Our second post in our reusable nappy journey series is from Mary. Mary used her local nappy library in Leeds to get started and then found a brand she liked and stuck with them!
Why did you start thinking about using cloth nappies?
I've always been conscious about the environment and wanted to do something to prevent sending thousands of nappies to landfill.
When did you start looking into it?
I was off work with hyperemesis in my second trimester and spent a lot of time researching it then. I also went to my local nappy library in Leeds (where I lived at the time) and got advice and hired a newborn kit before my baby was born.
What were any concerns/misconceptions you had before you started? How did you overcome these?
My biggest concern was all the extra washing! I overcame this by buying a fancy new washer dryer with a bigger capacity. This means when we need a quick turn around we can wash and dry in a few hours. It's worked out well, as it's meant I can go out and just leave the nappies on and when I come home they're ready to put back together. Then, if I have a day at home, I can just wash and hang out. Win win.
My other worry was what you do with all the poo! I overcame this by researching what other people do with poo. I bought some reusable liners, but actually until weaning poo wasn't an issue [breastfed and formula based poo is water soluble so can be washed in the washing machine safely]. There was a bit of an awkward crossover when weaning started, but now it's just part of the routine and doesn't bother me at all.
I did also worry about spending a lot of money on something I wouldn't use, but that's why I spent loads of time looking at the different types and used the nappy library to try some out. I also used The Nappy Lady and did the questionnaire.
When did you start using cloth nappies?
We didn't start until he was around two months old (due to medical issues). We did try with the newborn kit, but he was sometimes using 16 nappies a day and it was just too much! Plus, I had found a brand I preferred and the newborn kit was a mixture. We started properly when I bought the full kit for myself. (I also waited for there to be a special offer on, so saved a bit of money!)
How did you find it?
I actually found it really easy to transition, and loved not having a bin full of disposables. I think I found it a bit easier as we were already using reusable wipes, so we were already doing extra washing for those. We just added the nappies in.
How did you get past any issues you found? Where did you go for advice?
At the start, my husband used to get confused about which bit of the nappy went with what (we're using a two part system, with a different inner at night). I overcame this by making him a little picture (see pic) and haven't had an issue since...except occasionally he forgets to put a wrap on at bed time, so I just make sure to check!! I've had very few leaks, but when I did start having them I again researched online and spoke to some friends using reusables, and realised I needed to go up in size.
Any tips or tricks?
I use nappies with a Velcro fastening, and realised recently that cleaning the Velcro really helps. Alfie was getting a bit of a rash around his belly from the Velcro rubbing, because it wasn't fully sticking.
My other favourite trick is the backward twist to join the Velcro for washing, rather than using the fold back tabs. Hard to explain, so I've attached a picture. I've found since doing it, way less stuff gets stuck in the Velcro and you don't end up with a crease line. Plus you can use it to make a neat little parcel, which I put my reusable wipes in when you're out and about and then it all comes out in the wash.
Another tip I found useful was just because you've gone up a popper, doesn't mean you might not need to go down again. Babies shapes change, they put weight on in different places etc.
TotsBots. Love their designs, but also think the Bamboozle is the best for nighttime. Never had a leak overnight, or during the day really, apart from when I needed to change the size.
I love the Elements collection.