Top tips for living a more sustainable life

An electric car for more sustainable transport

**This is a collaborative post

I wouldn’t say we are the most eco-friendly family ever but we try to do our bit to help the environment and life a more sustainable life whenever we can. I thought I would share a few of the things we do to try and minimise our impact on the environment, and some of the things we would like to do some time in the near future – like get an electric car! Read more

Review: Tots Bots Joules EasyFit Star

When Tots Bots launched their redesigned all in one nappy back in March we were lucky enough to try out the new EasyFit Star. We loved the nappy then and it is still working brilliantly for us – especially on Toby. It still copes admirably with his massive toddler wees and we haven’t had any leaks, even after four or five hours of wear.

Tots Bots EasyFit Star in collaboration with Joules

When the EasyFit Star was launched it was available in block colours and three prints (Twinkle, Tweet and Treasure). Shortly after the new Rhyme Time prints were added to the range.

And this week Tots Bots are bringing you a fantastic new collaboration with top British brand Joules! There are two new prints available and we were sent the ‘Farmer Joules‘ to try. I’m really looking forward to seeing the other print ‘Annabella Floral‘ too – I reckon my boys could rock a bit of flower print too!

Two squishy bums in Tots Bots Joules EasyFit

The new Joules prints don’t change the amazing performance of the EasyFit Star – seriously I cannot tell you how much I rate this nappy (and I promise I’m not being paid to say that!) –  but they do add to the cuteness factor.

EasyFit Star from birth to potty

The Farmer Joules print features tractors, hay trailers, cows, ducks, sheep and chickens – Toby loved pointing out all the things you would see on the farm. The velcro, poppers and stitching are red and really complement the design.

Joules EasyFit Star

Toby and Gabe both seemed very comfortable in their EasyFit Stars – I think they look super cute with their matching bums!

Ten months and three years old in Tots Bots EasyFit Star with Joules

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

We're going on an adventure

Review: toTs by SmarTrike Voyage changing bag

Before Toby was born I bought the changing bag that matched our travel system. It was fab and has seen great service over the last three years, but with two kids in cloth nappies and all the other paraphernalia that they need it was becoming a bit of a squash trying to fit everything in. I’d been browsing changing bags for ages but couldn’t find one that ticked all the boxes. I was then asked if I would like to try one of the new changing bags from the toTs range by smarTrike and the Voyage changing bag looked like it would be perfect for everything we needed.

toTs by smarTrike Voyage Changing Bag

For a start, this bag is massive! I mean seriously huge. I can easily fit cloth nappies and wipes for both boys, a spare outfit each, snacks, drinks, plus all the other random bits and pieces that seem to live in my changing bag; suncream, calpol, tissues, odd gloves (yep, still in there in the middle of summer).

Voyage changing bag packed for two kids

There are plenty of pockets inside the bag to give it a bit of organisation and I used the pocket on the front for my phone and purse. All the toTs changing bags come with a separate insulated bottle holder which has been great for keeping Gabe’s bottle warm when we go out.

Insulated bottle holder

I really like that both the side pockets are also insulated and big enough for Toby’s water bottle when we’re out and about.

Insulated side pockets

The Voyage also comes with an extra inner bag which can be removed or clipped in to the main bag. I think if you were using disposable nappies it would be perfect for popping a few nappies and wipes in so you only needed to take the smaller bag when doing a change. For us it’s not quite big enough to work with cloth nappies but happily it is absolutely the perfect size for my laptop so I’ve been using it for that instead!

It doesn’t stop there though – this bag is packed with fantastic features. I love how it can be carried over your shoulder but also has rucksack straps which can be hidden in the back of the bag when you aren’t using them. When I’m trying to hold Gabe in one arm, and Toby’s hand with the other, the rucksack straps have been brilliant. And it’s great for babywearing too…

Voyage changing bag for babywearing

The bag also comes with buggy straps to hang it from your buggy handle, although I seemed to have packed ours somewhere when I was tidying the house for estate agent pictures and now I can’t find them – luckily our pushchair has a huge basket so the bag will fit in there! There are little things too; a key clip in the front pocket for example. I’ve never bothered using these before but it’s actually brilliant and saves me rooting around in the bottom of the bag for my car keys every time we’re out.

