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messageReusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by Giacomelli 21 September, 2013 20:40


I am sure this has been done time and time again on the forum, but I would like to have some advice on reusables v disposables.

I contacted the Nappy Lady and did her survey, she recommended Bambinex Teddy Nappies as I do not have a tumble drier and they are quick drying. I live in a small flat and don't have a car, so if I buy disposables I need to bulk buy with delivery to make them cost effective - therefore they take up loads of room.

Those using disposables: does your bin stink after 2 weeks - I share my green bin with upstairs neighbour and it is often full by the time collection day comes.

Those using reusables: Does the nappy bin keep in smells? Should I attempt this without a drier? HAve you saved money or does the cost of washing make it the same? Is the only reason you use them for environmental reasons? What do you do when you are out and about? Did you use them from new born or is it best to wait until they are a certain weight?

Many thanks in advance for your time. All advice greatly appreciated.

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by Pickle 21 September, 2013 20:50

I've used reusable a for all three kids - from 10 months with my first, and from birth for the other two.

I'm not a nappy evangelist, and use disposables at night, and sometimes during the day if I just can't be bothered smiling smiley If I'm honest, with my girls in particular, I use them because they look cute (shallow, I know). I use Itti Bitti and Blueberries, which are cute and fluffy (from 6 months up, but can be used from birth).

From experience, using from newborn is easier than it sounds, and if you use a good nappy with a good cover over top you get a lot less of the dreaded up the back poo explosions! My personal preference is to use one system up to weaning, then another type afterwards, but opinions vary.

You definitely save money over time, especially if you use the nappies again - my 20 month old is in the nappies her older sister wore. There's also a healthy resale market, so you can get some money back once you're done. Children in real nappies often potty train a little bit earlier too, so you can potentially get the nappy stage over quicker.

I wash every 2nd day, and don't notice any smell from the nappy bucket. We don't have a drier, so I either dry on the line outside, or on airers/radiators inside.

To try them out, buy 2nd hand - used nappies are more absorbent than new ones, and I often see complete systems for sale on here for less than 50.

Good luck x

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by etta166 21 September, 2013 21:15

I used reuseables from birth with my first 2 children. I agree with all the Pickle said above. However, I'm not yet using them with my 3rd, who is 4 months now, because I never get to the end of the laundry for 3 children and 2 adults even without adding nappies to the mix. I did intend to use them for a 3rd time, and I probably will soon because I do prefer them to disposables.

I've never tumble dried except in times of dire need for a dry nappy, never had an issue with smell from the nappy bucket when washing nappies every 2 days, and it has definitely saved me money over the years which I am really noticing that now that I am buying disposables full-time.

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by Giacomelli 22 September, 2013 11:33

Thank you both. Advice like this is priceless x

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by crystal7 22 September, 2013 13:44

We live in a flat withouta tumble dryer and decided that cloth nappies weren't possible, especially at this time of year before central heating goes on but it's not sunny either. We don't have any problems with 2 weeks worth of disposables in the green bin although it isn't much more than half full on bin day. We obviously bag all dirty nappies and take them straight out to the wheelie bin. We don't really buy in bulk either, maybe a pack every week in the usual shop? Less now baby is older.

Having said that I do know some people who used cloth whilst living in flats so maybe we are a bit feeble! Plus I know someone who switched to cloth due to disposables leaking which we didn't find an issue.

Good luck!

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by Jo'sEnglish 22 September, 2013 15:06

I used cloth for birth. I didn't have a drier when I first used them but do now, but almost never use it, and even then it is only for the thicker bamboo ones that take ages to dry, never the fast drying ones so if you only have those it should be fine. Agree that this time of year is the trickiest when it's not sunny and the heating isn't on.

I used muslins for the first few months, cheap, you can fold them to fit and they dry super fast. But I recognise not everyone can be bothered with the folding. I wouldn't spend a heap of money on a new set of nappies before the baby is here, better to get a few different ones to try out and work out what works on your baby. Not all nappies work on every baby, they are all built differently. Getting a few second hand is always a good idea.

And agree with the others that washing every 2 days, never really have a smelly nappy bucket but sometimes when it is hot I put a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil in to keep whiffs at bay. I use them when out and about too. I just stick the dirty ones in a wet bag, and flush any pooey paper liners (always use paper liners when out for this reason).

Reasons I used them were because I hate the idea of all that plastic and chemicals around my baby's bum, didn't like the idea of sending all this waste to landfill, they are heaps cuter and they save you money!

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by Convex 22 September, 2013 18:08

Lots of goodadvice above.

A nappy wet bag is a good alternative to a bucket as well.

And microfibre nappies dry more quickly. Eg I use tots bots easy fit v2 but the v3 is microfibre so dries more quickly.

I wash twice a week, and second the advice to buy secondhand initially so you can sell on if you decide not to continue with them.

