I got more fluff

I did make it to the Baby Show in the end and had a great time flitting around buying nappies and other baby bits.

I added 5 more nappies to my Close Parent Pop-In stash, a Bumgenius Freetime nappy (in the gorgeous Albert print) and a new gPant (Gallant). The Close Parent goodie bag (free!) was amazing and I also bought a car seat protector from them in my favourite monkey print. I didn’t buy any Tots Bots in the end, I decided I’ve got enough Easyfits even if the new prints are cute. I think I might have enough nappies now (although I have subsequently bought a new gPant – the gJoy a Christmas print, I am a sucker for Christmas nappies!).

Got to get more fluff

The thing about cloth nappies is that there is always a new nappy or a new print to tempt me. Aside from the wishlist I already have (for nappies I haven’t tried yet) there’s been a few nappy prints released recently (of nappies that I already love) that I would very much like to add to my stash.

Firstly there is the new gPant from gNappies – the Gallant Stripe. It’s part of their autumn collection and looks gorgeous. If I do go to the Baby Show I’m definitely making the gNappy stand one of the first places I visit. Gurple (a purple gPant) and Genius Blue (a dark blue gPant) would also be a nice addition to the collection. gNappies hold their value really well (especially the limited edition prints) – maybe if I convince myself that I’ll be able to sell them on afterwards I can ignore the cost? There’s also the gStyle gUniversity set – blue and grey striped gPant and matching t-shirt – too much choice, too little money!

Tots Bots have also brought out a few new prints. I quite like Pooper Hero – the name makes me giggle and I think it would look pretty cute on Eli. Their new Bum Voyage nappy prints – New York and Paris added to the existing London print are also very tempting. London is my favourite Tots Bots print – it would be nice to have the set.

The Pooper Hero also has a t-shirt to go with it (a bit like the gNappy gStyle sets) but I feel a bit meh about that. The ‘Spread a little nappiness’ t-shirt I do really like though. Again – lots of choice and a lack of cash but some may eventually make their way into our stash.

It’s now a bit of a decision as to whether I keep buying nappies from my wishlist (i.e. types of nappies I don’t already own) or go for a couple of new prints in nappies I already love…

Nappy trial – Tots Bots Flexitot v2

Why did I want to trial this nappy?

I used the original version with Tilly – I really wanted to see how the nappies had evolved and whether some of the issues I had with the previous version had been resolved by the redesign.

Which options did I choose?

We trialled the size 2 nappy.

Where was it bought from?

I bought the nappy from Kittykins – I’ve used them many times in the past and delivery was free.

First impressions

I love brand new bamboo nappies – they’re so soft and lovely. It came with an additional bamboo booster which was nice as in theory it could be used as a night-time nappy. Of course bamboo does mean a longer drying time so a bit of a wait between the initial wash and first use.

First trial

I popped him in the nappy in the morning paired with a Flexiwrap. The nappy itself is lovely and soft and flexible and Eli seemed quite comfortable. It’s much like the Easyfit with regard to bulkiness but the wrap on top does add a little more.

After a month

I definitely prefer this version of the Flexitot to the version we used with Tilly – much hardier bamboo (although not using vinegar in the wash has probably helped this time, the last lot rotted a lot but I didn’t know any better) and quicker drying with the fold out core.

Final analysis

I still like the Flexitot but much prefer (especially with the way Eli complains about nappy changes) all in one nappies to two parters. The Flexitot does have quite a few strengths if you’re looking for a two-part nappy:

  • not too bulky (especially with the Flexiwrap);
  • if necessary it could be boosted for night use;
  • quick drying;
  • poppers to adjust the rise (another bonus over the previous version);
  • good containment.

Would I buy more?

Probably not but only because I do prefer the all in one nappies I have – I really appreciate only having one set of tabs/poppers to do up whilst Eli writhes and screams!

Nappy trial – Blueberry Coverall Wrap

Why did I want to trial this wrap?

I liked the patterns it was available in especially the owls (I have a particular fondness for retro owls patterns) and the dinosaur print looks pretty cute too. You also get to choose between poppers and velcro.

