Ever since I was pregnant with Spud I have wanted to use reusable nappies but never had the money to cover the initial outlay and I was totally baffled by all the different types. One that always appealed to me was “pocket” style nappies. They go from birth to potty (7-35lb) with the ingenious use of popping fasteners sizing the nappy according to the size of your baby. The strong fasteners are also guaranteed for a whole two years so pretty much the expected life of the nappy.
When Smartipants offered us a reusable nappy to try out on Spike I was thrilled. Smartipants are designed by the original inventor of the pocket nappy and state that they are the true evolution of the modern cloth nappy. Being totally clueless I waited until we visited my parents to even think about trying out the nappy on Spike because I was a cloth bum so my mum knows how they are supposed to fit. I needn’t of worried as when I took it out of the packaging I found it to be unbelievably simple.
The instructions are covered in the word Easy. They are EASY to use and reuse and EASY to wash. I originally had visions of pails covering the kitchen and then when I discovered that you disposable liners aren’t essential I had visions of scraping Spike’s business off of them before popping it in the wash. But in reality it was as easy as using a disposable. You simply pop the super absorbent microfiber liner into the suede sleeve on the nappy outer and put the nappy on the baby. The sleeve has a unique leak guard technology which keeps moisture inside the insert and away from the sides of the nappy.
We put the lovely”Fire Engine Red” nappy on Spike and found it very easy to find the right fit with the use of the fasteners. The sides were just like putting a disposable on and clicking the fasteners together was very easy and I didn’t have to push too hard to click them together. You can then pull the excess of the nappy from the crotch area up and fasten it on the desired level. The strong fasteners are also guaranteed for a whole two years so pretty much the expected life of the nappy. We stood Spike up and had a look at the fit and couldn’t see any gaps and it fitted him nicely without being too tight around his fat thighs. We left him on the floor to explore and his movement wasn’t limited at all and he didn’t make us aware that he felt anything was different.
We left him in the nappy for roughly 3 hours and I expected his bottom and be soaking wet when I removed the nappy but the leak guard technology on the insert sleeve kept all of the mositure away from his skin in the same way that a disposable does. I was very shocked but also very very pleased. One difference to other nappies is that there is nothing to remove for washing. You simply through the whole thing into a nappy bucket with no need to soak and then put it in the washing machine on a 40° wash with 1/3 of the normal amount of washing powder. (no fabric softener) The liner removes itself in the washing machine so they are easy to use, easy to wash and hygienic to! They are line dry (out of direct sunlight) or you can dry them in a tumble dryer on a low heat. They are very quick drying and we found that the outer was dry within about 30 minutes of being out of the machine.
One worry that I did have before trying it on him was the bulkiness. Smartipants are the slimmest reusable that you can buy and when I put his shorts on there was no difference at all between the size of his bottom in a disposable and the size of his bottom in the Smartipants nappy.
Overall I was very impressed, I wanted to hate it because I wanted the think that disposables were the way to go even though I was starting to worry about the Landfill. They come in lots of different colours – girl/boy specific and a large range of unisex. Smartipants are the cheapest pocket style nappy that you can buy with prices from £11.95 per nappy but I pay that much for a box of disposables that will last me less than a month, a Smartipants nappy will last me for the whole time that Spike is in nappies. Although the initial outlay does sound expensive (£275 for 24 nappies, which is the amount an average parents needs) when you work it out against how much you will spend on disposables it does work out considering cheaper and you get the added benefit of helping the environment.