The early days of motherhood require an endless supply of pads, nappies, wipes and outfit changes for mum and baby, which can not only be draining on your bank balance, but will take its toll on the environment, too.
However, with a little forward planning and investment, you can eliminate a lot of waste with these pieces that you’ll buy once and use continually through the first year and beyond.
Reusable breast pads:
Little will make you feel less attractive post-baby than sticking a breast pad akin to a sanitary towel into your nursing bra to prevent leaks. Not only do they tend to misshape when you feed, leaving those tell-tale bumps in your bra, they are also incredibly wasteful as they need to be changed regularly to prevent bacteria growth. When you’re paying around £5 a box for 60 pads (30 pairs), the cost could also quickly stack up. Our solution? Invest in a couple of packs of reusable nursing pads.
Lansinoh’s washable nursing pads are absorbent and comfortable to wear, while remaining slim and discrete. After use simply wash at 40 degrees with your laundry (you’re bound to have enough of it!) Order four pairs on Amazon from £6.89.
Lansinoh washable nursing pads, from £6.89, Amazon
Whether you’re using cotton wool and warm water or are a baby wipe devotee, there’s no doubt you’re going through a lot of each during the seemingly endless nappy changes with your baby. And at almost £3 a pack for some premium wipes, it’s yet another big expense for parents over the course of a couple of years.
This is why reusable wipes like Cheeky Wipes are such a good investment. It may set you back just under £50 for the initial bundle, but these are a game changer. Gentle on skin and ensuring your little one gets a thorough clean with every nappy change, these towel cloths also eliminate waste. They even come with clean and mucky bags to keep in your changing bag to use when you’re out and about.
Cheeky Wipes washable wipes kit, £49.99, Amazon
Biodegradable baby wipes
Not quite ready to make the switch to cloth wipes? Biodegradable wipes are a good alternative. Some 11 billion wipes are used every year in the UK, many of which also contain plastic and chemical that can be harsh on your baby’s skin. However, many brands are making their products more environmentally – and baby – friendly, with a move to plant fibres and natural ingredients. Two of our favourites are Kit and Kin or Water Wipes, which are handy to stash in your nappy bag for when you’re out and about.
Water Wipes Biodegradable 12 pack bundle, £22.39, Amazon
A baby will typically use as many as 5,000 nappies before they are potty trained, which means a whole load of expense and waste going to landfill! Make nappy changes greener by making the switch to cloth nappies. It may seem more expensive initially, but according to the Money Advice Service, you could save more than £1,000 over two-and-a-half years by making the switch, as well as saving thousands of disposable nappies from going in the bin.
Your local nappy library will enable you to trial different brands to see what works best for you and your baby before making an investment, but Bambino Mio, Tots Bots and Little Lamb have all earned acclaim from parents.
Bambino Mio Miosolo reusable nappy, £15.99, Amazon
Bridging the gap between regular disposables and reusable nappies is the growing range of biodegradable nappies. These are generally a little more expensive than disposables – Kit & Kin’s size 2 nappies equate to 20p each compared to 14p for Pampers’ equivalent at Boots. However, if you’re looking to be that little bit more environmentally friendly, they’re worth it. Those cute animal designs on the bottom are an extra selling point.
Kit & Kin size 2 nappies 40 pack, £8.99, Boots
Maternity pads/ period pants:
Did you know women bleed for as long as six weeks after giving birth? That equates to a lot of maternity pads, another disposable postpartum essential. While in the early days they are pretty much unavoidable, you may find that as your bleeding slows you could use absorbent pants such as Innersy Women high-rise pants as an alternative. Cleverly designed to absorb blood and eliminate odour while leaving you feeling fresh and like you’re wearing regular underwear rather than an adult nappy, these can easily be washed and reused day after day. They’re designed for wear during your periods as well as postpartum, so will not only limit your use of maternity pads, but also sanitary towels and tampons in the future.
Innersy Women heavy flow postpartum/period pants 3 pack, from £18.99, Amazon
Biodegradable nappy bags:
It’s all well and good buying biodegradable nappies, but if you’re still using plastic nappy bags to discard of them, you will still be contributing to damaging plastic waste several times every day. Upgrade your nappy sacks to biodegradable ones like Kit and Kin’s, which are made from 100 percent sustainable GM-free corn film, which are also compostable and fragrance-free.
Kit & Kin biodegradable nappy sacks, £2.50, Boots
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