Front pocket for purse and keys

There is also the fact that the bag is made from water repellent fabric – great for when you get caught in a shower but also means it’s wipe clean too.

And lastly I love the fact that this bag doesn’t really look like a changing bag. I even used it as an overnight bag when I went to Blog On last month and it had plenty of space for everything I needed for two nights away. I can see me getting plenty of use out of the toTs Voyage bag even when I don’t need a changing bag anymore.

The only thing that lets this bag down for me is the changing mat that was included – it was just a very small plastic mat. Looking at the pictures on the Smyths Toys website though it does look this has been updated since I got my bag and is now backed with the same fabric as the bag.

Voyage changing bag from toTs by smarTrike

If you don’t need a changing bag quite as big as this one then there are two others in the toTs range too which all have the same great features. There is also bedding, muslins and gorgeous comforters in the range too. Gabe loves his and it’s so soft!

toTs comforter

The toTs by smarTrike Voyage changing bag in Dark Grey Mélange has an RRP of £74.99
**Disclosure: I was sent the featured product in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

**This post contains affiliate links

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Review: Tots Bots Happy Mat

You might have seen that we recently got chance to try out the new Tots Bots EasyFit Star, well for Real Nappy Week (which is this week if you didn’t know) Tots Bots have another new release – the Tots Bots Happy Mat.

Tots Bots Happy Mat all designs

This changing mat is made from waterproof PUL on one side and super soft absorbent minky on the other. The mat is called the Happy Mat because it takes the tears out of changing time – no more lying on cold, sticky PVC! It also has ties so it can be easily rolled and stored or popped in your changing bag.

Tots Bots Happy Mat

We were sent a Happy Mat in the new Red Riding Hood print which is backed with brown minky. The mat is also available in the other newly released Rhyme Time prints and has an RRP of £14.99. The mat is a great size – Gabe can lie on it completely and it’s still big enough to change Toby too.

Gabe on the Tots Bots Happy Mat

We have only really been using the Happy Mat at home. We have a standard changing mat upstairs but for the moment most of our nappy changes happen on the living room floor, because otherwise I would be constantly up and down the stairs! It’s great to have a changing mat that can just be rolled or folded and popped out of the way when we’re not using it. Before we got our new Tots Bots mat we were just using a thin plastic mat, which I think came in the Bounty pack when Toby was born so we were definitely due a replacement!

Tots Bots Happy Mat Red Riding Hood

Although I think the mat is designed to be used with the minky side up so it absorbs any wee incidents we’ve actually been using it with the PUL side on top. Neither of my boys tends to wee when they have their nappy off any more (Toby was terrible for it when he was a baby and on one memorable occasion managed to wee in his own eye!) and so it’s more useful to be able to wipe off anything untoward which if it got onto the minky side would probably necessitate a full wash. On that note though, the Happy Mat is machine washable and it’s super easy for me because I can just chuck it in with our nappy wash.

Toby on the Tots Bots Happy Mat

I love our new changing mat and I’m sure the boys appreciate having somewhere nice and soft and warm to lie when they have having their nappies changed!


**Disclosure: I was sent the featured product in return for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Review: Tots Bots EasyFit Star

Tots Bots are probably one of the most well known brands in the cloth nappy world. They are based in Glasgow and all their nappies are made in their factory there too. Today Tots Bots are launching their newest nappy; the EasyFit Star, and we were lucky enough to be sent some to try on Toby and Gabe before the launch.

EasyFit Star logo

We’ve been big fans of Tots Bots ever since Toby started wearing cloth nappies at seven weeks old. Both boys have always worn Tots Bots Bamboozles overnight and we really liked PeeNut when we tested them before their launch last year.

