Category Archives: Advice

Nappy Ever After Trial Kits explained

So you’re interested in using real nappies – you’ve heard great things about them.  But why are there so many different types?  How is it possible to make a choice?

Different nappies suit different babies AND different parents.  And you may find the nappy that works well at home during the day doesn’t work at night or when you’re out and about. You need to start using real nappies to find out for yourself what works for you and your baby.

Sounds daunting?  We can help you learn through your own experience for a minimal investment.  We sell an 8 nappy trial kit which will form the basis of your nappy stash.   Those 8 nappies will last about 24 hours.  While they are in the wash and drying you use disposables.  You will soon find out what you like best and you can work out what else you need.

Our trial kit consists of

Six small pre-fold nappies: these work from new born through to potty training.  They form the backbone of any real nappy wardrobe.  A pre-fold is a flat nappy with a central extra absorbent section – you do still have to fold it!   This short video shows how.  Pre-folds tends to be the preferred option for when you’re at home.  They are simple and durable and cheap meaning you can bulk up your stash for a very low cost.  They also make great cloths on the changing mat when your baby is having bare bottom/nappy-free time.

One birth-to-potty all-in-one nappy (most of these have a pocket which you stuff with the absorbent nappy insert, so also called pocket or stuffable nappy.)  This tends to be the preferred option for out and about.

One birth-to-potty shaped nappy – which tends to be the preferred option for nights.

Two waterproof wraps: one sized with Velcro and one birth-to-potty with snaps (both go over prefold nappies and your shaped nappy)

A roll of liners to catch the poo so minimal poo gets on the nappy and thus into your washing machine.

There are 2 sizes, one from new born, the other from 6 months. You can buy the pack here.

NB You may have heard about high and low-rise nappies (not unlike high and low-rise jeans.  Some fit round the waist others below the tummy.)  This pack allows you to try out both so again, you find out which suits your baby better – if it makes any difference at all.

The main thing is to see changing time as enjoyable contact time with your baby.  Watch this short film on YouTube by baby brain guru Suzanne Zeedyk.  It shows that a nappy change can be very important stimulation to the development of your baby’s brain.

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Nappy Ever After’s Quick Guide to Buying Real Nappies

Choose between these options:

  • All-in-ones:  nappies that are quick and easy to change, most like a disposable, easy to wash and quick to dry,  last from birth to potty. Choose these (£17 each) or these (£16 each) You will need about 16 so total spend is £240 – £272.
  • Fitted nappies plus waterproof cover: this birth-to-potty nappy is organic cotton so natural next to baby’s skin.   This one is more absorbent and is good for nights when your baby is sleeping for longer.  You need a total of 16 nappies plus a few waterproof covers
  • Pre-folds with waterproof wraps:  organic unbleached cotton so natural next to baby’s skin.  You also need waterproof covers (1 cover to 4 nappies). These nappies are only £3 each so most people buy 24.  Weight guide for nappies is up to 20lbs (9kg) so you may larger nappies (£4 each) after baby about 6 months.  See our video on how to fold.
  • G-diaper system: Also quick & easy to change.  Require no folding.  Slim fitting only take a little longer to dry.  Option to use washable or disposable inserts.  Choose these.

All the nappies we sell at Nappy Ever After do the job so please don’t be paralysed by the choice.  If you haven’t chosen yet why not buy a trial kit?  These are a mix of some of the above.  You then buy more, based on your own experience, to build up your stash.

Don’t forget to add liners to your order.  These catch the poo so it goes in the bin or down the loo and not in your washing machine.  WARNING: only put poo in the loo, not  liners.  It will get blocked.

Was this useful?  Do call 020 7014 3006 if you need help.  We are often out & about but leave a message and a good time to call you back.  We also run real nappy workshops when you can see, touch and discuss the different nappies. Visit www.nappyeverafter.co.uk for current events.

Help! How do I decide which nappy to buy?

At Nappy Ever After we know it’s overwhelming to look at nappies on the internet so we offer nappy demonstrations at our shop.  However not all of you can visit so here’s a post to replace or precede your visit.

The most important thing to say is that most people use disposable liners with reusable nappies.  It’s just a thin piece of durable paper which catches most of the poo.  This means most of the nappies you put in your washing machine are merely damp.   

At Nappy Ever After we stock all types of reusable nappy but a limited range of products; those we trust and get the best WOM from our customers.  

There are 3 main questions to ask which help narrow down the choice of which nappy to buy.  How much drying space do I need?  Synthetic or natural?  Can I fold a nappy?

