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Blog about living a life to nurture, cherish and create.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Getting started with reusuable nappies

When I'm not sewing beautiful things for babies or blogging I am often to be found changing a reusable nappy. I have been using reusable nappies for almost four years now for both my son and daughter. It was something I really wanted to do, even before I was pregnant, and have been thrilled that I have done so. I'm not going to go through the environmental rights and wrongs of cloth nappies (diapers for my American friends). However, several people have come to me over the years asking about advice on how to get started with reusuable nappies. Things have changed since the early 1980s when my mother, and most other people's mothers, were using terry nappies, nappy pins, rubber pants and a bucket full of nappy-san.

1. How to choose which nappies to use
Getting started with reusable nappies checklistThe brand that I chose four years ago is no longer manufactured although some are still available on Amazon. However, the cute-ness of the re-usable nappy has increased massively in that time. They come with gorgeous pretty printed covers and there are many brands. My best advice would be to find a Nappuccino event where you will be shown different brands over a cup of coffee and sometimes be given the opportunity to take them home and have a go. I was also given a demo at my NCT (National Childbirth Trust) ante-natal classes. There are also independent shops selling re-usable nappies all over the country who will be more than happy to help you. Failing all this, try to talk to a friend or relative who has some experience of cloth nappies.

The brand I chose lasted from birth to potty-training because of a system of poppers which allowed the nappies to get bigger and bigger. There were also booster pads which could be poppered into the nappy and make the nappy more absorbent, meaning you have to change the baby less often. There were also plastic pants which came in three different sizes, but still adjustable with poppers, to take you from newborn to potty training. Many brands now have in-built plastic pants, but are less flexible in terms of sizing.

2. Liners
Get some flushable liners. The word flushable is really important here. The liner enables you to pick up all the mess in a dirty nappy and drop it in the loo. Some of the mess may escape out of the liner within the nappy but you'll catch much of it this way. Liners that aren't flushable are a big no-no. You could try these ones.

3. Nappy bucket
Get a nappy bucket / pail with a lid. Many of these buckets also come with mesh bags that line the bucket. You pop the soiled nappies in the bag, in the bucket. When its full just lift the bag out of the bucket and put it in the washing machine. This way your hands don't get too yucky. The lid on the bucket means that you don't get all those nappy smells in the room. Now-a-days it is not considered necessary to soak soiled nappies. Read on.

4. Nappy sanistiser
This is something that you use alongside or instead of your normal detergent. It helps to get rid of the germs from the nappy in the washing machine. Some sanitisers also help to prevent build up of residual detergent in the fabric of the nappy which can lead to lowered absorbency in the nappy.

5. Somewhere to store the nappies
Get a pretty basket or bag to keep the clean nappies in, as well as wipes, nappy cream etc.

We have found that changing nappies in the bathroom is easiest with re-usables. We have the changing mat on the bathroom floor, next to the loo. This means that poo can go straight in the loo and baby isn't going to fall off a changing table. One more helpful hint - never flush baby-wipes down the loo. They block the sewers. Put them in the bin instead. You could put them in a nappy bag in the bin.

If you've got any questions or you'd like to share your experience of using re-usables leave your comments below. If you know someone who'd find this information helpful please share it.

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