Reusable Cloth Nappy Reviews

So as you may know, we use reusable nappies on our baby. It really does seem like the best option for us, and I’m surprised that more people don’t feel the same way. If you’re here, you are probably interested in trying them so here is my post on cloth nappy reviews.

We have tried four different styles of reusable nappy, which I’ll get in to shortly. First I will briefly look at why I think they are such a good choice.

  • Save money – although the initial outlay for cloth nappies is greater, overall you will almost certainly save money. Here is a pack of Pampers for 23p a nappy. Good price, yeah? Only 23p per change is a bargain!But when you consider that you will probably use five or six a day (5 x 23p = £1.15) every day of the week (£1.15 * 7 = £8.05) every week of the year (£8.05 * 52 = £418.60) – well, it does add up, doesn’t it?Consider also that many types can be used from newborn to toddler – that’s a lot of use!
  • Better for the environment – there is a bit of debate about whether or not reusable nappies are actually better for the environment than disposable nappies, but ultimately it seems as though they are better – marginally. This is in terms of associated carbon emissions, because of the energy used to wash and dry them which can actually be reduced significantly by only washing a full load, air drying when possible and having a second baby (I jest, but it’s true).
  • Less chance of nappy rash – because disposable nappies have such a prodigious capacity for absorbing liquid, one tends to leave them on for a lot longer than one should. More frequent changes means less chance of nappy rash.
  • Less mess! Linked to the above point about the environment, reusable nappies obviously contribute much less waste to landfill – disposable nappies account for nearly 2% of household waste! And they’re less messy in another way – we have had far fewer poonamis, our reusable nappies seem almost to contain anything (almost…)

So now on to the contenders….

bumGenius Freetime

See the price here

Features:

  • All-in-one nappy
  • Integral absorbent inserts – one step nappy
  • Various funky designs available
  • Elasticated leg-holes
  • Adjustable size from 8 to 35lbs
  • Snap closure or hook-and-look available

This is one of the first nappies we used, back when Kit was pretty tiny. As I mentioned above, the bumGenius Freetime is adjustable in size, and I did in fact use it a few days ago now that Kit is 20lbs+.

Having said that, it does seem quite snug on him now, and bags a bit at the front, so I wouldn’t say it’s the perfect fit anymore. Also, it has an integral liner which no longer suffices to keep Kit dry for as long as I’d like. We use small microfibre boosters now for this reason, but they don’t add much and do make it a bit more of a struggle to fit it, being bulkier. We wouldn’t be able to use this overnight although to be fair I don’t think it’s recommended for overnight use anyway.

In terms of ease-of-use, it’s a pretty good choice – it’s basically as easy as any disposable nappy, just fasten it on and it’s done. It also dries pretty easily and quickly, and it is possible to use booster pads so it could be suitable for a heavy-wetter.

Overall, it’s a decent nappy and has been a consistent part of our arsenal for the past several months.

Little Lamb Bamboo

See the price here

Features:

  • Fitted & shaped nappy
  • Two piece – absorbent bamboo liner & waterproof wrap
  • Hook & loop fastening for ease
  • Really soft and absorbent liner
  • Three different sizes available – size 1 for 7-18lbs, size 2 for 18-35 and size 3 for 35lbs+

We have this nappy in size 1, so the smallest size. We found it to be very absorbent and ok to use overnight. It’s quite big and chunky, but that’s no bad thing in this case, since we didn’t find any need to use additional boosters.

The nappy really is very soft, and you would think it would be quite comfortable for that reason, but I don’t like the use of hook and look fastening myself – it’s so scratchy. The waist of the nappy is quite stiff, and didn’t react well to drying it in the tumble drier.

Unfortunately, it is such a slow drying nappy that using a tumble drier seems almost a necessity! But it did seem as though it had a detrimental effect – it seemed to twist or warp and never fitted quite as well again. There are tabs to stop the velcro from picking up lint and fluff during the wash & dry, however.

