So I’ve been trying out a couple of ‘real’ nappies for the past few weeks courtesy of one of my favourite stores, Fill Your Pants.
Let me give you a bit of background to me: I have a one year old (the bambino) and the boyf, who goes through phases of travelling a lot with work. I’ve been self-employed for 5 months, and I wonder how the hell any working mum copes with work, housework, and a baby. It’s like having three jobs and moving from one shift at one job to the other…
When I was pregnant, we did consider the ‘real’ nappy route, but when I started thinking about washing the suckers, it occurred to me that much like a puppy, the fun would quickly dissipate when I realised that I was shouldering the burden of cleaning them. My fears were confirmed when we had the bambino and the kitchen started looking like Dot Cotton’s launderette…
But my conscience has been biting at me…OK, that and the fact that real nappies are getting sooooo stylish looking! But we are recyclers, conscious of turning off things at the mains, and all that jazz!
Tested gear: 1 X Bambinex Bamboo Nappy, 1 X Bambinex Teddy Nappy, and 1 X bumGenius One-Size Reusable Nappy (Grasshopper Green), 1 X bumGenius Microfiber insert, and 1 X Thirsties Nappy Cover (pink), all courtesy of Fill Your Pants.
First impressions: I was very excited when they arrived and wanted to use them right away. But of course you can’t because there is a bit of a washing procedure with ‘real’ nappies – basically they need a few washes without softener (they don’t need to dry in between washes) so that you get the absorbency right. Note – softener adds a layer that impinges on the absorbency so don’t go there!
Now, when it comes to trialing nappies, it’s not actually that eco friendly because the only way to make that washing economical is to wash other things without softener, which I only twigged on wash 3 or 4. I’m convinced my towels don’t feel ‘right’ though…
In use: I think there is something a little assumptive about ‘real’ nappies where it’s assumed that we will understand what to do and what all these ‘pieces’ are for. It was only after the third use that I realised that I was putting one of the inserts in the wrong place! Fortunately, the Fill Your Pants website has lots of handy, free, impartial, advice which I realise is a must for embarking on this path.
The boyf, not realising that I had put one on her, said to me mystified “Is it just me, or has the bambino got a huge bum all of a sudden?”
The bambino obeyed my instructions the first few times and did not poo in them but eventually, she blew caution to the wind and did an almighty one! Let’s just say that even Nappysan had some trouble parting that one from the nappy but a hot wash cleared it all up. They wash really well and look great considering the poo massacre and the lack of softener….
My favourite: Once I actually grasped the concept of what I had, (there was a nappy double up confusion), the bumGenius (Â£14) was by far my favourite. It’s a birth to potty Stuffable Nappy, shaped like a disposable, lots of adjustable bits to get just the right fit and suitable from 7-35lbs. You stick in the microfiber insert, fasten the nappy with the aplix (like velcro), and shazam, she’s ready to rock. I think in terms of simplicity, bumGenius would remove any stress you would feel about sending your bambino to the childminder in a real nappy.
I did like the Bambinex, which is Â£6.84 for the bamboo and Â£8 for the teddy but they’re a bit ‘puffier’ than the bumGenius and the bamboo definitely takes a little longer to dry due their absorbency. I would prefer to use these for nighttime and the bambino seemed to love the cosiness of them and weed like a trooper!
Any negatives: I do find the whole washing bit at the beginning rather tedious and I certainly don’t think it’s very eco friendly to do this, but in the medium and long run, it clearly pays off. Wear gloves when you take the nappy out of the soaking stuff because I broke out! Not the nappies fault though! The different parts to real nappies are a bit confusing so spend some time initially familiarising yourself with what you’ve purchased!
Overall: It’s a commitment and if you’re prone to letting your brain go mushy on occasion and losing track of the never ending todo list, real nappies are quite daunting initially – depending on what you buy, especially if use different brands and the various boosters etc.
You need to invest money up front (at least Â£100 depending on what brand and probably closer to Â£150 and even more if you treat nappies like handbags and shoes…) but you certainly save in the medium and long term plus you’re helping your baby’s skin and the environment, because nappy’s full of poo don’t exactly disappear!
Most importantly, real nappies definitely require an education and so a brain and time investment is needed.
Rating: BumGenius – A slight edge with 4.5/5 for simplicity, drying time, and convenience. Bambinex 4/5 Great for nighttime.
I will be continuing to try out nappies in an effort to educate myself (and you guys) about the joys (and possible) pitfalls of real nappies and it’s also a way of finding out what’s actually out there. If you’ve been trying out real nappies or you’re a company that has a real nappy you’d like us to try out, we want to hear from you.