Category Archives: Nappies

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.

Beating new mothers with sticks, really?

“The terry nappy brigade (or washable nappy brigade) like the breast feeding brigade is  just another stick to beat new mums with,” said actress and mum of triplets, Jackie Clune on Jeremy Vine’s lunchtime BBC2 radio show, last Thursday (20 Oct 2016.)  I’m really sorry that Jackie* (who is currently playing Julius Caesar in an all female cast at the King’s Cross Theatre) feels like this.

For the last 20 years I have been watching parents spend far too much money on disposables and struggle with getting their 3 and 4 year olds out of them.  In 2003 I set up a business, Nappy Ever After to help people use washable nappies and find out if they worked for them.

It hasn’t been easy to get the message out there:  there has been a virtual media blackout on talking about washable nappies and potty training in an informed way because the disposable nappy companies spend big money on advertising space.  Even the BBC doesn’t like to say anything that does not reflect public opinion, even if that ‘public opinion’ has been bought by huge multi-national corporations.

But this nappy news item, despite what Jackie Clune said above, turned out to be different.  What was supposed to be a story celebrating the life of Valerie Hunter Gordon, the ‘inventor’ of the “disposable” nappy, became an item about the benefits of the modern washable nappy and the problem of nappy waste in landfill.  Hunter Gordon’s daughter even called the programme to correct the view that her mother was the inventor of the modern “disposable” and thus responsible for the nappy waste nightmare.  Hunter Gordon’s invention, the Paddi was a bio-degradable pad that sat inside a washable nappy cover – a very different product to the single-use nappy that contains super-absorbent material from polymers known as sodium polyacrylate.

You can hear the Jeremy Vine show nappy item here, fast-forward to 1 hour 9 mins.

For the record, the real nappy industry is  a small percentage of parents who have enjoyed reusable nappies and who want to share their knowledge.  We give information  and sell washable nappies because we have found them better for us, our wallets and most importantly for our children.

*Jackie, you asked on the show, what’s the point of giving up the convenience of disposables when wars are being waged around the world.  That thought has occured to me, but sadly, there is nothing I can do to stop the wars.  However I can help reduce nappy waste.    I can understand that real nappies may not work for you, but please don’t disrespect us with ill-informed cliches:  the other London nappy laundry company, Number One for Nappies was started and is still run by a father of twins (black and not middle-class.)

As people who are privileged to live in a land of peace it’s our responsibility to act in ways that work for us.  We can also try to increase the demand for single-use nappies that do not contain SAPs and could be composted locally.  I talk about this here.  That could be the best solution we know about for now, along with better knowledge about potty training as publicised by Kandi Burruss.  Humanity is at stake as shown by another theatre company, Complicite in its ground-breaking show, Encounter.

And Jackie Clune, if your triplets are still in nappies I’d be happy to give you a set of gNappies to try out on one of them.  Even if you only use washables some of the time you’d be reducing waste and you may even discover that you love them.  Actually they can be used with disposable inserts and are not unlike the product invented, so long ago, by Valerie Hunter Gordon.

Popping the Weasel

It’s 1999,  I’m on a radio journalism course and for an assignment I put together an item about nappy waste for Real Nappy Week and pitch it to ‘You and Yours,’ the popular mid-day BBC Radio 4 consumer magazine programme.  At the time I had no plans to set up a real nappy company … I was hoping for a career in radio journalism!

To liven up the item and punctuate the piece I made up a song and recorded some boys singing it at our local park..  Or to be more precise I put new words to the tune of the nursery rhyme ‘Pop! goes the Weasel’ which contains a verse “Up and down the City Road, In and out the Eagle, That’s the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel.”  I can’t remember all the words of the nappy waste version now, but there were lines like “That’s the way a disposable’s filled, pop it in the landfill.

By coincidence, the company I founded almost 13 years ago, Nappy Ever After, moved last year from Camden to Hackney to premises just off the City Road, indeed very very close to the Eagle pub.  So, to find us, get a bus to the City Road and get off at the Eagle.  Or take the tube to Old Steet station, walk up the City Road and turn right at the Eagle pub on Shepherdess Walk.  (Your phone will show a quicker route.)  We’re more like a warehouse than a shop and don’t have normal shop hours.  We’re open every Tuesday 2-6pm and by appointment.

