Cloth nappies have made me eco friendlier #recyclingweek

Cloth nappies have helped make me eco-friendlier

A few days ago if you had asked if I was eco friendly I would have answered no without pausing but when speaking to cloth nappy users and reading information about #RecycleWeek I have come to realise that I am far more eco-friendly than I first imagined.

The thing that got me thinking was when someone asked what we thought if cloth nappies in terms in being eco friendly. Well I immediately thought to myself that I had not considered this as an option to be honest. I chose cloth nappies, mainly, because they have such amazing designs and that we would save money. It took us months to really use them all the time with M but as soon as we thought about having baby number two we realised just how much money we could save if we used cloth on a more full time basis (although we do use disposables from time to time). Instantly we noticed that we never had to think about buying a box of nappies when we were out shopping. In fact months go by before we think about buying another small packet.

Before our council changed our bins, to encourage recycling, we only had a small box to put our recycling into and shamefully months could go buy without us putting anything into the box. Everything just went into the waste bin. Then our waste bin was shrunk and our recycling bin made into a big wheelie bin and so we actively started recycling. Strangely I realised that I enjoy the idea of putting things out to recycle. There are now times that we have so much recycling to put out every other week that we have had to borrow our neighbours bin.

At the same time as noticing how much more we could do with recycling I also realised that one of the few items that got thrown in our waste bin was M’s disposable nappies. Once we stopped putting her in these every day we went from struggling to fit everything in the bin on bin day to having a half empty bin every two weeks!

Now when we do put M into a disposable, which we do at night if we have run out of night nappies, I get so annoyed if she does a poo in a new nappy. What a waste. A waste of money, a waste of rubbish! Had that been a cloth nappy it would simply have been out into the wash or of it was still dry and clean once the liner was removed then a new liner and back on. This has been one of the biggest turning points for me.

I would say that most of my change of opinion on recycling has been due to using cloth nappies. I have even sat down and made my own liners out of old fleece clothing, or we often buy from Facebook groups to reuse nappies. I have no idea of how many nappies we have saved going into landfill but I can happily put my hands up and say I am helping the environment!

Taking cloth nappies out of the equation and just having a child makes you reuse things. Whether that is clothing, toys, furniture or even using toilet rolls for craft activities or planning shopping trips to avoid food waste. All in all it doesn’t actually take much to become eco friendly and it is achievable to all.

I was looking in M’s toy box and realised that many of the toys in the box as eco-friendly in the sense that we bought them at a local second hand market. Even Button has a few items which we saw for sale online saving us so much money and keeping an item away from the waste tip.

I also like crafting and when I have clothes that are no longer fit for purpose I can hear cogs in my head whirring at what I could make M to wear, or what toy I could make Button!

I guess what made me think I was not eco-friendly was, rather narrow-minded of me to think, that I am not a “hippy”. What an awful thing to think but I will admit that when people mention eco-friendly to me this is the first image I have. Dreadlocks, flowers, flares etc.

 

 

Why choose to use cloth nappies when you can use disposables?

Positives of cloth nappies over disposables

IMG_3848It has now been just over a year since we put M in her first cloth nappy and I can honestly say I love using cloth but it hasn’t always been an easy journey for us – and still things crop up that we don’t know how to solve.

I am writing this post to discuss and ask for help with issues I have had with cloth and how to solve them and also give a list of reason why we, as a family, enjoy using cloth nappies.

Positives of cloth over disposables:

  • They come in so many bright and colourful designs (though you can get plain if you wish).
  • You save so much money – yes it seems a lot up front but if you are dabbling in cloth then buy bit by bit.
  • If you run out you do not need to have money to buy more, or go out and get, just make sure you wash enough.
  • They provide protection to toddlers bums when they fall!
  • Washing and hanging them up on the line is actually quite fun.
  • You are helping the environment. Even if you don’t use cloth full time (which we are not 100% full time). If you just changed to one cloth nappy a day that is 365 nappies saved from landfill a year. Imagine if every family did that!
  • When you no longer use nappies you can sell them on preloved sites and make some of your money back.
  • Changing a cloth nappy is just as quick as changing a disposable nappy.
  • You do not expose your child to as many chemicals.
  • You can meet so many other lovely people who love cloth nappies as much as you do!

