* Prices may differ from that shown
My husband and I are seriously thrilled with our decision to use cloth nappies, we went for Mother-ease one size as we liked the fact that the nappies would fit our baby from birth to potty. In the end we used disposables for the first couple of months as we had quite a small baby and the nappies were too big for him at first. Now he is in them full time and seems much more comfortable in them than the disposables. There are several poppers on the front so they the nappies can be adjusted to fit as the baby grows and the rubber wraps that fit over the top come in so many cute prints that in the hot weather he looked super stylish just in his nappy! Our boy is quite a heavy wetter and we haven't had one leak yet, he has even had diarrhoea for the past week and still not even the tiniest little leak.
These nappies are very high quality, I have mine second hand from and they are all several years old however they look brand new and still have years left in them.
The cost of these versus disposables is a no brainer, we have saved so much money already. The impact of disposables on the environment is shocking and these cloth nappies are helping me do my bit to reduce it!
When I was pregnant I spent a lot of time researching cloth nappies, as firstly and most importantly I was keen to cut down the amount of money we would spend on nappies each week and secondly, both my husband and I would like to think of ourselves as pretty environmentally friendly and the thought of a binful of nappies heading straight to a landfill site, didn't really appeal to us. However, there is sooo much information on the internet about reusable nappies and the wide variety of brands, that it can be very difficult to get to grips with everything you need as well as which brands to use.
After a lot of research, I decided to choose the Motherease One size Birth to Potty nappy as it came out as one of the most popular and reliable reusable nappies on the market, although with everything there were a few negative comments around. Against the advice that is on the internet, which states that you should try a variety of reusable before settling on the one that suits your baby best, I went ahead and bought 10 motherease nappies, all of which came off ebay, some brand new, some nearly new, as there is a great resale market on these nappies, which is another plus point for them, when I reach the stage that I will no longer need them.
As the name suggests, these reusable nappies are aimed at babies from birth to potty. Now with my baby being only a month old, I cannot comment on their use all the way to potty training, but I had planned on not using these nappies until my baby was a couple of months old - simply because the initial poo is not something I wanted to have to try and wash off a nappy, and secondly I felt that my baby would be too small for these nappies as a newborn and thus they may not really work as a nappy. However, after a couple of weeks, and seeing the amount of nappies that we were going through, my husband suggested we give the other nappies a go. Since I bought them online, I had no instructions for usage, and when you receive these nappies they are covered in little studs so you can adjust the nappy as your baby grows, and so I went online to the Nappy Lady website where there is a video of using this nappy for a newborn and she shows you to settings for use on a newborn. After watching this I was much more confident at giving these nappies a go, despite my baby being only two weeks old at the time.
The motherease nappy is not all you need however for these nappies to be effective. On top of the nappy you need to purchase a waterproof wrap that will help prevent leakage. Again, there are ample on the market, but I stuck to the motherease wraps. Within the motherease nappy itself you need to insert some form of liner to help keep your baby as dry and comfortable as possible. I bought a selection of flusable liners, but I also have some fleece liners as well, since fleece is meant to be terrific at letting liquid seep through but keeping your baby dry close to their skin.
I actually thought that these nappies would be enormous on my newborn baby, however I was very surprised that when using the newborn setting, which is only a matter of turning down the top to reveal another set of poppers, the nappy was a great fit on my little girl. So much so, that apart from at nighttime, or if we are going out for a long time during the day, when I then use a disposable nappy, I now use one of these motherease nappies the remainder of the time, and I have had absolutely NO problems with leakage, and my baby seems as happy in these reusables as she does in disposables. THe only negative, and I think this may apply to a lot of reusable nappies is that it can make your baby look very bulky in the nappy area, and so you may need to wear slightly bigger vests/babygrows - however I use the 0-3 months size vests and babygrows and there has been no problem in them fitting over these nappies.
A lot of people avoid reusables because they dislike the thought of holding onto a nappy that has been used and washing dirty nappies. This really really is not an issue at all. As long as you have a nappy bucket and two nappy bags to line the bucket (which can alternate as you wash) you won't even have to touch dirty nappies when putting them in the washing machine, as you simply put in the nappy bag and stick on the machine. There are several ways of storing nappies until you are ready to wash, which you should do every couple of days at least. I chose to use the method known as 'dry pailing' whereby you simply keep the nappies that are used in a nappy bucket until they are ready to be washed. You do not need to soak them, although I do like to add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to keep a healthy fragrance when you open the nappy bucket up. So far, despite staining on the nappy I have never had to use any stain remover. As long as you wash these nappies at 60 C, using half the amount of washing powder and NO softener, the stains should come out. To keep the nappies as white as possible, it is best to get them hanging outside to dry, particularly on sunny days, where the sun should help bleach them as well. My only concern however is coming into the winter in getting these nappies dry, as they can take a little while if the weather isn't good and you can't get them out, although the way I look at it, is that for every reusable nappy I use it is one less disposable to buy, and anything that reduces shopping bills has to be a good thing.
