I never planned to use reusable nappies (or cloth, but I dislike calling them that for some reason…). I was vaguely entertaining the idea during my pregnancy, but I thought we’d start off in disposables and see how things went.
It was my husband who suggested we do it ‘from the off’, so to speak; a few mum friends (and mum-to-be friends) were already doing it and suggested some types and gave me some tips. I have to say, the world of reusables really is a minefield – there are so many types, brands and options. Did I want an all-in-one, all-in-two, pocket, pop-in, pre-fold or something entirely different? And what on earth were all those types anyway? Did I want a trial pack of a few different ones or a ‘job lot’ for a whole lot cheaper? Would my baby fit these nappies – and more importantly, would he even like them?
I thought it was probably best to wait til baby was here, but then Real Nappy Week started – and lots of places slashed their prices. I decided to go for it; I figured if they didn’t work for us, I could always sell them on. I eventually settled on a mini pack of bamboo fitted nappies from Lollipop – 5 of these for little bums, which I would alternate with disposables in the first few weeks. I then bought a complete kit from Fill Your Pants which included 15 day nappies (8 Smartipants, 7 FuzziBuns One Size Elite), 2 night nappies (Totsbots Bamboozle Stretchies) and absolutely everything else needed for happy cloth bums. These nappies were ‘birth-to-potty’ types (day ones being pockets, night ones fitted) and I figured we should be all set to start things off, and we’d see where we were later on down the line.
When D arrived, it took a little while to get the confidence to start using the Lollipops, but we were all very impressed. D grew out of them very quickly though, and I think we only got 3 weeks’ use out of them :( At that point, I started transitioning him over to the b-to-p ones… Argh, nightmare. D had a very chubby tum but little legs at the time, so doing the nappy up for a good fit round his waist meant gaping holes around the legs. To close up the leg holes would have meant an extremely tight nappy round his waist… So they went back in the box. Even the FuzziBuns, with their adjustable legs didn’t work :( I dug them out every so often to see if they’d fit, but nearly always ended up with a mega leak around the legs. Yuck.
A couple of weeks ago, I once again tried the nappies – and found they more or less fit this time! …and he’s been in them ever since. It took a few days (and another lot of Stretchies) before I had the confidence to put him in them overnight too, but I can count on one hand the number of leaks we’ve had since that initial switch. My bin and my wallet are much happier ;) D’s vests, however, are not. Reusables are a bit more bulky than disposables, especially if they have been boosted or use a wrap (as is the case for the Stretchies), so the 3-6 month vests I only started D in a week before the nappies are really bursting at the seams now :( My washing machine and electricity bill are less happy too (damn you rain, go away so I don’t have to use my power-guzzling dryer!) but I’d rather that than the massive loads of disposables we were going through each week. D is a heavy wetter who dislikes having damp/dirty nappies on him for any length of time, so we were going through around 10-12 nappies per day (have noticed, though, that since the switch, he no longer complains so much. We now use 6 or 7 nappies per day!) and he was getting a lot of nappy rash too. That too has cleared up since the switch.
One thing I would say is that I don’t think the b-to-p nappies – the FuzziBuns in particular – will last to the advertised 30+lbs. D is already on the widest waist setting at 15lb and they’re beginning to get quite tight on him :( Might swap those for some other brands as he gets older… Heard some good things about Totsbots Easyfits and Close Parent Pop-ins, so we’ll see what happens!
We’ll still be using disposables when out and about for now (cloth ones just don’t fit in the change bag like disposables do… And it’s a good way to use them up), but I think you can safely call us converted. Happy customer? I think so!