Friday, 30 July 2010

Guest post | The pros and cons of reusable nappies by Aqeela

I am delighted to have enlisted some other blogging parents from British Mummy Bloggers (take a look - Dads are welcome too) today is the turn of Aqeela a 26 year old housewife and Mum to a one year old little boy, she has aspired to live the green life since before it became "fashionable." 


on TUESDAY, 11 AUGUST 2009

The pros and cons of reusable nappies.

Ever since I found out that I was pregnant I felt determined to use re-usable nappies. For me, the main bonus was the lack of waste involved. We live in a very disposable society, we are so wealthy that we struggle to find the justification for being frugal (unless it comes into fashion as it is doing now… but that’s a whole other blog post!). So the fact that a household with one baby can fill their rubbish bin half full each week with just nappies alone horrifies me.
As well as saving on waste (and 50 million disposable nappies are dumped each year in my city alone), I knew that buying re-useables would also save us money in the long term. Of course in the short term we needed to find a lump sum to buy a whole load of nappies (that’s where our very generous family stepped in Alhamdulillah) but over all the cost would be far less, even more so if we go on to use them for our next child or children insha’Allah. But in all honesty, cost wasn’t really a motivation for taking the re-useables route.

Disposable nappies are made of a combination of paper, super-absorbent chemicals and plastic. It could take hundreds of years for the plastic in disposable nappies to decompose, not to mention all of the methane and toxic gases which are being produced by those piles of used nappies as we speak. I don’t want to dump my problem on to the next generation, and the next, and the next. And as i don't use any chemicals on my own skin, i wouldn't want the chemicals in a disposable nappy rubbing against my baby's pure little bottom either.

My husband was much less enthusiastic about all of this; he was concerned about the extra stress of washing all those nappies every day, and then trying to get them dry in our tiny and sheltered garden. But I persisted, did a lot of research, and brought him round to my way of thinking. Go Aqeela!!!

I wasn’t concerned about the extra amount of work involved in taking the ‘green option’. Pah, another load of washing in the machine every day, I'll have bags of time! Id much rather put all those future generations before myself!! (Currently rolling eyes at my naivety in my perception of how much free time I'd have – or rather not have - with a baby in tow).

So I went to a local 'Re-usable nappy specialist' to find out more. It was great to have a real person to speak to and to be able to ask questions about the nappies and the benefits, the down sides, the different styles and types, and the different brands. Much easier than spending hours trawling through websites. (In the UK, if you go to your local council website they should be able to give you information on this). After this, I went home to hubby to speak really fast in excitement and show him a million Google images and websites. I was 100% convinced that this was the way forward for us.

After much research and discussion we went for the Tots Bots brand and bought the ‘birth to potty EasyFit’ bamboo nappies. We chose bamboo rather than cotton as the bamboo towelling is a natural material which is more absorbent and faster drying than conventional cotton towelling. If it’s faster drying we’ll take it!

So, what’s the verdict I hear you ask?! Ok, for online reviews of Totsbots nappies look hereTots Bots Review. For my opinion, read on.

What nappies did you use?Tots Bots birth to potty EasyFit’ bamboo nappys.

How much were they and where did you buy them from?

£232 for 20 nappies, a roll of nappy liners and a potty. I bought them from Natural Baby - They were the cheapest I found, even cheaper than the Tots Bots site, and the service was great – I think the nappies arrived in 2-3 days.

First impressions?
Nice looking and well made nappies (Extra bonus – they are made in the UK). Fun colours (I was worried that the lilac was a little girly for Dave but they look just fine when they are on).

Are they easy to use?
It took me a few weeks to really get used to them; however that’s much more to do with me being a first time parent who had never changed a nappy pre Dave. You simply put the booster pad in a sock like pocket which tucks inside the nappy, then place under baby’s bum and use the Velcro to fasten. There are 3 sets of poppers on this nappy so that it will fit from age newborn up to 3 years when your child will probably be potty trained.

Will they really go all the way from birth to potty?
I believe in terms of manufacture that yes, they will last for a few years, long enough for a couple of children or more id say. In terms of size, they were a little big on Dave (born relatively big at 8lb 1 oz) until he was 5 weeks old. Then they were more snug. When he reached about 10 weeks old we moved onto the middle set of poppers. I have a friend who had her 2 and a half year old in them and they fit fine on the maximum size setting.

Have they ever given your baby nappy rash?

Do re-usable nappies leak?
I’m afraid they do! Not all the time, probably once every 3 days to be honest. However, I do find that my sons vest is slightly damp around the edges between his legs, where the dampness has spread from nappy to vest. This has happened nearly every time ive come to change his nappy.

As for night-times – don’t have your baby in these nappies over night. They leak, big time! Almost every morning my son would be lying in a damp patch. My friend who used these nappies with 10 month old twin boys also had the exact same problem. Instead, i now use these nappies at bedtimes – they are disposable, but are biodegradable and chemical free. Even the packaging is 100% biodegradable. They are available worldwide. And I give them 5 out of 5 for everything, they are great!

How often do you need to wash them?
I have 1 child, 20 nappies, and wash them every other day.

How long do they take to dry?
The same amount of time as any other washing.

Do they smell?
They don’t smell when your baby is wearing them, or while they are waiting (in my case 48hours) to be washed. They do smell when you have to open them all up and unfold the booster pad as you are loading your washing machine! Its slightly annoying that you have to unfold these dirty nappies, it takes about 5 mins just to load the machine and its a bit of a dirty job. Id much prefer to be able to just chuck them in the machine and go.

What do you wash them with?
I wash them on 60 degrees using bicarbonate of soda. I fill the fabric softener department of the washing machine with distilled white vinegar and about 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (usually eucalyptus) which freshens them in the final rinse.
Do you have to soak re-usable nappy's?
I don’t soak the nappies before hand, unless it was a pretty explosive poo! (In which case I wash under the tap, and leave the wet nappy with all the other dirty ones ready to be washed later.)

Do they come clean?
They do. On the odd occasion that they stain, the sun will bleach the stain right out while they dry on the washing line.

Overall, how many stars would you give the Tots Bots birth to potty EasyFit’ bamboo nappies?

Whats your verdict on re-uables per se?
Go for it - the positives outshine the negatives. Im so glad ive done it this way.

There are definitely lots of reasons for and against using washable nappies.  Let's hope Aqeela has helped shed some light on the subject.  Thank you Aqeela!

1 comment:

  1. Perfectly timed. My first baby is due in October and I'm trying to persuade my husband that re-usable nappies are the better option. He's been as worried about this as he was about our baby having a monobrow (don't ask!) but perhaps a read of your post will persuade him to my way of thinking.


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