Using gNappies – putting them together and putting them on

gNappies are great nappies – they’re incredibly slim fitting and look great on – but they do have a few idiosyncrasies that makes them not like any other cloth nappy that I’ve owned/seen. This is not a bad thing but does mean putting them together and putting them on is a bit different too – I thought a little run through might be useful for anyone considering using gNappies (or for anyone already using gNappies but struggling to get a good fit). gNappies come in three parts as shown above: the gPant, a cotton outer (not waterproof); the gPouch, a waterproof pouch to hold the absorbent layer; and the gCloth, the absorbent layer with a fleece top to keep baby comfy and hemp and cotton for absorbency. You can replace the gCloth with gRefills, which are a fully biodegradable, disposable option.

To put the nappy together the gPouch is first poppered into the gPant. This poppering makes it really easy to replace the pouch when you do a nappy change. It also makes the pouch more flexible within the nappy which helps the pouch keep a good seal (when it’s fitted properly!). The gCloth can then be laid in the pouch. The cloth is slightly larger than the pouch which causes the nappy to fold in half slightly – this is expected and makes sure the nappy fits without the cloth moving about and possibly escaping the pouch.

I tend to make up all our nappies at the same time – makes nappy changes a bit quicker. As we have twice as many pouch/cloth combos that gPants I also put the spares together so that I can change Eli into a clean gNappy and then snap in another pouch to the previous gPant. We’re all about saving ourselves a bit of time at the nappy changing station!

Right, so now the nappies have been put together, it’s time to put them onto a baby. The main points to remember when fitting a gNappy are:

  1. The ‘g’ logo is on the bum – yes this means that they do up around the back.
  2. The tabs must be done up straight and not too tight.
  3. The pouch edges must be within the crease of the baby’s leg – very important!
  4. Give the gPant a little tug at the back when you’ve finished the change.

Doing up the tabs

gNappy tabs do up at the back which must be great with a toddler – no tempting tabs to yank undone! It’s a bit strange to do a nappy up ‘backwards’ at first but you soon get used to it.

Doing the tabs up straight means no uncomfortable rubbing for the baby. Don’t be tempted to do the tabs as tight as possible – you’ll just end up with lots of leaks around the waistband as the seal will be broken at the top of the pouch.

Checking the pouch

To make sure that the pouch has a good seal around the legs you need to push it inwards so that it is right in the crease of your baby’s leg. This is definitely the most important part of getting a good fit on a gNappy – if the pouch edge is too far out you’ll struggle to avoid lots of leaks around the legs.

All done

Just give the gPant a little yank at the back (the back should be slightly higher than the front) and baby’s all set for 2-3 hours of gNappy wear.

Cloth nappy wishlist

I’m really happy with the cloth nappies that we’ve chosen for our current stash but there are so many other types of nappy out there though and I’d really like to try a few just to see what they are like, all in the interest of blog research of course…

So, each month I’m going to buy a nappy or wrap, use it for a bit and write about it here. Might need to buy a new nappy box first though since the existing two are already full to bursting…

My current fluffy wishlist is (links are to the manufacturer’s website or to retailers that I’ve used and been happy with in the past, links in bold are to the results of my nappy trials):

With one a month this could take a while to get through but I’m going to try as many as I can before Eli potty trains.

Our nappies – Tots Bots Easyfits

The first ever cloth nappy I bought was a Tots Bots, a blue Tots Bots Cotton Tot, a shaped nappy made from terry cotton. When Tilly was in cloth she was in Tots Bots Flexitots a two part system. Needless to say I love Tots Bots nappies and they’ve moved on massively since my first cotton tot – when I discovered the Easyfit whilst choosing nappies for Eli I promptly bought a few to try. I then bought quite a few more as they were great and when they brought out the version 3 we then bought even more!

