Tag Archives: cloth nappies

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.

Love Nappy Ever After giveaway #rnw2014

Show the love for Nappy Ever After! Come into our shop during Friday 25 April and Saturday 3 May (during our extended opening hours of course!), take a photo of your favourite product that we stock, post it on our Facebook timeline (you can tag us but Facebook doesn’t let us see these tagged posts so make sure you post it on our timeline) and you could win a prize! Over the last few months, we’ve been adding loads of new products to our range – have you seen the MioSolo pocket nappies (new prints on their way!), the new Tots Bots Binky nappies and the organic clothing by Pigeon Organics and Little Green Radicals. We know what we’d pick, what about you?

Loads of nappies to choose from

Loads of nappies to choose from

Image courtesy of Mamma italiane a Londra. Only those photos we can see on our timeline will be eligible to win (see above). We’ll select one winner on Tuesday 6 May and will let the winner know on Wednesday 7 May. Depending on how many entries we get, we’ll give away one or more products!

Remember to ask us about #passportpursuit and the other #realnappyweek competitions this week!

Try out cloth nappies this #rnw2014

We’ve updated and discounted our super popular Nappy Ever After trial packs this Real Nappy Week! #rnw2014 #realnappyweek

We know that people want to try cloth nappies to decide what best suits them and their lifestyle. We know that the different types can be confusing. We’ve simplified the options so you can try different types of nappies with ease. All of the nappies in our trial packs work exceptionally well and you will continue to use them, whatever nappies you prefer after the trial.

Each pack contains eight nappies which is enough for around 24 hours depending on whether you’re starting from newborn, from six months, or anywhere in between or beyond.

  • Flat nappies – organic cotton prefolds
  • Shaped/fitted nappy – bamboo shaped nappy
  • Pocket nappy  – choose from two recognised name brands
  • Waterproof wraps for flat and shaped nappies
  • Disposable liners to suit your baby’s age

All nappy trial packs are available for instore pick-up only. Visit us this Real Nappy Week as we’d love to demo the nappies for you.

Newborn, infant and older baby trial packs can be see here. Prices are 20% off the RRP for the individual items so a great deal too! These packs are our suggestions but when you come into the shop, you can pick and choose what you like best.

See you this Real Nappy Week 28 April to 3 May!

Real Nappy Week 2014

Real Nappy Week 2014

Review by Mamme italiane a Londra

The lovely Alessi from Mamme italiane a Londra visited our Central London store recently and wrote a fab review for us to share: English first, then the Italian for our Italian mamme.

I discovered this gem in the heart of Camden:

NAPPY EVER AFTER, 96 Chalton street, NW1 1HJ

This little shop in Chalton Street specialises in washable nappies (reusable nappies, or those made of cloth – you know the type) as well as other eco-friendly products. It’s the only reusable nappy shop in Central London, or so says its Facebook page Nappy Ever After and I can also confirm that to be true. Before Greta was born, I wasted time and energy to try to get my hands on what for me had become a mirage: the washable nappy that seemed to exist only on my computer screen.

You could buy everything on line (and I did), without trying anything, trusting the reviews first and then the instructions. But a cloth nappy costs between 10 and 15 pounds and, for that price, it’s best to figure out the right system/brand from the very start. How do you find out if your little being is a ‘bumGenius’ baby or prefers the folding nappy by ‘Bambino mio’, or the ‘Bamboozle’ shaped nappy? Let’s all go to Chalton Street!

Nappies on display!

Nappies on display!

I read on their Facebook page that the shop began in order to help London parents (excluding those in Hackney who already know everything!) discover how easy washable nappies can be…and in true Camden style, all in the form of a non-profit organisation.

Crossing the threshold, you find yourself in front of shelves piled with washable nappies in thousands of shapes, colours and sizes, all neatly folded. On the left, there are mountains of nappies stuffed in transparent packaging. Then I found out that Nappy Ever After also offers a laundry service for cloth nappies, similar to that used by hotels for their linens. As it turns out, not all dirty laundry needs to be washed at home.

