Using reusable nappies

2016 Issue 3: August

Written by Anita Rapson

We used reusable nappies and homemade wipes from when Ada and Hazel were little. Using reusable nappies was something that was really important to me, however during my pregnancy I was quite focused on getting through the pregnancy and didn’t really consider how life was going to be once our two bundles of joy arrived. Needless to say, I wasn’t organised enough to have any reusable nappies in the house when we returned from the hospital or for a couple of months afterwards.

I was lost in a world of abbreviations and nappy terminology that I didn’t understand, probably exasperated by my lack of sleep and the general anxiety I was experiencing at that time. So I hired a box of reusables for six weeks. It cost me about $50 and included 6 pre- folds and 1 snappi, 7 pockets and inserts, 10 fitteds, 9 covers, microfleece stay-dry liners, boosters and extra inserts, wet bag, and cloth wipes.

None of this made any sense to me and I remember sitting in our lounge, surrounded by the contents of the hire kit (none of which correlated with the list that I had supposedley received), balling my eyes out, when my mother visited and she looked every bit as overwhelmed as I felt.

But eventually, with the power of Youtube and Google, things began to make more sense.

How we used the nappies

I started the reusable nappies from when Ada and Hazel were around twelve weeks old, initially just one each a day. After I returned the hire kit, I had a better idea of the style that suited us and was ready to buy our own. We started with four “All-in-Ones” and gradually built up our collection. By the time the girls were ready for toilet training, we had 22 in total (I sold the initial 4 small sized nappies on Trademe). This was about the right number for us.

We always used liners. At one point I bought nappy liner fabric and made my own liners, which we used for a few months. However, after a few complaints from my partner, I just ended up buying the flushable liners (although I never flushed them).

We also didn’t use reusable at night time. We just didn’t try it – I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a problem or anything.

Washing and Drying

I found that washing the reusable nappies was probably easier with twins because it meant I was doing a full load every one to two days, whereas with a single baby things might have got a bit stinky or I might have had to do half loads. We had a bucket with a lid in the laundry. Everything got a rinse out, then chucked in there while waiting to be washed. I had some tea tree essential oil and I’d add a drop to the bucket every so often. Unlike Kate suggests in the earlier article, only the nappies went into a nappy wash. We are also somewhat lucky as we have our washing line under cover as well as fireplace in our garage (weird, I know, but it sources our wetback), so the nappies dried quickly all year around.

Review of nappies

Here’s a few thoughts abouts the different styles and brands of nappies we used, although I did find that what worked when Ada and Hazel were tiny, changed by the time they were three:

Imsevimse all in ones: these were the first (and the most expensive nappies) I bought and I’m not sure you can get them in NZ anymore (I got them from Nature Baby). We used the small size and then progressed to the medium size. They were great – so easy to fold (no need to stuff anything), felt super soft, the velcro on the front meant they were easily adjustable and we never had any leaks.

Punga Tails: I got these on sale as a pack, which made them very cost effective. I got the snap version of these pocket nappies, although the sizing was never quite right because of the placement of the snaps.

Cherub Tree: I found these quite easy to use and I had both velcro and snap versions. Overall, they were very similar to the Punga Tails nappies. But, lets just say that I never loved stuffing the inners.

TotsBots EasyFit: These all-in-one nappies worked quite well for us. Although, I’m not quite sure why, but if any nappies were going to leak (which didn’t happen very often), it was these ones. Wearing their TotsBots

Bambino Mio: Overtime these became my favourite nappies. They didn’t seem quite so bulky, were super quick to dry and never leaked. They were also super cute!

Homemade wipes

We used Wendyl Nissen’s recipe for homemade baby wipes, but I skipped the rosewater and got chux cloths in bulk and reused them. Sometimes I added olive oil or an essential oil but mostly I forgot!