Pros

  • can last for ages without leaking
  • lots of colours and prints to choose from (I love the limited edition London nappy best)
  • one-size and generally easy to find a good fit
  • not the slimmest fitting nappy we have but still not too bulky
  • easy to put on – if my Mum needs to change Eli’s nappy (not often) this is the type of nappy she will always choose
  • they’re designed and made in Britain (Scotland to be exact)

Cons

  • can leak around the waistband if trousers are too tight fitting

The vital statistics for our Easyfits:

How many do we have?

  • 13 Easyfit v2
  • 7 Easyfit v3

Which sizes do we have?

They are one-size nappies so will fit from newborn to toddler – there are two levels of poppers on the front to make the nappy smaller.

How long would we be able to use just this part of our stash?

About 3-4 days, I could (if I didn’t love some of my other nappies so much) only use these and still not have to do much washing.

How often do these nappies need to be changed?

These nappies can easily last 3+ hours – the version 3s especially are brilliant at not leaking even after 4 hours.

How easy are these nappies to wash?

We wash all our nappies together and don’t need to do anything special for these. I do take the tongue out of the version 3s because, unlike the version 2s, I find that they don’t tend to come out in the wash.

How long do they take to dry?

  • I tumble or air-dry the version 2s and they don’t take too long to dry via either method.
  • I air-dry the version 3s and they’ll generally be dry by the following day if I hang them inside and within a few hours if outside.

Our nappies – Itti Bitti, My Little Patch and Bum Deal wet bags

If you use cloth nappies then at some point you will need to change a nappy outside of the house and then you will need to figure out a way of returning said nappy home so that you can wash it. Some people simply use nappy bags or supermarket bags but I much prefer to use a purpose made wet bag. When I used cloth nappies with Tilly I had one wet bag – it was big, drawstring neck and not particularly pretty. Now I have 8 wet bags, which sounds excessive but I’ve needed each of them although they aren’t all in my regular rotation.

We have:

All of my bags work for the purpose for which they were designed but are different in a variety of ways. In order of least to most favourite for day to day use my wet bags are:-

Junior Joy Wet Bag

This is not the prettiest of the bags I own but it was reasonably priced and it does the job. I think it’s a little big for daily use but it can hold a day or mores worth of nappies if needed. I used it for overspill before I bought my second nappy bucket but it’s retired for the moment. I tend to prefer zippered bags now and this one has a drawstring which I think tends to lead to more smells if the nappies have to remain in it for a while.

Bum Deal Wet Bags

We have 4 of these wet bags – 1 in each of the sizes they make; small, medium, large and x-large. I bought a set because we wanted to take our nappies on holiday with us and needed a big wet bag that could hold a lot of nappies and would contain their smell as well. The XL Bum Deal wet bag was brilliant – I used it to store all the day nappies and its slightly smaller sibling the L bag to contain the night nappies. The zips did a great job of holding in smells and I could fit a lot of nappies in both. Having the option to buy the bags in a set – for much less than all four together – made these bags very economical too. I don’t use them regularly but that’s no reflection on the bags, it’s just that I prefer to use my double wet bags (My Little Patch) day to day. I would definitely take the Bum Deals if we headed off on holiday again.

Itti Bitti Wet Bag

This was the second wet bag I ever bought and I used it regularly until I bought my first double wet bag. It’s still in use as my back up bag for when I’m going to be out for a while and will need additional wet nappy storage. The Itti Bitti wet bags are a perfect size for nappy changes when you’re out and about as they hold about 4 nappies and fold down small when not in use. They aren’t the cheapest bags available (keep an eye out for sales) but they do look great as they’re available in the same colours and prints as the Itti Bitti nappies.

My Little Patch

I love my My Little Patch bags. The choice of sizes and fabrics is fantastic and the bags can be hung from a wrist or buggy. Both my bags are medium doubles. This means that they have two pockets and so I can put clean nappies and my bag of wipes in one side and dirty nappies on the other. I often just take the wet bag instead of a fully changing bag if I’m not out for long as it cuts down on all the stuff I end up carrying otherwise. These aren’t cheap bags but they are well made and there are regular sales and discounts offered (hence why I just had to buy one more), plus loads of different fabrics to choose from.