Tots Bots have had an all-in-one birth-to-potty nappy called the EasyFit for a long time. It has had several incarnations from the V1 through to the V4. We have had a couple of EasyFits – a V3 in one of their Frugi prints which was very cute but we found the minky fabric wasn’t very absorbent causing leaks after a few hours. We also had a V4 and I loved the dinosaur print. The V4 is made of ‘binky’ a mixture of minky and bamboo – it is more absorbent than the V3 but very bulky especially with the additional booster and was still prone to leaks around the legs.

When Tots Bots got in touch to say they were bringing out a new EasyFit I was super-keen to give it a thorough testing! And here it is….the new EasyFit Star!

Tots Bots EasyFit Star

For those of you familiar with previous versions of the EasyFit there have been quite a few changes this time, not just the material of the absorbent core.

So what has changed then? Here are some of the new features according to Tots Bots:

    • ‘No Escape’ Bamboo Buffer Zone – great performance, fewer changes
    • Clever stitch-free seams for maximum performance and no leaks

Bamboo buffer zone and stitch free seams

    • Slim-fitting

Slim fitting on a toddler

    • Ultra-soft bamboo core – the same fabric used in the Bamboozle Stretch

Same basic EasyFit design but with a bamboo core

  • Waterproof tummy zone – keeps wetness in the core of the nappy

The design of the EasyFit Star is essentially the same as previous EasyFits though – the nappy is all in one piece, you simply tuck the tail of the core into the pocket of the nappy. It also uses the same hook and loop fastening as all Tots Bots nappies and is a one size fits most nappy (from around 8-35lb).

EasyFit Star - Birth to potty nappy

Having used EasyFits before I was really hoping that Tots Bots had managed to fix some of the leaking and absorbency issues of previous versions. And do you know what? They have!

I am so impressed with these nappies. Tots Bots have obviously realised that the fabric they already use in their Bamboozles and the PeeNut pads is fantastic for absorbency so using it in the EasyFit Star makes total sense. The new design around the legs seems to really work to stop leaks too.

EasyFit Star on a 33lb toddler

We have been using the EasyFit Star on both Toby and Gabe for a few weeks now. Toby is now around 33lb so towards the upper end of the weight range but he’s super skinny so they still fit him well. At two and a half Toby is capable of doing some massive toddler wees and a nappy can go from being dry one minute to totally saturated, and often leaking, the next but we had no trouble with the EasyFit Star. One day I left it on him for about four and a half hours as a bit of an experiment. When I took it off the nappy was incredibly full but with a fleece liner Toby’s bottom was dry and we didn’t have any leaks! I told you I was impressed.

The super absorbent bamboo core does mean a slightly longer drying time than you might get from say a microfibre all-in-one – the EasyFit Star dried in about 18 hours on an airer in the kitchen. It takes longer to dry in the tumble drier than our microfibre nappies too, but not as long as the fully bamboo Bamboozle. I would be happy to sacrifice a fast drying time though, in return for the brilliant results we have had from this new EasyFit.

Gabe is happy in his EasyFit Star

The EasyFit Star has performed just as well on Gabe as it did on his brother. He currently weighs nearly 18lb but is also quite long and skinny. I tend to change Gabe more often than Toby anyway because he tends to poo more but again on one occasion I left the EasyFit Star on for over four hours and although the nappy was saturated Gabe had a dry bottom and there were no leaks. I don’t know if this is perhaps a bit too much information but both my boys do pretty solid poos most of the time so I can’t really comment on how the EasyFit Star would cope with a poo-splosion!

Slim fitting on a seven month old

The only downside I have found with this new offering from Tots Bots is something that I actually find affects all their nappies to some extent; the Velcro fastenings are quite wide and sit close to the top of the nappy. It is great Velcro and even after lots of washing (over two years worth on some of our Tots Bots) it holds its shape and stays sticky. However, I’ve found there is a window of a couple of months when babies are in that stage where they can sit unsupported but tend to lean forward quite a lot, where the Velcro can dig in or rub their tummies, as you can see in this picture of Gabe.

