Tag: Pregnancy

Reusable nappies – Post 1

Reusable nappies – Post 1

When I was pregnant I started to really think about ways to live more sustainably, with a much stronger sense of what kind of world I would want my baby to grow up. Very idealistic, I know. So much of the time we look at the bigger picture and think ‘how can I possibly change this, I’m just one person’ instead of just making small changes and spreading the word about what you’re doing. 
So here I am, doing just that. And I’m going to spread the word about the oh so glamourous topic of reusable nappies. You’re in for a wild ride, I promise… 
I started researching modern cloth nappies (MCN) during my pregnancy and found there was a lot of information out there, but much of it was based in the USA and some brands and products were hard to come by in Australia. I’ve now been using them for 5 months (I didn’t use them with a newborn, more on that below) and will never look back. 


The biggest questions I had were:

  1. What types are there are which are best?
  2. Do you just spend your life washing? And isn’t it a little bit disgusting?
  3. How many do I need? Does this work out cheaper in the long run? 
  4. Do disposable nappies have their place in a MCN routine?

In this post I’m going to focus on question 1: What types are there and which do I think are best?
There are two key things to consider when choosing a type of MCN to use:
(a) all-in-one (AIO) vs all-in-two (AI2) which made up of a liner and a cover

(b) nappies that change size as your baby grows, known as one size fits most (OSFM) vs sized nappies

All in one vs all in two

AIO

Pros: easiest to put on as soon as they are washed and dry they are ready to go – no ‘construction’ required

Cons: can take longer to dry, can be more expensive

AI2 

Pros: quick to dry as cover and pad can be separated, can reuse a cover with a new pad (I don’t do this very often so it isn’t a big selling point), can add more pads to bump up with absorbency

Cons: slightly more fiddly, some companies aren’t as cheap as they first seem because you have to buy the pads separately 

My choice: AI2 

I like the fact that you can separate the pad from the cover and they dry really quickly. My favourite design is one with a pocket that you slide the pad into, it’s the simplest and cheapest option and it works really well.


One size fits most vs sized nappies

OSFM
Pros: cheaper in the long run as you just need to buy your initial stash

Cons: can be a bit bulky on little babies, the fit might not be great to start so may get leakage

Sized

Pros: better fitting nappies

Cons: much more expensive in the long run

My choice: OSFM

Now, I didn’t use MCN until my baby was about 8 weeks because in the hazy days of having a newborn I didn’t want too much on my plate (I now think I could have coped just fine) so just used disposables at first, so I can’t comment too much on using them on very small babies. When I felt that I had got to grips with the tiny human that I was responsible for I started using some OSFM nappies and they worked really well. I didn’t like the idea of having to buy a whole new batch every time my baby outgrew them.


How to chose a brand

I started off buying a few nappies from different brands until I established which ones I liked best. 

My favourites BY FAR are by Hippybottomus, which is an Australian company. They were also the cheapest and the simplest to use! Win win! They wash well and dry really quickly. Their price includes the cover and pad. I went on to buy a total of 20 nappies from them, with a few spare pads. I still use the nappies from Itti Bitti that I bought (I have 5 in total) but I find I only reach for those once my Hippybottomus stash is depleted. 

Advice for my newly pregnant friend

I just found out that a very good friend of mine has found out she’s pregnant. I’m only six months in to the crazy journey that is being a parent but put thought back to my pregnancy and the most important pieces of advice I could offer her. I asked my mothers group for their input and this is what we came up with:
1. Listen to your gut. You will never stop worrying but try to recognise when you really think something isn’t right and don’t be afraid to get it checked out – but not by Dr Google as you will either be fine/dying. We all looked for blood when they went to the toilet – you are definitely not alone on that one if that has become a recent obsession! Then in third trimester that turned into keeping an eye on kicks, which is super important.

2. Keep moving. You are not made of glass and can still get out of breath and sweaty*. See point 1 if you’re not sure about something but move move move.

(*This applies if you are already active. If you aren’t make sure you speak to your doctor or midwife about how to start exercising safely during pregnancy)

3. Moisturise the shit out of your upper legs, bum and tum and drink loads of water for purely vain reasons. Hydrated skin is more elastic and stretch marks will be less.

4. You don’t need as much stuff as all the baby marketing directed at you tells you. Get some items second hand (our cot was from Gumtree). It’s fairly easy to get decent second hand buggies because people often have another baby quickly and need to upgrade.

5. Enjoy it. We all agreed we felt amazing in the second trimester once the nausea/exhaustion of the first trimester had passed. The third is so exciting and terrifying in equal measures and ALL of them (including me) had times when they seriously wondered if they were ready, how they would cope but they are all doing amazing jobs. We all agreed there’s no perfect time to have a baby and (to a certain extent) there’s no bad time either. It’s so awesome to have conceived one at all. Your life will change (no shit) but not necessarily as much as you think it might.

6. Trust yourself and be kind to yourself. Always.