So, that’s our wet bags – an essential but not one that needs to be any less pretty than the fluff it carries.

Our nappies – Tots Bots Flexiwraps and Motherease Airflow wraps

As we use two part nappies for night times (this reduces the chances of a leak) we need to use a wrap along with the nappy itself. Our night nappies are Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretches and our night wraps are Tots Bots Flexiwraps and Motherease Airflow wraps. I’m happy to use either wrap but am currently preferring the airflows as they seem to provide a slightly better fit as Eli heads towards the top of the size range for both.

Since I can’t think of cons for either wrap (for night time use the only real criteria is that they don’t leak) a brief list of the pros for each:

Pros

  • Tots Bots Flexitots
    • very soft flexible fabric;
    • good choice of colours and patterns;
    • trim fitting – not so much a consideration for a night nappy but useful if they are needed for days.
  • Motherease Airflow
    • poppers on waist and legs to get the best fit;
    • choice of plain white or a handful of other prints (recently updated);
    • make his bum look massive which I find really cute.

The airflows are a bit bulky when used with a day nappy but it doesn’t matter for me at night.

The vital statistics for our wraps:

How many do we have?

Currently in use I have 5 – two flexiwraps and three airflows. When Eli outgrows these I have the same again plus a few more for him to use.

Which sizes do we have?

We have size 1 and 2 flexiwraps and medium and large airflows. Eli is currently using size 1 and medium (both go up to 20lb).

How long would we be able to use just this part of our stash?

I have enough for our night nappies in our current sizes but will have a few spare when he moves up.

How often do these wraps need to be changed?

They last for 12+ hours overnight and I don’t tend to get any wicking unless I leave the night nappy on too long in the morning.

How easy are these wraps to wash?

We wash all our nappies and wraps together and don’t need to do anything special for these. I just need to make sure that the aplix is done up on the flexiwraps.

How long do they take to dry?

Both types of wraps air dry very quickly either indoors or out.

Our nappies – Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch

When we first started using cloth nappies at night we used a combination of Tots Bots Cotton Tots and Easy Peasy Bumbles. This worked for a while and then the leaks started. Eli was wetting heavily at night and we were regularly getting big leaks that soaked his clothes, sleeping bag and our bed. I doubted that we would have much more luck with a disposable overnight as we moved to cloth at night because of leaks using disposables! I wanted a more absorbent nappy and I knew that bamboo tended to be better than terry so bought a bamboozle stretch as a trial. It worked brilliantly and so I bought 4 more and ditched the other night nappies (except for emergencies).

We don’t use the bamboozle stretch as a day nappy (although I think it would work really well as one I’ve got too many other nappies to need to use it that way!) and so this review is wholly based on its use as a night nappy.

Pros

  • bamboo is softer and less scratchy than terry cotton;
  • trim fitting, which is a bit more comfy for Eli at night I think;
  • one-size so will last until he’s dry at night;
  • available in natural (which is what we have) or a variety of other colours to match other Tots Bots nappies and wraps.

Cons

  • none that I can think of.

As with most night nappies these do need to be boosted to give extra absorbency – we use a Tots Bots bamboo booster as it’s quite slim and doesn’t add too much more bulk to the nappy. These are two part nappies and need a waterproof wrap over them – we use Tots Bots Flexiwraps and Motherease Airflow wraps.

The vital statistics for our Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretches:

How many do we have?

5

Velcro/Aplix or Poppers?

Aplix

Which sizes do we have?

They are one-size nappies so will fit from newborn to toddler – there are two levels of poppers on the front to make the nappy smaller.

How long would we be able to use just this part of our stash?

5 days assuming no need for an overnight nappy change (which is a very rare occurrence).

How often do these nappies need to be changed?

These last 12+ hours overnight.