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A real nappy item was aired for Real Nappy Week 1999 on Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’ programme.  They used my idea and research but remade the item themselves.  The show’s producer said I’d included too much about nappy waste and this was not relevant as it was a consumer choice programme!  We think differently now, right?

To replace the nappy waste content they gave 2 mothers some real nappies to  test for a few days.  Would the consumers like them?  They were disappointed that both mums found they worked really well and intended to switch from disposables!  However as it was all so late in the day they had to run the item like that.

I was on the radio again recently.  BBC Radio London called me to ask me to talk about nappy recycling on Eddie Nestor’s drive time show.  The mic was closed on me when I wouldn’t shut up about 35% of children arriving for school in nappies.  Eddie Nestor didn’t ask me what relevance this had to the topic of recycling disposable nappies, he just told me it wasn’t relevant and closed the mic.

This is the sort of silo mentality that fed the financial crisis.  We need to connect issues.  Just as 17 years ago what happened to disposable nappies after you’d thrown them in the bin wasn’t supposed to concern consumers, now 35% of children arriving at school in nappies in one of the most deprived schools in the UK has nothing do with whether or not £20million should be invested in a new Knowaste nappy recycling plant.  How about spending a little bit of a public health budget on giving parents good information on how to potty train their children?  It could halve the amount of disposable nappy waste Londoners generate and then, work out whether you need the nappy waste recycling plant or not.

PS Pop was cockney for pawn, and weasel, coat.  There’s a metaphor in that nursery rhyme about nappy waste and the planet that I didn’t see at the time; if we waste all our finite resources on single-use nappies (which aren’t of course disposable at all, such a clever name, like clean diesel) our descendants may find themselves wihout a coat/protection from climate chaos.

 

 

 

 

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Potty Training this Summer?

If your toddler is not already wearing cotton nappies in the run up to potty training (ie taking away nappies during the day) I suggest you start using them.   Cotton nappies get wet and this may stimulate your child to start experimenting with holding and releasing the bladder out of curiosity.  “When I do this my nappy gets wet.  When I do this it stays dry.” That kind of thing.  Then when you take away nappies during the day your toddler has already been experitimenting with developing the bladder muscles.

It’s also a good idea to buy a potty before you start potty training.  Give your child the opportunity to sit on it once a day.   You can also play at potty training a favourite doll or teddy.  The idea is to help your child understand where poo and pee goes so s/he can take the lead when ready.  For more about this see the link at the end of this post.

We have special potty training kits available for just £20 for children over 12 months.  You can pick up from our shop or if you buy online please pay £3.90 for package and postage.  The nappies look similar to this.  simply lite with prefold LR

The kit comprises 10 cotton nappies, 5 booster pads for nights (they take longer to dry) and 2 waterproof wraps.  Add a roll of disposable liners if your child still poos in the nappy.

Yes, it’s an amazing bargain.  How can we do this so cheaply you ask?  What’s the catch?  The stock is unused remaindered stock.  However, our margins are still low, or zero but it’s marketing.  We believe you will find out how practical prefolds are and tell your friends and perhaps use them for your next baby.

One more tip.  Get a bucket with a lid from the pound shop for storing the nappies until you load the washing machine.

Enjoy this step towards your child no longer needing nappies!

For more info on potty training visit the blog at Real Nappies for London: New Thoughts ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning to potty train this Summer?

Want some help?

Nappy Ever After is looking for parents who are planning to help their child use the potty soon.  Won’t it be great?  No more nappy changing, no more buying disposable nappies or less washing if you’re already using cloth nappies.  And we want to help you and child make this great step towards independence.

We want to give you some FREE BRAND NEW cotton nappies to use before you introduce your child to wearing pants.  Why are we GIVING nappies away?  Cotton nappies give your child the sensation of wetness.  We believe this stimulates her/him to experiment with holding her/his bladder.  Logically this makes starting to wear pants and keep them dry easier.  We need your help to find out if this is true.

We are holding 30 mins workshops Monday to Friday, 22-26 June when you can take away FREE nappies.  The waterproof wraps are also free if your toddler is over 30lbs.  If your child is less than that you can buy medium wraps for £5 each.  You only need 2.  We will also give you night boosters so your child can wear cotton nappies at night.  We believe this also helps your child control her/his bladder during sleep.  The only thing you may want to buy is a roll of 100 liners which cost £3.95 each.  This catches the poo so it doesn’t go on the nappy and you don’t have to wash poo it off.

All we ask is that you fill out an online survey before you start using the nappies and 8 weeks after you started.

