Get comfy this is going to be a long post….
We all know the benefits of re-usable nappies and when you consider how not all that many years ago there was no other choice but the good old terry it is surprising how complicated the whole process is these days, not to mention the expensive.
So when you step in to the world of, AI1, stuffable, pockets, wrap, booster, minky, liners, fleece and soakers its not surprising most people become bamboozled by it all and give up at this very first hurdle – and as for the thought of investing, well when Elliott was about a year old I really wanted to get him into re-usable nappies and I was so terrified at buying “the wrong thing” that I gave up the whole idea.
There are loads of videos and helpful sites online to guide you through turning to cloth but these are all written by experienced mums who know what they are doing, some have their 2nd, 3rd, 4th child in reusable. Their words of encouragement are warm and comforting but still “THEY” know what they are doing, how am I ever going to follow, what if I get it horribly wrong spend a fortune and it turn out to be a disaster because I just wasnt clever enough to figure it all out! – this was the voice in my head.
When Sam came along my enthusiasm for cloth was re-sparked and I decided to look into it further and then I struck upon an idea – I am not going to do any major reading, no long internet searches and I am going to take the plunge with cloth and give it a whirl from the angle of a complete novice. I will follow the manufacturers guides and if I get stuck use any helpline numbers they provide and only when I am still confused turn to the wealth of knowledge on the internet from those wise mums on cloth nappy forums and you tube!
So what do I want from a cloth nappy? Well I think I want what many consumers are looking for, simplicity. I don’t want to be confused by jargon and bogged down having to mess around for hours just to have clean nappies to put on my baby – I don’t have time and quite frankly I’m too lazy! We all like disposable because we take them out of the packet, slap it on the baby and then off it comes after and we can forget about it. We have a reluctance to change this system because it works for us, its easy and if something is much more complicated than that, well we are bound to just give up, right?
So I need something simple and easy to use, I also need something that I can rely on and that isn’t going to fail me at a crucial moment – so far with disposable it seems that every time Sam poos his outfit inevitably ends up soaking in the sink in the hope that the stains wont set and it can be worn again.
Most importantly I need a nappy that Sam is comfortable in and that isn’t going to leave me with a grumpy baby or one that needs changing every five minutes, especially when out and about.
So where do I start? Well Bambino Mio heard of my plan and were the first to volunteer their nappies for the trial. They set the challenge was to use just one of their nappies a day for a week – well that didn’t sound so difficult!
So last night I sat and read through all the information and watched all the company videos that were also sent as well as the ones that they have on you tube and today Sam and I branched into our very first cloth nappy trial!!!!!
So here we are Bambino Mio – Day 1!
The first thing that I appreciated was that the Mio nappies came pre-washed – so that was certainly one less thing to worry about because apparently the pre-washing is important to guarantee the maximum absorbancy of the nappy and not knowing what I was doing this was a box I was happy to already have ticked.
Mio nappies are not a “birth to potty” nappy – in the respect that you can’t adjust the nappy as your child gets older to fit them from a newborn to a toddler. The system involves buying new larger nappies as your child grows and is based on, whats known in the trade as a 2 part system consisting of a prefold nappy and a wrap . The actual nappy part of it looks something like this
Why they are called prefold I’m not sure because on best description they are like a small really thin duvet that you have to fold and shape and put into the wrap, which is waterproof on the inside and soft fabric on the outside and this part looks more like a conventional nappy
Now I have to say the folding side of things worried me but the videos were extremely helpful especially as we had to do the, looks complicated but isn’t, “loose stool” fold as Sam is a breastfed baby.
My theory was it would take a couple of goes to get it right but it was so easy that I managed it the first time and then undid it to check it wasnt a fluke! The reason for this fold opening up at the back is so that the nappy covers a larger area at the back, especially the legs, to catch those wonderful explosive poos they love to do so much. Due to the nature of these explosions being liquid they say that a liner is not needed when the nappy is in this fold, I shoved one in just to see if it did make any difference (it didn’t)
The liner is a really thin flushable layer which has the sole purpose of catching the lumpy bits so that you can lift them straight up and then put them down the toilet. From what I understand liners are not used by everyone, some just rinse off the nappy under a flushing toilet to remove any poo and there are also those that use re-usable liners made of material like fleece to do the same job.
So after about 5 minutes preparation the nappy was all set to go onto Sam. As I said previously Bambino Mio nappies come in different sizes and Sam officially is still a pound or so within the age range of the small nappys BUT he is some what porky for his weight and so we opted for the medium option as a first attempt. This turned out to be the right way to go as they were a perfect fit, although initially I was a little unsure about that
Now the first thing that struck me was not his slight muffin top – I had it a little tight for him initially – but the width of the nappy between his legs, which made it difficult to put his legs together – not that he does as he is only 3 months old. I did wonder if this was the nappy being of a larger size but in actual fact after checking with Bambino Mio directly they assured me that this is normal for a cloth nappy and that it shouldnt cause him any discomfort and of course they were right, he adjusted quickly and didn’t seem slightly phased by it. In fact if the nappy had been a little big for him the tabs fold over one another allowing for it to go even smaller than they did in their previous design but as you can see, Sam didn’t need any help!
Cloth nappies are of course larger and bulkier than disposable – and as such babies end up with big weightier bottom and this really did take some getting used to as when I picked him up it felt for me rather odd – not that Sam cared. 3 hours later he had been perfectly content and put the nappy fully through its paces, finishing off with a big poo! To be honest if he hadn’t been sitting on my lap when he did it I wouldn’t have known because the smell was well contained in this nappy. As he seems to have turned into a baby that doesn’t mind sitting in his own poo he doesn’t complain about the situation often so I will need to remember to check him more frequently.
When I took his nappy off it was completely saturated on the inside but no moisture had transferred to the outside and was safely sealed in the waterproof wrap. The poo however had begun to escape but I do wonder if this was due to the nappy being absolutely soaked and it just couldn’t absorb any more to capture it. It certainly wasnt anything near the amount that escapes his disposable and all got caught in the bound edges of the nappy wrap and not on his clothes.
Due to it being on the only absorbent part of the nappy wrap I decided that the only thing for it was to wash the whole nappy, wrap and all. Due to the wraps being waterproof you don’t have to change the wrap with every change – I am yet to understand how many times you are supposed to use them before washing or even what is the best way to keep them hygienic in the meantime, is a wet wipe really going to cut it? When I know I will let you know.
So onto washing, the bit I was dreading but really it couldn’t be simpler and no soaking needed. Put nappy in drum, add non bio to draw along with a 15ml scoop of “miofresh” a sanitizing powder which allows you to wash the nappy at as low a temperature as 30 degrees! This is a huge advantage to me as to be honest Im never 100% convinced my washing machine is washing as hot as it should. So as an experiment I decided to put the heavily soiled nappy, that I had only rinsed off in the sink, in at 40 degrees to see what happened.
What came out to my amazement was a perfectly white fresh nappy!!! The wrap didn’t come out quite so well because the staining in the creases of the elastic was still present but to be honest it was purely on the inside and I don’t really know how this could even be avoided in the design and I think it’s a fact of life kind of thing.
So at present I have the nappy drying on the airer in the bathroom to see if it ready by morning to put on Sam – if not I have a spare!
TOMORROW…. trying out the nappy with an additional booster