Tots Bots velcro issue on a just sitting baby

This isn’t a massive problem – it doesn’t affect little babies who are still lying down all the time, and it goes away once they can sit a bit better and have stronger core muscles so they can sit up straighter, but unfortunately Gabe is right at the stage where it’s a bit of a issue. Having said that, you can minimise the problem in the way you fit the nappy – pulling it higher at the front seems to help. And it totally wouldn’t put me off buying the EasyFit Star.

Overall I think this new Tots Bots nappy is fantastic. After four previous versions I think they have finally nailed it with the EasyFit Star – a super-absorbent, leak-free all-in-one nappy!

Tots Bots

The Tots Bots EasyFit Star is available now from Tots Bots direct and from their usual stockists.

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

**This post contains affiliate links

Review: Tots Bots PeeNut

Regular readers among you will know I am a massive fan of cloth nappies. Toby has been wearing cloth since he was about seven weeks old and Gabe was just three days old when he wore his first reusable nappy! We have a few brands of nappies that we use regularly – after a bit of trial and error in the early days we found what worked for us and have pretty much stuck to it ever since. Tots Bots Bamboozles have been our go to night nappies since we started with cloth so when we were given the opportunity to try a brand new nappy system from Tots Bots (and before it was even available to the public!) I was eager to give it a try.

PeeNut packaging

So what exactly have we been trying out? The new PeeNut from Tots Bots is a birth-to-potty, day-to-night nappy system. It is made up of a waterproof cover with pop-in inserts. The wraps and inserts will be available to buy separately or as a set (I will include some pricing info at the end of this post).  The wraps come in two sizes; size 1 fits from 6-18lb and size 2 from 9-35lb. Both sizes have Velcro fastening and poppers on the front which allow you to adjust the rise to fit smaller babies.

PeeNut size 1 and 2

The day-to-night inserts are a set of two bamboo boosters with poppers at one end. One insert is bigger than the other and this clever system allows you to use either of the inserts on their own or popper them together and use both, depending on the age of your baby and how heavy a wetter they are. The wraps have flaps at each end to keep the inserts in place and a wipe clean inside, so if the nappy is only wet you can change the inserts and reuse the cover – meaning less washing to be done!

PeeNut inserts

With two boys in cloth nappies we were sent two size 1 covers, four size 2 covers and eight day-to-night insert sets to try, along with a pack of fleece liners and a roll of disposable liners. Although the size 1 cover is suitable from 6lb it is still too big for my very skinny-legged boy so we haven’t been able to try the PeeNut out with Gabe just yet.

PeeNut on the bum

We have been using the PeeNut nappy system with Toby for a couple of weeks now though and so far I’m very impressed. Toby weighs 30lb at the moment so is towards the top end of the range for the size 2 covers but they are a great fit and probably will be for a good while yet. For daytime we have been using both inserts together and they have easily lasted three or four hours with no leaks. The real test for us though was night time. Toby usually sleeps for about 13 hours so his nappy really needs to be able to cope with that. As I mentioned before our usual night time nappy is a Tots Bots Bamboozle using the included bamboo booster and a hemp booster, covered with a Tots Bots Stretchy Wrap or a Blueberry Coverall. By morning the nappy and boosters are usually soaked and we quite often have small leaks from around the legs. I was slightly skeptical then that the PeeNut would be able to cope overnight with Toby’s toddler wees. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I used both inserts, with the top one folded in half towards the front and our usual hemp booster underneath and we haven’t had any leaks at all! All the inserts have been soaked by morning but we haven’t even had a slight damp patch. Toby seems very comfortable too – the PeeNut is very slim fitting, even with an extra booster, so I would imagine it is more comfortable for Toby to sleep with than his normal bulky night time nappy.

