I had no idea what I was embarking on as I casually announced, “I think we should give washable nappies a go. I will look into it.”
Anyone who has done even the smallest amount of research into this subject may well run screaming from this article, or be found quivering and rocking in a corner with a smashed up lap top in front of them, mumbling different brand names under their breath.
I emerged a week later from the review websites feeling a little like I had just been on an intensive language course to an alternative universe, where it is perfectly acceptable to just make up brand new words as and when.
There were no less than 55 different brands listed and reviewed on mumsnet, some of which have many various subspecies within the brand to choose from. Upon discovery of this I did the sensible thing and closed the computer and had a cup of tea.
The next day at playgroup I mentioned my hesitancy and confusion over the sheer scale of the industry to a fellow mum. She named a brand that she had used with success on her three kids and it felt as though I had solved it.
But that was only the beginning. Trying to find somewhere to purchase the nappies when you live in a small village in the Peak District is not an easy task. I discovered a real nappy lady – a guru of the washable nappy world who makes homes visits with a van full of nappies and a mind full of information on drying times, absorbency and comfort.
When she arrived I knew it was serious, my offering of a cup of tea was rejected as if such frivolity was far too time consuming. Her first question felt like a test “Do you know anything AT ALL about re-usables?” I answered optimistically, naming the brand that my friend had mentioned, naively expecting her to whip out a bag of that brand, take my money, wish me luck and leave me to my evening. In fact there was a sharp intake of breath, a shake of the head and a feeling as though I had just shat in her handbag.
An hour later after me getting increasingly sweaty and anxious as I tried to keep up with the info on bamboo boosters, outers and micro-terry soakers, I took the 32 page guide and told her I would be in touch when I had revised.
The problem is my hormones can’t take it. I need to nest and prepare and until nappy gate is over this baby will not come out, I am sure of it. I have been waking up from dreams about whether to go for an all in one. I am boring myself, let alone my partner. I have reached the online checkout about 5 times, hovering over the confirm button and just as I am about to part with the considerable initial outlay of over £100, the words from the reviews come into my mind… “Not great on taller babies”. What if my 5,2” frame pumps out a giant!! I immediately click cancel and get straight back onto mumsnet.
A word of warning, do not be distracted by the cutesy names and designs. They may be called cheeky gorgeous bum a lums and have cherries and hearts on them but there is a darker side to the world of washables. I just hope I make it out of the other side, without first throwing myself, and my 32 page handout into landfill.
Helen also performs a comedy show for mums.
‘Gas and Hot Air’ is an hour long, daytime show about pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. Performed by actress and mum Helen Rutter in comedy clubs and small theatres, written during breastfeeding, sleepless nights and copious amounts of weight watchers cake. Babies under one are welcomed with open arms as long as they can’t move much and don’t mind a bit of fruity language.
For more information on venues and tickets contact Helen.