Nappy Trial – Tots Bots Minky! – Day One

Well we have been using the latest Minky Tots Bots easy fit for a few weeks now and so here is our official report for all those fluffy mums and fluffy mums to be

After starting to think about nappy testing back with our Bambino Mio tests some months ago I have decided that the only fair way to test nappys is to actually discuss the same points for each nappy type so that it is easy to compare directly if you put my reviews side by side. I will also then follow-up with a users guide video on my last day. As Tots Bots is a new version of an existing nappy and I have the V2 I will do a user guide and a side by side comparative video at the end of the week of the old style Tots Bots, for those that are interested in what Minky has to offer.

There are a lot of points to cover with nappies so I will write a section a day over the course of the next week – so here it is todays topic, How easy are Tots Bots to start using, especially if you have never used cloth before?

Well for the first time I have discovered a nappy that doesn’t need pre-washing. Most nappies need to be pre-washed to increase their absorbance before use but with the Minky Tots Bots you can literally take it straight out of the packet and put it straight onto your baby; EXCELLENT because pre-washing quite frankly makes me nervous, I am not the most experienced cloth bum mum and I always get paranoid that I am going to get it dramatically wrong and have nappies leaking everywhere, so this element I LOVE. Also I love the idea that if I am caught short and need an extra nappy I can pop into a local retailer, if there is one, and buy a reusable nappy to put on Sam rather than having to pay out for a packet of disposable. It was a very surreal experience not pre-washing a nappy and letting Sam wear it but as far as I can tell it has done no harm what-so-ever to the nappy so it is totally fine – saying this he did only last an hour and a half in it until he pooed so how long it would last straight out of the packet I couldn’t comment on.

When you take your new nappy out of the packet it is already set up for you EXCEPT for a liner –

liners basically catch the poo and, in theory, stop all or the majority of it from getting onto the nappy. Liners come in 2 types disposable and fabric, usually fleece. – I will explain about what to do with liners tomorrow when I discuss washing but it’s really up to you which type you prefer. disposable liners arent recommended for newborn poo because it is so runny it pretty much just goes straight through it. They obviously have the disadvantage of being something you have to purchase but a roll of 100 costs around £5. Fleece liners obviously can catch some of the more runny poo and can be purchased or made yourself so after the initial expense are just a case of throwing into the nappy bucket. Some fleece however does become quite scratchy over repeated high temperature washes and also when out and about you obviously are then carrying the most dirty part of your nappy with you. I personally use a mix of the 2, at home we use fleece and if we are going to be out all day I use flushable liners so that I can get rid of as much poo as possible. 

Tots Bots recommend that you use a liner in their nappies so you just pop one of those onto the inside of the nappy to line it and then you just need to adjust the nappy to fit your baby.

AMENDMENT – When we received our Minky nappy it came with a liner but at the time this wasn’t planned to be as standard however just before the release of the Minky was released for general sale Tots Bots decided to include a liner with the nappies! The liner we received was really lovely, it wasnt minky but super soft and hasn’t become scratchy, which some of the other liners I have used have. The liner not only acts as a poo catcher but also as a stay dry layer between the nappy and your baby’s skin – so when you remove your babies nappy their bottom will be lovely and dry!

On the front of the nappy are 3 rows of 2 snaps and these adjust how long your nappy is in the body, all you do is snap the front of your nappy to the level for your babies weight – this is really easy to do with the Tots Bots, the snaps aren’t too stiff and yet once they are done up they stay that way. There is no exact science as to how big to make your nappy you just need to make sure its a good fit for your baby but as a guide Sam is now 20lb, 11 months old tomorrow and still on the second row setting, nowhere near approaching the third and he has been since he would have been about 3-4 months old.

Putting your new nappy on your baby is just as simple as putting on a disposable and if you are using velcro, or aplix as it is often refered to, there really isn’t any difference at all. All you do is exactly the same as thing you do with disposable, you lay your baby on their back, fold up the front and do up the tabs. This ease of putting the nappy on to your baby makes the Tots Bots velcro nappy really easy to leave with non cloth using babysitters and in actual fact my friend, who occasionally babysits for Sam, requests he is in Tots Bots because they don’t worry or confuse her at all, there are no adjustments that may need to be made, no folding etc I just set the nappy up with the liner inside ready and when she comes to change him she just pops it on him with no concerns. The velcro on the Tots Bots nappies is very very good quality, with my older nappies it hasn’t bobbled or begun to look tired and every time I get it out of the machine it still looks like new and I have been using some of my own collection of Tots Bots for some months now.

The only thing you need to make sure of when putting your nappy on your baby is that there isn’t any gaping around the legs, that they fit snugly but obviously not tightly, that the white from the inside of the nappy isn’t showing – because this can cause what is known as wicking – and the same goes for liners, make sure they are nicely tucked into the nappy and not sticking out.

wicking is the term used for when the urine travels from the inside of the nappy up to the exposed areas of the nappy, like the liner or the exposed insides of the nappy that are hanging out of it. The urine then travels onto the baby’s clothes etc in the same way a flame travels down the wick of a candle. This is the case with all reusable nappies not just Tots Bots and it is very easy and only takes a second to prevent.