All in all, I was worried that once I started with disposables I wouldn't want to change to reusables, possibly finding them too much effort and work, but they really really aren't. Even my husband commented the other day, that they were terrific at firstly saving us money on nappies but all in generally putting them on our baby daughter, and even in washing them. I love the fact that I am saving money as well as doing my bit for the environment, and it is nice not having to continually run to the outside bin to put in dirty nappies, especially when it is raining and cold outside. Anyone deliberating about reusable nappies really should give these nappies a go, and I am so glad that I bought a good few of these Motherease nappies as I cannot see any reason why I would be changing.
I've been using Motherease one size nappies for 4 years now and I love them. They are so simple to use.
The nappy itself is already shaped, so no folding required and comes with press studs so that you can adjust the fit around the waist,according to your baby's size. There are also poppers on the inside of the nappy so that you can attach various booster pads and liners. To keep the nappy waterproof you also need to use a plastic wrap on the outside of the nappy. The material is a surprisingly thin cotton terry towelling and washes really well, requiring no soaking or sterilising. I personally use paper flushable liners inside the nappy and a large lidded bucket to store the dirty nappies. When it's full I throw the whole lot in a 60 degree wash followed by drying on the washing line when possible.
Although the initial outlay for these nappies can be expensive (Think I paid around £200) I reckon you break even in about 6 months. If you plan to have more than one child you will be saving a lot of money. Mine are now being used on baby number 3 and still going strong.
The nappies also do the job as good as disposables. Once the plastic wrap is on you won't get any leaks and they usually only need to be changed about every 4 hours.
There is sometimes an issue with getting clothing to fit. Very few retailers make clothes designed for cloth bottoms,so I often have to buy one or even two sizes up to make sure clothes will fit around the nappies.
A lot of people worry that using cloth nappies will be too much work, but I have never found it an issue. At one point I had I had 2 children in cloth nappies at the same time. I did a nappy wash about every 3 days, but other than that it was no different from using disposables. With refuse collections the way they are these days it also means that you are not filling up your bin with piles of dirty nappies!
I'm now using these nappies on my second baby and overall I'm very pleased with them. I didn't try out any other brand of nappies as I was given a sample pack of these (nappy, wrap and booster pad) by a friend and liked them, so I can't offer any comparison to other makes.
The system comprises a shaped cotton towelling nappy, a waterproof wrap and an optional booster pad. There are two types of wrap, which come in a range of sizes depending on the baby's weight. The Airflow has side poppers at the waist and around the leg, but does not seal at the side, so air can still circulate inside the wrap (they are not as leaky as this suggests). There are three poppers to allow the wrap to be adjusted. The Rikki wrap has a velcro strip across the front of the waist, which the side tabs attach to. The advantage of the Rikki is that it is more adjustable; with the Airflow, sometimes one popper setting may be too loose, risking leaks, but the next setting may be too tight, and dig into the baby's leg or waist. I have both types, and which one I use depends on which fits, and sometimes on which is clean!
The nappy itself has an ingenious system of poppers to allow it to be converted from a very small nappy suitable for a newborn, to a larger nappy which fits a toddler. The newborn size is achieved by folding over the front of the nappy to shorten it.
I did buy a couple of the booster pads, but to be honest I never really used them. I had hopes of the stay-dry pad eliminating the need for a middle-of-the-night nappy change, but it never quite happened, so I have used disposables at night for both babies. Before weaning, you don't really need any kind of liner, but once they are on solids, you do need a paper liner to catch anything solid so you can flush it away. Most types are flushable, but not all, so check the packaging carefully.
The downside to using cloth nappies is, of course, that you have to wash them, but I found that once it became part of the daily routine, this wasn't such a hassle as I'd expected. A few drops of tea tree oil on each nappy before it goes in the bucket help to disinfect and prevent nasty smells (so long as you don't mind the smell of tea tree oil). Something to bear in mind when choosing a cloth nappy system is whether you have hard or soft water in your area. We have quite hard water, and the nappies can end up rather crunchy if they are not tumble dried for a few minutes. I usually add a cupful of white vinegar to the wash to help soften them (this does not make them smell of vinegar!) which seems to help a little. If you have very hard water, a microfibre nappy might be a better bet, but Mother-Ease wraps are generally considered to be the best around, so you can always use the wraps with a different make of nappy.
