I have often blogged about my desire to have my boys in cloth nappies but that I had too many excuses. They are too much hassle, they are expensive, they are bulky etc etc. If you can think of an excuse chances are I had used it in convincing myself staying with disposable was the way forward. Spike has always suffered terribly from nappy rash and we had tried everything. During colds or bouts of teething his poo is toxic and it was making his bottom red raw. At times it was bleeding when I tried to change him and no matter what cream we used it would only mask the problem for a day or two. My friend suggested trying him in cloth nappies because although it’s not proven they appear to help prevent nappy rash. Be it more frequent changes or the lack of chemicals in them, something helps a lot of babies bottoms stay clean and fresh.
In April it was “Real Nappy Week” and there was A LOT of information floating around Facebook about all the different types of nappies and methods people used for using them, cleaning them and generally commenting on how easy they actually are. We have often gotten to the stage where we have no wipes or nappies left and had to run out to find an emergency supply often costing us a small fortune in a small shop. I decided during one particularly bad spell of nappy rash that we would give it a go. I was most looking forward to never having to worry about running out of nappies and wipes again!
There were a lot of special offers on during Real Nappy Week so I took advantage of the 25% saving on Cheeky Wipes and started searching for things to add to my stash. I had seen Cheeky Wipes at the Baby Show last year and loved the concept so was extremely excited to actually order some. Just when I started to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of reusable nappies available my friend pointed me in the direction of the Devon Real Nappy Project. For FREE Devon County Council would lend me a kit of reusable nappies, wipes and liners to let me try all the different types and see what suited mine and Spike’s needs. This scheme is available to everyone within the Council and isn’t a perk of Blogging. They would let us borrow it for a month and then give us a 20% discount at certain retailers to start our own nappy stash. Itti Bitti and Baba and Boo also came to our rescue and sent us a couple of nappies to try out. The Itti Bitti Ones & Twos and the Baba & Boo nappies are birth to potty nappies that adjust to fit a baby from 7-39lb.
The Itti Bitti Ones & Twos is an all in one nappy which means the insert is attached to the nappy outer. You can add the soaker pad (each nappy comes with one soaker) for extra absorbency or heavy wetters. They have an aplix (Velcro) fastening with poppers to adjust it to the correct size. They come in 7 very bright colours and are priced at £12.95 each which is on the budget end of reusables. This yellow Itti Bitti Ones & Twos is the first reusable nappy that we popped on Spike and being a big lad it is a slim fit compared to others that we tried at a later date. I prefer aplix to popper fastening as I find it much easier to put nappies on him without fiddling with the poppers and the attached insert made it my grab and go nappy. There is no messing around trying to stuff the insert in so I always grab this off the pile if I haven’t stuffed my nappies and I’m in a rush.
The Baba and Boo is a pocket nappy which means that the insert is a separate piece and slides into the pocket at the back. It has a popper fastening which is much fiddlier than aplix but can sometimes get a nicer fit. They are available in lots of colours, prints and patterns at the bargain price of £9.25. I was a very nice fit on Spike with room to grow a bit. Like all reusables you can boost them with extra inserts and each nappy comes with two. The insert had poppers on which as a total nappy noob I had to tweet them about. It gives the opportunity to fold the insert down for newborns or to add absorbency in key areas. For example Spike is a boy so would wee at the front of his nappy, the folded insert would boost the right area making it last a bit longer.
From the whole selection I decided that birth to potty were the easiest option for me especially as it meant I could save them for Baby 3 (if and when that ever happens!) or resell them with a great market once Spike is potty trained. I started building up my stash over the month that I had the Nappy Kit for so that I would be ready when it had to go back. The prints and colours available across most nappy ranges are fab and Spike is rocking a very cool bottom. Half the time I don’t want to put trousers on him! My favourites have to be the Tots Bots Easyfit V3. I have a few of them but have bulked out my stash with the likes of Baba and Boo and Itti Bitti. Spike can do everything that he could in a disposable and despite the added bulk it doesn’t limit any of his movements or make his clothes too small.
Washing is dead easy. I store the soiled nappies in a lidded bucket which i put a washing net into. I simply lift up the washing net and bung it in the machine. It’s so easy and all of the nappies that I have wash really nicely, we have no stains and they mostly look as good as new after each wash. One criticism people have of reusables is that you use the washing machine more often putting energy prices up. I would much rather spend a couple of quid a month washing the nappies and save about £700 over the year by not buying wipes and nappies every month!