Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Reusable nappies - how I do it

So as promised here is my guide to reusable nappies (not very exciting post alert!) Again as with the reusable wipes  there is no right or wrong, this is just my way and it works for our family. And if you'd like a little background here's a link to my original cloth nappy post.

I must emphasise that there are loads of different brands and kinds of cloth nappies out there. To try out different ones maybe visit your local nappy library and see what works for you and your babber.

We have 24 Close Parent Pop-ins Bamboo New Gen V2 (we also have 2 First Gen but they are less user friendly in my opinion). They have bamboo inserts which means they are more absorbent but because they hold more liquid take longer to dry after washing. We rarely run out, it's only when I'm behind in washing that we run out.

On a 'normal' day I'll change Baby D's nappy every 2-3 hours depending on how much she's been drinking (she's a fairly heavy wetter). And of course inevitably the poops always arrive into freshly changed nappies. So we go through 4 or 5 per day (plus 1 disposable at night).

Pop-ins have an outer piece - usually in a pretty pattern or colour then inside a soaker and booster which attach using poppers. For tiny babies you may not need the booster until they are bigger and producing more wee. Once it's all poppered together you put a biodegradable liner in which catches the poop and can simply be flushed down the toilet. If any poop escapes from the liner - sometimes around the edges, especially with breastmilk poops but this doesn't happen much once baby is on solids I just shake off any solid bits into the loo then rinse off with the shower head.
At home we have a nappy bin to put used nappies in. It's a Filur from Ikea, it's great as it has a flip up lid which holds any smells in. 
Then, when we are out and about we have a nappy sack or 'stuff sack' which holds 2 used nappies inside.

I generally do a wash every 2 or 3 days depending on how busy I am. I un-popper everything first (some people don’t but I think they get cleaner and less tangled if un-poppered). And ensure the laundry tabs are done up - this prevents the velcro from attaching to everything inside the washing machine. You have to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards because yes, you get wee on them!
I then either do the insides and outsides separately if there's a lot of them or if there's 12 or fewer I'll put everything in together. I do a rinse (no spin) first, then a wash at 30° or 40° using non-bio powder plus a scoop of Mio Fresh. You only need half a scoop of powder to reduce chances of powder residue remaining in the fibres. For our clothes we use Ecover but apparently you can't use it with nappies - something to do with an enzyme or something so I found a sensitive powder in Asda that is only £3 a box. You should never use liquid detergent or so I've been told and definitely never use fabric conditioner. Mio Fresh is a nappy sanitiser that doesn’t contain any bleaches or nasties that might irritate baby’s skin or negatively effect the fibres in the bamboo.

If I've put everything in together or am just doing outers I do a final rinse after the wash with a spin because the outers have a waterproof coating sometimes soapy water gets trapped inside.
After a few washes sometimes the inserts get a bit crispy like towels do so I put in the tumble drier on a low heat to soften them up. Bamboo doesn't like to get too hot and effects its absorb-ability. The outers have to be line dried and cannot get tumble dried.
In ikea they have handy octopuses that are great for hanging all the nappy bits on and are only £3.

We have had a few issues with leakage: 
1) for a while I wasn’t putting the nappies on quite right. It’s important to get the gusset sides tucked right in on the knicker-line. Once I realised this and rectified it the leakages stopped. 
2) we sometimes get compression leaks when Baby D has been strapped into something (highchair, sling, buggy or carseat) for a while. It took me ages to realise that if she’s sat in a wet nappy it’s like squeezing a wet flannel and the liquid comes out the sides. I simply put her in a fresh nappy before going on a long journey or whatnot.

So that’s it really. It’s not rocket science, just takes a little while to get your head round and work out your own system.

Oh and for the record I've counted that we've now saved 1420 disposable nappies from going to landfill (yes I've counted! My inner geek compels me to keep track of such things!)

Let me know if you give it a shot!

Dawn x

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Reusable wet wipes - how I do it

So I'll start off with a little apology for my radio silence. Life has gotten in the way recently! Lots of sickness, lack of sleep and a bigger than usual workload has left me unable to keep up with writing as I would like. I was generally overwhelmed and wasn't able to focus - I'll write about it another day. Hopefully we are through now and posts may resume as usual.

Anyhoo, as you probably know I am a fan of cloth nappies and reusable wet wipes and recently quite a few people have asked me for advice about them lately...not just what brands etc but exactly how my system works and what equipment etc is needed.

So, at the risk of writing the most boring blog post ever here is my guide to wet wipes and I'll do a nappy post soon too.

Please be aware there is no right of wrong way to do it. This is purely a system which I've cobbled together from tips I've picked up plus trial and error.

I have two sets of wipes. One for bottoms, one for faces and hands.

I like bamboo wipes for bottoms as they have natural antibacterial qualities. We have 30 white ones that I got from Easy Peasy Wipes and we never run out. I chose white/cream colour so that I can see when baby has been wiped clean if you know what I mean...bit gross sorry.
I found the perfect sized plastic box in Lakeland for keeping them in at home. I make a litre or so of Chamomile & Honey tea (chamomile on its own smells a bit weird to me) and pour into the box. I then pop the wipes (dry) into the box and let them absorb the liquid. If there's too much just squeeze them out a bit or too dry add a bit of water then pop the lid on and you're ready to go.

When it comes to going out and about I just pop a few wipes from the box into a brilliant little wet bag I got from H&M for only £1.99 - it's actually a wash bag.

When they are used I pop them in the wash with the nappies. I wash at 40ยบ with non bio powder (not liquid and never use fabric conditioner!) and add a scoop of Mio Fresh nappy sanitiser. It's not got any nasties in it but kills bacteria that may be lurking.

Once washed I always dry them before soaking in the tea otherwise they get a damp and unpleasant odour.

Face and hands:
I use microfibre Cheeky Wipes in a bright colour and have 25, again I never run out. 

I don't soak these like the the others, but run them under the tap when needed as I also sometimes use them for drying like tiny towels.

When used I put these in with the normal clothes wash.

So that's it, all rather simple really. Next I'll write about my nappy system - this is a little more complicated.

Dawn x