It is always worth seeing if your local council offers incentives for using cloth nappies - I received £30 of Boots vouchers. The initial outlay is high, but they are economical in the long run, although I must confess that I do still use disposables if we are out and about. But overall, I am pleased with my choice.
Our first born is four weeks old at time of writing, and we had decided to trial out a selection of reusable nappies for reasons which I go into at the end of this review. We bought from ebay a 'selection pack' of around seven different types of nappies, the particular nappy I'm reviewing today is the cotton Motherease One Size nappy.
The main differentiating feature for this nappy is that there is only one size required from birth. The nappy is fastened with plastic poppers and on a new born you fold the front flap back on itself to expose poppers which reduce the height of the nappy. There are vertical arrays of side poppers which ensure it wraps snugly around baby.
Once on the nappy looks very bulky with baby's legs barely poking out the bottom. One a wrap is placed on top none of our newborn clothes would fit which is worth being aware of. The nappy itself is soft and containment wise it does it's job (although I'm basing this on a newborn).
You wash at 70 degrees, and line drying is an option, as there is no built in booster pad it doesnt take ages like some other reusables. Personally I find the convenience of the tumble drier too good to resist.
Finally there seems to be an argument raging over whether when you factor in energy used from washing and drying reusable nappies they truly are better for the environment. This shouldn't stop anyone from trying them however as the other advantages are big ones. Rather that arguing with your disposable loving chums, focus on the personal benefits:
1) Cost. A one off hit of around 100 pounds will get you enough nappies and wraps to last the child for life.
2) Reduction in amount of rubbish. For me this is as important as cost. We have a fortnightly waste collection here and prior to having our first baby we were pretty much filling the household waste bin. Disposable nappies easily add another two bin bags full of waste. With rumours of councils charging for the weight of rubbish householders produce this could become even more important.
The mother ease nappy is a nappy that is designed to fit baby from birth until they are on the potty. When i was pregnant i didn't think that i would ue reusable nappies and i thought that they would be too difficult. I was very wrong. I think that the nappy is amazing - not like the ones my parents ued on us. Though i have nothing against terries nappies and use them from time to time they are very bulky - the motherese nappy is far from bulky. It is a combination of a nappy and a wrap that is preshaped and it is simple to put on your child. You simply put a nappy liner on the nappy then put the nappy wrap on top. All of this is supported by poppers so that the nappy can fit any size child without having to have several different nappies in.
One thing i didn't really think about when i was pregnant was the nappies i would use. You get so many offers through the post for disposables that unless someone mentions cloth to you, you probably wouldn't think about it. So what made me think about it and why motherease? Well my sisters uses them on her two children and a nice lady from our local scheme came to an antenatal class to discuss using cloth nappies.
Your next decision, how on earth do you decide which cloth nappies? Well motherease make a few but the appeal for me was one size of nappy from birth to potty.
******Motherease One Size******
Well the name gives it away, one size of nappy that fits from birth until potty training. This is approximately 8lbs(3.5kgs) to 35lbs (16kgs). This has certain benefits over other nappies - for example, motherease also do a sandy's nappy that comes in different sizes (small, medium, large, extra large) but to me these worked out too expensive as you'd have to buy a certain amount of every size to fit your baby and the costs would be every 6 months or so. Cost is a definite benefit of these. On the plus side though, the nappies rarely leaked whereas our disposables leaked everyday.
On the downside, they are intended to fit a toddler aswell as a newborn, so on a small baby these are extremely bulky. We used disposable nappies for the first 6 weeks as we felt we had enough to deal with without the added pressure of washing and drying nappies but when we put these on my daughter they made her bum look huge! We also had problems finding trousers that would fit over the nappy (she wasn't exactly a small baby to start with) and found ourselves using 6-9month trousers when she was only 3 months old. Not ideal as this meant the trousers were way too long.
There are various different designs of cloth nappies these days but we looked for one that didn't need folding and didn't require sticking pins into it (ok so they aren't like old fashioned pins that you could stab yourself with but still too much hassle for my liking!). So you might wonder what's left, the shaped nappy! These are, in my opinion, the easiest nappy to use when you've never tried cloth nappies before. The way you use the nappy does depend on the age of the baby to start with but every stage uses the same method of adjustment which is poppers.
The legs on the nappies have slight elastication and i mean slight because i didn't actually notice at first. This also helps to prevent leaks by the legs.
A newborn baby has the nappy on like normal, but you fold the front bit down to reveal 4 poppers that can be adjusted. This just pulls the nappy up further to prevent leaks.
As your baby gets older and reaches the furthest point at the newborn stage, you would then stop folding the front of it over and you now have a choice of 6 poppers to choose from. These poppers are around the waist still and should last until your baby is potty trained.
