I LOVE cloth nappies. Truly I do. I have loved them since the moment I first saw the early versions of Kushies and Bambinex in a nursery I worked in way back in 2006. I swore at that moment I would use cloth if ever I had a child.
Fast forward 5 years to 2011 when I was pregnant with Little Man and I began my search for cloth nappies and discovered, to my absolute joy, that the range had grown beyond imagination and there were some truly gorgeous designs out there. And you'll understand why I fell in love with cloth all over again.
Except, it wasn't so simple for us. First of all we didn't have the funds to spend on the intial outlay, so we did some shopping around and bought lots of lovely pre-loved nappies and eBay cheapies to start us off. Using cloth nappies can save you a bundle, but if you fall into a cloth nappy addiction your bank balance can seriously take a hammering. And even if you avoid the lure of custom made nappies and buying far more than you really need for a full-time stash, that initial outlay can be pretty darn hefty.
Of course there are incentive schemes here in the UK where you can claim back some of the expenses from your local council. And there are so many places where you can buy pre-loved nappies. I'd always advise a certain amount of caution when buying second-hand, especially if over the internet rather than in a shop where you can see the state of the nappy. But if you take your time to get to know the sellers and make sure you aren't paying over the odds for a second-hand item you can have a good experience.
A good general rule for buying second hand nappies is this: you should expect to pay a decent amount for a decent nappy - if you pay £2 per nappy you need to accept that they may be rather grey and well-used. Most second-hand nappies will be described in terms of EUC (excellent used condition), or GUC (good used condition) with a description and clear photo of any fraying or stains (which are generally very rare!)
Despite our initial issue, we managed to build up quite a nice stash of pocket nappies, prefolds and fitteds to try and I was very excited about the thought of putting something as cute as this on Little Man's bottom every day...
Except he turned out to be a very heavy wetter. I kid you not. He could outpee almost every nappy we tried, and eventually we discovered that the only way we could manage cloth nappying was to rely on bamboo fitted nappies (from Little Lambs), with an extra bamboo booster inside, and a waterproof wrap. And only in the daytime. Night time was a nightmare.
And whilst that was okay, it wasn't my ideal. Our stash was very "samey", all natural coloured bamboo nappies and none of the gorgeous prints that so many others enjoy in their stash.
It wasn't all a loss. We did manage to buy some super cute waterproof wraps, such as this one we received as a gift in a "Easter Fluff Bunny Swap" (like a Secret Santa).
But still, fitteds were not my ideal, not after seeing the gorgeous pocket nappies that exist these days.
And further to the whole "pretty" issue of the nappies, there was also the inconvenience of them. Bamboo fitteds take longer to dry than those that come apart completely for washing. And they were bulky with all the layers needed to keep in those mega pees of Little Man's. And when he started crawling, keeping him on the changing mat long enough to put on the nappy and then the wrap was an unwelcome task.
So imagine my joy when we tried some pockets the other day, with three layers of bamboo inserted and discovered that it worked. Either Little Man is peeing less or we've just hit the right level of absorbency for him. And just in time as well, as his fitteds are getting far too small, what with my baby being 28lbs already at the grand old age of 1!!
So I've been on eBay looking for some more pockets to try and rebuild our stash, and we're going to try some Zorb and maybe hemp inserts as these are supposed to be even more absorbent than bamboo. After a bit of a "bidding war" we've come away with 3 Ittis, another BumGenius, some eBay cheapies and a Happy Bum. And I have another hour or two to decide whether we really need the two FuzziBunz have my eye on!
I've always loved cloth and I always will, but this next wave of cloth nappying is definitely the most exciting by far! I shall be sure to post photos of our newest Fluffy Post once it arrives.
If you fancy chatting about Cloth Nappies, then please do consider joining me over on Cloth Nappy Natter as it's mightily quiet over there these days.