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Reusable Nappies: Have you used them?

edited 19 September 2017 at 10:53AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
32 replies 5.3K views


  • flora48flora48 Forumite
    643 posts
    jackyann wrote: »
    Well, I didn't really have a choice, back in the day disposables were horrid - leaky and not good on skin.
    4 kids - 2 dozen nappies for first, supplemented by another 6 for #4. Still have them lurking as emergency cloths.
    Big bucket with "napisan" sat in the bath - nappies held by one corner in the loo to flush anything off them, then straight in the bucket, then chucked in the washing machine overnight.
    We changed them more often than is done now with modern disposables, and I used soap & water with flannels (like Louk) and chucked the flannels in the bucket to wash with the nappies.
    I am an expert on the folding of traditional terry squares and am *deeply disappointed* that it is a skill no-one wants me to demonstrate (sigh!)

    Yes, back in the day, the decision was a no brainier given the leaky disposables that were available, I am also a master of nappy folding. However, given the choices today I really do not see how reusables save money. They are very expensive to buy and laundry costs need to be taken into account. I would have given my eye teeth not to have faced all that washing every day. It seems to me that the argument for reusables has to be the environmental one.
  • MallyGirlMallyGirl Forumite, Board Guide
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    I bought MotherEase ones second hand and a couple of sizes of wrap and used them from about 4 weeks old (they were just to big for my newborn) to 2 years when she went dry during the day. Still used them at night until she started to get closer to dry at night when we switched to disposable pull-ups.
    It was an eco decision for me - washing really wasn't difficult.
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  • Caroline_aCaroline_a Forumite
    4.1K posts
    When my first daughter was born they were all we had! There were some very useless disposable ones that went into a pocket in plastic pants, but I never used those. How much did it cost? To be honest I have no idea as we had no other options!

    Pampers were around when I had my third and I happily used those, but they were expensive at the time. Which were best? Each had pros and cons but overall the disposable ones were easier.
  • DianneBDianneB Forumite
    882 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    Yep, used them from 1973 to about 1979 with my first two children, as Caroline_a says it was all that we had! I had no tumble dryer then, nobody did, in the winter it was a b****r to get them dry and in the summer they went all crispy on the line if you left them out too long. The plastic pants that went on top used to crack round the legs and rub the babies thighs and you always had a bucket of stinking nappies in the bathroom.

    By the time I had baby no. 3 proper disposables were available and for me there was no looking back!!
    Slightly bitter
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  • DoodyDoody Forumite
    122 posts
    I'll join in with your bumping. My children were born in 1994 and 1998 so it was a while ago. We mostly used washables. A big mix of home made, outers that took a prefold or a disposable and compostable pad, and good old terry squares.

    It was presumably very cost effective as i blanched to see the cost of a pack of disposables. We had a lot so the nappy bucket got washed probably once a week. Far less than the cost of a weeks worth of disposable nappies.

    My initial motivation was environmental, all those tonnes of nappies festering away in landfill, taking hundreds of years to decompose. Not what I wanted my children to contributing to. It wasn't hard, once in the habit of washing, and taking a bag with spares out and a bag to put the used ones in. In fact, it was so easy I progressed to washable san pro as well. We had leaks very rarely, and night times were OK with another layer of absorbency.

    Something that intrigued me when I found out about it is Elimination Communication. Too late now, no more babies for me.
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  • I've been using them with my now-one year old. We used disposables only for the first couple of months and the bins just filled up with nappies so quickly, little room for anything else. Once she was about 2 months, I did a month trial with our local nappy library to try out a range of different brands and styles, and following that I bought a load of Size 1 Little Lamb nappies and wraps secondhand on Ebay. I did have to buy some new waterproof wraps, as they do lose waterproofing after a while, but probably paid about £75 in total for all the Size 1 things - and I then sold them for about £40 once she grew out of them. I've now bought a set of Size 2 nappies, again all secondhand from Ebay and paid about £40 for the lot. I did have to buy new wraps again though, and also change wrap brand (buying some Little Lamb size 2 wraps for £20 and then selling them for £10 when they weren't comfortable for baby, and getting Motherease wraps instead).

    My husband refuses to use the reusable ones, not really sure why but partly perhaps because it means I'm more likely to do the nappy changes! so we probably get through one bag of disposables every three or four weeks, plus we use them if we go away overnight. I also use reusable wipes with water (just some brushed cotton cut up) instead of wet wipes when I'm at home, as they can also be chucked in the wash.

    Using reusables is a bit more hassle - it takes a while to wash particularly if the particularly poo-ey ones need a separate quick wash first then hang them up- but I only wash every other day, and even in winter I usually manage to dry them on the line, only using the tumble drier occasionally. However, I do feel pleased not to have the bin full of dirty nappies for up to two weeks at a time. I also find that baby clothes aren't cut for the ginormous bum that comes with a reusable nappy, so sometimes she need to move up a size in trousers before her legs are long enough.
  • I wouldn't use re-useable nappies, because the amount of money 'saved' is nothing compared to the hassle of having to wash the darn things (on top of your usual laundry load, which with children and babies is already a LOT) and also have a house stinking of Napisan.
  • CheesefaceCheeseface Forumite
    154 posts
    I used disposable with my first and reusable with my second, born 2005.

    I had 20 motherease one size nappies, which I started to use when my youngest was about 3 weeks old. We used them until well past their second birthday. I used reusable fleece liners which were great so saved more.

    I stored the dirty ones in a lidded bucket, washed in the evening every third day, dried overnight. They didn't smell at all.

    I think I spent about £200 altogether. I'm sure 24 months of disposable nappies would cost more. I never had the hassle of running out of nappies either.
  • SmlSaveSmlSave Forumite
    4.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ~Gabriel wrote: »
    I wouldn't use re-useable nappies, because the amount of money 'saved' is nothing compared to the hassle of having to wash the darn things (on top of your usual laundry load, which with children and babies is already a LOT) and also have a house stinking of Napisan.

    :rotfl:I had to google Napisan to find out what it was! :rotfl:

    I used cloth nappies for both my children - now aged 6 and 3 - and never once used Napisan. Chucked the nappies with Bioi-D in the laundry with the other clothes, never had a problem or a stain, didn't own a tumble dryer.

    There are so many different types of cloth nappies now, it's easy to find one which suits your baby/lifestyle.

    P.S. also very easy to get a nappy addiction with the super cute hand embroidered ones....
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