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Before you read this review, I'd just like to add that Oliver is now one and I have started to use these nappies again. They don't need to be folded so small now, so they don't look any bulkier that disposbles. I have found some gorgeous wraps from kittykins.co.uk, available for £7.75 each with no delivery charge. They are available in four eco themes - ocean (fish and squids), rainforest (monkeys and things), savanna (lions, etc) and wetlands (frogs and fish). They still need changing more often than disposables, and need to be padded up at night with muslin squares and liners, but I am much happier with these than I was with disposables. After changes, the nappies need to be soaked in a bin with a lid in nappy soak (PHP - available for £2.50 in mothercare). Change the solution every day. If they are dirty they should be sluiced in the toilet first - just hold them in the loo and flush a couple of times!) Then they need to be rinsed in the rinse cycle of the washing mashine, and washed normally. 40 degrees is fine, 60 for really dirty nappies! I haven't had any permanent stains so far, and all is going very well. PHP also do flushable bio-degradable one way liners, which help to protect the nappy from poo and also help to keep the wee away from baby's skin. These are brilliant, I found them for £2.25 in a private baby shop in Oakhampton, but I expect they are sold in most baby shops, including Mothercare. If you're interested, I have calculated the cost of these and compared them to the cost of disposable Pampers and Huggies, and have worked out that I need to use these for just 7 months to get my moneys worth. Easy. And because I'm planning to have more children I have saved myself a fortune! These nappies weren't ideal for me when Oliver was tiny, but now that he's bigger I wouldn't be without them. I've also heard rumours that children in cloth nappies are potty trained younger as they don't realise they are weeing in disposables! Read on for my previous review...
When I was pregnant, I had lots of ideas about what was going to be right for my baby. A lot of them were very good, but a lot of them were completely impractical. It's all very well to sit there and say, "When I have a baby, I'll do it this way". But when it comes down to it, having a baby is quite hard work, and you never know how you'll cope until it happens.
I always wanted to use reusable nappies because it's a one-off payment, and then you never have to buy nappies again. This is especially good if you are planning to have more than one baby. Also, disposable nappies aren't actually all that disposable - they take something like 30 years to decompose completely. I also read somewhere once that babies in reusable nappies are potty trained younger as they are more aware that they are weeing. This is because reusable nappies don't absorb as well as disposable ones do.
So I went online and found a supplier via the Babycentre.co.uk, who sold me 12 nappies, 8 wraps and 6 reusable liners for £150 (free postage and packing for orders of £150 or more). I was very happy with my order. My supplier, Rachel from Bumble Baby, even sent me a nappy to look at before I decided to purchase. The order arrived on yime, and I was proud to tell all of my friends that I was going to help the environment as well as providing the best possible start for my baby.
When Oliver was born he weighed in at 7lb 3oz. For the first few days in hospital I used disposable nappies, not having access to a washing machine! Then, when I got home I unpacked my Motherease nappies and tried one out.
It was very easy to use, (hence the name!). You just put the liner in the nappy, lie your baby down and put the nappy on the same way you would a disposable, except where you would normally have sticky tabs there are poppers. Then you put the wrap on in much the same way.
However, the Motherease are one-size. To make them suitable for a smaller baby you need to overlap the poppers both from the sides and from the top, making the nappies extremely bulky. People will tell you that they're not bulky and that it makes the baby look cute, but to be frank, they're lying. I couldn't get the newborn sleepsuits on Oliver, and had to use a bigger size. I felt sad because I thought he looked silly. It used to look cute because they didn't used to have disposable nappies, but now most people do use disposable nappies and so Oliver looked strange to everyone.
In the end I packed them away and bought disposable nappies, thinking I could get the Motherease back out once Oliver had grown a bit.
A few months later, I decided to try them again. They were still quite bulky, but looked a lot better. However, now I found that I needed to change Oliver nearly every hour, because the Motherease are not nearly as absorbant as disposable nappies. I suppose it was probably as I'd settled into quite a nice routine already, that I found this was really disruptive. Also, Oliver was getting very wet, and I felt really guilty letting him sit in his own wee like that, getting sore.
I found a pack of one-way liners for £1 for 100, in a private baby shop in Okehampton. I have since seen these in Mothercare. These were amazing. They let the wee through to the nappy and then locked it there, similar to how a disposable nappy works. You just need to pop one inside the nappy before you put it on, it doesn't matter which way up it goes, just make sure that no part of it is sticking out or the nappy will leak.
But I still found that I had to change Oliver much more often than I was happy with. After I took each nappy off, I put it in a bucket of water to soak, because the smell of wee they let off is disgusting. Then, at the end of each day I put the nappies into the washing mashine.
They can be washed on a normal 40 degree wash, but for staining I would recommend a 60 degree wash. The wraps and liners can go in on the same wash, and they can all be tumble dried if necessary. It is better if you try to put them out on the line though, because the sun naturally bleaches out staines. When washing them though, never use fabric conditioner as this breaks down the fibres and shortens the life of the nappies.
I found all of this to be too much for me. I only needed to do two wash loads a week before I started using these nappies, and suddenly I was doing one every night. I still felt concious of the size of them, and couldn't help worrying that Oliver looked silly. I was also still a little concerned that he was sitting in a lot of his own wee, even with the new liners, and I didn't like having a bucket full of dirty nappies in his bedroom!
If you are prepared for a little hard work, these are probably some of the best reusable nappies available on the market. They are extremely popular. However, I have packed them away and opted to use disposable nappies at least for the forseeable future.
These nappies are not for every one, but if you are adament that you would like reusable nappies, they are probably for you.
It's good to have negative opinions shown here (not that review is entirely negative), but I feel I must comment on a couple of things:
You don't HAVE to soak your nappies: I rinse mine under the tap and 'dry pail', though you don't even have to rinse them unless they're soiled.
And as far as I know, the problem with fabric conditioner is that it makes the nappies less absorbant (like towels), not that it breaks down the fibres.
Also, I use Motherease Onesize and with the popper-in boosters they still last my little boy 3 to 4 hours, so I'm surprised you felt you had to change every hour - that would be a chore!
marcellep 17.05.2005 02:28
Great review- We are a huggies family here. Rob
Sazere 17.08.2004 23:00
Really good review, very helpful for mum to get different opinions and advice when considering switching to reuseable nappies. I use disposables for all 3 of my children, but now our council is changing the rubbish collections to fortnightly I am going to switch to reuseables so all advice welcome!!! Thanks!