We used reusable nappies from birth to toddler (so here’s a butt load of surprising facts about why they kick ass)

This week, Iyra hit 18 months of being a full-time QT. And yeah I can go on about how she’s counting in Arabic and reciting hyper relevant Noam Chomsky quotes over her 3 course organic vegan dinner, but I’d be trumping the truth — tho that’s apparently normal in the modern mummahood. We’ve all heard those “sleeping through” alternative facts.

But one thing I realised that actually may be a pretty boast-able milestone, is the fact we’ve used reusable nappies for that WHOLE TIME. From birth to 18 months and the stinky beyond. Yeah, I deserve a solid gold poo shaped medal.

Cus of that, I feel like when I talk about reusable nappies it’s in the style of a super gamer dork that explains everything in one long sigh. So I’m going to impart that expert wisdom in one long (not long) blog instead.

I will also straight up compare them to disposables, because we have used them too (the more ‘eco’ brands, mainly) for long travelling adventures.

Below are a butt-load of facts about using reusable vs disposable nappies from newborn to toddler, to help you make your decision — if thinking about poo removal is something you’re doing at the moment. Which if you’re a parent, probably is.

Reusable nappies are better for poos. Yep, you heard me. Even though the general argument is that disposables are better because they’re more modern and most things more modern are better, well, some things were better before. Shout out to the 1950s terry towling crew 1 2 1 2. Because we have ZERO poo explosions! By that I mean the devil power squirts that go up the back and down the legs, that we’ve witnessed with disposables. Maybe there’s less pressure in reusables? That doesn’t mean you don’t have to sometimes scrape out pattie-poos from the nappies when they’re bigger or messier than the liners* can handle. It may be traumatic, but it really is just sometimes.

Disposable nappies are better for wees. For the first few months we put Iyra to sleep on a towel because of the leaks, and her reusables are still leaky as an 18 month old if they aren’t changed often enough. But changing is good for their skin anyway. And the reason disposables are so absorbent is down to the chemicals. All the chemicals…

Reusables will save you £1000. If you’re not hopeful our choices as consumers can make a difference to the environment, then this is a deal breaker, right? Especially when that’s an extra £1000 for every baby you have that gets the (strangely still white) hand-me-downs. Lucky, lucky youngest sibling.

Reusable nappies have *flushable biodegradable liners. This means most of the poo is caught in that and you chuck it down the toilet in one swag move. People are always like “wooooah” when I tell them that, cus it means less poo in the washing machine with their clothes, which is what they were definitely visualising before. Oh yeah, about washing.

Disposable nappies are responsible for a lot of ACTUAL shit. As well as killing 1 billion trees a year, they use the same or more water and way more energy to produce than cloth/bamboo reusables use to produce AND wash, plus they will still be here in 500 years. In fact disposables are the biggest single-item household contributor to landfill. By that I mean WTF. Why have we not invented better ways to make stuff and live on this planet forever. We invented text messages, FFS. They’ve been blowing my mind since the 90s.

Reusable nappies are always chillin at your house. So if you’re a slacker like me, you don’t have to worry about having to run to the shop in the middle of the night for disposables or remember to buy them in your food shop. Unless you’re bad at washing reusables like we are, so supplies get low. You’re meant to do a wash every other day but we do a lazy one or two washes a week — and get by.

Disposables make nappy rash worse. When Iyra is teething she gets a bit of nappy rash, but she never had it before, like some of her 0-6 month teeth-free mates did. It may just be her, but the rash does get WAY WORSE when she has been in disposables (like when we’re on holiday). Be kind to butts.

Disposables make holidays better. Because they take up less room and you don’t have to search out washing machine-friendly Air Bnbs or carry poo remnants in your bag in the heat.

Reusables encourage potty training. Cus who wants to sit in their own waz? Seriously though, toddlers in reusables are more used to the feeling of wet and so more likely to let you know when they need changing earlier in age, which is how potty training starts. Iyra has been telling us way TMI for months. They also see you chucking the poo down the toilet every day, so they understand the witchcraft that’s going on a bit sooner.

Disposables mean extras. Like nappy sacks, packaging, wipes (although we use a mixture of reusable and disposable wipes), and oooh yeah the gross nappy crusher thing people have. We chuck our 20 dirty reusables in a bucket with a tight lid and a net bag in. We chuck the bag in the washing machine, then hang up nappies to dry after. Bish bash bosh. Plop.

Reusables make you a more annoying person. Come on, you were all thinking it. I’ve never felt more like Bono. And that definitely sucks.

So that’s my disposable vs reusable nappy facts. If I’ve convinced you in my long patronising sigh blog to give reusables a spin (cycle), then click The Nappy Lady who has helped out a few of my reusable converting mates. Apparently she tells it like it is and recommends brands based on your lifestyle. Like a nappy dating service.

We didn’t know about her back in my pregnancy days, so instead we visited The Cotton Nappy Company shop and were cold-sold a starter pack of Tots Bots — and never looked back.

At night we use the super kawaii bumble bee or cloud print bamboozle nappies which go inside PeeNut wraps, because they’re a bit more heavy duty. We also use Splash About biodegradable liners and the reusable nappy wrap in a normal swim suit when we go to the pool. Most importantly though, we really like the Tots Bots trippy hedgehog and kaleidoscope patterns.

But if you’re not able to commit now or ever, it doesn’t matter. You’re doing enough by raising a conscious kid who is hopefully going to be able to science/write/engineer our way out of this climate change and polluted mess of a planet.

There are a billion other ways to cut your carbon footprint as a parent and as a general human living in the West. We all collectively got this.

Poo power!

Do you dig eco disposable or reusable nappies? We would ❤ to hear from you. Contact us, comment below, or tag #WokeMamas on social media.

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