How easy are these nappies to wash?

We wash all our nappies together and don’t need to do anything special for these. I do unpopper the inserts before washing.

How long do they take to dry?

They are bamboo so not the quickest at drying but dry in the tumble drier on my usual cycle or on the line after 4-5 hours.

Our nappies – Itti Bitti Tuttos

When I was looking at nappies online, before I bought any new nappies for Eli, I really liked the look of the Itti Bitti nappies. We then bought three at the Baby Show to try and well we haven’t bought any more.

I just don’t like these as much as my other nappies but I still use them regularly and they do look very cute!

Pros

  • look really cute and the minky outer is really soft;
  • lots of colours and prints to choose from;
  • trim fitting;
  • one-size and lots of poppers to get a good fit;
  • the ‘poo fence’ really works.

Cons

  • I find the trim fit around the legs means lots of wicking.

The vital statistics for our Bitti Tuttos:

How many do we have?

Three.

Which sizes do we have?

They are one-size nappies so will fit from newborn to toddler – there are three levels of poppers on the front to make the nappy smaller.

How long would we be able to use just this part of our stash?

Not long – less than a day but in theory if we had extra soaker sets we could make them last longer.

How often do these nappies need to be changed?

To avoid wicking it is best to change these every 2-3 hours.

How easy are these nappies to wash?

We wash all our nappies together and don’t need to do anything special for these. I unpopper the inserts and wash them with the covers.

How long do they take to dry?

  • the covers can be tumbled but I air dry them and they’re ready by the next day;
  • the soakers dry in the tumble dryer (the small soaker is always the last thing to be dry) or will be dry within 4-5 hours on the line outside.

Our nappies – gNappies

I must admit – I’ve been intending to write this review for a while but have found myself putting it off instead of just getting in there and writing it. I think this is mainly because I love gNappies but haven’t always wanted to use them. I know that sounds strange but there were a few reasons:

Pros

  • very neat fit - definitely the slimmest fitting nappy we have;
  • can wear tighter trousers that are a no go with other nappies as the way they fit means they never leak at the waistband (unless the tabs are done up too tight);
  • look great – lots of colours and cute prints to choose from (especially for girls – they do some very cute dress and nappy combos);
  • easy to put together – consist of a gPant (cotton outer that can be reused if not dirty), a snap-in gPouch (waterproof and breathable) and a gCloth (the absorbent bit that fits in the gPouch);
  • leaks don’t tend to cause much bother – I tend to find the gPant gets wet/dirty but not the clothes Eli is wearing.

Cons

  • tricky to fit well – there really is a knack to fitting these nappies, if you don’t get it right they will leak;
  • need changing more regularly than some other cloth nappies – 2-3 hours is about as long as we can go without leaks;
  • not as reliable in the sling as other nappies – due to compression breaking the seal of the gPouch I think.

A few months ago I was getting very frustrated with my gNappies, I struggled to get more than one wear out of a gPant due to leaks and I just couldn’t work out where I was going wrong with the fit. Well I think I’ve got it sussed now, you really, really, really have to make sure that the pouch is right in the crease of the leg. The fitting info from gNappies does tell you all of this but I don’t think I realised until recently just how deep into the crease the pouch had to go and getting it in the right place turns these nappies from duds to in regular use (so much so that we had a total gNappy day today). There are helpful videos on YouTube (search for gDiapers the brand’s US name).

Since I want to do a review for each type of nappy we use, the vital stats for gNappies:

How many do we have?

  • 6 gPants (Game Day – navy and red stripes – is my personal favourite)
  • 12 gPouches
  • 12 gCloth

Which sizes do we have?

We have medium gPants and I’m pretty sure that’s all we’ll need until Eli potty trains as they are good up to 28lb. We only started using cloth when he was 13lb so never needed a smaller size.

How long would we be able to use just this part of our stash?

2 and a bit days (we would have to use a different nappy at night, these are not night nappies).