We are holding workshops every day from Monday 22 June to Friday 26 June from 11-11.30am.  Please book via this Eventbrite booking form.  If you really want to participate but can’t make any of these workshops please call 020 7014 3006 and we can schedule some more to suit you.  If no one picks up leave a message and we will call you back.  Tell your friends about this offer.  We need about 100 participants to make this a good piece of research.

Please note using cotton nappies is about bladder control.  For poos (bowel control) cotton nappies don’t really help.  To help your child to start using a potty for pooing let her/him sit on the potty once a day, without a nappy on, and read her him a story or enjoy a singing session together.  It doesn’t matter whether a poo comes or not.  If you know when one is likely to come it’s good to do it around that time, eg after a meal or on waking.

When a poo does land in the pot show that you are pleased and help your child be pleased about it.  If your child tends to poo in the bath (this often happens because the muscles become relaxed by the warm water) you make take your child out of the bath after a couple of minutes to sit on the pot.  Play around and see what works for you and your child.

Another tip is for you to do some imagainary potty training with your child.  Get your child to put a nappy on a favourite teddy or doll, change its nappy, put the toy on the potty and praise the toy when there’s an imaginary poo or pee in the potty.  You can also find books to read to your toddler that help your child understand the process.  We can talk about all of this at the workshop.

I look forward to meeting you.  Children welcome.

If you think your children’s centre or play group would like me to come and run a session let me know.  I’m happy to come along and bring the cotton nappies.  As I’ve already said, we need to find 100 participants to get results that mean something.

Joy

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.

Gift ideas for coming holiday season!

We’ve been updating our stock and have loads of gift ideas we wanted to share with you all! Here’s our top 5 gift ideas for friends and families with newborns and small children (I so wish I had a newborn so I could buy a Christmas Easyfit nappy!):

1) Christmas nappy – we are usually all about the longevity of products but we couldn’t resist the Christmas Easyfit prints – Ginger, Robin and Rudolph. Anyway, who cares, we can wear this all year and not just on Christmas Day, especially as it’s a birth-to-potty nappy! We have limited stock of this excellent-performing nappy which recently won the Mother & Baby Gold award. If you’re not familiar, it’s a pocket nappy, top-side bamboo, pocket-side microfibre, in three cute waterproof prints. It does take longer to dry than our cotton and complete microfibre alternatives but it’s a fab nappy and highly recommended.

2) Mother & Baby balms – we’re always sceptical about creams, especially when they say they can be used with cloth nappies and don’t damage the nappy. [As an aside, always use a liner if using a barrier cream.] Simon from the NZ Honey Shop paid us a visit one Tuesday afternoon about a year ago and since then, we and our customers have been Baby Balm fans. So we jumped at the chance of stocking the Mother & Baby balms gift pack. One 50g pot of Mother balm – perfect for cracked nipples, stretch marks – and one 50g pot of Baby balm – perfect for nappy rash, psoriasis, chafing. All at a 15% discount on the recommended individual prices.

3) Imajo Fairtrade dolls – we’ve personally bought and given so many of these dolls as presents in the last five years, that we decided to stock themselves! Fairtrade and made by hand in Sri Lanka, these dolls are cute and cuddly and your child can have hours of fun with the removable clothes. Perfect gifts for the little one in your house. Special price of 13.99 if you quote ‘Blog’ at point of sale.

4) Frugi Sleeping Gown – these sleeping gowns are always a fab present for parents, but so many people don’t know about them! Made from organic cotton, these gowns cocoon your baby and make it feel snug and safe. Nappy changes are a breeze as you roll up the gown, no need to wrestle with legs in babygros. Bonus integral scratch mittens. Available in neutral cow, blue lion or pink sheep. Other fab organic Frugi clothes also available instore or online.

5) Last but not least Sophie Le Giraffe is the perfect teething toy for your baby. Made from natural rubber, perfect for babies to suck, chew or squeeze. In fact, a squeeze makes Sophie laugh! The muted colours stimulate the child’s senses and gums are soothed when chewed.

PS We couldn’t shout about our gorgeous range of Disana blankets as we currently don’t have them available online. Drop by our shop or call us for more details – pure organic merino wool receiving blankets, knitted cotton blankets perfect for cribs and cots or cotton flannel blankets perfect for swaddling. Again perfect presents for you or someone special.

Happy holidays from the Nappy Ever After team