A few people have asked me about using washable nappies, isn't it a lot of work? I actually find it really easy, here's what we do.
This is our changing area. Instead of an expensive changing table we have used an ordinary chest of drawers, it will be useful for years and since it fits in the alcove I didn't even have to add a safety rail! That means all the baby clothes are to hand as well as the nappies, which is great when you realise you need a new vest half way through a change!
The nappy bucket is right there, with a lid to keep the smells in, and the box of washable wipes fits on top next to the changing mat. Finally there's a mobile which my husband made out of airfix kits. William loves to watch the planes spin round and it keeps him happily occupied so he isn't wriggling about too much!
The top drawer has all the changing things, nappies, wraps, liners and other bits and bobs like nappy cream (which we very rarely use). Everything is always in easy reach, no need to leave a baby on the changing mat to fetch something. And for those parents with a bad back or a C-section scar - no need to bend down!
So, how do we use the nappies? Well, there are lots of different types and they are all slightly different but the ones we have just go on exactly like a disposable and do up with Velcro. They have a nice thick booster pad and a fleece liner sewn in already so you really don't have to do anything, although with a bigger baby on solid foods I might add a separate liner. Then the waterproof wrap goes over the top, again it does up with Velcro just like a disposable.
When it's time to change the nappy I just take it off and put it in the lidded bucket. The wrap can do quite a few changes before it needs to be washed. Currently we only have breastmilk poo to deal with, when things get more solid they will need to be flushed down the loo, which is where the disposable liners can come in handy. But for now that's it. No soaking, no rinsing, it's no more work than throwing a disposable in the bin. Then every two or three days I pop the whole lot in the washing machine (no more work than emptying the rubbish bin!). The kind of nappies I use can be tumble dried and we have a washer-drier so depending on the weather I might hang them up or I might just set it to wash and dry. Then pop the dry nappies back in the drawer ready for next time. At least I don't have to carry a new packet home from the shops!
The wipes we use are just as easy, little cloths that fit in a plastic box with just enough water to make them damp. I put them in the bucket with the nappies, wash them and when the box is empty just put the stack of dry wipes in with some fresh water. You can actually put them straight in the box from the washing machine, still damp, but this routine suits me so I'm going with it. I love our washable wipes! I'm even considering getting a second box to do the same as cleaning wipes around the kitchen.
Have you tried washable nappies? Would you consider it? I'd love to hear your thoughts!