Sunday, 15 September 2013

On the vast world of cute new things to buy

***This is one in a series of posts about our switch from disposables to cloth nappies.  You can read the others here***

Some people collect cloth nappies.  I can understand it, there's an awful lot of cute out there.  I remarked to Andy that I didn't need an expensive, space-using hobby and had to correct myself - I don't need another expensive space-using hobby.  That's the premise that I've used to decide what to buy for our cloth bum adventure.  We currently have enough of everything, as long as I'm organised with my washing & drying and it's all pretty darn cute!
I used the Nappy Lady's advice and bought one of most of the things she suggested, to see what I liked.  There are more cloth nappies available on the high street now, but my scrapbooking experience tells me that in niche markets, there's much more variety and quality to be found online.  I ended up sending some things back because either I didn't like them or they didn't quite suit our situation.  And that's my second rule of cloth-nappying; get what works for you and what you like.  A couple of friends have offered me their secondhand nappy systems and I've managed to be a brave girl and turn them all down.  (And you know what, we're just as good friends now as we were before.... Odd that.)

I tried nappies from Blueberry, Tots Bots and Little Lamb & wraps from Blueberry and Motherease.  I bought some basic bamboo boosters and fleece liners, both of which I love.  I bought a trial pack of disposable liners and then picked one of the three I liked to try in a bigger pack.  I had great fun trying the different styles and settling on what I liked best.  (I did try to involve Andy in my decisions but, while he's completely supportive, he really isn't excited about trying cloth nappies.)
So now we have a two-part system for night-times; Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch nappies (bamboo - lovely and absorbant) with Blueberry wraps (I like these for their patterns and their size, they're a lovely fit on my tall Anna); and a selection of all-in-ones (AIOs) for daytime use.  All the nappies I've bought are birth-to-potty, or one-size.  This means that they're adjustable to fit from birth to... well, potty-training.  In theory, these nappies will do for Anna now and the baby when it arrives in the new year.  Two part nappies are very similar to the old-style folded terry cloth nappies and plastic pants that my mum used when I was small.  You can buy flat nappies but I've opted for shaped nappies with Aplix (Velcro) fastenings for convenience.  Instead of those nasty plastic pants, you can now buy polyurethane laminate (PUL) wraps, which either Velcro or popper up around the absorbent nappy.  AIOs are much more like disposables, consisting of a shaped nappy with attached absorbent bits covered with PUL for waterproofing.  Some AIOs are also pocket nappies, i.e. they have a pocket that can be stuffed with boosters to improve their absorbency.
Our daytime nappies are a mix of Blueberry AIOs (again, a lovely fit for Anna with some really cute patterns) and Bumgenius Freetimes (these are slightly different, the blue one in the picture, they have their boosters attached at front and back.  I chose these to make things as simple as possible for our childminder or anyone else who might be looking after our children).  I also have a Tots Bots Easyfit v3, which is lovely but a little too short for Anna (I'm planning to buy some more of these to use for the baby) and a Bumgenius v4 (another pocket nappy, lovely but the fit of the Blueberrys was better).  I use Little Lamb bamboo boosters and cheap plain fleece liners with some disposable liners for nappies I think are likely to end up pooed in!
At the moment, I have 12 daytime nappies and 5 night-time nappies, with 3 wraps.  This allows me to wash every 2 days and line-dry my nappies without worrying about running out.  I could manage with fewer, but this was the best balance between economy and stress!  I also have more boosters and liners than I have nappies, mostly because it was more economical to buy them in packs of five or ten.

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