On reusables vs disposables with tube feeds

By 8th August 2018 No Comments

When we finally left the hospital and Sam and I were finally able to parent, one of the first things I did was switch to reusable nappies. We used baby genius freetimes and they are AMAZING. As convenient as disposables and easier to manage (mainly because I never had to leave the house for nappies, all I had to do was a load of laundry). Overall I felt pretty smug that we were doing great things for the environment and that our nappies weren’t ending up in a landfill.

Except that now we have the gtube, we’ve changed his feed a bit (high five for the blended diet) and increased his fluids as appropriate and woah buddy.

The intake outtake has been ridiculous. I can’t keep up, not with liners, not with anything. The nappies were leaking. Leaking doesn’t even seem like the appropriate word – it was like every half hour Kai was DRENCHED, requiring a bath and full outfit change, and washing whatever he was lying on. I can’t tell you how many times a day I was stripping the crib and washing the sheets. I got to be an expert in washing the car seat cover and I started putting incontinence pads down everywhere.

So we switched back to disposables. I hate myself for saying that, but we did. The all-in-ones weren’t cutting it and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money upfront of more reusables that may not suit. I’m sad I didn’t have the capacity to change the nappies every 15 minutes and the full outfit/bath/strip the crib/wash the car seat routine several times a day, but I just couldn’t.

Disposables, I don’t love them. Here’s the other thing, even now the disposables (and we’ve tried several different brands) don’t always hold up overnight. I’m considering going up a nappy size to help with the absorbency because wtf. Knowing that nappies are likely to be in our forever with Mikaere, it’s infuriating that my kid isn’t even 2 years old and with tube feeding we’re dealing with leaks all over the place. It’s even more heartbreaking that this isn’t a temporary measure – Mikaere is likely to be in nappies for his entire life – that’s A LOT of nappies in the landfill not breaking down. Le sigh. We’re currently using Naty’s. They’re apparently an eco disposable (though I’m aware this is because they are PRODUCED according to the most environmentally friendly production methods. This however has NOTHING to do with their landfill implications. Their website says parts of their nappies are biodegradable in appropriate conditions (if that’s not snake-y marketing speak then I don’t know what is). Truth is they still take forever (400+ years) to break down in a landfill.

It’s very blah. So – special needs tubie parents I want to hear your tips. What nappies are best? How are you managing with absorbency? How do I not add several nappies a day forever to the landfill while still not having to change and wash everything?

(Image throwback to baby Mikaere in our very first few days home…)

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