Positives of disposables over cloth:

  • They are easier to fit in the change bag but unless you are going out for days you don’t need as many cloth nappies (I used to carry half a box of disposables in my change bag.
  • They are easy to buy in shops, although cloth nappies are starting to appear in more and more shops (yay).
  • You can bin dirty nappies when out and about so you don’t have to carry them home (but a wet bag keeps all cloth ones save in change bag).

Problems solved:

When we first tried cloth nappies we had a lot of leaks. Most of this was due to fitting problems and that M had skinny thighs. Here are some steps we took to eliminate the problem:

  • Pushed the cloth nappy to the knicker line. We had not realised this was what was meant to happen as we just thought they fitted like disposable nappies. This meant we could pull the nappies tighter round the thigh.
  • Popper nappies worked better for us for a while as it meant we could tighten them more round the thigh whilst not having to pull too tight round the waist.
  • Boosting the nappies helped loads. We had presumed that the inserts that were included were all you should use.
  • The opposite of above can also help, sometimes removing some of the boosters can make a better fit.

Problems (can you help):

Just recently we have been finding that M will often leak out of a nappy if she has been in the car for a long journey. A nappy that can last four hours when at home will maybe only last 1.5 hours in the car. How do we prevent this? I understand it will be compression leaking (or so I presume) and as she has to sit on a seat then she is bound to compress the nappy.

I think as M is growing older she is definitely holding her bladder for a much longer time. A nappy can stay perfectly dry for 4 hours now but when she does pee she pees a lot more. Changing the nappy more frequently is obviously an answer but, for example, we drove home from visiting family today and it took us an hour maximum so we did not want to stop. When we got home she had leaked. There becomes a point when it is just too impractical to stop so frequently.

 

 

Totsbots review #RNW2015

Totsbots were the first brand of reusable nappy that we used and one that we have a vast collection of so I guess that tells you how well we like them. I also love the fact that they are a UK company, based in Scotland, so of course, as a fellow Scot, I just had to try these nappies out. I am glad I did as they are the nappy that converted me from being a disposable user to a cloth user. This review is detailing nappies we have bought and used and we are not being paid to write this post. All thoughts are mine and mine only.

Totsbots are ethical nappies, made in their own factory here in Scotland – no sweatshops for them! Indeed Totsbots love using local companies that they have moved all production back to Glasgow after getting some of the Bamboozles manufactured in Turkey to help meet demand. Even the sourcing of materials for making the products and packaging are sourced ethically.

One reason, beyond how pretty cloth nappies are, that we chose to try cloth was because of the chemicals used in disposable nappies. Indeed when we found M was getting nappy rash we changed her disposables to cloth and the rash started to clear up instantly. Yes we do still use disposables from time to time but cloth is the way forward for us and Totsbots have a Oeko-tex 100 certification to prove their nappies are free of harmful chemicals. They are the only nappy company in the world to have our whole range of nappies Oeko-tex certified!

Sizing

We have used a number of differnt types of Totsbots nappies, from V2-V4 Easyfits and Bamboozles.

The Easyfit nappies are all-in-one birth to potty nappies which fit babies from 8lb to 35lb. At 15 months M is on the middle size setting of these so there is still plenty of growth room in them. I did find that when she was smaller I could not get a good size on her, this was an issue with her having such skinny legs and she was only on the 3rd percentile at the time. Once she started to put on weight round her thighs they started to fit well. Yes we have had leaks in the past (I didn’t know you were meant to boost nappies) and still we sometimes get a leak here or there but that tends to be on the days that M is weeing loads and we just haven’t changed her.

It is hard to find anything but the V4 Easyfits now as the others have been phased out but we started with V3 nappies which are so soft to touch. I also find that these dry so much faster than the other two versions. No matter how often you wash it the inner part stays soft which is great when putting on your babies bottom! I also love the bold prints that there are with V3 nappies. Gorgeous.

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The V4 nappies is made of “Binky” a combination of bamboo and minky and certainly holds in the wee more than the the other Totsbots do. It comes with a booster which I have never taken off and sometimes it is saturated and others it is drier.

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V2 nappies were made, I believe, with bamboo and are I find these last ages as well although some of the nappies have a more crinkly sound to them than other V2s? Otherwise I love them all.