Along with the actual nappies, it's worth mentioning the boosters that can pop in (these are only usually used after the newborn stage) to give added protection and increased absorbancy. They pop in to avoid the boosters from moving when your baby moves and it is definately a good system if you ask me. On top of these you need to get liners (either washable or disposable) but the motherease ones are shaped like the nappy so are perfect for this design.
Motherease have also designed the wraps to go with these (these are the waterproof part of the nappy that holds everything in). You can get the Motherease Airflow wraps - my choice - which also work on a popper system and work very well, or you can use the Motherease Rikki system which are velcro.
A quick mention of the different nappies you can buy should be in order. The motherease one size come in different materials - natural cotton, white cotton, dry natural cotton, organic, rainbow and bamboo. We used a combination of white cotton, dry natural cotton and bamboo and this worked extremely well for us. The dry cotton nappies have a polyester lining that helps to protect your babies bottom at night - these are more expensive though and we cheated a little and used the stay dry liners with normal white nappies and they worked just the same.
When we first purchased these, we were very worried about the washing and drying part as we didn't have a tumble and had no idea how long they would take to dry. The label on the nappies say to wash at 70 degrees but ours were always washed at 40 and once a week at 60 without a problem (and always came out stain free!) A comment left has reminded me that you're meant to wash them in non bio without softener so they stay more absorbant and are better for the skin.
Drying was also an easy experience for us. You can dry them naturally outside or inside on a radiator or you can put them into the tumble. They come out in a fantastic condition and are very soft when out of the tumble. If you are going to dry them without a tumble i'd recommend putting them in for 10 minutes after they've been outside, just to soften them out a bit as we found they tended to go a little bit hard.
It is ideal to have around 20 nappies (we had 24 incase of emergencies) along with the same amount of boosters (and liners if you're getting washable) and 4 or 5 wraps of each size.
Depending on which material you want and where you want to buy them from the costs can vary greatly. On the motherease website itself, the natural cotton and white cotton nappies are £8.25 each with the dry natural, organic and bamboo nappies at £10.00 each. When we ordered our bamboo nappies they did discount if you bought a certain amount. You can also buy from their website in a pack of 5 or 10. 5 white/natural nappies are £38.95 or 10 nappies are £74.25. The natural dry, organic and bamboo nappies are £47.50 for 5 or £90 for 10.
The boosters start at £1.75 for the white/natural and is £2.25 for the other materials.
The Airflow and Rikki wraps start at around £8.50 on the motherease website but again these can be bought in packs with discount.
There are also a variety of starter kits available that include most of the above, however, i felt it was better to buy things seperately then you can choose exactly what you want to buy.
We were extremely lucky when we bought ours and got 24 nappies, 17 boosters and 8 wraps for £75 - these had been used once by a friend who decided they weren't for her. If you search on the internet there are a number of sites that will all try to attract you with certain discounts.
The best bit about buying these? They sell for pretty much the same price. We sold ours for over £150 when we had finished with them so it's definately a good investment.
We were told how much we would save by using cloth nappies but in all honesty if you're going to tumble them then i don't think it is that cost effective. It probably is if you're going to line dry them, but in the working world how many people actually have time to do this? These motherease nappies do take a while to dry outwith the tumble so always ended up in our tumble!
The cloth debate over the disposable debate will probably be one that never ends, but these in particular are fantastic nappies. They hold in the leaks, cost outlay is at the start so you don't need to include them in your weekly shopping bill, you'll never run out (so long as you remember to wash them of course) and they're proven to help your child with potty training (i for one don't believe this).
Unfortunately for us, my daughter has a milk and soya allergy so her nappies can be extra explosive if one of these things enters her system (it's not as easy as you think to avoid) and because of this she would get extremely bad nappy rash. For this reason, when my lo reached 6 months we stopped using them and turned to the trusty disposbales. (they leak and they're awful but my daughters bum is clear as can be). If it wasn't for this, we'd continue using them for her and any other children we may have.
Just remember though, these are bulkier than other sized nappies but they do work out cheaper.
A big thumbs up for us bar the nappy rash.
Motherease make a variety of cloth nappies. The particular nappies I will be reviewing will be the Motherease One Size nappies.
** The Nappies **
As the name suggests, the nappy is designed so that one size fits all, meaning it should last a baby from birth right through to potty training, eliminating the need to buy more as the baby grows.
So, does it work like that?
Well, from my personal experience, these nappies do their job well from birth, with minimal leakages. The only slight issue is that they are very bulky on small babies. I have to say I was warned about this when I bought them, so I was prepared, although I didn't see it as too much of a problem. After all what's a bit of extra padding? Well, now I know that because of that extra padding, it is difficult to get trousers the right length for the baby to fit around the waist. Therefore, yes, one size does fit all, but chances are you will have problems getting clothes to fit at the same time on smaller babies.
