us. Many local councils will also offer an incentive for people to try reusable nappies. My local council currently offers a trial pack or a £30 voucher to spend at selected retailers. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for offers during Reusable Nappy Week, most retailers will offer discounts and / or trial packs giving you the perfect opportunity to try reusables or bulk out your stash for a fraction of the usual cost. There’s a link to a discount code mentioned at the end of this post too.
It’s not all or nothing with reusable nappies
This brings me to my most important note of all, I’m a big believer in that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing with reusable nappies. Don’t ever feel that you can’t do cloth because you can’t or don’t want to commit to full time. We’ve had weeks where we’ve used them full time, some none at all at everything in-between too. Using a single reusable nappy a day will save 365 disposable from going to landfill. One a day doesn’t seem like much but just imagine if you piled all those up you’d have a considerably sized pile heading for landfill.
As with most new things, a little trial and error is involved before you’ll fully be in the swing of things. Once you’ve perfected your fit and found a style of nappy which works for you, poo-plosions and leaks will be a thing of the past. You’ll soon get into your own routine with washing and it will all become second nature and you’ll wonder why you didn’t try them out sooner.
If you’d like to find out more about reusable nappies for newborns specifically, check out my previous post here. If you’ve got any questions, something you always wanted to know or just something you’ve been wondering about reusables, leave me a comment below. If you already use them, why not share your top tip / favourite things about them in the comments.
If you head on over to my Instagram, there’s a cheeky little 10% off discount code to use at babipur for you on there. As well as nappies they sell a whole range of reusable products as well as a great selection of sustainable toys and ethical clothing. The code is not an affiliate code. I work at babipur and our buddies and team members are given discount codes to share with our IG followers.