Nappy Information

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Nappies

HOW SHOULD MY BABIES STOOL LOOK?
Meconium is the earliest stools of a newborn baby. Unlike later feces, meconium is composed of materials ingested during the time the baby spends in the uterus.  Meconium is black/greenish in appearance and is very sticky indeed making those first nappy changes a messy, hard process!!
If you are breastfeeding your baby after a few days the stools will change to a yellowy/mustard colour.  You will find that if you are bottle
feeding the appearance of the stools will appear darker brown and probably smeller of that of a breast-fed baby.  You will also find that bottle fed babies have much firmer stools compared with the quite runny stools that a breast fed baby will produce.

NAPPY CHANGING
To try and avoid nappy rash babies need to be changed either before or after a feed (not always neccessary at night if your baby is sleeping) and immediately after they have passed a stool.  This can mean a change of nappy somewhere between 10-12 times a day allowing for alot of practice!
Before changing a nappy it is important to be organised.  Make sure you have everything you need prior to starting and that you have chosen a safe, secure place to change your baby.  A baby changing mat on the floor is an ideal changing option however a towel will do just aswell.  Remember that if you are using a changing table/unit off the floor to always keep one hand on your baby at all times to prevent any falls.

ITEMS YOU MAY REQUIRE FOR A NAPPY CHANGE
* A supply of nappies either disposable or cloth (if using cloth required accessories i.e. pins, wraps etc)
* Baby wipes or warm water & cotton wool
* Spare change of clothes
* Barrier Creams
* An old towel/muslin square to place on changing mat to help mop up any unexpected wees/poos once the nappy has been removed!

NAPPY RASH
Nappy rash is caused by the prolonged exposure to ammonia from urine or bacteria from stools which causes burning & irritation to the skin.  Nappy rash can also be caused by thrush (Candida). With thrush the rash tends to be bright red and tender, with distinct edges with small red spots or pustules close to the large patches. If you believe your baby has thrush contact your GP as they can prescribe some anti-fungal cream.

TIPS TO COMBAT NAPPY RASH
* Change your babies nappy as soon as you can when it becomes wet or soiled
* Ensuring that your babies bottom is cleansed thoroughly & is dry if using water to do so
* Give your baby some nappy free time to allow the air to get to babies bottom. Make a regualar time to do this such as at
bathtime.
* Barrier creams are available to buy that can help to both prevent, heal & soothe damaged skin (Ask your Pharmacist or Health Visitor to reccomend one)

DISPOSABLE OR REUSUABLE?
There are both pros and cons to using both types of nappy, but it all comes down to personal choice.  Some people have a very strong opinion on which nappies are best to use. We will therefore provide you with all the information about both types to help you make that important decision about what nappies you plan to use.

REUSUABLE NAPPIES
There are many different types of reusuable nappies now available to buy which can therefore confuse and put people off the idea of using reusuable nappies.  However once people become aware of their options and realise that reusable nappies have come a long way since terry nappies which were once the only choice they are becoming increasingly popular.

TWO PART NAPPIES
This type of nappy consists of a nappy part and a wrap part. The nappy part can be either a traditional terry,a pre-fold nappy or a shaped nappy. The nappy part the requires a wrap, this could be either a pull-up or wrap around and is waterproof. 
Flat nappies such as terries or muslin squares are probably the most economical option to buy. You can buy a pack of 6 terry squares for around £10 or a pack of 6 muslin squares for around £6 and you can get starter packs for about £30 which come with evrything you need to get you started (Terry nappies, nappy pail, plastic pants, pins, nappy liners, nappy sacks & nappy soak).  The folding can take a little practice and patience but once you get the knack it becomes second nature and nappi nippas now make securing the nappies alot safer and easier than the traditional safety pins.  From my experience I used Terry nappies with the traditional plastic pants for my first child up until she was two years old with much success I found them easy to use, both the nappy and the pants dry quickly, again making them eco-friendly and they are very versatile as they are handy for lots of things other than nappies, such as winding cloths & wiping up spills at
feeding times or using one  as a make-do changing mat. They are also very hard wearing and can be used for other future siblings.  Now I have my second baby I have this time opted for the muslin squares instead of the terries to begin with just because I find them less bulky when the baby is quite small and instead of the plastic pants I am using nappy wraps with velcro fastenings.  This option works very well and there is not much of a size difference between the reusuable and a disposable nappy.  I find they are also better at containing the runny poo of a newborn and cause less irritation to the skin than a disposable nappy.  Needless to say when my baby grows I will go back to the terry nappies I already have giving them a second use.
Pre-fold Nappies are a flat square of cloth stitched into three panels which you fold and place inside the liner with a wrap on top. You can buy a pack of 6 prefolded nappies for around £12 so they are also a cheap option of reusuable nappies.
Whether you choose a flat nappy or a pre-fold you will need to use a waterproof wrap to cover the nappy.  These can either be fastened with velcro, poppers or in the case of plastic pants just pulled over.  You will need to purchase different sized wraps as your baby grows, which can increase the cost, howvever these can now be brought relatively cheap especially on the internet if you look around.

ONE PIECE NAPPIES
These nappies consist of a nappy with a wrap attached.  One of the greatest advantages are that they are very simple and easy to use.  However as they are thick they take longer to dry.  This therefore means that you will need to purchase more than you would with the two part nappies working out more expensive. This type of nappy is also more expensive to buy with one nappy costed between £12-£15.  I would reccomend this type of nappy for use when you simply can't be bothered with a nappy and wrap or when you are going out for the day,  but maybe not for use everyday use.  However many cloth nappy users base their whole nappy collection on one-piece nappies and again it is down to personal choice.

ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF RESUABLE NAPPIES

PROS:
FINANCIAL SAVINGS:  Even taking into account washing costs and washing machine depreciation, you could save hundreds of pounds by using cloth nappies rather than disposables. The more children you plan to have the more you will save, as the nappies can be reused many times.  Reusuable nappies can cost from between £185 to £352 to purchase and launder over a two-and-a-half-year period.  Over the same time period disposables can cost of between £488 and £732.  Just think of what you could spend that extra cash on!

ENVIRONMENTAL & WASTE: The environmental impact of cloth nappies is considerably lesser than disposables.  About eight million disposable nappies are thrown away every day in the UK with most disposables ending up in a landfill site where they may pollute the environment and can take many years to degrade.  We are all trying to re-cycle our household rubbish and use energy efficient light bulbs so why can't we try using reusuable nappies?


CHENICAL:  Reusuable nappies are made of natural materials which means no plastics or chemicals coming into contact with your next  baby’s skin.  Modern disposables operate by containing super absorber granules. Once used, the nappies swell to many times their original size and weight, as the granules turn into gel by interaction with the child's urine.  Although the effects of chemicals  contained in disposables still remain relatively unproven, or at best unknown, we know  that many chemicals can be absorbed into the body through the skin which  makes many parents including myself uncomfortable with the thoughts of putting chemicals so close to their skins. This may be of particular concern to you if you have a family history of asthma, eczema or allergies. The other point of concern is that disposable nappies increase the temperature around a baby boy’s genitals which can  potentially affect their future fertility as the male reproductive system develops during the first two months.

BETTER CONTAINMENT/RELIABILITY:   Reusauble nappies tend to have a soft, snug fit around baby's waist and legs making them very reliable even for the most active baby leading to less leaks which means less complete changes of clothes.

MORE ATTRACTIVE: Reusuable nappies are very trendy and chic nowadays.  They are avaialble in a wide range of colours and snazzy designs!!

CONS:

INITIAL COSTS: Larger initial outlay in purchasing a set of nappies as reusuable nappies have brought up front unlike disposables where the cost is spread out over a time period.

EXTRA WASHING:  Although resuables only usually account for 2-3 extra loads of washing a week some people find this extra washing a burden especially with a newborn baby in the house.  There is also the problem that If you don't have a tumble dryer, getting them dry in winter can be a nightmare.  However nappy laundering services are available where your nappies are collected and taken away to be washed.

CONVENIENCE: Less convenient when out and about as soiled nappies have to be carried
home.  There also is the issue that if you are using flat nappies the folding can take a little practice and patience and therefore may mean it takes a little longer at first to change the nappy.  However once you have perfected this I find it takes the same time to change a reusuable as it does a disposable.

ENVIRONMENTAL:  It can be argued that the carbon footprint caused by using your washer and dryer more frequently for loads of nappies is worse for the environment than disposable nappies.

BULKY:  Reusuables can sometimes appear bulkier on the bottom, which can also lead to problems with clothes fitting as most clothes are designed for disposables.  If this is a problem try using the next size up or try vest extenders which are an extremely practical way of getting vests to fit over cloth nappies. You can even buy clothes that are especially designed for cloth nappies in mind.

COUNCIL INITIATIVES FOR RESUSUABLE NAPPIES

As councils have set targets to increase the amount of waste recycled it is not suprising that they have stareted offering incentives to start encourging people to use resuable nappies.  Depending on who you local authority is depends on the tpe of incentive that is offered.  Some councils provide trial nappy packs to borrow and try out, wheras others will give you cash incentives such as money back on purchases or discounts off the cost of buying reusuables.  If you are planning on using resusuable nappies it is worth having a look to see what you local council is offering.

DISPOSABLE NAPPIES

Disposable nappies are quick and easy to use. Once they're dirty, you bin them and forget about them.  There are a number of different brands of disposable nappy widely available.  You may find you need to try a few different ones out before you make your final choice.  This is usually dependant upon performance and price.

TYPES OF DISPOSABLE NAPPY

When decided which type of disposable nappy your baby needs you should be guided by your baby's weight and stage of development.

NEWBORN: Designed to meet the specific needs of a newborn baby, often have depending on the brand specially designed cores designed to absorb wee and soft poo and keep it locked away.

OLDER BABY/CRAWLER:  This type of nappies are designed for babies who are a bit older and who are crawling.  They are usually shaped to fit and may have elasticated waists.

PULL UPS:  This type of nappy are aimed at toddlers who are being potty trained.  They have the absorbency of a nappy with the freedom of a pant.

SWIMMING NAPPIES: They don't swell up in the water like nappies do and they also have super-safe leak-guards to save any embarrassments when taking your baby/toddler swimming.

ECO-FRIENDLY:  made from more natural material useing less or no chemical gels or bleaches and are more biodegradable than regular disposables.


ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF DISPOSABLE NAPPIES

PROS:

COST:  No large initial, up-front expenses as you spread your costs over time.

CONVIENIENCE: Disposables are small, lightweight and very compact making them easy to store and carry when out and about. They also require no laundering.


CONS:

COST: You spread your cost but overall your expenses may be higher. To save money you can buy in bulk can really save money especially on the premium brands,  You should compare prices by looking on supermarkets' websites and join your regular supermarket's baby and toddler club in order to receive money-off coupons.

HEALTH: High-tech solutions may involve the use of man-made products which may not agree with your baby's skin. They may also generate other broader health concerns such as disposable nappies being linked to both male infertility and testicular cancer. (Not Conclusive).

ENVIRONMENTAL: Disposables are not bio-degradable and this can have an impact on the environment. About eight million disposable nappies are thrown away every day in the UK with most disposables ending up in a landfill site where they may pollute the environment and can take many years to degrade.

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