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…

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.

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.

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.

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).