By Claire Carey
When washable nappies are mentioned, quite often, it conjures up an image of terry towelling nappies that had to be soaked, scrubbed, and boil washed, therefore, washable nappies = hard work!
Thankfully, washable nappy designs have evolved considerably over the past decade or so and are increasing in popularity with many parents due to their economic viability, being environmentally friendly, and, in particular, they can be very cute!
I am more than aware of how confusing it can be when faced with the different types of cloth nappy and without correct guidance and advice this can lead to expensive purchases that then become a waste! The thought of wasting money on something I had no idea if it would work or not was what put me off cloth nappies for my first two children.
I have now been a user of cloth nappies, on three of my children, for over five years now. However, I was fortunate enough to receive expert advice from Lisa Woodger, an independent, not for profit, cloth nappy advisor, which I believe ensured my experience was a positive one and helped me in avoiding unnecessary purchases.
After my consultation, I made the decision to use one size nappies, commonly known as birth to potty, or ‘modern cloth nappies’, as these were the most cost effective. Once I had made the decision on what type of nappy I preferred, I was then faced with the many different brands on the market. My nappy guru had already sourced and trialled many different types, and brands of nappy on her own children and was able to give first hand advice without any pressure.
I initially started with a modest stash of Bumgenius nappies for my toddler and for my unborn little girl and quickly progressed to Issy Bear nappies due to the inserts being made up of bamboo as well as microfibre which meant their absorbency level was excellent. I have to be honest and say I have been swayed by the beautiful prints of issy bear nappies but I have also found them completely ‘bomb proof’: for a 7lb newborn, a lively toddler, and even for a 6 year old overnight. All three of my children who used Issy Bears have been different shapes and sizes and I have found them to be very reliable. If I did encounter any problems, Lisa is always on hand to help.
I have used many other brands as well, including Monk N Bear, Bonnibuns, B Cheeks and I have even used the ones sold on Ebay that are from China, although, these may be cheaper on the pocket, I did not find them very reliable due to the cheaper material used.
I may have spent a considerable amount of money on cloth nappies, however, many of the nappies have been worn by three children, and there is an excellent second hand market where I can sell them when I no longer need them. Based on the cost of pampers nappies for three children until the age of three, I have saved approximately £2500. I also use washable wipes, cheeky wipes, which has attracted a substantial saving also.
I have not used a disposable in over five years and I even take my stash on holiday, they have become just another piece of clothing for my children. The extra washing is more than manageable with my busy lifestyle and now I know what chemicals and other nasty’s are in disposables I would not choose to put them on my babies delicate bottom.
My personal advice, as a mother to five children and a cloth nappy user, is to seek the advice of an independent advisor and make an informed choice.
You can read our interview with Lisa Woodger, from birth2potty, here.