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If you are looking for a nappy that last longer, or is a night nappy, the Totsbots Bamboozles are the ones for you. I have a toddler who sleeps 16 hours a night and have used these with no leaks. Incredible really for a cloth nappy. These are two part nappies with an outer waterproof cover and the Bamboozle cloth nappy. I boost mine because M sleeps so long and we have had a few leaks but you expect that when she sleeps as long as she does. These are made of super soft stretchy bamboo and you need more Bamboozles than wraps. I have to say I get nervous at night tim with cloth but 9 time out of 10 I am shocked at how well they cope. You can get these in two sizes although we have only used size 2 which fits 9 to 35lb but you can get size 1 Bamboozles that fit from 6 to 18 lb.

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Features

These nappies use “velcro” to close round the waist but have poppers to allow you to reduce the size for smaller babies and hence “birth to potty”. I found that fitting tightly round the thigh was a problem for us in the early days as M had, and still does have, skinny thighs. She is a tall slender baby and now toddler and Totsbots does state that this can be a problem with fitting issues. However once she reached 4 or 5 months old and having had a wee chat online with Totsbots and other users I found that I could get the right fit and boosting helped. I think with M I would have needed the Teenyfits but hindsight is a marvelous thing isn’t it! I do wish there had been a way to pull the leg closing in a little tighter when M was smaller but that is just a small thing really.

Ease of use

If you can put on a disposable nappy you can put on a Totsbots nappy. Yes it takes a we bit of fiddling to get the right fit for your child but once you work that out it takes seconds to do a nappy change.

The Bamboozles take an age to air dry. If it is not a sunny warm day I would give them a couple of days to dry on the line or on an air dryer. We have a heated dryer from Lakeland and still it takes more than a day to dry. They can also be a bit bulky when on but if they keep going through the night I can deal with bulkiness.

Easyfits can be dried easily, on the line they can be put out in the morning and on the baby in the afternoon. Even inside they can be dry within a day.

Absorbency

V2 and V4 nappies are the most absorbent to of the Easyfits, with the V4s coming out in front. The V3s need boosted but that said they can all last 4 hours at a time.

Bamboozles are amazing. To last 16 hours is outstanding. I was so sure that thy would leak and M would be woken up by the wetness and her pyjamas would be sodden but how wrong I was.

Overall

These are our favourite nappies. We have a big collection of then and are always looking for more. I do think they are a little smaller than some of the other nappies we have but I don’t think that compromises them in any way.

I will say that the Bamboozles make me a bit sad at times. I especially love the Thistle and Sunset colours and get sad when I have to cover them in a wrap. I wish there was such a thing as a clear wrap or wraps in the same colours as the Bamboozles are.

 

Bambino Mio Miosolo nappy review #RNW2015

Funky designs and they fit well

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A nappy we have only recently started to use is the Bambino Mio Miosolo nappies, which for us have been love at first use. I had seen these nappies online before but then I heard they were for sale in Morrisons so I took a few trips to some not so local but as close as you get stores and finally, after a lot of looking I found some!

Sizing

The first thing I noticed with these all-in-one nappies are that they are a far more generous in size than what I have been used to and have found that M still wears the smallest rise setting with no issue.  M is 15 months now and so I don’t know how soon we would have fit into these. I am not sure how heavy M is now, she was 17lb 10 at 12.5 months so to be in a lowest rise now is amazing. It states these nappies fit from 7lb to 35lb but I am dubious that you could get a 7lb baby in these however  having not tried these on anyone other than my daughter all I can do is wonder. I don’t think I will be fitting these on my newborn come September though.

When on the baby I find that there is some excess fabric on the nappy, especially around the waistline making them a little less slim than they maybe could be. This could be because M is still on the smallest setting but I wouldn’t say they are not that bulky either so great for daytime use.

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Features

One thing I love about these nappies is the design of the microfibre insert which makes stuffing and unstuffing the nappy a breeze. The insert has a pocket at the front that you can slip your hand into and so makes stuffing the nappies a doddle and means you can make sure the insert is flat. It also has tabs at the top of the nappy to help you pull the insert out.

Ease of use

Washing and drying these are a doddle. They can be dried on the washing line in just a few hours which is ideal if you want to limit how many nappies you have.

