Sunday, 6 January 2019

Why reusable cloth nappies aren't as gross as you think

If you're anything like me, you think that nearly 100 disposable nappies for under a fiver at Aldi is the absolute dream. Not only are they decent nappies, it's so convenient to just pick them up with your shopping and stock up on them. 
At least thats what I USED to think.

I also used to think that mums who preached about being environmentally friendly were condescending morons. But since doing some research, I'm actually horrified at how bad disposable nappies are. I would never have given it a second thought when I took off Rivs dirty nappies throughout the day, wrapped them in a plastic bag and then put them in a bigger plastic bag in my bin (SO much f-ing plastic) The lovely bin men would come and take away my black bin full of nappies every Thursday and it would never affect me. Except it DOES affect me. And it affects River and his future children and their children. It sounds dramatic and you might think I'm annoying but those dirty nappies that belonged to me will still exist on this planet in 5 generations time and that actually embarrasses me; disposable nappies take up to 500 years to decompose, so why are we each throwing 8,000 more into our rubbish bins each year? It's a bit grim really.
I started looking at reusable nappies and my mum immediately recoiled in horror because she is clearly scarred from her Terry towel nappy days. However there's an instinct in me that wants to prove people wrong, so the advice from my mum that reusables were hard work just made me want to use them more and prove that they weren't.

I chose to buy Bambino Mio because they were the most frequently recommended. Plus their designs were the cutest. I tried both the miosolo all in one nappies, where the absorbent insert is attached to the nappy cover. And the miosoft 2 piece, where the nappy cover and insert can be separated; meaning the cover can be used multiple times with new inserts. With either version, you put in a nappy liner to soak up most of the waste and keep your baby as dry as possible. The bambino liners are 100% biodegradable and are all natural - unlike the lining of a disposable nappy which is full of plastics and chemicals (am I being a condescending moron yet?) The liners look like a bigger, thinner square of toilet paper and they take two seconds to put in place. You can also get booster inserts if your baby needs to wear the nappy for longer periods of time e.g. if its an angel and sleeps through the night.

The basic principles of the reusable nappies are; your child will give their usual intense stare while soiling their nappy, bounce around a bit to squash it all in and really give you something to do. Then once you've been able to chase them and pin them down to change them you will take the nappy off, shake the poo off into the toilet* (sometimes you might need to use a tissue to get some of the squashed stuff off - you MIGHT once in a while get a bit of poo on your hand but... you've had a baby and if you're grossed out by poo then you should reassess your position as parent) and then pop the dirty nappy into a wet bag/nappy bucket/straight into the washing machine. Then you wash them, dry them and send them off on another poo quest the next day. *I wouldn't get too dance-like with the shaking off of the poo unless you want to redecorate your bathroom walls. Putting the nappies on and taking them off require no more effort than disposables; its merely two velcro tabs either side which is nice and simple. Or at least as simple as it can be when you've got a toddler kicking its heels into the poo the second you get the dirty nappy open.

I personally preferred the miosolo all in one nappies, mainly because I'm a bit lazy and its easier and quicker to chuck the whole thing in the wash. We got 12 of these and I wash them on alternative days, which seems to be working fine for us in terms of having a constant clean supply at hand but I will probably buy a few extra (the recommended amount is about 15) to lessen the amount of washes I need to do. I am loving the fact that I no longer have a nappy bin in Rivers bedroom for him to tip over regularly and make my house smell like a toilet.  I keep the wet bag hooked onto the cupboard door next to the washing machine and once the dirty nappies are in there you literally can't smell them, its great. Bambino Mio also sell reusable baby wipes which are great for your baby and limits your outgoings of waste even more. 

Obviously, there is a big difference in price from disposable nappies and I think that it's probably one of the main things that can put people off. As I said before, when you can just spend a few quid at Aldi every week or so to sort your nappy needs, why would you fork out £15 for ONE nappy, let alone 15? Well, it might not seem like it, but you're actually financially better off in the long term. 
The Bambino Mio nappies have a row of small poppers on the front which allows you to adjust to the size you need depending on your baby - meaning you never need to size up like you would with disposables. 
For those parents who have more than one child, even BETTER in the long term because you can reuse and reuse and reuse these nappies for multiple children, or even pass them on or sell them second hand once you're done having babies. 
This brand also sell the cutest potty training pants for when you eventually brave that monumental stage (I imagine that stage will never come for us, considering River's new favourite game to play is CATCH ME BEFORE I POO ALL OVER YOUR RUG AGAIN whenever his nappy is off)

As someone who has previously scoffed HARD at the prospect of being anything close to an eco-friendly mum, I can honestly understand the doubts that people would have with reusable nappies. 
Once you give it a go and get your head around the routine of it, reusables are amazing and I can't recommend them enough. They look cute and they're really not much hassle at all; the whole process of cloth nappies is so far removed from what people will try and scare you with. You're dealing with the exact same amount of gross wee and poo, you're just collecting and getting rid of it differently.
Your choice of nappies is in no way indicative of your parenting abilities and I'm not shaming people for using disposables (considering I've used them myself, it would be hypocritical) but I do think that it's important to explore different options and decide for yourself if you think something is worthwhile. And in this case, I've found reusables to be the best option for me and River.
Even Jason happily deals with them and he's the guy who used to throw up into a nappy bag and run out of the room when River needed to be changed. So if that's not a reason to believe me, I don't know what is.


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