Cloth nappies // How to choose the right cloth nappies?

So you’ve decided you want to give them a try but how do you choose the right cloth nappies? This is by far the hardest part. There is so much choice out there that it really is difficult to know where to start! There are a few different options when it comes to cloth nappies; firstly, two part or all-in-one.

Two part nappy

Choosing the right cloth nappy - two part nappy

A two part nappy has the absorbent inner nappy separate from a waterproof outer wrap. The absorbent nappy can either be shaped (more like a disposable) or you can use terry squares (like my mum used on me!) or pre-folds (which fold into a pad which then sits inside the wrap). Read more

Cloth nappies // Why choose cloth nappies?

We’ve been using cloth nappies full time since Toby was seven weeks old. He wore them until potty training at three and a bit. With Gabe we started with cloth nappies at three days old and we’re still going strong 20 months later. But why choose cloth nappies? Starting out can be a bit of a minefield though so I thought I’d share a bit about our experience.

Cloth nappies on washing line - why choose cloth nappies

There are loads of reasons to choose cloth nappies over disposables.

Saving money

There were two main reasons we chose cloth; firstly the cost. Estimates can vary but if your baby wears nappies until they are two and a half years old (and Toby did another whole year after that!) they will probably use between five and six thousand nappies! Read more

Review: Tickle Tots nappy

I haven’t really mentioned it for a while but I use cloth nappies full time with both Toby and Gabe. Toby started wearing cloth when he was about 7 weeks old and Gabe has been in them since he was just 3 days old. Having used cloth nappies for over two and a half years now we’ve worked out which ones work for us and of course we have our favourites. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like to try out a new nappy every now and again, especially when it’s new to the market. So when the people at Tickle Tots got in touch and asked if we’d like to try one of their nappies I was delighted to say yes.

Tickle tots

The Tickle Tots is an all in one nappy, meaning you can put it on as it is without the need for any extra covers or boosters. It has an absorbent core made from four layers of bamboo fleece terry which is part of the nappy. What is quite nifty about this nappy though is that it also has a pocket at the back meaning you can also add a booster if your little one needs extra absorbency, and I like the fact that a booster is included with the nappy. You can also use the pocket to turn the nappy inside out to help it dry more quickly.

Tickle tots features

This is a birth to potty nappy so it has poppers on the front to adjust the rise, and the velcro closure allows the tabs to be crossed for tiny babies. There are laundry tabs to stop the velcro sticking to other things in the wash and after a few weeks of use on both my boys the velcro seems to be holding up well so far.

Another great feature of the Tickle Tots nappy is its double gusset on the legs – which basically gives extra protection to avoid any leaks. It is especially helpful on smaller babies or those with skinny legs. The nappy also has a stay dry lining (although as we always use fleece liners I haven’t really tested that out).

Tickle tots Toby

I’ve been using the Tickle Tots nappy on both Toby and Gabe. Toby, at two and a half and 32lb wears the nappy on the largest rise but because he’s so skinny the velcro is still closed fairly tight. With the booster the nappy lasted about 3 hours on Toby which is about what I would expect. He did manage to leak out of it after a couple of hours on one occasion but then he does tend to do massive toddler wees these days and we can get leaks out of all his nappies sometimes!

Tickle tots toddler bum

Gabe, at six months and about 17lb wears the Tickle Tots nappy on the middle rise. Again, with the booster the nappy lasts about 3 hours which is what I would expect. I haven’t tried the nappy overnight with either boy as we tend to stick to two parters at night time but I think it would need quite a lot of extra boosting if it was going to last all night.

Tickle tots Gabe

Overall I really like the Tickle Tots nappy. It is very slim fitting, even with the booster which is great. It fits well on both my boys, although I will say it’s not as long as some other nappies and so I’m not sure how much longer Toby would comfortably fit in it. It has lots of great features as I’ve already mentioned.

Tickle tots baby bum

The only slight negatives for me are to do with the material of the absorbent core and booster. This bamboo terry seems quite dense, which I guess is how it can be so absorbent whilst still being slim fitting, but this means that when it is wet it gets quite rigid and stiff. It also makes adjusting the poppers on the front of the nappy a bit tricky. The nappy is also quite slow to dry – it took almost a day and a half on the airer in our kitchen. It can be tumble dried though and in the dryer takes about the same amount of time as our other bamboo nappies.

