A guide on how to use washable diapers and why you should use them
When I talk about washable diapers with other moms, I noticed that there are still many prejudices about the use of washable diapers or reusable nappies.
One of the first questions is actually always about poop. “Do those dirty diapers really have to go in the same washing machine with your own clothes?”, “What happens to the poop?” Many parents still think that's a dirty happening. In addition, many parents think it takes a lot of time, is expensive and they are still worried about the diapers being much bigger around your baby's bum.
To put your mind at ease: You don't have to touch the contents, 'scrape' it out of the diaper or transport it in your bag during changing. You get used to a number of new actions, washing instructions and accessories quickly and easily. It's really not that complicated. The only difference is that from now on you don't walk towards the waste container after a full bucket, but to your washing machine!
It is actually strange to realize that only one or two generations have been using disposable diapers. Since disposable is now the standard, it feels like we've been using disposable diapers for a long time and it makes washable diapers feel kind of old-fashioned. Fortunately, more and more parents are now opting for washable again. And rightly so, because the washable diapers of today have nothing to do with the diapers of the past. They look nice, work a lot better and are much easier to use.
Why would you go for washable diapers?
Did you know that when you use disposable diapers, you produce 22 kilos of waste every month? Using washable products such as diapers and wipes reduces disposable waste by 8%. It's an easy way to take good care of our planet, your children’s planet.
In addition to the fact that washable diapers are better for the environment, it is also financially more advantageous to opt for washable diapers. And to top it off: they’re softer to sensitive baby skin and your child will probably become potty trained faster.
Why we chose Billie Wonder?
For this blog I got to try some day-diapers from Billie Wonder. It’s nice if we can tell you about it from our own experience and it also made it possible for me to compare Billie Wonder's diapers with the diapers I already had.
Billie Wonder uses a two-part system: an absorbent diaper in combination with a waterproof cover. You use an insert in the absorbent part. When changing, you throw the (inner) diaper into the washing net in your diaper bin. You can reuse the overpants several times.
In my experience, the two-piece diapers are the most leak-proof and very absorbent compared to other systems.
Another great thing about Billie Wonder diapers is that they come in two sizes. When I started using washable diapers with my son, I wasn't sure which one to choose: a one-size or a newborn and baby variant. I dreaded the extra expenses and therefore went for a system that was suitable from birth. That caused my son to have the shape of an eggplant in the beginning: a very small body and a very large butt. To be honest, it looked very uncomfortable and a little crazy. If I had known this in advance, I would definitely have opted for two different sizes.
In addition, we really love the designs. A lot of washable diapers have very bright colors and chaotic, childish prints. The fact that these prints are stylish, timeless and unisex really appeals to us.
Good to know before starting
When I started researching washable diapers I was overwhelmed by all the different systems and instructions available online. I was also afraid that I might not put it on properly so that the diaper would leak. In retrospect, that was really unnecessary, especially with the leak-proof two-part system. Give yourself some time to get used to washable diapers if you’ve been using disposable ones before. But once you’re used to it, it's really not that different.
How to use washable diapers
- Get equipment prepared: Diapers, inserts (The Liner) and a diaper pail (The Bin) with laundry net (The Laundrynet). Tip: when your night diapers are washed and dried, pre-fold the inner-diaper, the insert and the liner so that you're ready to go. This saves you some precious time and unnecessary hassle during night time changing.
1. Grab the right diaper (the day or night diaper) and a liner. The day diaper consists of an insert and a overpants. For the night you use a night diaper with the same overpants. Do you need more absorbency? Then you can always use an extra insert.
2. Be sure not to forget a liner. These will catch a number 2 and make cleanup a breeze.
3. Put on the diaper. Close the snaps. Make sure the washable diaper is comfortable and not too tight.
4. During the day we recommend changing every 2-4 hours. Prepare your next diaper (or prepare them all at once) and keep (washable) baby wipes handy.
5. Remove the liner and any number 2 first, then place the diaper in the bin. It is not necessary to remove The Inserts from The Wrap, but we do recommend it. It extends the life of both The Insert and The Wrap. And if the wrap is still clean, you can use it another time.
- Remove the laundry net from the diaper bucket. Keep the laundry net open with the used nappies in it, then place in the washing machine. The diapers come out of the net during the washing cycle. So there’s no need to touch dirty diapers!
- Pre-wash, then a full wash. Run a short, cold pre-wash (15-30 min). Then a full wash, not on eco setting, of 2 to 4 hours at 40°-60° with non eco detergent. My washing machine has the option to set a personalized program. Take a good look at whether your washing machine can do this too, this ensures that your washing machine starts the two programs one after the other and saves you another action.
- To dry. Line dry the water resistant fabrics. (The Wrap, The Wet & Dry Bag and The Bag) Avoid direct sunlight, heaters or radiators. Absorbent fabrics (The Inserts, The Nighttime & The Wipes), line dry or tumble dry on low temperature. Tumble drying ensures that your diapers stay extra soft. If the diaper is stained, let it dry in the sun. The diapers become completely white again.
My own experiences
Compared to the diapers I have, the Billie Wonder diapers really last longer. Where I normally change my son's diaper after about 2 hours, I change the BW diaper about every 3-4 hours. This is also the reason that we have been using disposable diapers at night, a washable one from the brand that I have simply does not suffice. That's why I'm still very curious about the night diapers.
In addition, his bum is really a lot slimmer. I think this is an advantage, especially for a newborn baby, but also for my son who is now 7 months old. With his own diapers, there are certain pants that won’t fit and I always buy pants one size larger. The smaller pants do fit when I use a BW diaper.
For these reasons I regret that I did not opt for the diapers from BW in the beginning. The slightly slimmer bum and the fact that you don't have to change every two hours (especially when going out!) is a big benefit.
The wrap can also be used in combination with my own inner diapers. Actually, the Wrap from BW fits better. I advise you to always check whether the outer diaper has an extra leak edge. This prevents the diaper from leaking.
Furthermore, as with my own diapers, I am very satisfied with the two-part system. It is easy to use and it is nice that you can use the outer pants several times. The liners are a must-have, they ensure that changing does not become a dirty job. Washing the diapers is also very easy and you really don't have to touch the diapers.
What I would really recommend buying next to the diapers is a Wet & dry bag. This makes the use of washable diapers even during your time outside your house not an issue. In addition, I would purchase two laundry bags and most definitely a pack of liners to begin with.
The reason why I am very happy with washable diapers in general is that my child has less diaper rash / irritation than with disposable diapers. It also puts my mind at ease to know that this way I have less impact on the environment, sustainability is very important to me. In addition, I think it would be nice that my son could be potty trained sooner. But at 7 months I haven't gotten to that point yet. ;-)