Best washable nappy guide
Reusable nappies are not as much hard work they seem but you do need to do your homework before using them. Below are some top tips to using reusable nappies (aka terry towelling nappies) successfully.
Check out your local council for any real nappy incentives they might offer – some will offer cash back or vouchers and others offer nappy trial schemes which may prove useful. Council authorities are usually very keen to promote real nappies, as they spent a fortune every year sending disposables to landfills.
There are two basic types of reusable nappy. These are:
Two-part nappies: which consist of a nappy part and a wrap part. The nappy may be a traditional terry, or a folded nappy (called a pre-fold), or a shaped nappy. A waterproof wrap goes around it. The wrap can be pull up or wraparound.
All-in-one nappies: in which the inner nappy and the outer waterproof are combined. These look like disposables and are usually fastened with velcro. They tend to be less fiddly but more likely to leak and harder to launder (slower to dry as they’re bulkier and often don’t go in the tumble dryer).
You will also need
Disposable nappy liners. Any poo is caught by the liner and the whole thing can be flushed away before the nappy is soaked/washed .There are also reusable fleece liners available.
Booster pads. Some makes of two-part nappies suggest booster pads to give extra-absorbency at night.
Plastic nappy grips are the modern alternative to nappy pins if the nappies you’re using don’t have velcro or popper fastenings.(nappy liners and nappy grips keep the nappy secure, which makes life a lot easier when it comes to small babies)
Buy a bucket with a lid for storing dirty nappies prior to washing. Have a couple of nappy buckets handy – one for dirty nappies and one for soaking nappies. Some mums like to soak nappies in a solution of nappy soak, which is skin and environment friendly.
Wash nappies at a minimum of 60 degrees C, which is the minimum temperature recommended by the Department of Health). Modern nappies do not need to be boiled. Also be prepared to wash mountains of nappies, which is easier and works out cheaper in the long run.
To make like a bit easier, and less messy, get a net bag to line your nappy bucket and you can fling it in the washing machine without touching a pooey nappy.
Think about using washable wipes too- if you are already using cloth nappies then cotton wipes are no extra hassle at all. Simply use, wash and re-use.
Reusable nappies can be bulkier than disposables, so you may need to up the size in trousers or tights to accommodate the nappy underneath.
Reusable nappies will require you to invest more at the outset instead of paying for nappies slowly, week by week. Keep a look out for value packs, which will help with the initial cost. In the long run reusables tend to save money.
If you aren’t exactly sure about the practical aspect of using a disposable nappy, don’t fret most some with step-by-step guides and there are also loads of online tutorials floating around.
Using cloth nappies is more time-consuming than disposables and you need more accessories, which can be a pain when you are out and about with your baby. Carrying dirty nappies with you can also be a laborious task. Mastering the art of ‘the reusable’ will take a bit of practice but don’t give up! Once you have got the hang of it, reusable nappies don’t take as long to change, clean and dry as you’d expect.
It doesn’t matter which type of nappy you use, there’s bound to be nappy rash at some stage. For more information and help, please see the Sudocrem website.
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