These are only minor niggles though and generally I think this is a great nappy, especially perhaps for those who are new to cloth nappies as it is so easy to use. The Tickle Tots nappy has an RRP of £16.99 which is fairly standard for an all in one nappy. They are available direct from Tickle Tots or from a variety of other nappy retailers.

 

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

We're going on an adventure

Review: Bambino Mio miosolo nappy

Miosolo bundle

We all know by now (or you will if you’re a regular reader of Toby Goes Bananas at least) that I love cloth nappies. We’ve got our favourites but I always welcome the chance to try out something new so I was very pleased when Bambino Mio got in touch a few weeks ago and offered us the chance to try their miosolo all-in-one nappy. Bambino Mio was founded in 1997 by husband and wife Guy and Jo Schanschieff. Bambino Mio nappies are sold in 70 countries and are stocked in Tesco and Sainsbury’s as well as thousands of other retailers both on and off line. In addition to the all-in-one miosolo that we tried, Bambino Mio also have a two-part nappy, swim nappies, training pants and several cloth nappy accessories such as liners, baby wipes, nappy buckets and detergents.

The Details

Bamino Mio miosolo

The miosolo nappies come in a variety of plain colours and prints (including four fabulous new ones) and retail at £14.99 for plain or £15.99 for prints. We were sent two miosolo all-in-one nappies to try – one plain ‘Flying Saucer’ (blue) and one ‘woodland fox’ print. The lovely people at Bambino Mio also included a roll of their disposable mioliners and some samples of miowipes flushable baby wipes and miofresh nappy/laundry cleanser to try.

The Pros

  • miosolo all-in-one nappies are super-easy to use. It is a birth-to-potty nappy so you just need to adjust the poppers on the front to get the right length for your baby and then fasten with the velcro tabs. This is getting more important for us as Toby will be going to nursery quite soon and I need nappies that are really simple for the nursery staff to use.
  • There are 3 different ‘rise’ adjustments using the poppers on the front and Toby is only on the middle one. This is great as he already wears a lot of his nappies on the biggest setting as he is so long and I’m a bit worried that he is going to grow out of them altogether.
  • The velcro tabs cross over in the middle – again this is great for Toby as he is so skinny!
  • There are laundry tabs inside the nappy to stick the velcro to while being washed – an essential feature in my opinion.
  • The absorbent part of the nappy is attached, you simply tuck it in the pocket then pull it out for washing. This is where the miosolo design really is a step above the competition – there is a little pocket across the end of the insert which you put your fingers in to push it down into the nappy, meaning it goes in straight and un-rumpled every time. There are also a couple of loops on the back of the insert which make it really easy to pull out without getting damp fingers.
  • The stay-dry layer which is next to your baby’s bum is super-soft and stays that way even after repeated washing.
  • The nappy dried really quickly. It was dry overnight in our airing cupboard. It can also be tumble dried on low which is a positive for me.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, performance; Toby wore the miosolo for five hours with no leaks and it did very well in the poo-containment test too. Bambino Mio are so confident in the abilities of their nappies that they even suggest the miosolo (with added mioboost booster if needed) can be used overnight. I have to confess we didn’t try it overnight but five hours during the day is still very impressive!

miosolo bum

The Cons

  • The miosolo is a little bit bulky compared to the bumGenius Freetime that we mostly use, but I’m sure Toby will appreciate this when he starts learning to walk and is falling on his bum all the time!
  • The only other thing I can think to say is that the miosolo doesn’t come in quite as many colours and prints as some other nappies. Although, they have brought out six new prints recently. One was the ‘woodland fox’ which we now have but I also love the ‘elephant parade’ print.

The Verdict

I am always happy to try a new nappy with Toby but unfortunately we have been a bit disappointed with some in the past…not this time though! I thought the Bambino Mio miosolo was a great nappy. I was really impressed with the little details like the pocket to help you put the insert back in. I also found it easy to get a good fit on Toby first time and performance was excellent. The miosolo is also competitively priced and I like that it is stocked by some major high street retailers too. I would definitely recommend this nappy whether you are new to cloth nappies or a seasoned user.

