Eddie, a regular at Big You Little You's classes (the Nappy Library is based at Big You Little You), had contacted us a few times to ask some questions about getting started with reusable nappies. When she informed us she had ordered some nappies to get started with, we asked her if she would keep a diary of her first few days getting stuck in! She had quite a lot of anxiety about getting started but -spoiler alert - was soon really loving it. Read on for days 1-3 of her journey.
Age of baby: 11 months – Matilda (Tilly) Robinson
Reason for starting: I have two wonderful friends (Kate and Helen - Nappy Library volunteers) I met at NCT antenatal classes that use reusable nappies and wipes and I’ve always been intrigued, but always assumed it was too much hard work. I’ve always been aware of the amount of waste that my single use nappies and wipes produced, but in all honesty it’s been the pandemic that’s really highlighted just how much we throw away.
Experiences so far: I’ve watched my two friends from a distance with the odd question here and there, but apart from noticing all the amazing prints, I have zero experience. Initial concerns: As a perfectionist, I have a silly tendency not to do something if I don’t think I’ll pull it off to perfection. Reusable nappies seemed like a minefield and a lot of hard work in addition to looking after Tilly. Day 1 Unboxing: I was apprehensive, but Tilly dove right in!
First nappy: Already Tilly looks at single use nappies like…. “What are these again?”
Any problems / surprises: Tilly is extremely active now, so putting on the first nappy was a two man job. At this point, part of me wished that I started this when she was a new-born and not as grabby. We did it though. Carl asks “What are the buttons in the middle for?” I shrugged, “A question for Kate and Helen” [This is the rise, mentioned in last week's fit guide!]. We quickly learnt that we didn’t need to change Tilly as much as we thought. The fleece liner really did whip away the moisture from Tilly’s skin. Success!
Reflections of the day: My partner Carl started his career as a games tester, so it’s in his nature to pick things apart. He’s asking me WAY too many questions. I don’t think I’ve read up on a topic this much since leaving University! My head is spinning, so many questions about inserts; Kate and Helen will help me. Putting Tilly to bed, I’m feeling worried about whether I’ve used the right number of inserts. Only time will tell!
Excitements: I didn’t sleep too well last night. I kept looking at the baby monitor to see if Tilly looked comfy. “Is she wet? Should I check?” I REALLY wanted to check. In the morning, dry as a bone. Awesome!
How is Tilly finding it?: Tilly is living her best life in these nappies. She loves the prints and likes to have a little feel when she is able. The weather is warm, so we’ve put her in a dress. Normally I’d worry about having her single use nappy on show, not today! That nappy was on show, with pride!
My excitement soon turned to sadness, as Tilly clocked up a very impressive 3 poos in less than 12 hours. I need more liners! On a positive note, the poo gave us a real test for the reusable wipes. Excellent poo wiping ability, not pushing it around like with single use. I never thought I’d get so much satisfaction from the sound of poo plopping into the toilet from a liner.
Excitements: It was Carl’s turn for feeling excited today. “I did it!” he cried from Tilly’s room. Although Tilly still wiggles round like a bag of cats, we’d mastered putting the nappy on her. I think we were overthinking it! We still do question if we’ve really got it right, so again, I’ll look to Kate and Helen for advice.
Advice via Zoom!
What did I learn?: It’s not an exact science. Just like with everything, each baby is different, so your combination of inserts and liners depends on your baby [see our blogpost on this] . It’s definitely something I need to experiment with more. My partner Carl asking lots of questions doesn’t mean he’s not on board with reusables, it just means he wants to learn!
Reflections I totally underestimated the about of liners I needed, Tilly is a poop machine! As we only have three cloth nappies, we are still using single use as well, but I’m not going to beat myself up over that, as we’ll expand as we go. I do get a twinge of disappointment when I need to wash them and use disposables, as another benefit of disposing poops down the toilet means no lingering smells from the single use nappy bin! However, it’s not long until we get to smell that lovely fragrance of freshly washed cloth nappies.
It’s a learning curve, but it’s important not to beat yourself up about your choices. I was definitely overthinking everything and I really should have been a lot more relaxed about it and enjoy it more. Tilly is happy, so as long as she’s happy, I should be. In the wise words of my friend Kate “if it’s not leaking, you must be doing something right”.