These are velcro nappies which make nappy changes quick and easy but if you have little fingers that like to pull velcro apart this can be a problem as they can undo them easily enough. That said M does like to undo them but the novelty soon wears off and she leaves it alone.

Absorbency

When I first put M in these I instantly boosted them as I boost all nappies (maybe more of a habit than a need?) but I have since tried them with just the microfibre inner and nothing else. With using only the nappy and no boost I can quite easily have M in these for 3 to 4 hours plus. This surprised me as I would normally feel that I should change them after 2 hours if no booster in. M can be a heavy wetter so it is amazing to get this amount of time in a nappy without adding anything, however she can also go hours without a pee so it could be coincidental.

Overall

These are simple to use, fit well and are very absorbent. The designs are bright and colourful which I love but I do feel they could be made slimmer but fit just as well with a little less fabric included. For £11.99 (a special deal for Real Nappy Week direct from Bambino Mio Miosolo) you can’t really go wrong.

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Real Nappy Week 2015 #RNW2015

Get real during Real Nappy Week 2015

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Today marks the start of Real Nappy Week 2015 which is a great time for people who want to try cloth nappies for the first time to come across some great deals and great information (and for existing users to bag a bargain).

This is our second Real Nappy week although this is the first time we have looked forward to it as proper users of real nappies.

Last year we were first time parents of a two month old and, to be honest, we just didn’t know where to start with reusable nappies. I had read about them whilst pregnant and saw that we could save money but wondered if they were just a bit too “out there”. I also saw how much they cost if I wanted to buy all the nappies at once. This put me off of them because I was scared they might not work for us and we would have hundreds of pounds of unused nappies – I was unaware at how well they sell if you want to. I will also admit that for me using cloth nappies is about saving money and them being so pretty. Saving the planet is an added bonus.

Then Real Nappy Week arrived and after much debate I decided to buy a few TotsBots as I could get them in a shop not online. I guess you could say it was an impulsive buy and if they were not available to buy in store (and on a multi save) I most probably would be sitting now wondering if I would use cloth or reusable nappies for Baby 2!

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Once I had bought my first few Totsbots I realised I would need a lot more to be able to use on a more permanent basis so I scoured the internet for deals and found myself choosing a selection of cheapies from Amazon – Little Bloom and Canny Mum. I was not expecting much but was in for a shock as they worked perfectly. I have since bought more cheap nappies for TJs Nappies which again were excellent.

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Since then I have added to my stash, adding both new and second hand nappies, and now I am expecting a second baby I have the excuse to buy some more! Buying from preloved sites meant I got to test out other brands and have since becomes a huge fan of Baba+Boo Nappies.

 

A brand I have only recently got to test out is Bambino Miosolos. This is another case of buying because you can get them in a shop rather than just getting online. I got mine from Morrisons but I hear they are going to be selling some products in Aldi next month! I bought one of these as a test and it was love at first wear. I then went back to the supermarket and got more. Goes to prove that impulse buying works. I don’t know if I would have bought had they not been available in the store.

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Buy your nappies now!

Now is the time to buy your nappies if you want a bargain as most, if not all, real nappy brands and retailers have offers on all week for Real Nappy Week.

You don’t need to buy a complete set of nappies, buy one, buy two, buy a few. Find out what works for you and then add to your collection when you want. It doesn’t need to be a huge outlay to start. Okay if you want to go full time right away you will have to fork out but you can do it gradually.

Keep an eye out for Nappy reviews this week!

Throughout the week I will be putting up honest reviews on nappies that I have bought. No review will be sponsored, nor will I have been given a nappy in exchange for a review. I have done nappy reviews in the past but I want to refresh my posts and put how I feel now.

 

Baba+Boo, a good review

Cheaper than some but just as good

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I have only recently become a fan if Baba+Boo and I can honestly say it was love at first site. I had always been a Totsbots girl, and I do still love them, but I felt like a change so I bought some of these.

Baba+Boo nappies are pocket nappies, meaning you get the waterproof outer nappy which you insert a booster or two into them. I find this means they dry faster, especially the outer cover which means if you have more boosters than nappies you can use it more often. They are designed to fit babies that weight 8 or 9 lbs up to potty training at around 35lb.