Which options did I choose?

I choose the owls pattern and the poppered wrap.

Where was it bought from?

I bought the wrap from the Nappy Lady, the wrap was on special offer and delivery was free which is always helpful.

First impressions

I was a little bit disappointed that the print on the wrap wasn’t as bright as pictures seemed to indicate. It looked well constructed and I liked the ability to adjust the height with poppers. Eli is quite petit and so his size 2 wraps swamp him a little bit – this wrap should be great because it can grow with him.

First trial

We used the wrap for the night-time nappy the day we received it. It fit well over Eli’s bamboozle stretch and there was no wicking even though he wore the nappy until just before breakfast.

After a month

I’ve used the wrap quite a few times overnight and once during the day. During the day trial I had a small issue with wicking (something I’ve found before with gusseted wraps and may have been more a factor of the flexitot it was covering not being up to full absorbency) but there were no issues overnight.

Final analysis

I really like this wrap, lots of positives including:

  • able to adjust the size of the wrap using poppers across the front
  • able to get a good fit with the poppers on the waist
  • available in many different prints (boy, girl and unisex)
  • fit well over both Tots Bots bamboozle stretches and Tots Bots flexitots
  • trim fit, not too baggy
  • lasted very well overnight – 12+ hours
  • nice sturdy, but flexible, fabric

Would I buy more (if I needed a new wrap)?

I have to qualify this one because we have plenty of wraps but I do like these and would seriously consider buying another one (probably with dinosaurs on it…) if I needed a new wrap.

Nappy trial – Close Parent New Generation Pop-In nappy

Why did I want to trial this nappy?

I’ve seen them on nappy sites and they looked cute (yes I am clearly easily swayed by how pretty a nappy is). The construction is a bit different to my other nappies and so I was interested to test that as well.

Which options did I choose?

I opted for the bamboo nappy in the monkey print.

Where was it bought from?

I bought the nappy from Kittykins – it’s a site I’ve used often in the past and delivery was free.

First impressions

It looks great. The nappy is simple to put together (and the coloured soakers mean it’s easy to see what belongs to the nappy). I liked the instruction insert which gave guidance on what level of poppers to use depending on the weight of your baby, I haven’t seen that before on my other one-size-fits-most nappies. The bamboo does take a while to dry once washed (I had to wait impatiently for it to dry so that I could use it for the first time!).

First trial

It was easy to fit and looked really cute on – sadly I didn’t get much of a chance to trial it as Eli did a poo in it within 10 minutes… Second trial was a bit more successful – usual length of wear (about 3 hours), no leaks and Eli seemed comfy.

After a month

I love this nappy and am currently trying to figure out a way to afford a few more. I’m regularly disappointed when I use the nappy and then can’t use it again until after the next nappy wash.

Final analysis

This is a great nappy:

  • trim fitting and looks good on
  • available in a good range of colours and prints (I particularly like the prints and the bright colour collection)
  • easy to put together and adjust
  • I didn’t have any issues with leaks (I treated the cloth hammock like soaker like a gNappy pouch and made sure it was in Eli’s leg creases as this seemed as if it would keep the cloth away from the leg gussets and prevent wicking)
  • the bamboo inserts are very absorbent but do take a bit of time to dry (the outer shell dries really quickly)

Would I buy more?

Definitely – just need to find a good offer as I’ve got too many nappies to need any more. We should be going to the Baby Show in October – hopefully Close will have some deals there!

Washing cloth nappies – rinse, lather, rinse repeat

Washing nappies is a regular occurrence in this house (obviously) – I tend to do a load every 4th day as that makes the most sense for me to make sure that I have the nappies I need (I only have 5 night nappies and I like to have one spare just in case there’s an overnight change needed) and that I don’t overloaded the washing machine to make sure the nappies get a good wash. I’m really glad that this time around I’m not having to do a wash every other day – if you can afford it it’s definitely much nicer to have a bit of a break before having to wash-dry-put-away again…

There is a lot of advice about washing cloth nappies out there and a fair bit is outdated as vinegar is still mentioned a lot as a softener (great if you don’t mind rotting your bamboo nappies but honestly just don’t do it!). Finding a washing routine that works (and if it results in stinky nappies it’s not working) is definitely an important part of successful cloth nappying for me.