You need to use this with some sort of wrap, of course, and you can use any wrap you like. Little Lamb do a shaped wrap which is quite good, and is what we used with this nappy. They range in price, but are quite reasonable. You can get some cool designs at Max And Bella’s, I like the farm print pattern.

These nappies come with a bamboo insert (sewn-in in the size 2 & 3 variants) and a fleece liner, rather than paper disposable liners. I would recommend these, if you don’t mind the hook and look, and if you have time to let them dry or have better luck with tumble drying.

They are good overnight, and really are absorbent enough – if you have a very heavy wetter, then a couple of the small bamboo inserts at night would probably sort you out. Just make sure you have enough of them, considering the long drying time.

Econobum Prefolds by bumGenius

See the price on Amazon

Features:

  • Really cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Erm… it’s basically just a cloth square

These prefolds are alright, they’re just a square of layered cloth that has more layers in the centre than at the edges. They’re stitched in place, and basically all you do is take the square, fold it into thirds, put it on a wrap and then get baby into it. We found them to be okay, but a bit fiddly to line everything up – the square unfolds, the baby moves, the liner comes away, the wrap is misaligned.

They are quite absorbent, and dry quickly. But that’s all there is to say about it really. You need a good wrap, because that’s all that holds these in place – we used the Little Lamb wraps.

This is now consigned to a drawer, not because it’s terrible but because it isn’t great.

Petit Marin pocket nappies

See the price on Amazon – Petit Marin: Set of 6 Reusable Nappies

Features:

  • Snap closures
  • One-size 8-35lbs
  • Elasticated legs to prevent leakage
  • Kit comes with bamboo liners, set of inserts and a wet bag

We came across this set when looking for a decently priced set of nappies and liners, so I don’t think you will find it anywhere but on Amazon (and maybe eBay). Our experience led us to want to get a system consisting of a wrap, maybe with a pocket, and an insert that could be customized to Kit’s needs – hence we chose these.

The kit is pretty good value, although I would recommend you get more inserts. Your mileage may vary, but we have always found that one simply isn’t absorbent enough – this is what I use, Alva Baby Bamboo Liners.

I’ve found these to be fantastic nappies – they go on quickly and easily, they dry really fast (so do the Alva liners, too – it’s incredible really), and they’re really absorbent. We did start having a bit of leakage overnight, but we started using three inserts at night and it’s perfect now.

They are customisable in terms of size with the snap down adjusters, and go from really small to pretty big. The elasticated legs seem to keep wee and poo where it should be with the exception of a few incidents, almost always involving sitting in a Bumbo at the time of a poonami.

Personally, we don’t use the pocket feature anymore, we treat them just as a wrap, but the pocket is there if you need it – great for preparing a few nappies if you’re going out, that way you can stick them straight on rather than having to line it all up. We just find that the elasticated waist and legs mean you can form the wrap around the inserts, which seems to keep it in place really well and prevent any leakage.

As I said above, with three inserts now they are great over night, still completely dry in the morning after about 12 hours. They can easily go a few hours – three or four – during the day, or longer if necessary.

Special Mention

LittleBloom Reusable Nappies – 6 for £28.09

We have upgraded our collection since buy the Petit Marin, which or our current go-to nappies. We struggled by with 6 sets of nappy & wrap for months before we thought we should get more to lighten the load a bit. We chose these LittleBloom Reusable Nappies – they are basically exactly the same as the Petit Marin ones mentioned above, but with a wider variety of patterns.

In Conclusion

I would recommend, if possible, that you try a variety of nappies to see what you prefer to use – snappers, or hook and loop; all-in-one or two-part systes, etc. I definitely recomend the Petit Marin or LittleBloom nappies, because they are really cheap, cheerful, and in my experience they definitely do the job. The Little Lamb nappies are a bit more expensive, especially since you will need different sizes, but they are really absorbent. Finally, bumGenius Freetime is cool, and the all-in-one style is very convenient, but not for me. Bear in mind, bumGenius do pocket nappies and other types too!

Let me know what you think. Do you use any of the above? Do you have a preference for all-in-one nappies? Are the Little Lamb nappies so soft you’d like to wear them yourself!?

Joe