A potential customer at last week’s roadshow asked what qualified me to give real nappy advice, to which I replied 7 years of unbroken cloth nappy usage! A lot has changed since I first nervously put a cloth nappy on my baby’s bottom and texted my husband with “wow, he has a cute big bottom!”
Seven years and 3 months ago I had my first baby. I had been made redundant just before I got pregnant and my husband had just been accepted to go back to university to retrain. We had little money coming.
We also were both keen environmentalist, believing that we should use resources wisely and, having heard that Cambridgeshire (where we were living) would run out of space for landfill in 10 years, we really felt we had to find an alternative to disposable nappies.
Like most first time mums, I started with research on the internet, at which point my head exploded! What was the difference between all in ones, pocket nappies, fitteds, flat nappies. Why would I choose bamboo over microfibre and what on earth is a nappy nippa?!
My next step was to ask friends advice. Unfortunately, I only had 2 friends using cloth nappies at the time. One did it “old skool” with terry squares, pins and plastic pants (I kid you not!) and the other was using prefolds.
So baby arrived, and I was non the wiser. So we used disposables for a few weeks, albeit “eco” ones!
My friend who used prefolds lent me her newborn set. I gave them back a week later, fed up with the fact that they leaked EVERY time I put him down for a nap. (Apparently they’re great if you have a girl, but bad for a boy!).
Then I heard that Cambridgeshire Real Nappy Network lent out trial kits. At last, a chance to try a selection of nappies and finally understand what people were talking about.
My trial kit arrived in the post and contained 1 all in one, 1 pocket, 1 terry square, 1 fitted, 1 prefold and a muslin, with a couple of wraps. Not great as far as trial kits go, not even enough nappies to do 1 day with a newborn. I did at least find out what a nappy nippa was!
At the end of the trial I decided I wanted to use fitteds, but couldn’t afford them! So I bought a coupe of packs of terry squares, some nappy nippas and some Motherease wraps. I also picked up some Kushies all in ones in a charity shop!
These nappies did my fine for the first 6 months, had cost less than £100, and meant I didn’t need to buy anything else. However, when my little man got mobile, things changed. I couldn’t pin him to the change station while folding a terry square, or even hold a folded square in place while he wriggled. So, I went ebay shopping for some fitteds. I manage to pick up some WAHM made Totsbots Fluffle copies for really cheap and they did the job. The only down side was the all in ones, which leaked and took 3 days to dry!
Role on another 3 years and baby number 2 was due. My husband was now working and I couldn’t face going back to folding terry squares, so decided to buy some size 1 fitteds (my experience with the Kushies had convinced me that 2 parters were the way forward). Luckily for me, I picked up a pack of motherease one size, with a few size 2 fluffles and some fleece liners at an NCT nearly new sale for £50. These did us fine until she decided she liked the sensation of drinking when she was about 18 months and would wet through everything, no matter how well boosted!
Baby number 3 has since come along and we are making do with the nappies we have, but of course I have 4 trial kits stocked with some of the best nappies on the market! So when they are not out on loan, I am always stealing Gro Via, Easyfits, Bum Genius and Diddy Diapers for my little man!