Did you know that roughly 5.6 MILLION nappies are disposed of each day in Australia alone? The problem with this, is that most nappies are made of a number of different toxic materials, including plastics, which then end up harming our planet in other ways. Even more concerning, is that ONE nappy can take up to 500 years to break down. These statistics absolutely blew my mind, and I felt the need to write this post as reusables have weaved their way into our parenting journey very easily! Using reusable nappies will help you take care of your bank balance, the environment, and I must mention that I LOVE not having to duck to the shops when I realise my nappy stash is running low!
Let's Talk Money
A great reason for parents to use reusable nappies is the financial benefits. Our total stash of nappies was roughly $300 (20 nappies). In the beginning, we used disposable nappies, although more eco-friendly options, which come at a price. If we were to solely rely on these disposables, it would cost us $1500 per year! In comparison to $300 on reusables (+ the cost of detergent), I consider this a wonderful reason to make the switch. If you are also to take into account how many babes wear nappies for longer than one year, you can see how much cash this may amount to! The great thing is that if you have more children, you can also use these same reusable diapers for them too. The more conscious we are with our dollars, the more money we have to spend on things that bring our family joy (and nappies is probably not one of those things).
Of Course, More Effort Is Involved
There's no denying this. When I was pregnant with Hugo, I was considering using reusables but decided to ease into motherhood first before adding another thing to my to-do list (i.e. washing nappies daily). Once we began using our reusable nappies, I was so pleasantly surprised. I discovered that I actually enjoyed the whole process of using reusable nappies. I assumed that I would find this process a chore, but just like any new practice, once you work it into your daily life, it's just something that you do. Also I've got to say, that saving me that extra trip to the bin every day totally makes this process worth-while for me (taking the bin out is DEFINITELY my least favourite house hold job).
Our Day Using Reusables
Here's how we do it...
- Wake up and fill a large bucket with hot water + a natural soaker (we use this one)
- At each nappy change, dispose of the bamboo liner in the bin, and separate insert + shell, by placing the insert into the bucket of water, and the shell into a dry pail (a bucket)
- Once Hugo is asleep for the evening, tip out bucket and wash all nappies + inserts in washing machine
- We do a warm pre-rinse cycle (30 mins), then another longer, more thorough cycle
- Hang nappies to dry before bed + place out in the sun of a morning to continue drying (the sun is also a great natural disinfectant).
SO, which brands do we recommend?
We use two different brands - Econaps + LuvMe Eco, for no reason in particular, only that I wanted to try both. In comparison, they are slightly different, the main factor being price + design. Although the basic function of the nappies is almost exactly the same! Both nappies are designed to fit bubs from birth-18kgs and the insides are made from bamboo. Econaps are slightly more expensive, $34.95 inc one nappy + two inserts, while LuvMe Eco is $24.95 inc one nappy + one insert.
What if you're not a stay at home mum?
Grab yourself a wet bag! Whenever your bub is away from you, pack your nappies just like you otherwise would, and ask the care giver to pop the soiled nappies into a big wet bag. This you will then take home with you and chuck in the wash at the end of the day.
A Note On Reusable Wipes
We began using disposable wipes , although our bub would get nappy rash from them - even the more natural ones. So now we use reusable wipes, soak them with the nappy inserts one used, and just wash them at the end of the day with the nappies.
For Full Time Reusable Nappy Use, We Recommend;
- 2 buckets (one for soaking - one for soiled diapers) - At least 18 nappies (they can take 1 day to fully dry) + up to 24 if you plan on washing less regularly - Disposable bamboo liners (make it easier to dispose of solids + protect nappies from nappy creams)
- Natural soaker for inserts
Hopefully you have found this guide helpful if you are considering heading down the path of reusable diapers! Feel free to share this with any parents or parents-to-be who might gain some insight from this information.