Last week I wrote about my choice to use washable nappies. Here are a few things I learnt while using washable nappies:
The babies wearing washable nappies will have more bulky bumbs and not all clothes will fit. Next trousers are one case in point: Next girls trousers just do not fit over a bulky nappy. (Shame on you Next!)
Days out and about
Your changing bag will be bulkier and you return home with a heavier bag than you left.
On the plus side you don’t need as many changes of clothes! … and you will have to remind yourself a couple of times not to chuck your nappy into the bin… we certainly had to.
Don’t forget to take a spare waterproof bag with you to store the used nappies in (this can be a plain shopping bag). I also used biodegradable nappy sacks (dual-purpose if you have a dog too. (o; ).
Use the disposable liners especially when out and about to capture the stinkies and chuck them straight in the bin.
It’s always worth preparing the nappies for your changing bag in advance with the liners already in them- this way you’ll be quicker to change baby (however fidgety baby is) and won’t forget to add in the liner, only to regret it when the stench hits you together with the realisation of what you forgot.
Away from home for longer than a day
When you are away for more than 24 hours it is always worth considering whether to take the washable nappies or disposables. If it was a car trip, I took washables, otherwise disposables. Even for weekends away, the bucket lived in the car and it was fine to carry around. When we arrived home the bucket contents went straight into the washing machine.
Collecting soiled nappies
Nappy buckets are great for collecting the nappies- when I was able to wash them every 2 days, then I didn’t bother putting any water in mine. I would wet any soiled ones thoroughly though, before putting it in there. When I knew I wasn’t going to get around to washing the contents for 3-4 days, then I would put water in the bucket. (Although lots of sites recommend not putting any water in, I did to avoid stains drying in.) I always added a couple of drops of tea tree oil. … to this day the scent reminds me of the nappies.
Don’t use napisan to soak the nappies!
Nappy wraps are the waterproof layer that covers the internal absorbing layer. I favour the nappies where these are separate and not an all-in-one system. My suggestion is washable nappies that have the nappy wrap separate can be used for a number of wet nappies. I tended to replace them after a poo filled nappy, maybe using 2 a day. I tried not to store them with the dirty nappies in the bucket, but in a separate plastic bag (though they went into the same wash).
Although the Velcro fastening nappy wrappers are more adjustable, they tend to loose their grip quicker (especially after forgetting to wash them with the Velcro fastened up!), so I preferred the poppers.
It’s very easy to put the nappy wrapper on too tight to avoid any leakage. I found that if a finger comfortably fits in, it is still sufficiently tight to stop the leaks. On the other hand, if you accidentally forget to cover the whole of the nappy (,as one can easily leave a bit sticking out by the legs or the waist, especially the back, with a fidgety baby keen to get the change over,) then you will end up with a leak- this is due to the wicking effect.
Manufacturers have different recommendations, so follow those for the specific nappies you have.
When I had poo stains in the nappies I washed them at 60C, sometimes adding a prewash, otherwise washed them at 40C. If I didn’t have a full load, I would wash the nappies (which had only wee in them… remember I potty trained for poos early) with other baby clothes or towels, just added a prewash. No fabric conditioner though! Fabric conditioner reduces the absorbing capacity of the nappy and as a residual chemical it can cause skin irritation for the baby, so it’s a big no-no.
My washes did run at night, so we also made use of our economy 7 tariff and saved on each load that way.
We very rarely, if ever, dried the nappies in the dryer (maybe if one was mixed in with other clothes). Initially I would peg them on the line. Then after a couple of times of being rained just a
s they were about to dry, I switched to hanging them on a portable hanger. A fantastic one for this is the octopus hanger from IKEA. These have very strong pegs, are robust and the nappies hang far enough apart to dry well. (If you don’t have IKEA nearby and aren’t planning a trip you can always pop down to your local plastic wear shop… they will have these mobile hanging racks in some shape or form.)
I hang these out for as much of the day as possible, then bring them in, if not dry by the evening, to hang up inside. They’ve always dried within a day.
Always have a couple of spare disposables at home (in the right size!) for those days when you’ve not caught up with washing, the baby has a runny tummy, you are not well, etc.
These are some of the hints and tips I’ve picked up and learnt over the course of using washable nappies with two children thus far. I look forward to having a go with the third one.
Do you have any tips and tricks for using washable nappies?
Please share below or link a blog post