Thursday, 14 October 2010

Happy Nappies!

No, not really happy nappies. That would be, well, a bit weird. However, I'm nappy happy because I got a nappy bucket full of trial nappies sitting here for a month, all for free! How good is that?

The Real Nappy Network runs a fab scheme in Glasgow. Basically, to encourage people to give cloth nappies a try, they run a nappy trial scheme. It's really quite simple, for £20 of a deposit (which you will get back) you receive a bucket full of different types of cloth nappies and wraps to try out. You keep them for a month and return them. Then you have the opportunity to buy some gently used nappies at their bring and sell, for truly bargain prices. If the bring and sell isn't on, you can just have a nappuccino in a cafe, and find out about cloth nappies from the friendly Real Nappy Network people.

It really is a great idea. I've used cloth nappies for Cubling and now I'm reaping the big benefit by using them on Snowflake too and saving myself a fortune while reducing our contribution to landfill. However, I've made some slightly wrong choices about which nappy is best and this initiative is a great help to rectify this. It offers the opportunity to try out some different makes and also to buy some additional nappies that add to my stock.

Initially, I used prefold nappies with Cubling, Cotton Bottoms to be precise. They are simple cotton rectangles that are folded and go in a waterproof wrap. They come in many sizes and the initial outlay is affordable - but because you have different sizes, the total over the baby years does add up. I found they worked great for Cubling, but strangely, they don't for Snowflake (who pees a lot more). I still really like Cotton Bottoms wraps though.

Later I discovered the magic of shaped nappies, particularly Tots Bots. They are made in Scotland and have a fast drying version, Fluffles. At the time they came in 2 sizes, apparently now they are one sized. For Snowflake I bought some preowned bamboo Tots Bots in size 1, as they are more convenient than the prefolds I already have.

The drawback is that the bamboo version is slow drying. Painfully slow drying. They are incredibly soft and nice to touch though. I'm developing a love/hate relationship with bamboo at the moment - in the form of nappies and yarn. It feels great but there's always a drawback to them, be it drying (nappies) or losing stitches (yarn).

The trial scheme is great because it introduced me to some other types of nappies, such as all in ones (not sure if I like them, the difference is that the wrap is built in, so if nappy is wet, you wash the whole thing. The ones in the pack leaked a tiny bit, while the combination of Tots Bots with Cotton Bottoms or similar wraps don't leak easily). There are also different makes of nappies and I love trying them out and comparing them to my baseline of prefolds and Tots Bots shaped nappies.

My initial thoughts are that Little Lamb shaped nappies are pretty nice. They have velcro which is oh so simple to use, really the same as a disposable. I do realise that velcro doesn't last as long as poppers fastening, but it is rather nice nonetheless.

Then there are terry squares, they feel very soft and fluffy, but can I be bothered folding them? Not sure. Haven't done in the week I've had them. Yes, it's laziness, I'm sure once you've done it, it won't be a problem, but who wants to fold terry squares if they have prefolds lying right next to them?

As to fastening techniques: Velcro rules for ease but may not last two babies. Nappy Nippers are just not my thing - they work great on the trial nappies but I despaired on Tots Bots (I have a few size 2 that fasten with nappy nippers) as they won't hold - I ended up just sticking the wrap on top and not fastening them at all.

The pack also contains various versions of boosters and cloth wipes. The latter are for anyone who's serious about reducing rubbish. Not that I'm not serious, it's just that I think wet wipes are the best thing since sliced bread so I'm not ready yet to make that transition.

My general verdict is that I love the scheme, it really lets you try out various types of nappies, it has easy information on how to use cloth nappies, and really it should be available to everyone (how about advertising the trial bucket of nappies on postnatal wards?). The only slight quibble I have is that my bucket came with wraps the wrong size so they were useless, and that there could have been a few more nappy brands.

The bring and buy sale of cloth nappies is a great initiative too - I grabbed a bargain with unused shaped nappies at £3 each. Now, doesn't this prove the point about cloth nappies? Who would get so excited about disposables?



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