Showing off PeeNut

Although the PeeNut system is designed so you can just change the inserts and reuse the cover, I have to admit I have changed the whole nappy every time. However, this is just personal preference and because we have plenty of nappies so I don’t really need to reuse the cover. If you are planning on doing so though I would recommend you have a new cover with the inserts already popped in ready to go and then give your used cover a wipe and leave it to air a bit before using it at the next nappy change. The PeeNut wraps and inserts have washed well with the rest of our nappies – the inserts can be tumble dried on low (and I have to admit most of our nappies have been going in the drier lately, a combination of Scottish summer weather and a newborn means there hasn’t been much chance to get them on the line!). I did dry some inserts on the airer inside to see how long they would take and they were dry in under 24 hours which is what I would expect from bamboo – it’s super absorbent but that does mean it takes a while to dry.

PeeNut bum

Overall I have been really impressed with the Tots Bots PeeNut nappy system. Most importantly we have been able to use it both day and night without any leaks, but it is also a great slim fit. Because you don’t need as many covers as you do inserts the PeeNut is also a really cost effective way of using cloth nappies.

The PeeNut nappy system has an RRP of £15.99 (plain) or £17.99 (print) for a wrap and day-to-night insert set. Wraps are available separately with and RRP of £10.99 (plain) or £12.99 (print). Extra inserts are £6.99. There is also a mini pack which includes 2 wraps and 4 sets of inserts (RRP £42.99) and a complete birth-to-potty kit which includes 8 wraps, 16 insert sets, a laundry bucket and mesh liner, a wet bag, Tots Bots Potion detergent and a roll of disposable liners (RRP £195.99)

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Top 10 Tips // Taking an overseas camping holiday with a baby

In less than a weeks time we should be setting off on the long drive from Scotland to our first family camping holiday in France. Well, we will be if Toby’s passport turns up in time but I’ll get to that in a minute! I say camping, but only in that we’ll be staying on a camp site. We’re staying in a mobile home so it’s not really camping in the strictest sense. It is a kind of camping that I am very familiar with though. From 1998 until 2003 I spent every summer (and then some – our season was March to October) working in France for several different camping companies. Most of those years I was working for Canvas Holidays, I spent a few years as a campsite courier then made my way through the ranks as Site Supervisor and then Area Manager before eventually moving to Scotland to work in head office recruiting and training new staff to work overseas.

Anyway, suffice to say I know what to expect from this kind of holiday. We’re actually going back to the same campsite that I worked on my first season, which I can’t believe was actually 16 years ago (gulp!). I’m really looking forward to going back but I have a feeling that going back with my husband and baby isn’t going to be quite the same as when I spent 10 weeks there as a carefree 20 year old, spending my days cleaning tents and mobile homes, and my nights getting drunk on Desperados!

Top 10 camping tips

So with less than a week to go I thought I’d share a few of my top tips for planning an overseas camping holiday with a baby.

