A simple guide to reusable nappies

A few years ago, back when I was single, I rented a house in Richmond with a girlfriend and convinced her that if we put a door on the formal lounge room we could get a 3rd housemate in to reduce our rent.

As fate would have it a gorgeous vivacious girl named Meredith came to rent that room.

Back then I wasn’t that eco-aware, beyond doing my bit to recycle and turn the lights off, but Mez always had the big Sukin bottles in the shower, and was always a little bit earthy.

Fast forward a decade and it was Mez who I turned to when trying to navigate the possibility of cloth nappies. Here’s the advice that she gave me after years of trial and error:

+ Invest in the good nappies. They’re easier to put back together after the wash and they don’t leak. Grovia One are the best.

+ Two cycles to wash. A quick cycle first on hot with a fast spin to flick off the debris, then a long cycle for the big clean, which you can add in extra towels etc to the second wash. A strong washing powder is key. I keep the soiled nappies in a pail by the machine, and put a wash on at the end of the day so they dry overnight.

+ Carry a wet bag. For putting soiled nappies in when you’re out and about to seal in the smells and moisture, I’ve got a Grovia Wet Zipped Bag which is pretty lovely.

+ Cotton wipes. I change Samuel on a towel beside the bathroom basin, so that it’s easy to rinse his bum under warm water if he’s soiled his nappy. I also keep cotton rags under the sink to use as re-usable wipes and keep a few in the nappy bag for when we’re out and about – I just quickly wet them with my drink bottle (then store them in the wet bag until we get home).

Apparently a baby uses around 6,000 nappies in the first few years, so investing a couple of hundred dollars in reusable nappies saves good money in the long term, when you think of it like that even the expensive nappies really don’t cost the earth..

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