I also plan to use bamboozle stretchies with my 2nd from birth, these dry very quickly if hung near a radiator, you need space to have an airer up where it won't be in your way though!

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by canela 24 September, 2013 09:46

I used cloth for both, but with no2 i wimped out and had disposables for night time. i used the cheaper foldable squares, but if I did it again I would definately spend a bit more and get some really good quality, all-in-ones like my sister did - I was a bit jealous of hers! they are such a good idea - you save so much money, don't use up loads of landfill, plus they are really cute.

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by alieh 24 September, 2013 11:06

I used cloth with no drier (have one now but didn't at the time). The combo that worked best for us was folded muslins or TotsBots Bamboozle size 0 and size 1 with a well fitting wrap (depends on the shape of your baby....Motherease were good) for the newborn/early months. Then once their thighs fatten up a bit we switched to BumGenius/Fuzzi Bunz which are super fast drying. You can stuff them with different things to boost the absorbency....the best I found were thick micro-fibre cleaning cloths from eBay which you could fold around the original BumGenius insert for loads of absorbency.

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by kabekay 25 September, 2013 14:38

I use washables in a small flat with no dryer or outdoor space! Started at about 3 weeks, following nappy lady advice to try teddies (which I hated) and Charlie bananas, with bumbles at night. We love the Charlie Bananas and the Bumbles, they are great! So much less likely to get poo explosions than disposables, too!

We wash every 2 or 3 days, no smells so far. The laundry just slots in, really. Laundry is everlasting with a baby anyway, so the nappy wash doesn't feel too onerous. we also use washable wipes, which are absolutely no extra trouble, and totally worth it.
Out and about I bring a zipper bag for the dirties, which is fine.

Re cost, I keep track of how many we use, and I reckon they are about half way to paying for themselves now, even allowing a generous amount for washing costs. We are 6 months in, so I expect we will save between 200 and 500 birth to potty, depending on how early the potty comes.

I like them for environmental reasons, but also because they are very sweet, and I feel I can justify having got fancy nappies, because they will save money in the long run, tons of money if we use them for another baby! I expect to get poorer if I have more children, so this seems like a good investment.

Also, they can be resold! You are welcome to my two teddies if you would like to try them, I hardly used them. Pm me if you are interested...

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by cashewnut 25 September, 2013 19:30

One thing I would say is I think some people overestimate the environmental benefits of reusable nappies.

This study by the environment agency showed that the global warming impact of using reusable nappies was often higher than for disposables. But this is highly dependent on laundry choices. For example if you always line dry the reusable nappies, use them all the way through for two children and wash nappies in a full load the impact is lower. If you you wash at 90 degrees and always tumble dry it's much worse.

(see page 31 for summary)

I think it's the cheaper option though.

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by bluesuperted 26 September, 2013 08:09

Interesting... I wash at 30/40 and use Bambino mio. I do tumble though, naughty me.

Also if you sell them on then they can potentially go through another few kids. Mine are fairly heavily used and look/work as if completely brand new after 2+ years (mainly Bumgenius poppers).

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by Mellors 26 September, 2013 11:25

I'm also a big real nappy fan - with three children (including two in bappies at the same time at one point - aarghh!). I liked two part systems when they were tiny (I used Tots Bots, although there may be new fangled ones on the market now - I started 6 years ago), then moved on to Itti Bitti snap ins at about 6 months. My kids are all quite small so I found that size medium lasted from 6 months until they were potty trained.

Re drying - line and/or radiators, and also the Lakeland heated airer in winter. I have enough to last 2/3 days, and do them as a separate 40 degree wash.

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by Ramble66 27 September, 2013 21:15

Love cloth, saved lots. I use big wet bag from tiny nippers and it keeps in smells. I do. A wash every other night.

In the colder months I use the Lakeland heated airier (amazing!, sock airers are brilliant for nappies too (Ikea Socktapus!)

We use pockets. We didn't find microfibre nappies to be absorbent enough. Favourites are fuzzy ink, tots bots easy fits and Charlie banana. I also have little lamb bamboo and itti bitti. Great absorbency but slower drying.

I started at 5 days with teeny fits and little lamb size 1. I bought these preloved and sold them on 3 months later for 5 less than I paid.

We use a disposable at night for convenience.

messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by Convex 28 September, 2013 14:19

I love this blog and she wrote a post on the pros and cons of each, not terribly indepth but pretty much sums it up!


messageRe: Reusable Nappies - yey or ney. Advice please.
Posted by esme 29 September, 2013 11:06

I used both when baby was little as went through sooo many - found re-useables fine around the house but hassle carrying around when out and about.

Pros and cons to both and you can get lots of info on sites like and you can get free voucher towards initial cost - can't quite remember how (tho definitely through local council) but probably a thread on it here smiling smiley

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