  1. Apply for your baby’s passport in plenty of time. I would say at least two months before you’re due leave unless you want to spend the last week before you go massively stressed about whether it’s going to turn up in time! As I mentioned at the top of this post we are still waiting for Toby’s passport. It is supposed to take three weeks and has currently been nearly four weeks since I sent the application. I am so annoyed with myself that I didn’t apply for it earlier, I am usually so organised about these things but somehow time just crept up on me. I had to send my passport off to be changed to my married name before I could apply for Toby’s but then after two weeks realised there wasn’t enough time to wait for mine to come back before applying for his…so had to apply for Toby’s anyway but because I didn’t have my passport I had to send my birth certificate, which was in Blackpool at my parents’ house…and blah blah blah. Basically, what I’m trying to say is apply for those passports early!!
  2. Make sure you have travel insurance, and an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) if you are going to Europe. We get travel insurance through our bank account but I had to add Toby on to it and I had to apply for an EHIC for him too which you can do online.
  3. Pre-book as much as you can so you don’t have to pack as much. We have booked a cot and highchair so we don’t have to take our own. We have also booked linen hire so we don’t have to take bedding with us either. we will be taking Toby’s sleeping bag and cot sheet so things are as familiar as possible for him. You can book a buggy with Canvas (and most other camping companies) but seeing as we have quite a small stroller, which will be useful on the journey, we’re taking our own.
  4. Plan to do washing while you’re away. With the best will in the world I cannot pack enough clothes for me, Barry and Toby to last the two weeks we will be away. I know there are washing machines on the campsite and I plan on using them! I’ll try and pack one week’s worth of clothes and then to one or two loads of washing while we’re away. I might even do washing a day or two before we come home – it’s not that much effort and it’s so much nicer to come home and unpack clean clothes than have to wash everything when you get back. (Of course for us there will be a bit more washing as I’m planning on taking our cloth nappies, but it won’t be any more than when we’re at home).
  5. Try and plan your journey to make it as stress-free as possible. For us this means having two overnight stops in the UK before we even get on the ferry. We have got a long way to go and Toby isn’t that keen on being in the car for a long time at the moment so we are breaking our journey down into manageable chunks. We always try and drive so at least part of our journey is during nap time. We also have to plan for plenty of stops. Toby isn’t really old enough that we can entertain him with games or DVDs in the car so if he gets really grumpy the only thing we can do is stop and get him out for a bit. If you are going to France then you could try an overnight ferry but I decided we’d be better to stay in a hotel in Portsmouth the night before getting a morning crossing to France. Hopefully that means we will all get at least some sleep!
  6. If you have overnight stops then pack a small separate bag with your essentials so you don’t have to unpack the whole car to get to your tooth brush and pyjamas!
  7. Make sure you have everything you need for driving in Europe. You will need to let your car insurance company know and check you have appropriate cover. European breakdown cover is also pretty essential. Check the regulations for anything else you need for the country you are going to – in France we need headlight deflectors, a warning triangle, hi-vis vests (one for every passenger and they have to be in the car with you, not in the boot) and breathalyser kits. If you are planning on using satnav to find your way then it sounds obvious, but make sure yours covers Europe!
  8. You might want to take baby food/formula/nappies with you. There are of course supermarkets overseas but they might not stock your favourite brands so it’s worth taking them with you. We’ll be taking formula and some fruit pouches and snacks for Toby. Other than that I’m fairly confident he’ll be able to eat the same as us, just like he does at home.
  9. Take some food and drink basics – if you like tea then definitely take tea bags as they are one thing you really can’t find in France (not decent ones anyway!). Also remember, you might arrive late on the campsite so it’s worth having some supplies for the first night and following morning with you.
  10. If you can, take baby sitters with you! My parents are coming on holiday with us. They are staying in a separate mobile home and we aren’t travelling together, but hopefully having them there will mean Barry and I will get to have a little bit of time to ourselves and feel like we’ve had a holiday too. Of course it will also be lovely for Toby to spend some extended time with his Grandparents – with them living so far away he only gets to see them for a few days at a time usually.

So that’s my Top 10 Tips for taking an overseas camping holiday with a baby. I’m sure there’s lots of other things that I’ve forgotten and I’ll do another post when we get back home of any other things that come up during our holiday (assuming Toby’s passport turns up and we actually get to go of course!). Have you ever taken your kids overseas on a camping holiday? Or did you brave flying and staying in a hotel? (which I wouldn’t contemplate at this point!) If you did I’d love to hear how you got on and if you’ve got any tips to make our holiday go smoothly.

Using cloth nappies on holiday

I know one of the things that often puts people off using cloth nappies is the thought of having to deal with them when you are out and about. Maybe you could be convinced to use cloth nappies in the house when you knew you weren’t going anywhere but don’t fancy the idea of having to bring your dirty nappies home with you when you’ve been out. Or even worse – what about using cloth nappies on holiday? Doesn’t that mean a lot of work when you should be relaxing?