Nappies for NEA's laundry service

Nappies for NEA’s laundry service, photo credit Alessia Antonelli

That would be enough for me right there, I’m as excited as a six-year-old on a first trip to Disneyland, but my gaze continues to wander and I discover more nappy wraps, liners, washable swimming nappies, olive oil soaps, sanitisers, reusable breast pads made of silk (of SILK, who knew they existed), bottles for refills from the boxes of Ecover eco-friendly laundry and cleaning products, finishing with some Nordic-style clothing lines (much to the joy of Enrica who takes care of our Saturday column) in organic cotton of which I recommend the Disana clothing.

Shop for breast pads, eco-friendly washing powders and clothing.

Shop for breast pads, eco-friendly washing powders and clothing, photo credit Alessia Anotonelli

All of this is going on, while, beside me, they are carrying out personalised fittings of a baby sling to suit you and your baby. An expert gives you specialised advice and then the option to hire your sling before buying it (as an example, £6 for two weeks).

I share my joy with Su, the Nappy Ever After shop manager, and can’t stop squeaking with pleasure. Then a dark thought crosses my brain. Once upon a time, similar bursts of enthusiasm came from the perfect pair of shoes, or the dress that made me look much thinner and I’m there, there to get depressed. Then Greta looks at me, grabs the first nappy off the shelf, throws it on the floor and makes a hilarious grin that makes bystanders smile. I look at my shoes and think…well who’s going to see them behind the pram anyway.

************************

Ho scoperto una gemma nel cuore di Camden..

NAPPY EVER AFTER, 96 Chalton street, NW1 1HJ

Questo negozietto in Chalton street e’ specializzato in pannolini lavabili (pannolini riciclabili, di stoffa o comunque li conosciate) e prodotti ecologici affini. E’ l’unico negozio di pannolini ecologici in Central London, cosi’ e’ scritto sulla pagina facebook Nappy Ever After e cosi’ confermo io. Prima che nascesse Greta ho investito inutilmente tempo ed energie per cercare di toccare con mano quello che per me era diventato un miraggio: il pannolino lavabile che sembrava esistere solo sullo schermo del mio computer.

Si potrebbe comprare tutto online (cosi’ feci io) senza provare, fidandoti delle reviews prima e delle istruzioni poi. Pero’ un pannolino in stoffa costa tra 10-15 sterline e a quel prezzo sarebbe meglio indovinare subito il sistema/la marca giusta. Come scoprire se la vostra creatura e un “Bumgenius” o predilige il pannolino pieghevole “Bambino Mio” o la mutandina “bamboozle”? Tutti in processione a Chalton street!

Leggo sulla pagina Facebook di NAPPY EVER AFTER che il negozio nasce per spiegare ai genitori mortali (quindi tutti esclusi quelli di Hackney, quelli sanno gia’ tutto) quanto possa essere facile utilizzare pannolini lavabili…ed in vero stile Camden, tutto sotto forma di associazione NON PROFIT.

Varcando la soglia ci si trova davanti scaffali colmi di mutandine lavabili in mille colori, forme e taglie, tutti ordinatamente piegati. Sulla sinistra si stagliano montagne di inserti assorbenti di stoffa (nappy) imballati in buste trasparenti. Cosi’ scopro che Nappy Ever After offre anche un servizio “lavanderia” per econappies che somiglia molto a quello utilizzato dagli alberghi per le loro lenzuola. A quanto pare, non tutto il bucato sporco deve sessere lavato in famiglia.

