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Emma's Reusable Nappy Journey

Emma is one of our lovely Library users, who got started with a mini kit and hasn't looked back. I loved reading this blog from Emma, and we'd love to hear your stories too, especially if you used the nappy library!

Why did you start thinking about using cloth nappies?

To be honest, I’d never really considered it until my daughter was around six months old. I didn’t know anyone that had used them and found the idea pretty gross. But I noticed a few of the mums at the baby groups I attended were using them, and they started to seem less scary. We were trying to reduce our waste and were already using reusable bags, wax food wraps, keep cups, refillable soaps, etc. So I started thinking more about the mountain of disposables filling up our bin and reading about the impact of this on landfill. 

When did you start looking into it?

After pestering a knowledgeable friend with loads of questions, I started using reusable wipes and then it didn’t seem like a such a big step to try some nappies too. I was already washing the wipes after all. My daughter was about to turn one at this point, so we were late to start. But I figured every reusable used is one less disposable sitting in landfill. 

The same friend  pointed me in the direction of the Nappy Library at Big You Little You [that's us!] and I hired a mini trial kit from Anna. There’s a lot of choice out there and it can be quite confusing, but the mini kit allowed us to try a variety of brands and styles to find out what worked for us.

What were any concerns/misconceptions you had before you started? How did you overcome these?

My big concern was what to do with the poo! Thankfully Penny’s poos were pretty ‘ploppable’ by this point, so it hasn’t been an issue. No poo spoon needed! We also use fleece liners and I find this makes it easier if you do get the occasional messy one. Honestly, it’s just become normal and I don’t even think about it now.

My other concern was washing and drying. We don’t have a tumble drier and I didn’t want washing hanging up all over the house. Using mostly pocket nappies helps as the shells dry really quickly. I bought some extra inserts so I can use the nappy again as soon as the shell is dry. I also get them out on the line whatever the temperature, as long as it isn’t raining. Even on cold days they dry a lot faster with a bit of a breeze through them.

When did you start using cloth nappies?

After hiring the trial kit, and borrowing a couple more from a friend, I decided to take the plunge and start using cloth part time. I ordered a starter kit with ten nappies and a nappy pail from Baba + Boo and continued using disposables on wash days. Soon enough I was completely converted and added to our collection so that we could go full time.

How did you find it?

Initially it was a bit stressful while I was figuring out how to get the fit right. Trying to do up poppers on a one year old who doesn’t like to lie still was a bit tricky! We had a few leaks at first, but it became easier and very reliable when I got the fit and absorbency right.

How did you get past any issues you found? Where did you go for advice? 

We did have a few leaks at first, but I spoke to a friend for tips and found lots of advice on Baba + Boo Hangout and The Nappy Guru Place Facebook groups.

Any tips or tricks?

I’ve found that it’s mostly down to trial and error, but Facebook groups like those mentioned above are really helpful for tips on fit or leaks. I like using large wet bags to store dirty nappies instead of a bucket to avoid washing a bucket too. Vest extenders are also great for getting shorter fitting vests over a big cloth bum, especially heavily boosted nighttime nappies.

Favourite brand?

We use Baba + Boo pocket nappies almost exclusively for daytime, although we’ve recently tried Mama Koala (mainly for the cute prints) and had a go with flats too, which are super quick to dry. Overnight we use Little Lamb bamboo with a variety of wraps- Buttons super covers and Petit Lulu pull up wraps are proving to be the most bombproof at the moment. 

Favourite print?

That’s a tough one! It’s a toss up between Wildflowers, Sunflowers or Bookworm from Baba + Boo.

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