Now, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, you won’t be aware of my current life style changes.I’m trying to think more about my impact on this world and after watching how many bin bags of waste I was sending per week, I decided my family needed to change and we are aiming to be more waste free – zero waste (it’s unachievable but I’m trying)!
When I looked at the contents of my bin, the majority was nappies. But when it’s a nappy it’s not just the nappy, it’s the wipes that were used, it’s the plastic ‘poo’ bag that the nappy goes into and then all that goes into a nappy bin liner – which eventually is moved into a black bin bag for putting in the rubbish bins outside. Or this WAS the case for me ….
When lockdown happened, nappies and wipes both were hard to find in the shops and buying online took along time to be delivered so I knew I needed to do something quickly. After some research I immediately made the change to reusable wipes. I picked the starter kit up from cheeky wipes. I’m glad I did, I’ve tried using disposable wipes since and my opinion is that they aren’t worth it! The system is really simple to set up and use. I have two fresh, clean boxes at all times – one in the kitchen for dirty faces after mealtimes (the blue flannels) and one next to my nappy changing system (pink, yellow or green flannels). To set the system up all you have to do is soak the wipes in a box (a Tupperware box will do) and you can add an essential oil for fragrance and then your ready to use straight away, easy peasy! Once I’ve used them I throw the dirty wipes/ flannels into my dirty nappy bin, ready for washing and they can be washed exactly the same and with your nappies for easiness.
When lockdown happened I had Hamish and Seth in nappies full time and Tobias in nappies at night time. I set to getting Tobias out of nappies, which he took to instantly, it was effortless and I’m thankful for that. After watching lots of you tube videos and talking to friends I was convinced into buying a starter kit from tots bots. I will admit, even when I purchased that first kit I wasn’t convinced and thought it wouldn’t last. I had tried reusable nappies before when Tobias was a baby and I’d failed, they were too complicated and we lasted two weeks before I gave up. So I held no hope in this time it actually working! I decided to practise on Seth and if it worked then I would transition Hamish into them too.
When the nappies arrived, the prints were bold and beautiful, the material was soft and I was excited to see how Seth would take to them. I am really glad I started with Seth because he has made my journey a positive one, you see it isn’t just me who has to like using reusables, it’s the children too! The nappies I went with are super simple to use as they fasten exactly like a disposable nappy, thus making the transition easy. The only extra thing to include is a liner (which can be reusable (which I use) or flushable down the toilet – since publishing this blog post I have been contacted and notified that disposable liners shouldn’t go down the toilet, instead One should use a bin) which keeps baby dry whilst allowing absorbency. The nappies are called an all in one system and this seems to be what works for me. They are more bulky than a disposable but not so much that it causes discomfort to the baby.
Now let’s talk costs. As well as helping the environment it’s also helping my bank balance too. However (this is a big however) the initial upfront cost to set up your system can be £300 plus. I’ve only been able to build my stash up slowly. I currently have 15 day nappies for Seth and 3 night time nappies and this seems to work for us. Since the trial kit, I’ve purchased every print from totsbots and then some from tickle tots and bambino mio too. Seth tends to wear 5 day nappies and 1 night time nappy in a 24 hour period, this means, I’ve always got a stash to use, a stash on drying and a stash in the wash. It has taken me three months to build up my stash slowly but what I want to make clear is – it’s not all or nothing, it doesn’t matter if your still using disposables, some of the time – every little helps to creating less waste! Overall, it’s worth noting that in the grand scheme of things by switching to reusable nappies it is estimated that you can save up to £750. Using cloth nappies will average out at about 0.03p per change compared to 8.7p per disposable.
Totsbots promote that it doesn’t take as long as people think to use reusable nappies. In fact, it only takes 5 minutes to throw your used nappies into the wash, then once your washing machine has finished it only takes 5 minutes to hang your nappies up to air dry and once they are dry (usually takes 24 hours for mine to dry) it only takes 5 minutes to stuff your nappies and get them ready to use again. There are some things to consider when washing and drying your nappies though. Don’t use clothes conditioner and only use a non bio powder detergent. The nappies don’t need a pure wash and keep the washing temperature to 40 degrees. If you need to tumble dry them only do on a cool setting but it is preferable to air dry them on a line – even put them out in the sun when you can, to let them naturally bleach.
I have since bought accessories too to help make the system run smoothly. I have a caddy downstairs where I keep all my nappies that are ready to be used. I have a bucket (with mesh liners) for used nappies and wipes to go into and once it’s full the mesh liner and contents are thrown into the washing machine together, which means I’m not over touching dirty nappies. The bin also keeps all the smells at bay. I also have an out and about bag for fresh and dirty nappies (with two separate zips in one bag to keep the nappies separate).
Hamish is a different story however. He hates reusables and I’m not going to push or force him. I’m putting it down to him being in disposables for two years now and not wanting to change his normal. Which is fine, he’s probably going to be in nappies for another half a year and then potty training will begin and I can live with that. As I said earlier, it’s got to be right for you and your child. Another negative is that it all falls to me with reusable nappies. Gavin is happy using the wipes but will not change a nappy – too much ickiness and smelly! I’m sure there’s many of you that think the same way, and I’m here to say NONSENSE! it’s no different putting a disposable into a bin than it is putting a reusable into the nappy bin – I don’t even touch the used nappies when I’m putting the, in the wash! Don’t be scared of the reusable for this reason – I can guarantee if you’ve got/had a baby, you’ve definitely dealt with a blowout!
We’ve been using reusable nappies on Seth and wipes for all the boys since March 2020 and I’m in love with them. In fact I’m so angry at myself for not transitioning sooner – they’re easier than disposables that I was forever running out of! I’ve done an IGTV all about using nappies, so please go check that out if you can. If you have any questions about them or are intrigued and want to know more please get I touch.