Cloth Nappy Starter Kit – A review

Right, I promised a review of my cloth nappy starter kit once I had it – I’ve now been using it for a few months (Rora is 5 months old already! This goes waaaaaay too quick!); so I’ve kind of got the knack of the whole ‘washable nappy life’ now.

Things You Need To Live The Cloth Nappy Life

  • Time. All the washing, putting on and taking off (much faster at this now), drying, folding….I never have enough anyway.
  • Water. So far with the kit I bought, I wash every other day. Unfortunately, I’ve moved into a house with a water meter, so I daren’t check the meter readings just yet (they are bad enough for the Rayburn)
  • Washing Powder. Giant boxes of Fairy Non-Bio that used to last forever now slip away on the regular.
  • Somewhere to dry them. The nappies are ALWAYS drying. Theres always one load piling up in the bucket whilst the next load dries. My slightly bankrupting but fabulous giant slow cooker Rayburn comes in here; it is difficult to use the top oven as the things is permanently used to dry nappies and baby clothes.

So I got a TotsBots Birth to Potty Kit, which is similar but not identical to the one in the picture above. I got like 15 of the all-in-ones, 5 Bamboozle Stretch, sizes 1 & 2 PeeNut Wraps, A roll of disposable liners, a load of fleece liners, a washable travel bag, 2 laundry nets, Potion washing powder and the lockable bucket.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the cloth nappies. It does seem to be a thing that you’re either in the cloth nappy camp or the disposables; and I would say I’m a cloth nappy convert!

Pros for cloth nappies

  • Overnight absorbency is ace. Shove Rora in a Bamboozle Stretch with a booster and a PeeNut wrap and she can easily go 8-10 hours. I did start with disposable back when she was a teeny preemie; I’m not sure whether the amazing absorbancy of these nappies has contributed to me getting upwards of 7 hours sleep since she was about 8 weeks old, but it was around the same time I switched her into cloth. However, now she’s bigger and started weaning we are starting to get a few leaky mornings, and the Size 1 Peenut Wrap is not working enough now. I bought another Size 2 a few months back and will buy another soon to retire the Size 1.
  • Obviously, theres the environmental issues – I am using a bit in energy with all the washing, but I’m not running a tumble dryer and line-dry whenever I can. And I’m not filling landfill with disposable nappies!
  • Bum padding. Shes not quite at crawling/walking yet, but it’s like having a portable cushion. They are nowhere near as bulky as terry nappies but still give a bit of cushioning.
  • I’m glad I got this kit for the bucket, nets and disposable liners. Bucket locks in the smells (getting worse now purees are involved); and retrospectively glad it locks from small hands, but more about that below… Nets mean you can just pull them out the bucket straight into the machine in one go; and disposable liners are great when you’re in a daily poop schedule then you know when to put one on and flush down the loo it goes.

And The Not-So-Good…

  • Leaks – These were particularly a problem when she was a preemie and her legs were too skinny for the legholes. She grew and things got better, but now we’re having the odd leak again with the legholes. This seems to be an issue that the new Easyfit Star has been made to solve, I’m not sure if the nappies in my kit are the Stars but they don’t have the visible stitching around the legholes which apparently really does leak. Hoping that if I buy some boosters, we will have sorted this problem out. Again, it’s not all the time but pretty much guaranteed if it goes over 4ish hours.
  • Bulkyness – whilst I think this is a good thing (see above), its also a bit frustrating because baby clothes seem to be made for the disposable-wearing child. Try getting a pair of 3-6 month leggings over a cloth-clad butt now – its just not happening and we’ve had to upgrade to 6-9 months.
  • Yeast infections – Ok, disposables are easier when there’s one of these on the go. I’ve just tried washing hotter and will attempt line drying whenever this torrential Noah-rain subsides, but I don’t fancy bleaching the all-in-ones.

The starter kit was about £250 – so expensive upfront, but works out cheaper than buying everything bit by bit. The idea then is other than maybe another wrap or 2, some boosters and rolls of disposable liners, you’re set until they are ready for the pot.

Which was my plan. However, either I’m going to have to start washing daily from next summer or extend my kit; because there’s going to be another bum to cloth! Baby Number 2 is now (already) in early production; and will be with us end July 18 (a year and a week after Roras due date, but she was 6 weeks early so there will be about 13/14 months between them).

Wish me luck!!!

If you want to look at TotsBots current starter kits, you can find them here.

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