Well, I thought I’d share our experiences of using cloth nappies on holiday and when we’re out for the day at home, because it really isn’t that difficult! I wrote last week about how we were coming away to the Lake District for the best part of a week and that I wasn’t sure whether to use our cloth nappies while we were there. We’re back home now and I’m happy to report we did use cloth nappies all week and it was really no more effort than it would be at home. It certainly didn’t make me feel like I wasn’t on holiday.

I made sure I did a nappy wash the day before we were going away so that most of our nappies would be clean and ready to use. As well as the clean nappies though, I also took our nappy bucket with the remaining few dirty nappies with us. There were a couple of reasons for this; firstly it meant we had all our nappies with us. We have enough nappies to wash every three days but if I left some at home then I would need to wash more often while we were away. Secondly, it meant I wasn’t leaving dirty nappies sitting at home for the whole week.

We then just used our nappies exactly as we would at home and I did two nappy washes while we were away. I probably could have managed just with one but the second wash meant I was bringing mostly clean, rather than mostly dirty, nappies home with us. The only tricky part was figuring out the right programme to use on a different washing machine to the one I’m used to. The first wash I used the machine to dry the nappies but it didn’t seem to have a low setting so I was a bit worried about damaging them. They were fine but the second time I just hung our all-in-one nappies on the clothes airer and only dried the night time bamboo nappies in the drier. I also took our washable wipes with us – it’s not much extra to take or wash and if we’re using the nappies we might as well use our wipes too.

Drying cloth nappies on holiday

The only thing that was a bit more difficult than at home was going for days out while we were away. We use cloth nappies all the time at home but even if I do take Toby out somewhere we’re only likely to need one nappy change at the most while we’re out. Cloth nappies definitely do take up more room in my changing bag than disposables would, but when I’m only carrying one it doesn’t matter too much. I have a couple of disposables in my changing bag too in case of emergencies but I have never had to use one yet! I have a small wet bag that I take few of our washable wipes in and then another zip up wet bag to put any dirty nappies and wipes in to bring home again. If we’re out all day then it does mean carrying more nappies so the changing bag can get a bit full, but other than that it really isn’t too much of a problem.

The only other small problem I have come across when using cloth nappies away from the house is when we have a dirty nappy and the baby changing facilities we are using don’t have a toilet. With our cloth nappies we always flush any poo down the toilet before putting the used nappy in the bucket to wait for washing. But if there is no toilet in the same place as the baby changing then there are only a couple of options; either put the dirty nappy, poo and all, in the wet bag and bring it home, wrap the poo in something and put it in the bin with the disposable nappies, or take the dirty nappy into the toilet afterwards and deal with it there. To be honest we have never actually had this situation but it is something I do worry about when it’s time for a nappy change out and about.

So, having said all that, if you use cloth nappies at home (or you are thinking about doing) then there really isn’t any reason why you can’t use them away from home too (as long as you can wash them – I’m not sure what you’d do if you were staying in a hotel with no washing facilities). Having this week in the Lake District has pretty much convinced me to take all our cloth nappies to France for our holiday at the beginning of next month. I know we have access to a washing machine and hopefully the weather will be nice enough that the nappies will dry quickly outside. I have taken advantage of some Real Nappy Week discounts to buy an extra night time nappy (we use the Tots Bots Bamboozle) and a few extra day time nappies too so I should be able to stretch the nappy wash to every four days rather than every three. And when it comes down to it, I love our cloth nappies, I know they work for us and I just don’t think I could bring myself to put Toby in a disposable now!

Have you ever used cloth nappies on holiday? I’d love to hear if you have any experience of using cloth away from home.

Review: Freeva cloth nappy

Freeva nappy

As you’ll know if you’ve read this blog before, we love our cloth nappies in the Toby Goes Bananas house so when new cloth nappy company Freeva gave us the opportunity to review one of their nappies we jumped at the chance.