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Baba+Boo are cheaper than other brands of nappy, at £12.95, and although this is more expensive than they used to be I still think that they are good value for money (though I preferred getting a nappy for less than £10 and if you look around some websites have them at this price still). For this you get the waterproof outer, two microfibre inserts and a guide on how to fit the nappies.

The things I first noticed about these nappies are very generously sized- at 12 months Molly is still on one of the tightest settings for them – there would only be one more popper I could use to tighten it so I don’t now if they would have fit her when she was very little. Now I will say that Molly is little, 17lb 10 at 12 months, and so I have always found cloth nappies to be a bit gappy in the thighs (she doesn’t have thunder-thighs like her mum!). I only with these a few months ago and I can’t see that I would have been able to use them before Molly was 4 or 5 months old. Don’t let this put you off thought because once your baby does fit them, and I have seen newborns in them so every baby is different, then you will love them.

What I do love about these nappies is they you can tighten the width round the leg using the poppers so I do feel like you can get a tighter fit round the leg than velcro nappies.

I do find poppers to be slightly more fiddly than velcro nappies but once they are on the are fine. I have snagged Molly’s skin when trying to do the legs up but that is my fault rather than the nappies.

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The fleecy inner of the nappy is thin but silky soft (and much brighter and hard wearing then my internet cheapies) and with the two boosters in you can easily get 4 hours plus in one nappy. To be honest I am not entirely sure I always need to use both boosters as the nappy often feels bone dry when I take it off but no doubt if I was to only use one booster Molly would pee for Britain so I just keep using the two.

The designs are so cute, I love Mr Fox and this was the nappy that got me interested in Baba+Boo in the first place. I love that many of the designs are unisex, meaning we will get a huge amount of use out of these in the coming years when the family expands. Yes there are designs more suited to boys of girls but the majority of these can be used for either sex.  Also, although I haven’t bought any, you can get clothing and shoes that match your nappy.

If you are unsure about the nappy Baba+Boo have a scheme where you can try and nappy and, if after a couple of months if wear, you don’t like it you can return it for a 70% refund which I think is ideal for parents who are unsure but are worried about spending money on nappies they might not use.

I would recommend these nappies to anyone who is wanting to try out nappies as they are so absorbent and great quality.

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Cloth nappies – a journey to love

A slow start but it is now love

Back when I was expecting Molly I thought about using cloth nappies but after much humming and hawing about the initial start-up costs we decided against it. To us it seemed to high a cost to pay in one go for something that we didn’t know if we would like or get on with. There were also far too many nappies to choose from. Brands, types, prices. How on earth are you meant to decide when you have not got a clue?

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When Molly was around 12 weeks old I decided that maybe I did want to try reusable nappies and since Boots had a 3 for 2 deal on Totsbots v3 nappies in the nursery rhyme prints I bit the bullet and bought three.

Then I went online and bought some internet cheapies, in our case Little Bloom and CannyMum nappies, which were so cheap I did not really expect much from them. I was surprised to find that they worked and worked perfectly adequately.

At first I did not get on too well with them, but since it was summer and Molly was only wearing a nappy it didn’t really matter that much. Soon I was always having to change her because of leaks and pretty much stopped using them all. I was gutted as they looked so cute.

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After a wee while of not using them I went online and asked for help from Twitter. I was clueless about cloth nappies and it turns out that I needed to boost the nappies. I did that and voila no more leaks. I am so glad that I did not give up completely as now I love to have Molly wear cloth nappies during the day. I don’t have her wear them as much when out and about as I will confess I forget about them and we end up with leaks. It is not because I don’t trust the nappies it is because I don’t trust myself!

Now 12 months on I am constantly looking at all the latest designs of nappies, lusting over them, wishing I was not on SAHM non wages so I could buy more.

I have used a few preloved sites and managed to add to my collection and now as well as loving Totsbots nappies I love Baba+Boo ones.

How do people afford to buy nappies from all brands to try? There are so many adorable patterns out there. I have seen so many nice ones I want to buy but my purse remains empty.

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Overall I have, obviously, enjoyed using cloth nappies and hope to continue wearing them in the future as with more children I will see even more savings and maybe with those savings I could sneakily buy more nappies for our stash?

Keep an eye out for my reviews on the nappies we have tried so far, which I will post up in the next few days.

What about you?

What nappies do you like to use? What are your favourite brands? What are your favourite designs?