** The Design **
The Motherease One Size is a shaped nappy, meaning that there is no folding involved or pins required (phew!). Being one size, Motherease have obviously had to make these adjustable and they have the ability to adjust both length ways to expand with the babys height, and width ways, to expand as the baby fills out. This is done with what they call poppers, or what I would call plastic studs to give a better description. On a smaller baby, the nappy goes on in the same way a disposable would, but folds back on itself, so there is a double layer at the front. There are then 4 poppers, to enable you to fasten the nappy slacker or tighter, depending on the size of the babys waist.
When the baby is tall enough to use the nappy without folding down the front, there are 6 plastic poppers on the other side, to give up to 3 additional sizes.
So does it work and are there enough sizes?
I'd say the design works very well indeed. The nappy has had a snug fit on my daughter since birth and even when she went from a podgy baby to a skinnier toddler, the nappy fit her needs very well indeed.
** Washing and Drying **
The Motherease One Size nappies are made from a mix of 85% cotton and 15% polyester. The label says to wash them on a 70 degree wash and they can be put in a tumble dryer if required.
So, how do they wash up?
Pretty darn good, in my opinion. I do not have a 70 degree cycle on my washing machine, so I have always washed these at 40 degrees with no problems what so ever. If you have and are happy to use a tumble dryer, drying them shouldn't pose any problems either. There may be an issue if you need to dry these nappies by alternative methods. From my experience, they will take almost a full day in summer to line dry, despite my garden being a sun trap (although I am in Scotland). Drying on a radiator will work, but can cause them to go slightly hard and crunchy, which is not ideal on a babys bum. Drying on an airer will work fine too but will take even longer than line drying.
** Additional Features and Information **
I should mention that around the legs are slightly elasticated and I have found this works well in enabling the baby the freedom to move around as much as any other nappy would.
In order to use these nappies, you will also require an outer wrap to go over the top. I use Motherease Rikki Wraps which work well with the Motherease One Size nappies and are available in small, medium, large or extra large sizes.
About 20 of these nappies with 4 or 5 wraps of each size is more than enough to keep you going with these, doing 2 washes per week. Obviously with a newborn an extra wash a week may be necessary.
** Cost **
The cost of a Motherease One Size nappy is £7.50 each and £8.25 each for the wraps. You can also buy a starter set, containing 20 nappies, 4 or 5 of each sized wrap, nappy bucket, mesh wash bag, wet nappy bag and some paper liners for just under £300.
These prices are assuming you buy from Motherease or other big nappy retailers. However, if you shop around, you can get hold of them at a considerably cheaper price. At the time I purchased mine, I bought 20 nappies, 10 boosters, 5 each of the small and medium wraps and 4 large wraps for £150 brand new on ebay. Because I use a mix of these and other nappies, I have since sold half of them and the boosters for the same price, which means in effect, the nappies I am using didn't cost me anything. So it is definitely worth shopping around.
You will also find that cloth nappies do not loose a lot of their value and can be sold second hand for a high percentage of the original price. With that, and the fact the Motherease One Size are a very popular choice of nappy, I have found these to be a good investment.
** Summary **
Overall, I think Motherease One Size nappies are a fantastic cloth nappy and very economical too. They do everything they're supposed to do and they do it well. However, they loose a star for me, due to the fact they're so chunky on a newborn. Obviously, there is no solution to this, because being a one size fits all, the extra material is required for bigger children. But it is still a very small flaw in an otherwise great nappy.
I would highly recommend these, but would also suggest having a few smaller, faster drying nappies for newborns and emergencies.
I decided to go with cloth nappies when I was pregnant with my daughter (nearly 2 years ago), I did a lot of research into the various cloth nappy systems available (and boy there are a LOT), but Motherease seemed to come out on top, so I went for the Birth-to-Potty nappy.
It's basically a nappy that will fit your baby from birth (if they aren't too tiny) right through to potty training, it has poppers that you can adjust as your baby grows. So all I needed was 20 of these, with 20 liners (I chose fleece - dry next to baby's bum), and some snap in boosters for extra protection at night time - I didn't need to use these until she was about 6 months old. I also needed water proof wraps, and the Motherease ones came in small, medium, large & extra large so I got 4 of each (apart from the extra large which I didn't think I would need). And here I was set for nappies until my daughter was potty trained! No worrying about buying the next size up when she got bigger as all I had to do was adjust the poppers, and no buying a new pack of disosables each week with the shopping!!
So far I have had no problems, they are very absorbant and the wraps work very well, although I would recommend the popper wraps rather than the velcro, as the velcro band tended to dig into my daughter's tummy. The popper wraps are a lot softer and also adjustable around the leg, which the velcro ones are not. Night times are also no problem, she lasts until morning with no leaks.