The Details

Freeva cloth nappy

Freeva nappies are ‘one size fits most’ and come in a variety of plain colours and funky prints. We chose the Jungle Animals print for our review. The nappies have three rows of poppers on the front to adjust the rise of the nappy, and have hook and loop (velcro to you and me!) fastenings at the waist. They are pocket nappies, meaning they have a removable insert which fits in a pocket between the waterproof outer layer and the suede cloth inner layer of the nappy. All Freeva nappies come with one microfibre insert included. If you need more absorbency from your nappy then extra inserts are available to buy from Freeva, either in microfibre, a microfibre and bamboo comination, or just bamboo. The nappies retail at £10.95. Freeva also sell a selection of accessories such as nappy buckets and wetbags.

The Pros 

  • I prefer velcro fastenings on a cloth nappy as they make it much easier to get a good fit. Toby is very long and skinny so getting a good fit with some cloth nappies is tricky but the Freeva was a got fit, even after a few hours of wriggling!
  • It’s good to see the Freeva nappy has laundry tabs to fold the velcro back onto while they are in the wash so they don’t all get stuck together.
  • I like the selection of prints and colours available (which we all know is one of the main reasons for using cloth nappies!)
  • The nappy arrived with information about how to use and look after the nappy (including advice on pre-washing before use). All this information, along with other cloth nappy advice is also available on the Freeva website.
  • I was impressed with the performance of the nappy. On the first use it lasted three hours with just the one insert before it started to leak slightly around the legs. On the second use I used the microfibre insert along with a bamboo booster and the nappy lasted almost five hours! (I wouldn’t normally leave a nappy that long during the day without changing it anyway, but I just wanted to see how long it would last!)
  • The microfibre inner and pocket outer washed well and are very quick to dry. I usually dry my nappies in the airing cupboard in winter and both parts were dry in a few hours.

The Cons

  • The nappy only comes with one microfibre insert included. In my experience this might be OK for a younger baby but older babies might need more boosting so you will have to purchase extra inserts if you don’t already have them.
  • The microfibre insert is a bit bulky, especially on a smaller baby. There are other fabrics which could give the same absorbency but with less bulk.

The Verdict

Freeva cloth nappy

The Freeva nappy we tried performed very well. With its adjustable rise and velcro at the waist it really should fit most babies. Freeva nappies are also at the more affordable end of the cloth nappy scale. Whether you are new to cloth nappies or a seasoned user and you are after a pocket nappy I would recommend Freeva nappies as a great addition to your collection.

Freeva have kindly offered all my readers a discount code to use on their website. Simply enter TOBYGOESBANANAS at the checkout for 5% off. And even better, you can use this code as many times as you like!

**Disclosure: I was sent the cloth nappy in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

We're going on an adventure

The Clean Green Nappy Machine Competition Hints!

The Clean Green Nappy Machine

Regular readers of this blog will already know that Toby and I are big cloth nappy fans. We’ve got enough nappies now that we don’t really need to buy any more and hubby rolls his eyes at me every time I spot a new design that we just have to have! So, I’m always on the look out for a great competition where I can win some more nappies or accessories instead of having to buy them…

And here’s where The Clean Green Nappy Machine comes in. The Clean Green Nappy Machine has a great website stocking everything a cloth nappy user could need. There’s also lots of fantastic and helpful information if you are just getting started. Throughout December The Clean Green Nappy Machine are running a daily competition – all you have to do is find the numbered bauble on the website, fill in the entry form you find there and you could be in with a chance of winning the product on that page. The baubles will always be on a product page but they can be a bit tricky to find. So the lovely people at Clean Green have offered my readers a chance to get a special clue emailed to them every day. This clue will not be available on the website or on social media.

So click on the link below, sign up for your special clues…and Good Luck!


**Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation to share this competition and link