How often do these nappies need to be changed?

To avoid leaks it is best to change these every 2-3 hours.

How easy are these nappies to wash?

We wash all our nappies together and don’t need to do anything special for these. As we wash at 40°C I don’t bother to separate off the gPants to wash with clothes (as is the gNappy recommendation). All I need to do is make sure the pouches are unpoppered from the pants and that the velcro tabs are turned back.

How long do they take to dry?

  • the gPants dry quickly in the tumble dryer or hung on an inside drying rack at times when everything else is hung outside (they shouldn’t be put in the sun to dry as it will affect the dyes);
  • the gPouches air dry overnight;
  • the gCloth dry easily in the tumble dryer or will be dry within 4-5 hours on the line outside.

Where we’re at

Right, clearly I am rubbish at posting regularly but let’s see if I can keep motivated this time. This will be a bit of a mishmash post but I’ve got to start somewhere.

Eli will be 10 months old in 2 days – currently he is asleep in bed upstairs by himself. This is a recent development as until a few weeks ago he would sleep on me each evening until I headed to bed. Now that he goes to bed alone (give or take two or 10 trips upstairs to settle him again) I have a bit more of an evening. Whilst baby cuddles are lovely, finally sorting out the lounge (2 bags of paper recycling!) and getting my BFN coursework done is a relief. Sadly nights have been somewhat awful recently – he’s heading into another developmental spurt (love the Wonder Weeks for warning me) or maybe more teeth are on their way. He finally got his first two teeth last month so teething has started in earnest. He is also now an accomplished crawler and is working hard at his standing and cruising. He is much more cautious than the other two ever were so is likely to be a bit later at walking, it does seem strange that Lex and Tilly were both walking at the age he is now but they were both much less bothered about falling over!

We are still using cloth nappies full time – we even took them to Center Parcs at Easter – and am enjoying having decent weather to dry them outside. My favourites are definitely my Tots Bots Easyfits during the day and Tots Bots bamboozle stretchies at night (with a Motherease airflow wrap). Our cotton night nappies just weren’t up to the job – Eli seems to be a fairly heavy wetter and wet sleeping bag and bed was tiresome. The bamboozles have been great though.

This week Tilly starts her settling in sessions at school. She gets two afternoon story sessions and then two full mornings. She is very ready for school! Currently she would like to know how to read and so we are teaching her (in a very low key way) and she is starting to recognise a few letters and blending simple CVC words like C-A-T. Her best friend from nursery will be joining her at school and they seem to be at a similar level which hopefully means they’ll be put in the same groups.

Lex is only a few weeks away from finishing Year 1. He will be in a mixed Year 1/2 class again next year but as of yet we don’t know who his classmates will be nor who his teacher is. He continues to be a very able reader – currently he is reading Harry Potter (Mumsnet cliche but nevermind), the Enchanted Wood (Enid Blyton) and the Witches (Roald Dahl). We are working on his handwriting as this is a bit hit or miss – I’ve decided that the school is basically good but there are a couple of places they are a bit patchy on so Lex gets some homeschool.

So, that’s a start – will once again try and do better at regular updates, however, am likely to fail sadly.

Nappy stash

Our current daytime stash:

  • 6 patterned Tots Bots easyfits
  • 7 rainbow Tots Bots easyfits
  • 3 Itti Bitti tuttos
  • 6 gNappies (12 gCloth and gPouches)

Not pictured (but included in the count above):

  • 1 game day (red and navy striped) gPant
  • 1 green gPant

Night nappy stash:

  • 3 bumbles
  • 6 rainbow Tots Bots cotton tots
  • 2 Tots Bots flexiwraps
  • 4 Motherease airflow wraps

Not pictured:

  • yellow cotton tot
  • pink cotton tot
  • orange flexiwrap

We currently have enough nappies to mean I only have to wash every third or fourth day. We may have enough (but they are so lovely and I might be ever so slightly addicted).