How much drying space do you have?  If the answer is ‘very little’ you should rule out bamboo fitted nappies – they take up to 36 hours to dry.  However the Tots Bots Bamboozle is a very absorbent nappy and you may choose to have a couple of these for nights/long journeys.  These waterproof Pull-ons go over the top.  You need one waterproof to 4 nappies.  The birth-to-potty Simply Lite wrap also works well over this nappy.   The Disana wool pull-on is the natural alternative.  As an alternative to the bamboo fitted nappy you might choose the organic cotton Dimple.

Do you like synthetic or natural fabrics?   If you like easy-clean, quick drying synthetics you can go for a pocket nappy with microfibre inserts.  We stock bumGgenius (with snaps) and Miosolo (with velcro).

If you like natural (cotton or bamboo) you need to go for a 2-part system (the nappy is separate to the waterproof cover.)  The nappy can be fitted.  We stock the Flannel Fitted (organic cotton) and Dimple.  You need a waterproof wrap or pants to go over the top.  The rule is 4 nappies to one waterproof wrap.

Please note your baby will feel damp in a cotton or bamboo nappy.  Most babies don’t mind this.  The advantage is that it may stimulate your baby to experiment with holding and releasing her/his bladder which may mean s/he finds learning to control her/his bladder easier.  However you can use a reusable fleece stay-dry liner in the nappy if  your baby likes/needs to feel dry.

Can I fold a nappy?  In our experience most people think this sounds too difficult but when they put one on our doll at the shop or look at this video they often change their minds.  If you can fold a t-shirt fairly neatly you can put a flat nappy on a baby.  You can find more videos on You Tube.

We sell bummis organic pre-folds.  Of all the nappies we stock, they are the most versatile, durable and economic.  Again you need a waterproof wrap over the top (1 wrap:4 nappies.)  A sized/perfect fit wrap also holds the nappy in place or you can use a  Nippa (the modern replacement of the safety pin) if your baby is a wriggler.  If you use a Nippa all the time to close the nappy you can use a Disana wool or Bummis Pull-ons.

When your baby is a few months you will start using the very simple fold.  The pre-fold nappy can then be used with the super smart gPant: a favourite with many of our laundry customers.

Other flat nappies that need folding are terries and muslins.  We don’t sell terry squares or safety pins.  You can get those at Boots.  However you can get the best muslins from us – unbleached, organic by Disana.

You notice I haven’t asked about your budget?  What’s most important is that you buy the nappy that’s right for you.  If you buy everything new most systems turn out from birth to potty to cost about £250 (although a Terry system is probably more like £100.)  The good news is you don’t have to buy everything all at once.   You can start by buying a few nappies to try and build up a stash based on your own experience of using them on your baby.

Worried about the nappies being bulky?   We stock a super slim-line nappy for you!  It’s the Flip.  These come with microfibre or organic cotton inserts/nappies.  The microfibre ones don’t need much drying space and entail no folding.

How many nappies will I need?  The rule is that you need three days worth – two days of nappies will be in the wash and drying, one day’s worth of nappies will be clean and ready to go.  You may use 5-10 nappies per day.  If you have twins you don’t need to double as you will wash more frequently.

You will also need some accessories.  Most people like to use single-use liners.  These catch the poo so it doesn’t go in your washing machine.  You also need a bucket with a lid for storage (we are out of stock at the moment but most pound shops stock them.)  Mesh laundry bags are great.  They go inside the bucket and then you simply lift the bag out of the bucket and put the whole thing in the washing machine.

Put them on a rinse cycle first.  Then add a small amount of detergent.  For babies under 6 months wash at 60 degrees.  If you use a sanitizer, such as Mio Fresh, you can use a low temperature wash cycle.

Washable wipes will save you lots of money.  They also reduce waste and are great.  You can just tear up an old sheet.  But if you prefer you can buy a Cheeky Wipes Minikit.  There’s no need to peg them out to dry.  When they come out of the washing machine they just go back in the pot with fresh water.  A bag comes with the kit so you just grab a handful of the damp wipes to take out with you.

Still can’t decide? Buy one of our Special Bundles of 8-11 nappies, lasting 24 -36 hours.  When you run out you use disposables until they’re clean and dry and ready to use again.  They all work well but you can then top up this bundle with the ones you like best according to your experience.

If you want to see and feel these products before you buy arrange to visit one of our workshops.  What’s important to us is that you get the right nappies for you and really love using them.  We are happy to courier our Special Bundles anywhere in the UK but please allow 10 days for delivery due to our low staffing levels.

If you found this post helpful please share.  If you have comments/testimonials please add.  The idea is to help more people discover and love reusable nappies.

Absorbency – we’re on it!