I'll be honest and say I've had the odd leak here and there, but I think that's to be expected with explosive baby's bottoms, and I will say that the cloth nappies are a lot more reliable (in my opinion) than disosables, which I will admit that I have used on the odd occasion, and found poo leaking down her leg, wee leaking everywhere etc.
So Motherease come highly recommended from me, I've been using them for 18 months now and they are still in excellent condition (despite the washing they have to go through every other day) and I plan to use them on my next baby (due in 3 months)!
TIPS ON WASHING - just thought I would add my tips on washing these nappies as well as that seems to be what most people are afraid of when it comes to cloth. Its very simple really, I have a lidded bucket in the bathroom where I put the dirty nappies (poo swilled off down the loo first of all, or if its sticky in the bath with the shower head) and then just put them on a long wash every other day. I usually wash them overnight and then they are ready to peg out in the morning so they get a full day on the line. I don't have a tumble drier so obviously owning one of these is not essential when it comes to cloth as I have managed for 18 months without one!!
I would also like to add that I've heard that potty training happens earlier when a baby is in cloth nappies due to them knowing the feeling of being wet. And I think I completely agree with this because at 18 months, my daughter is nearly completely trained. She wears pants during the day but has a nappy on for her nap and over night. This could be seen as another cost saving as I am now only washing nappies twice a week!
I started using nappies so many decades ago that we used terry towelling squares and nappy pins!
So when disposable nappies got good I used them with my daughter, now two and half, and thought how marvellous it all was.
But by the time I was stay at home mum with two children under two in nappies, I began to see some problems:
a) The local council moved to fortnightly bin collections and we couldn't cope with the nappies hanging around for a fortnight, also having to cut down our rubbish by 50% overnight without warning.
b) two babies in nappies was getting seriously expensive at the supermarket
c) I wasn't working so had more time and less money.
All of that meant it suddenly seemed a good idea to use re-usable nappies again. Ooh and how much better have they got (especially the wraps, as we have learned to call plastic pants. Wow - they are not even made of plastic any more!)
So I did my research and having sussed out all the different nappies on the market, I found that these motherease one sized nappies would suit me best, as I had two children and wanted to try and use the same ones to save money. You buy different sized wraps to go over the cloth bit, sized to fit your child.
As a starter little pack for myself I bought a dozen nappies and two medium wraps for my son (he was only 3 months but it seemed silly to buy small size, as he'd grow out of them so quickly) and two large ones for my daughter. not a generous amount but I didn't want to shell out too much to start with.
These nappies are really clever. They have adjustable poppers so you can wrap them more closely together for smaller babies and further apart for older ones. There is a booster pad which fits in for older babies, or overnight. I found they fitted my son really well, my daughter being old was a bit at the limit of them, and needed the booster pads all the time. I only used the booster pads for me son overnight.
You need to buy disposable liners unless you want to spend half your life scraping unmentionable stuff off the nappies, but with a liner these are easy to use. A wet liner can usually be washed and reused (depending o the brand you buy) and a dirty one just goes down the loo with all its contents. So in many ways they are easier to deal with than disposables. I keep a bucket with a lid in the utility room and soiled nappies go in there and get washed after two days now my son is the only one using them.
Motherease sell wraps which are actually the most brilliant part of the system - we used the ones with poppers which fit so well, we hardly have any leaks (not quite as good as a disposable but probably only one leak a week more. So so so much better than terries used to be!
Each motherease nappy costs around £8 to buy, and you need a dozen for partial use, between 15 and two dozen for full time use and a bit more than that for full time use with two babies.
On top of that you'll need to buy a pack of liners (I buy mine from John Lewis for £4.95 for 200, but they are easily available on the internet for a not dissimilar price) and some wraps. Wraps cost about £7 each and for one child you might just get away with three, as you don't need to change the wrap every time you change a nappy, just when they are soiled. You will need to buy a larger size of wrap as your child grows though, so one child might need six or seven wraps in total.
In terms of running cost, I reckon they cost me about 5p a nappy, excluding purchase costs. This is almost a third of the cost of a disposable - they mostly come in around 15p a nappy. This cost accounts for a liner at 2p-3p each (about half get washed and reused at least once, so I reckon the average cost is 1.5p), plus 15p-20p a wash in washing powder and about 50p to run the washing machine and the tumble dryer.
I can wash about 20 at once, with the wraps. I always wash on 60 degrees, and do put other things in with them, like towels, and underwear, unless there is a very soiled nappy (which there rarely is, due to the effectiveness of the liners). Everything always comes out fresh and lovely and clean. Occasionally I boil wash them, though it says they are only good up to 60 degrees, I can't help it - I always sued to boil wash my terry squares and old habits die hard. It doesn't seem to have done my motherease nappies any harm! The wraps go in the tumble dryer as well as the nappies.