A me basterebbe cosi’, sono eccitata come un bambino di sei anni per la prima volta a Disneyland, (o a Fiabilandia, per la compagine romagnola) ma lo sguardo continua a vagare e scopro altre mutandine, liners, swimmers lavabili, saponi all’olio d’oliva, polveri sterilizzanti, coppette assorbenti di seta (di S E T A…manco sapevo esistessero), taniche per la refill di ECOVER (ecologia al quadrato), finendo con qualche linea di abbigliamento in cotone biologico dal gusto Nordico (per la gioia di Enrica che cura la nostra rubrica del sabato) tra le quali mi senti di raccomandare DISANA.

Tutto questo accade mentre di fianco a me si eseguono fitting personalizzati sul “tipo di marsupio piu’ consono a te ed al tuo bambino”. Un’esperta ti consiglia dandoti l’opzione di noleggiare il tuo marsupio prima di comprare (6 sterline per due settimane).

Condivido la mia gioia con la manager e non smetto di squittire di piacere. Poi un pensietro tetro mi attraversa il cranio. Un tempo simili slanci di entusiasmo accadevano davanti al “perfetto paio di scarpe”, o “al vestito che mi fa sembrare molto piu’ magra!” e non erano certo causati dalle coppette di seta o dai pannolini lavabili…..e sono li’ li’ per deprimermi. Poi Greta mi guarda, afferra il primo pannolino che trova sullo scaffale lo getta per terra e fa una smorfia buffissima che fa sorridere gli astanti. Io mi guardo le scarpe e penso “ma si…tanto chi vuoi che me le veda da dietro il passeggino?”

Alessia per mamme italiane a Londra

Thanks to Sharon Singleton for the translation.

‘To wash or not to wash’ and cloth nappies

The recent announcement about water restrictions in southern and eastern England made us sit up and have a rethink. We’d always thought that landfill was the biggest environmental issue we faced and therefore using cloth nappies was the better alternative. (We know that a lot of our waste is incinerated but that just added to our arguments to not bother with eco-disposables.) Yet, with current plans to restrict water to around 23 million English households (and possibly be extended to further north as the summer actually kicks in), the issue of water usage and washing cloth nappies have made us relook at the facts.  Should we stop washing cloth nappies and switch to disposables?

Conserving water, even in non-drought circumstances, should be something we all try to incorporate into our daily life. Some water-saving efforts we introduced into our own household about three years ago (courtesy of a Thames Water water conservation home visit [no longer available but if you are a Thames Water customer you can also get many similar devices for free]) included adding crystals to our toilet reservoir to reduce water used per flush, tap inserts which aerate the water as it comes through the tap to achieve the same flow rate but with less water, water-saving showerheads and shower timers. We’re still working on the last one but the others were easy installs with instant and non-detrimental results.

Our research then led us to some Australian websites and forums with great information about water usage, washing in general and washing cloth nappies which we’d like to share. (We come from Australia where water restrictions have always been a part of life, especially in the summer, although less so recently as seen by extensive flooding in the country.)

Some facts (source uSwitch website, see link below):

  • An average person uses about 150L of water per day.
  • A full toilet flush uses about 8L of water.
  • An average shower uses 80L (as does the average bath).
  •  A washing machine uses about 65L of water (less if high performance but then these machines often don’t use enough water to get cloth nappies clean).
  • A dishwasher uses around 25L of water.
  • Watering the garden with a hosepipe uses around 540L of water.
  • Washing the car with a hosepipe uses up to 480L of water.

Using the above figures and thinking about our particular circumstances, we think there are ways we can continue to use and wash cloth nappies and actually reduce our water usage overall.

Some suggestions:

  • The advice is to always wash a full load of laundry so, if you don’t already, consider washing cloth nappies with your own clothes.
  • Buy more cloth nappies so you don’t need to wash as often.*
  • Consider using a laundry service where more nappies are washed at once
  • Offset water usage by
    • Having shorter showers or installing water -saving showerheads
    • Get a water butt to collect rainwater and use for watering garden, etc
    • Conserve the grey water from showers and washing machines** to water gardens, or, fill up your toilet reservoir to use as flushing water***
    • Consider getting a half-flush toilet or only flushing after a certain number of wees

It’s hard not to think: ‘Why bother, let’s just switch to disposables and not have to deal with it, especially as we don’t have a car to wash nor a garden to water, so we’re already doing well, right?’.  Well we suppose it depends in your priorities, but what most people seem to forget is the amount of water (and oil but we’ll leave that debate for another time) used to make a disposable nappy.  And we have no influence on that part of the manufacturing.

