The practicalities of reusable nappies part two: absorbency

…so far.

I've now had 8 weeks of trying out various reusable nappies with mixed results. Out of all the different types that I bought (seven) there are really only two that cut it and the rest I only use out of desperation or if I really don't mind urine and poo leaks all over clothes, bedding, furniture, car seat or myself. For my baby (female and now chubby leggged) the ones that have offered the most in terms of poo containment and non leakability are the type of nappy which comes in 2 parts: The absorbent part and the waterproof part. The all in ones: Do. Not. Work. (not for my baby anyway)

 

For day wear we prefer the tots bots bamboozle nappies* but use Bummi's wraps for the top layer as the tots bots own ones are crap.

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Bamboozle bamboo nappy

 

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Bummis waterproof wrap

For nightime I have found Motherease cotton nappies to contain an evenings wee and the Motherease wraps fit tight over the top. My only issue is that the wraps only work with that specific nappy and use them with any other type and it's wee Niagra. (I should also note that I bought and use the optional extra boosters for super absorbency).

PICT0127Motherease cotton shaped nappy

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Motherease wrap

In all honesty the first few weeks of using reusables was tough in terms of working out the best ones to use, the best way to use them and how often to change them and it did mean many, many leaks. Now we have no problems (as long as we are using those two types) and I'm glad we stuck with it. When I see how many she gets through in a day I'm relieved I am not contributing disposables to a landfill and I am happier seeing natural fibres wrapped around her skin especially considering how long she spends in them.

(One other thing… cloth nappies get more absorbent the more they are washed so if at first they dont seem great they improve over a period of time)

 

*I have noticed that the bamboo nappies I am using are nothing like the ones they now sell so they must be discontinued. It's a shame as the one's with elasticated legs and velcro fastening just do not seem to work on my daughter.

The practicalities of reusable nappies part one: The washing

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Lets face it. I'm a slovenly mother. I mean that in the kindest way towards myself as if there is a choice between spending time with my baby or housework then baby takes priority. Still, what this means is that no way am I going to do something which massively increases my workload so why on earth did I choose to use reusable nappies?

I believe there is a misconception that cloth nappies are hard work and really, they're not. They take the same length of time to change as a disposable and then rather than putting them in the bin I put them in a lidded bucket which is lined with a mesh bag. The only extra work is washing them but come on, I'm hardly doing that by hand. i grab the mesh bag and throw the lot in the washing machine where the wonders of technology do my work and then I hang them out or hang them up. As I have to do the same thing with clothes it's not an issue for me.

I wash the nappies and their wraps separate from other laundry and usually do them at 40 degrees (with occasional 60 degree wash for the nappies only) using non bio liquid and a good glug of bog standard malt vinegar (prevents the nappies from smelling a bit odd due to combination of wee, poo and product build up from laundry liquid). Hanging them out in even a weak sun bleaches them and even the most horrific poo stains disappear. Who needs enzymes and chemical whiteners!?

Easy, easy and the best thing is I don't have dirty nappies fermenting in the heat of my rubbish bin for a fortnight. Bonus!