A word on drying - I include the cost of tumble-drying in my price comparison because unless it is a really warm summer day with plenty of breeze and you get them on the line early, they won't dry. This is because they are really thick between the legs as they are shaped (terry squares dried much more quickly!) and they can sometimes stay damp right in the middle, so I use the tumble dryer on a load of nappies more often than other washing. They also dry a bit hard on the line. Sunshine seems brilliant for helping them stay white, but they are much softer out of the dryer.
They are bit slower to change a nappy than using disposables, though, goodness me, it's a hundred times quicker than terry squares used to be. The nappy bit is just as quick as a disposable, but then you have to repeat the process basically with the wrap.
If I'm out I just take a supermarket carrier bag with me in my changing bag to pop a wet nappy in til I get home, though if I know I'm going out all day I'll just use disposables for that day.
My son doesn't seem to care what he sits in to be honest, but my daughter only started using them when she was 20 months old and I think it had a beneficial effect on her getting potty trained. She was dry with three months of using them, before she was two. Of course lots of children are, but I think being able to feel what was happening might have helped.
The only annoying thing, is what to do with baby wipes if you use them. With a disposable I pop the used wipes inside the nappy and wrap it and bin it, but with these the liner goes down the loo and nappy goes off to wash, and you get left with three soiled baby wipes I don't want to just put in the bin, so I end up wrapping them in a carrier bag before binning them, which is not exactly environmentally brilliant. The answer of course is to use washable wipes (i.e. flannel squares and I do do that when I'm round the house, just wet one in hot water and a bit of soap and then wash it with the nappy. It's not big deal, but I can't persuade my husband to do any of this. He thinks it is all too much faff.
One word of warning. Maybe it's just my children, but I do find a poopy nappy smells worse in a terry than it does in a disposable. No idea why.
Basically If I were pregnant and deciding what to do, I'd buy a dozen of these, with one small wrap and two medium wraps (maybe a mix between the rikki wrap which is velcro and the popper one, to see which I liked best). (NB, most of my babies are big at birth - i.e. over 9lbs - that wouldn't be right with a tiddler!) I'd not use them to start with, but once I'd got over the shock of giving birth and got into a routine at home with the baby, I'd give them a go. Especially once you've started weaning they are not more trouble than disposables. And even if you only use them at times ,at home, every disposable nappy you are not putting into landfill is a good thing. Lots of local councils do a scheme where they subsidise you to buy them, so that might offset some of the set up costs. It's just a bit more washing ,and it builds a better world. What new mum doesn't want that for her baby?
We have thoroughly tested this re-usable nappy system through a nappy lifecycle. Our daughter was just over 6lb when she was born and she stopped using them at age just over 2 years. Being a bit premature and small initially, the nappies were just too bulky for using straight away. It was a couple of months before we used them and I do recall that after a couple of months in disposable nappies, the re-usable ones seemed very bulky.
We had the usual concerns about whether this would affect her ability to crawl and walk but there seemed to be no adverse affect whatsoever in this regard. In fact, when she started walking, the nappy provided re-assuring extra padding when she fell on her behind!
There are three constituent parts to the nappy:
1. The disposable inner strips (like a large piece of toilet roll), this takes the worst of what your baby has to offer in the nappy department and biodegradable versions can be flushed down the toilet.
2. The towelling like nappy itself with the plastic popper system to adjust the size
3. The external pants (also with popper system for adjustable sizing).
The inner strips come on rolls (like large toilet rolls) and are reasonably priced. With the Mother Ease system you can also buy extra rectangle shaped towelling reinforcing strips which fix (with poppers) to the inside of the nappy for heavy wetters (a bit like towelling sanitary towels!). We didnt find it necessary to use these and neednt have bought them.
We found that our daughter would get through 4-6 nappies a day and that we needed 20 of the nappies to keep up with the washing and drying (and soiling!). I think it would be hard to manage with any fewer than this. With the clever popper system of these nappies, the nappy grows with your baby which means you only need to buy one set of nappies (unlike other re-usable systems when you need to buy a whole new set after the first year or so).
We had 4-5 of the external pants at a time, one pair generally last a day unless you have an unfortunate exploding nappy incident when the outer pants get soiled, this was (mercifully!) very rare in our case. The outer pants come in several sizes (Small, Medium, M/L etc.). We found that it was not necessary to buy each of these sizes, some of the sizes could be skipped and I found it was better to initially buy one of the next size of pants to see whether we could bypass that size and go onto the next one. The outer pants generally went into the standarad 40 degree wash (unless they had been soiled).