Leaks, heavy wetters, night-time absorbency, nights when toilet training – we’ve had many a question about these issues in the shop over the years. And we’ve suggested and tried a few succesful answers which we thought we would share with you.

As a start for thinking about what could work for you, here’s a rundown of the main nappy fabrics and their absorbency rates/issues:

1) Microfibre is synthetic (polyester base) and it soaks wetness and dirt up at the same time. It’s the same fabric as used for the cleaning cloths and can be very drying on the skin (don’t use this directly against the baby’s skin, always use within a pocket or with a fleece/cotton/bamboo top-layer). It’s the least absorbent of the nappy cloths but still absorbent enough, otherwise it would not work as a nappy :-). It’s not bulky and takes very little time to dry, which is why it is popular for modern cloth nappies.

2) Cotton is a natural fabric (organic cotton is better for the environment and the workers who pick it) and has good to excellent absorbency. It takes a regular amount of time to dry (not usually more than 12 hours, that’s line drying). It’s breathable and soft (it can sometimes harden after a period of washing in hard water areas). It can be more bulky than microfibre but it’s a natural fabric.

3) Bamboo is also a natural fabric and has become more environment-friendly in recent years (extraction of the bamboo fibres from the plant used to require extreme chemical processes). Bamboo is five times more absorbent than cotton but takes a longer time to dry. Often nappies are made with a mix of bamboo and microfibre so the drying time is reduced. Beware buying some second-hand bamboo nappies if drying time is an issue as early bamboo nappy versions can often take an AGE to dry. 🙂

4) Hemp is another also very absorbent, natural and environment-friendly fabric. It can get ‘crunchy’ when washed in hard water areas; a period of tumble-drying is recommended. It’s often used with cotton and bamboo for shaped nappies and boosters.

(If environmental issues are your main focus, then this Ecologist article about textiles might help you decide which is the fabric for you.)

Many people start off with microfibre nappies as they are quick drying and suit their expectation of what they want to have to deal with in terms of cloth nappies (usually extra washing and drying).  If you need extra absorbency, then you can add more microfibre inserts (eg, we sell microfibre doublers for bumgenius nappies, not on the website but ask instore). We’ve had good success with customers using two Flip inserts for overnight (if you do this, then you might need to move up to the next size/setting for the wrap).

Switching to cotton can often be the next step for people needing more absorbency – cotton is more absorbent than microfibre. We used cotton prefolds in our pocket nappies from the start as we found the microfibre inserts were not absorbent enough and we knew they weren’t a natural fabric. Anecdotally we’ve heard that the organic cotton prefolds are more absorbent than non-organic – maybe it’s because they are softer, we can’t confirm, just what we’ve heard! We’ve also heard people that the organic prefolds are more absorbent that the laundry service nappies – don’t know why either, maybe the quality of the cotton. If anyone can help, please tell us! You can also use a cotton shaped nappy which has an extra layer or two of cotton sewn into it.

If you’re finding the microfibre and cotton a waste of space, then bamboo is often the answer. You can get a bamboo/microfibre AIO (all-in-one, ie including wrap) nappy, a bamboo/microfibre shaped nappy or bamboo boosters. We find the Easyfit is good for day, Bamboozle good for night, and using the boosters good for any of the nappy systems – stuff and layer as required!

Bamboozle - bamboo & microfibre shaped nappy

We know, from reading forums, that hemp is very good but we’ve yet to find the definitive product – if you can help us find and test a fab product, then let us know.

Once you’ve sorted out your absorbency issues in terms of fabric, you need to make sure you’re using a good wrap (all-in-one and pocket nappies come with wraps, and then you can adjust the absorbent fabric used with these nappies too). If the wrap doesn’t work though, there’s nothing that can be done, except for maybe adding an extra wrap over the top. This can be necessary around the age of five to six months when a baby is drinking loads of milk before moving onto solids.

Be careful when buying second-hand nappies and wraps that may have been washed incorrectly and can leak. You should look for elasticated back waist and good adjustability around the waist to ensure a snug fit at the legs (choose the extra leg gusset option if your child has skinny legs). Some people find the thicker wraps are better for night, thinner for day but the main thing is making sure the nappy is entirely covered by the wrap and not touching the leg elastic as this can mean leaks.

Over the years, there are two wrap manufacturers which stand out for us: Motherease and Bummis. The Motherease Airflow wraps are great over shaped nappies – the wide sides mean the nappy is covered perfectly. The Bummis wraps work well over prefolds and shaped and last for a couple of children (the Super Brite option has the extra leg gusset).

If you need specific advice, please call/email/FB/tweet us for more information.

Nappy Ever After