Most people I talked to (and myself now) prefer pocket nappies. What these are are an outside waterproof "case" or cover that you slide a pad into to absorb all the waste. Pocket nappies are probably the most expensive re-useable nappies to buy, so when my sister had her baby I decided that I was proficient enough in sewing machine use to create her some homemade pocket nappies. I have since added to our mutual nappy collection by making some more of my own. They work just as well as the bought ones and cost about a third to a quarter of the cost (although having said that I bought my original ones from the US and our dollar is very strong at the moment so wouldn't be as expensive!). They are pretty easy to sew, especially if you have an overlocker to go around the edges of the liners and stop them fraying.
There are 2 websites that are invaluable if you want to make your own nappies:
- The nappy network: This has advice on both buying cloth nappies and DIY. It even has some free patterns. My first attempt of homemade nappies were the Wee Weka pocket nappy. I used velcro, which tends to stick to everything. Also I found the pattern quite small, especially for my gigantic nephew! For my second attempt I purchased a cosy bundles pattern which can adjust to fit a huge range of sized babies, and my cousin and I went halvies in a stud press, which meant we could put domes on the nappies which don't get covered in fluff like velcro.
- Greenbeans. This is where you can purchase everything that you need to make the nappies, including our friend the stud press (also very useful for quickly putting snaps on kids clothing!)
I would highly recommend having a go at making your own, even if you have to con a friend or relative into giving you a hand.
The other thing that you can spend copius amounts of money on when you have a baby in the house are wipes. And most of them are not supposed to be flushed down the toilet, so your choices are either put them in the bin (ew) or clog up the loo! With a bit of experiementing I have discovered 2 ways that you can save on money, although one of them doesn't really reduce the number of paper wipes that have to find somewhere to go after being used!
First is the mix for the wipes. After experimentation and reading a variety of recipes for wipe solution you have quite a few options that work. Basically you need to take about 2 cups of boiled water and add to it a couple of tablespoons of any of the following: rosewater, castile soap, witch-hazel and a nice oil such as almond or calendula e.g: Add 1 T castile soal and 1 T of almond oil. You can also add a few drops of essential oils such as teatree for its antiseptic properties and lavender for its nice smell!
You then have 2 options. You can dip clean cloths in this mixture and squeeze out excess liquid (I keep it in a sealed icecream container) and wipe. I use a mix of homemade wipes made from flannel or velour. You can then soak and wash these with the nappies. Your other option is to get a container (icecream would work again, or a plastic huggies container is perfect!) and to place about 10 paper towels (chopped up to wipe size), pour on a little liquid, 10 more wipes, bit more liquid and so on. This makes wipes that are much cheaper than commercially produced ones, contain less crap, although are not as soft! You may need to experiment with the type of wipe. I find the homebrand ones from woolworths work fine.
2 ways to save money with a baby in the house, I dare you to try one!