Just a quick note on the miowipes and miofresh too. (We always use fleece liners so didn’t try the mioliners but they seemed soft and a good size if you prefer a disposable liner). miowipes are natural, biodegradable and flushable. They are free from alcohol and parabens too so gentle on your baby’s skin. We usually use washable wipes but I am definitely going to be buying a pack or two of miowipes to take on holiday and to keep in the changing bag at home too. miofresh is a laundry sanitiser that again is all natural. It is designed to kill bacteria even at low temperatures so you can safely do your nappy wash at 30° – helping your pocket and the environment. We actually already use miofresh – I like that you only need to add one scoop along with your normal detergent to so a tub lasts ages and it keeps our nappies nice and fresh.

All in all I have been very impressed with the Bambino Mio products we have tried and I’m sure I’ll be using more in the future.

miosolo frontal

**Disclosure: I was sent two Bambino Mio miosolo nappies and accessories in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

** This post contains affiliate links.

Review: Close Pop-in reusable nappy

I think we all know by now that I love cloth nappies so when I saw that Close had brought out a New Generation Pop-in I was really eager to give them a try. We’ve never used the Close Pop-in before, but I remember when I was first researching cloth nappies lots of people recommended them so I was super excited when the lovely people at Close agreed to send us one of their New Gen V2 Pop-ins to try out!

Close Pop-in

Close (formerly Close Parent) was founded by two mumpreneurs in 2004, not only do they make reusable nappies (and wipes) they also have a range of baby carriers as well as products such as bibs, playmats, car seat protectors and more, all in their trademark prints. Their website is also full of lots of useful advice and information.

The Details

Close Pop-in in action

The Close Pop-in New Gen V2 is available in four new prints (hippo, robot, russian dolls and lion) and retails at £16.99. [EDIT: Since I wrote this review there are now lots more prints available]. The Pop-in is a hybrid nappy, or an all-in-two – a cross between an all-in-one and a two part system with a waterproof outer and a snap-in bamboo soaker and booster which allow you to adjust the absorbency to suit your baby. It is a birth to potty nappy fitting from 7lb to 35lb+. Night time boosters are available separately.

Close Pop-in inserts

The Pros

  • Top of the list has to be performance – Toby wore the Close Pop-in for five hours on one occasion without a hint of a leak. The soaker and booster were completely soaked but there wasn’t even any wicking around the legs which can often happen with other nappies.
  • This lack of wicking around the legs (and waist) is down to the great design of the waterproof outer. It has gusseted legs which help to make it ‘bombproof’, and also the pop-in inserts sit underneath a flap at each end so there is no chance of any leakage their either. Finally the New Gen V2 also has an absorbent panel in the middle of the outer which helps to keep moisture in the centre of the nappy.
  • The nappy has a great fit. I much prefer velcro fastenings to poppers as I find I can get a much better fit, especially on a skinny baby like Toby. The nappy has a nice slim fit too which I like.
  • I was also impressed to see four sets of poppers to adjust the rise. All our other nappies have three sets and Toby already has them as big as they will go. With the Pop-in we are only on the third set which makes me think it might last longer as there is still room for adjustment as he grows.
  • The nappy washes well and as the inserts can be removed for drying it speeds up the drying time. The bamboo inserts were dry in about five hours in the airing cupboard or a couple of hours on low in the tumble drier (which is the same as my other nappies). The outer dried very quickly.
  • I like the versatility of the Close Pop-in – you can add night time boosters to avoid needing a different night time nappy. You could also use the outer part as a wrap over a shaped nappy, or with prefolds or terry squares. You could also use it with disposable inserts – particularly useful on holiday if you don’t have access to a washing machine.
  • Lastly, I love the prints! As you can see we got the robot print but I love the hippo and lion too.

Close pop-in fit

The Cons

  • There really are very few faults I could find with the Close Pop-in. The only slight niggle was that the laundry tabs are a bit fiddly – in this New Gen V2 Close have added a little pocket for the laundry tab to tuck into when the nappy is being worn, which is great for avoiding the velcro being in contact with your baby’s skin but I did find it a bit tricky to get them out when I needed them.
  • The only other thing is that it is slightly more time consuming to put the nappy back together after washing than it is with the bumGenius Freetime which we usually use, but even that really isn’t too much bother considering all the positives this nappy has to offer.
  • Finally – and this doesn’t affect me, or anyone else who might be using a Close Pop-in for the first time, but the New Gen V2 isn’t compatible with previous versions of the nappy. So if you had some older Pop-ins and the new one you would have to make sure you paired up the right inserts with the right nappy.