Our current detergent – I don’t exactly know why I chose this one but it’s working well so I’m not changing it!

On that basis, since our nappy wash routine is working for us, here’s what I do and why:

  • used nappy’s are stored in dry nappy buckets whilst waiting to be washed – the buckets contain the smells and are easy to clean;
  • when it’s time to wash the nappies I put them all in the machine – checking that laundry tabs are folded back on those that have velcro fasteners and that any poppers are undone (to prevent any pulling in the wash);
  • the nappies then go on a cold rinse cycle with the wash cycle turned off and a spin of 800 rpm – this gives a first pass to cleaning any pooey nappies without setting stains by using heated water;
  • I then wash the nappies on a synthetic cycle (lasts about 1 hour 40 minutes) at 40°C with a super rinse and the spin set to 800 rpm again – I use a full cap of detergent, I’m firmly in the camp that believes that nappies washed with minimal detergent will start to smell because they are dirty, nappies are full of wee and poo and I like to wash that out;
  • finally the nappies go on a final cold rinse cycle (to make sure that they are thoroughly rinsed of all detergent) at a 1000 rpm spin to get as much water out as possible to save on drying time.

Once washed nappies are line-dried (if at all possible – it’s brilliant for bleaching out any stains!) or tumbled or hung on the airer as appropriate. If you’re using cloth nappies what works for you? I think I’m a little superstitious about my routine now – I don’t want to change anything because I really don’t want to end up with stinky nappies…

Fluffy post

I had a couple of fluffy parcels drop through the door a couple of days ago – I’m looking forward to trialling my new nappies and wrap (thanks to R enabling my nappy addiction by suggesting that I buy a few more to trial). I’ve now got a:

  • Blueberry Coverall wrap
  • Tots Bots Flexitot
  • Close Parent New Generation Bamboo Pop-In

I’ve already used the wrap once and am hoping that after their pre-washes the two nappies will be ready to go today (bamboo can take ages to dry sometimes). It’s probably not great for my bank balance that I’m already planning what I want to buy next from my wishlist

Travelling with cloth nappies – what we’ve done and what we’d do next time

Eli on holiday in the UK.

When you’re using cloth nappies full-time going on holiday – or any extended stay away from home – means a decision is to be made, do the nappies stay or do they go? I’ve been away twice with Eli, once on a 5 day family holiday in the UK and soon after to South Africa for two weeks when my father passed away suddenly whilst on holiday there with my Mum.

Obviously these were two completely different types of trips but whether or not to take my cloth nappies with me was definitely a consideration both times.

For our holiday in the UK the choice wasn’t too hard: we were only going for 5 days and I knew I had enough nappies even though we didn’t have access to a washing machine. As we were travelling by car we had enough space to pack our full complement of nappies. The only issue was where to store the dirty nappies – a nappy bucket wasn’t an option so we needed a good-sized wet bag (or two) which would zip shut to keep any smells contained. After a bit of research I found a set of Bum Deal wet bags which did the job brilliantly. It was great, no need to buy disposables and all I had to do was to put the nappy wash on as soon as we got home.

Eli at my Mum’s house in South Africa.

Travelling to South Africa was a bit different. It was an unplanned trip (obviously) and organising an emergency passport for Eli and sorting last minute plane tickets were immediate considerations. Whether or not to pack cloth nappies was a consideration though once everything else was sorted. I didn’t do it though, I bought two weeks worth of eco-disposables (not something easily available in SA) and it was okay. If I had to do it again though I would do it differently. Firstly as I stayed at my brother’s flat and my Mum’s house washing wouldn’t have been an issue. Secondly the weather in SA would have meant nice and easy nappy drying as well.