The nappies washed well on a 60 degree wash, with an occasional hot wash every now and then when the baby is on solids. We were generally doing 2 nappy washes a week (or 2 every 10 days) and with a modern washing machine, there is little inconvenience to this.
Because the external pants are separate to the nappy, the towelling nappies themselves dry well after washing. This is not the case with other systems where the outer pants are integral to the nappy. However, if it is not the height of summer, a day on the washing line may not be enough to dry the nappies and 15 minutes in a tumble drier can help a lot.
The poppers were very good and as the child gets older, they are not able to unfasten the nappy (as can be the case with velcroe, especially as it becomes fluffy after a few washes). From 2 months to 2 years we found the nappies fitted well and we very rarely had a leak.
We have now put these nappies into retirement but they have done us proud for the last two years. They are undoubtedly much cheaper than disposables and when using disposables on holiday, we were horrified at the amount of rubbish produced and are glad to have saved on two years of such a rubbish level. I would definitely use this system again if we had another child.
The most essential bit of kit for any type of re-usable nappy system is the Net Bag. The Net Bag is a draw string net bag and is used to line the nappy bin so that when it comes to transferring dirty nappies from bin to washing machine, you tighten the net bag and drain the excess water down the bath. Then simply open the net bag, and transfer the bag (containing dirty nappies) into the washing machine. As the machine washes, the nappies find their way out of the bag and are cleaned. Cant rate the essential nature of this bag enough!
We used a few drops of Tea-Tree oil in the nappy bin, which seemed to work well and is better for the environment than alternatives.
I was nervous about shelling out for these nappies, but I am so glad I did. They are a pre-shaped nappy with numerous poppers that enable the nappy to grow with the baby. You put a liner inside the nappy to draw the moisture away from the baby's skin - paper liners are popular, but I use fleece liners which are washable and easier to use when your baby wriggles. You then put a waterproof wrap on top. I use the air flow wrap. I have never had a poo leak from these nappies, they are so great at holding it all in. The only wee leaks I've had (not many) were all a result of me not tucking the cloth inside the wrap properly. I am glad I chose a system that uses a separate wrap, as the all-in-ones are very chunky and take ages to dry even in a tumble dryer. I only wish I had used them from birth instead of waiting until my son was 2 months old. Don't go to the high street for reusable nappies - for example, I have tried Kooshies which I found leaked. There are far superior brands that you can get from specialist mail order firms. I have spent about £210 on 20 nappies, 5 wraps, 10 booster liners and 20 fleece liners. Don't buy any more than this in the hope that you won't have to wash so often - they will just get too smelly. At the moment I wash about every day and a half, and find myself doing so much washing with a baby anyway that I don't find it a problem. I do not use disposables for trips out, instead just put the dirty nappy into a nappy sack and into my waterproof nappy bag to deal with when I get home. I'd probably use disposables for any longer than an overnight stay away from home. My best tip - tea tree oil is much better than nappy soak, virtually eliminates any smell.
When I changed to cloth recently for my 21 month old daughter, I wasn't sure which nappies to get so I hired a few from plushpants to try. One of them was the Motherease one size. This nappy is designed to fit from birth to potty and has a number of poppers to enable infinite adjustments. There is also a removeable booster pad which you don't use with a newborn but can then attach by poppers for an older child. As it only attaches at one end you can fold it to provide greater absorbency where most needed, depending if you have a boy or girl. This nappy is wonderfully soft on the skin and my daughter loves wearing it. I think it is my favourite nappy (we also have tots bots and Imse Organic). We have never had a poo leak from it and although she is a heavy wetter I've only once had a wee leak and that was when I failed to tuck it inside the wrap properly. We have a baby aged 2 months as well and will soon be moving her onto cloth, and the wonderful thing about this nappy is I can use it for both of them, so when I go out I don't need to worry if I have 2 different sorts of nappy, if I just pack the Motherease one size I know both children are catered for. I hear they have a good resale value as well as they are so popular - but I'm not parting with mine!
This nappy is a great compromise between the ease of use of a disposable nappy and the long term savings of a cloth one. this nappy is made from lovely soft terry towelling and fastens with poppers. It is designed so that it can fit your baby from Birth to Potty. There are various rows of press studs that enable you to fasten the nappy into smaller or larger sizes and it come with it's own snap-in booster liner also. It's a no hassle alternative to throwing away. the only trouble I have noticed is that the rise ( between the top back and top front ) of the nappy is quite small and some babies/ toddlers might not suit the shape. That said, a lot of people I know swear by them. It's a case of trying before you buy. there are places that let you do this. A good nappy to start with.
All In One Nappy that will fit from birth to toddler! Now everybody can afford the convenient All In One Nappy system.