Close pop-in laundry tabs

The Verdict

I think the Close Pop-in might be my new favourite nappy! The performance is outstanding, it has a really great fit and it looks fantastic. Despite a few little niggles I can see me adding some more of these nappies to our collection in the near future. Not only that, but after browsing the Close website there are loads of other products I would love to get my hands on too – first up has to be the monkey print playmat, for my little monkey to go bananas on!

Close pop-in sitting

**Disclaimer: I was sent a Close Pop-in reusable nappy in return for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Starting out with cloth nappies

I had thought about using cloth nappies while I was still pregnant and I did some research. What I found out is that there seems to be a limitless amount of options available in the world of cloth nappies. There are two part nappies, pocket nappies, all in ones, sized nappies, birth to potty nappies not to mention wraps, disposable liners, reusable liners, wet bags, reusable wipes… To be honest, the only scary part about using cloth nappies is making a decision about what kind of nappies to use. Other than that it seemed like a no brainer – cloth nappies are cheaper than using disposables (although there is an initial financial outlay needed), they are better for the environment (even when you take into account production and washing/drying cloth) and they are better for your baby (keeping all the nasty chemicals found in disposables away from your precious little one’s bum!).

Cloth nappies aren't scary

I did decide that having my first baby and dealing with all the new challenges that would bring would be enough to cope with in the first few weeks so we would leave cloth nappies for the first month or so. A lot of the advice I read also suggested trying a few different types of nappies on your baby to see what kind of system works for you before committing to buy a full set of nappies. Obviously this isn’t going to be possible until your baby is actually here! The other thing that put me off starting with cloth nappies was the cost. Cloth is definitely cheaper than disposables in the long run and I was pretty sure I wanted to maximise this cost saving by choosing a birth-to potty nappy. This is a nappy which uses a series of poppers and sometimes velcro to adjust the nappy to fit your baby. However, these nappies are usually very bulky on a small newborn baby. Toby was only 6lb 10oz when he was born and we would probably have had to invest in some specific newborn nappies to use them straight away. However, if I wasn’t already convinced, the amount of nappies that went in our landfill bin in those first few weeks certainly cemented the decision to use cloth nappies in my mind.

So, when Toby was about five weeks old I got some personalised recommendations from The Nappy Lady and ordered two different nappies to try out. There are lots of cloth nappy retailers that will provide you with free, impartial advice to help you choose which nappies to use. Some also offer trial schemes, or you might be able to find a nappy library in your area. Anyway, after trying the nappies during the day for a few days I was really happy with them. I chose my favourites (the Bumgenius Freetime – an all in one nappy for day time, and the Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch with a separate wrap for night time), took the plunge and ordered some more. Toby went into cloth nappies full time at about seven weeks old and it actually makes me very proud to say he hasn’t worn a disposable since. I added a few more nappies to my collection over the next few weeks and now with fourteen day nappies and four night time nappies I have enough to wash every 2-3 days and dry them on the line (if it ever stops raining long enough!) or more usually, hung in the airing cupboard.

I absolutely love our cloth nappies and sing their praises to anyone who will listen! Toby has never had nappy rash, we’ve only ever had two leaks and that was only a tiny damp patch on his trousers because he’d been in the car seat for too long without a nappy change. I love seeing his colourful little bum in his nappies every day and most of all I love that we are not sending hundreds of nappies to landfill every month. We use reusable wipes (the brilliant Cheeky Wipes that I have mentioned before) and washable fleece liners too so everything from Toby’s nappy changes is just washed and is ready to be used again and again and again.

Cloth nappies do seem to be gaining in popularity. I’ve seen quite a few babies wearing them at the various baby groups we go to and there’s been quite a bit of interest from other mums when they see Toby in his. Lots of the blogs I read and people I follow on Twitter are cloth nappy users too (although that could well be due to the fact I tend to find other people who are similar to me when deciding what to read). Judging by the number of nappy retailers you can find online, cloth nappies are certainly big business and as we become more aware of our environment I can only see that they will become even more popular.

There will be more posts to follow about the ins and outs of having a cloth bummed baby (including the all important ‘what do I do with the poo??’) as well as my opinions of the nappies that we have chosen to use. I’m still pretty new to cloth but if you have any questions about using cloth nappies then I will do my best to help. Do you use cloth nappies on your baby? Which are your favourites? Are you considering cloth or could you not even entertain the thought? I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts and opinions.