So, if you’re flying and packing space is at a premium and weight is an issue, what nappies could you take? I probably wouldn’t bother taking night nappies – a few disposables would be a lot easier to pack than a bulky two-part nappy. I wouldn’t take many (if any) of my all-in-one nappies as they’re fairly bulky too. That leaves my gNappies, which, thinking about it now – now I’m not stressing about supporting Mum and finding appropriate clothes for Eli to wear to a funeral – would have been the perfect choice. I’ve never used gRefills (the disposable inserts for the nappies) but the hybrid nature of the nappies would have been really useful. Taking all my gCloth (cloth inserts) along with a few packs of gRefills would have been possible (I managed to take a few packs of disposable nappies after all) and I could have used a mix of both depending which was more appropriate at the time. Disposable inserts for the plane and long car journeys and cloth whenever possible.

So, on reflection, whilst travelling abroad with cloth nappies seemed really difficult at the time, a hybrid system would have been perfect. Most of the benefits of full-time cloth but also the steady freeing up of space (for presents and suchlike) that using up disposables resulted in. Plus, using the cloth would have meant not as much money needing to be spent on the disposables – pleasing the skinflint in me – or too much heading to landfill – keeping the eco side of me happy.

Our nappies – Cheeky Wipes

When Tilly was in cloth nappies I tried to use cloth wipes as well. I say tried because I found it a bit of a pain. I couldn’t figure out a convenient way to take them out with us and so we used disposable wipes outside of the house and the containers I had at home weren’t quite the right shape nor did they keep the wipes fresh for long. It didn’t take long before we were using disposable wipes all the time and the cloth wipes were consigned to the cupboard.

With Eli, I wanted to use cloth wipes again (to save money on buying wipes if nothing else) and knew I needed a better solution and then I found Cheeky Wipes. Basically, a Cheeky Wipes set comes with two wipe containers, one for clean wipes and one for dirty, 25 wipes (cotton terry as standard), two bottles of essential oils, again one for clean wipes and one for the dirty wipes box and two waterproof bags for carrying your clean and dirty wipes when you’re out of the house. You can get a mini-kit for cloth nappy users that excludes all the dirty wipes bits (box, essential oil, waterproof bag) as you can just pop the wipes in the nappy and into the nappy bucket. We have the full kit because we started using the wipes before we switched to cloth full-time – Cheeky Wipes are brilliant even if you’re using disposable nappies! We’ve also now bought a second mini-kit set with coloured wipes that we use for cleaning Eli up after eating – we’ve saved a fortune not using disposable wipes.

Pros

  • they are much better than disposable wipes at cleaning up poo – one Cheeky Wipe can take the place of three (or more!) disposables
  • long-term they are much cheaper than disposables
  • they are easy to take out-and-about – I just pop the bag of clean wipes in with the clean nappies and off we go
  • they don’t have any chemicals in them that irritate Eli’s skin
  • they smell great (even though I’m not a massive fan of lavender usually) – I especially love the rose and geranium and use it for the hands and faces wipes
  • they work just as well on faces and hands as they do on bums
  • easy to wash with the nappies
  • the boxes are great and the latest versions are watertight which helps when an inquisitive baby is using them as a drum and moving them around the lounge
  • they are much nicer than the cheap cloth wipes I used to have – they are very unlikely to fray around the edges and the cotton terry is much higher quality

Cons

  • sometimes get a bit stained (but a bit of sun can bleach that out)
  • getting the dirty wipes from the mucky wipes box into the machine can be gross (if you just put the wipes in the nappy bucket that’s not a problem though)
  • can seem a bit expensive initially (but they will save you money if you use them) – definitely look out for sales though, none of our kits/wipes were full price

The vital statistics for our Cheeky Wipes:

How many do we have?

  • 50 white cotton terry wipes
  • 5 bamboo terry wipes (came free with our original kit)
  • 25 pink cotton terry wipes
  • 25 blue cotton terry wipes

How long do they last?

I’ve found that 25 wipes will often last me for 4 or more days and I haven’t had any issues with the wipes smelling stale at all.

How easy are the wipes to wash?

We wash our bum wipes with the nappies and the hands and face wipes with an ordinary coloured load of clothes.

How long do they take to dry?

Not long in the tumble drier or if air-dried – they don’t need to be dried after washing if you are going to put them straight into the clean wipes container.