For the first time the NEW Tots Bots are available to purchase in a snaps option. When we were asked to test the new nappies we were asked which we would prefer, velcro or snaps and I stupidly automatically said velcro. I say stupidly because I was basing this on my experience using other brand cloth nappies that have a snaps option, which has led me to prefer velcro, however this was unfair to Tots Bots because for all I know their snaps option is great. The other reason why I am also now kicking myself is that Sam is, as I say, very nearly 11 months old, and he has discovered that he can open his nappy up if he pulls the velcro and thinks that this is a great game. You may think this isn’t a problem, aside from when you are changing your baby and you are battling to do it up because as quick as you do up one side they have the other side undone and visa versa. However in fluff world the one thing cloth bum mums love to do is show off our babies funky pants and I am no exception to this, so in baby massage class there is Sam in his nappy repeatedly undoing his velcro during the class (he would be doing this if he was in a disposable also) and when it is warm enough for him to mooch around the house in just a nappy and a t-shirt or nappy, babylegs and a t-shirt you can’t really trust him to keep his nappy on. This problem would be solved with a good set of snaps that wouldn’t come undone so easily. I will have a look around for any reviews on the Tots Bots snaps and if I find any I will put the link on the blog.

Now comes to the subject of boosters

Boosters are additional inserts that you can put into your nappy to make it more absorbent – as far as I am aware and please correct me if I am wrong but Tots Bots do not currently sell boosters for their nappies – boosters are not something you have to use but are useful if you have a baby that is a heavy wetter and you find wees through their nappies quickly, any time you may need to go longer between wet changes – long car journeys for example it is always handy to pop in a booster in case you get stuck in traffic etc – The most common use of boosters is to add extra absorbance to a nappy for use overnight.

Tots Bots, in the past with V2 in bamboo, have always been a nappy that experienced cloth nappy users havent recommended for using as a night nappy – for this is the Tots Bots range they strongly recommend the stretchies range – I have never used V2 over night but one of the reasons many mums havent gotten on with them, I believe, it that they were not the easiest nappies to boost as the out PUL layer wasnt the most giving. This week I need to finally test this nappy overnight, something I keep planning and not managing, but my feedback so far is that the new minky has a very stretchy PUL layer and there appears to be plenty of room and give in these nappies to add additional boosters to it. The most effective results for whether this is the case however will be my attempt at night nappying. On first impressions I don’t think you would have any trouble what so ever getting a standard booster into this nappy for day time use.

Cloth nappies have got a reputation for being big and bulky, some people love the cloth bum look but sometimes it can be a bit of a pain getting those large nappies into modern clothing. Sam wears a lot of leggings because they are a lot easier to get over a cloth nappy but if I want to put a pair of jeans on him for example I have had to put him in a size larger than he would normally wear to accommodate the additional bulk. So another great element to these new nappies is that they really aren’t bulky at all – in fact they are very slim fitting and I have found that a lot of my clothing issues have been solved with this nappy.

This is Sam in the minky and a pair of leggings, he does have quite a round bottom naturally so it probably looks bulkier than on another child but this really is an obvious difference to other cloth nappies

So really to use your nappy for the first time that is all you really need to know and in this respect the nappies are VERY user-friendly as you really can just get started straight away.

As this is quite a lengthy first post already I will discuss how long you can go between changes with these nappies, what to do with them when they are dirty and how to set them back up to use when they are dry in my post tomorrow.

For now if there are ANY questions at all PLEASE ask as well as feel free to comment on this post, anything relating to Tots Bots nappies themselves or anything you feel I havent covered and that you would like me to.

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Bambino Mio – Day 2 cont… – Need To Educate Hubby

Well after I posted my last update Sam woke up about 30 minutes later and I could remove his Mio – I have to say that he had been wearing it for the same amount of time as the previous occasion but hadn’t urinated as much so it wasnt as wet – however the front was very wet but when you touched it the moisture was securely locked away!

This was defiantly something that I did wonder when I was thinking about reusable – I understood that the nappy would hold the moisture but as it was going into fabric I wasnt sure if it would still be wet against his skin – it isn’t, the fluid is drawn right into the nappy keeping the outside as if it had never been weed on at all. – I have decided to demonstrate this, when I can get my video camera working again (Elliott has “misplaced” the only SD card that works in it!) I will do the tissue test; you remember the one they used to do on those old Pampers ads where they would put a tissue on top of the nappy to show how much moisture came out.

So when I removed the nappy it was upstairs in the bedroom and it was getting late so my husband took it downstairs to the bathroom. He asked me what I wanted him to do with it and I said to put it in the sink for now, as I still need to go and buy a nappy bucket. The next morning I got up and knowing I had another clean dry nappy I went to put it on Sam only to find that Steve had put the wrap in the sink in water along with the nappy, doh!!! He assumed, understandably, that you need to wash everything including the cover – so off went the cover to dry!

So just as I was about to say to my husband that I needed him to learn how the system all worked he said it himself and he has gone from “well if this is something you want to try then fair enough but I don’t think it will work” to “I want you to teach me how this all works because think its worth doing”!!!!! BREAKTHROUGH after only 2 days!!!

At this point I should be writing about day 3 however once the wrap went outside in the sun it became apparent that Sam was unwell – stomach bug possibly – so at this point all other thoughts were abandoned and it was just a case of keeping him happy for the rest of the day. There is no reason that I couldn’t have put him the Mio other than it falling out of my head with everything else going on so hopefully today he is feeling better and we can pick up with where we left off.

My plan for todays test is to do as I have said and educate Steve – he arrives home at about 6pm so I will put the nappy on Sam for his change prior to his bedtime change….unless he poos