Friday, January 30, 2009

Cloth nappies, going eco

When I had my baby I wanted to go eco friendly, so I decided to use cloth nappies. Researching the choices was mind boggling. Not only are there so many brands, but there are at least 3 different types (4 if you count the towelling nappies we all grew up in).

First there are prefolds (like Bambino Mio) which have a traditional-like cloth pre-folded nappy insert. The inserts require folding into thirds and fit into the bottom of special waterproof outers. These are great because you don't have to change the outers at every nappy change and the inners can be tumble dried. The disadvantage (which I found) was that there were lots of leaks (especially poo into the waterproofs) which is caused, I read elsewhere, because the cloth part does not go around the legs.

Then there are all in ones (AIO) which are shaped very much like disposables with cloth inside and waterproof fabric on the outside (like Bumgenius). The advantage of these nappies is that there is only one piece, but the disadvantage is that you can't tumble dry them because that shortens the life of the waterproofing.

Finally, there are the fitted nappies which require separate waterproof pants (like Bamboozle). These have the best of both worlds, except require two steps to put on.

In the confusing haze of cloth nappies I chose Bambino Mio, spending around 100 euros before my babe was 3 months old. She grew fast and soon outgrew newborn size (up to 5kgs) which required me to go out and buy more size small waterproof outers. Luckily I could use the cloth prefolds until she was 7kg, but by the time we got there I was disillusioned. The only thing that kept me going was that I read babies in cloth nappies are toilet trained quicker. I wanted to keep using cloth nappies but I didn't think it was worth spending so much money on them - it didn't look like a complicated sewing project, if only I had a pattern. A quick google later and I had some inspiration. More in my next post...

If you are interested in my opinion on the best option to buy, I would say choose either the aoi or fitted nappies, preferably bamboo fabric, and definitely one size fits all.

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