There have been two reports in the UK on the lifecycle assessment of disposable and reusable cloth nappies and also one study by the University of Queensland in Australia. The Australian study states that ‘More than 90% of water and energy consumption and land use occurs during the pre-use stage of the disposable nappy life cycle (softwood production, pulping and nappy production)’ whereas reusable nappies users can mitigate how much water and energy they use by limiting impacts with washing and drying and reusing nappies on more than one child.

Of course, this is what we’d say, but what do you think? Will you keep washing cloth nappies when the water restrictions start on 5 April? Will you reconsider using a laundry service? Will you switch to disposables and ride it out?

* Not our suggestion, honest, as found on a forum post! J

** Grey water from washing soiled nappies is not recommended for use on gardens.

*** This suggestion is slightly too hardcore for us (even if we were brought up with a drop toilet [ie sawdust, no flush!] ) but worth passing on.

Links for further reading:

Hosepipe ban to be introduced into the UK  (BBC News)

Q&A: Hosepipes, drought and you (BBC Q&A)

How much water do you use? (uSwitch)

Does the water use argument wash? (Darlings Downunder blog)

Great Water Usage Debate (Cloth Nappies are Fun blog)

An Updated Lifecycle Assessment Study for Disposable and Reusable Nappies (UK, October 2008)

Lifecycle Assessment: Reusable and Disposable Nappies in Australia  (July 09)

The LCA Answer to your Nappy Nuisance (Edge Environment Aus)

Spring windows

It’s never too early to forget winter and turn our thoughts to spring. The sun even came out to celebrate!

Plans for 2012

Following on from our successes of 2011, here’s what we’re thinking about for 2012.

We know 2012 in London is the year of sport (we’re already grappling with how we can manage our laundry delivery services during the Olympics, Euston Rd, forget it :-() but we’ve a few exciting events planned for 2012 too!

We’re looking at holding regular events in the shop – our first one, a Natural Hygiene event, was held last week and was sold out. We’ve another planned for 2 February. If you’ve been thinking of ECing but not sure where to start then Rachel will guide you through how you can make it work for you. Bookings essential here. Other events we’re planning are homeopathy when pregnant, homeopathy for children, natural parenting classes, sling meets and baby massage. And maybe even a nappy film premiere! If you’ve any ideas for events we could hold then please email us at mail2007@nappyeverafter.co.uk.

We’ve extended our opening hours on a more permanent basis. We’re now open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 10am to 3pm and Tuesday 10am to 5pm. We’d love some back-up if Su or Joy is ill, so if you have any time to volunteer to cover some shop hours, please let us know.

So long winter, hello spring!

We want to continue to offer advice around London, not just at our shop. If you’ve some time each month to spare and want to become one of our advisors, then please get in touch. If you can drop leaflets in antenatal clinics, baby classes, then again please get in touch.

Staff changes: Katrina is leaving Nappy Ever After as she and her family are relocating to Toronto for a couple of years. Su is covering the shop and all queries, Ru and Liam are doing deliveries, and Joy is back doing the accounts and general management duties. We’re talking with someone about taking over the management of Nappy Ever After on a more permanent basis and will update you when we know more. Katrina is still managing the Facebook, Twitter and Blog pages so by all means pop by if you want to catch her!

We’re always looking to make sure we offer the best, reliable nappies and associated nappy products in London. If you have anyfeedback about our products or services, please let us know.

Love your planet, love nappies!

Best,

The Nappy Ever After team