Monday 15 April 2013

Cloth Nappies …..A healthy addiction? #RNW13 Guest Post

Our first Guest post for Real Nappy Week from Geri Smith a self confessed cloth nappy addict!

I am not an eco-warrior hippie earth mother. I am not even close. I have neither the patience nor motivation to recycle everything (anything), grow my own veg, sew, knit and crochet my own clothes, and I am far too lazy to have a bike with my baby in a seat on the back.
Don’t get me wrong I admire mothers that do all these things, I think that they are amazing, I am just not one of them.
I am a new breed of mum, I am a 30 something,  far from yummy, light years from being an earth mother, slightly lazy , extremely gadgetised, iPhone toting,  trainer only wearing,  ready meal eating (not so much now after horse gate!), pub going, coffee shop regular, first time mum who loves a lie in!!
I have coined my own term for mums like me. iMamas.

If you are wondering what that has to do with using cloth nappies, I wanted to make sure that from the outset, you know that I am not the kind of person anyone would have expected to use cloth nappies. My friends and family members thought I had gone a touch mad, and are currently looking at checking me into fluff rehab! (Seriously, I have heard them whispering)

So where did my little addiction begin?

My Little boy was born in November 2012. 4 days overdue and bringing with him 10 weeks of evil colic, mild postnatal depression, 2 bouts of bronchiolitis and the cutest face you ever did see.
Not exactly conducive to using cloth nappies…but at around 8 weeks old, I was converted.
I saw an offer for Bambino Miosolo AIO nappies. Normally retailing at £15 a pop, they were giving them away for free bar the postage! Who could resist! I do love a bargain. I managed to procure 3 of these (MIL and my own Irish mammy saw fit to help me out), as I was looking for solutions to my little boy’s extreme leakage at night issue.  

We were only able to use one certain brand of nappies as he was allergic to pampers and huggies, but the brand we were using just didn’t have the backbone to handle a 10hr sleeping stint without sobbing into its lining.

Night one I was dubious, and indeed there was a touch of leakage after 10 hrs, so being the resourceful (desperate) mum that I am, I researched and was introduced to the cloth nappy community!
After some good advice and boosting the nappy, no more leaks. I was officially a cloth bum mum.

I discovered preloved boards and started building my fluff stash, trying different types of nappies, of which there are numerous.  Below is a quick list.

2 parters / sized nappy - (Little Lambs, Tots Bots Bamboozles) where the whole nappy is absorbent and they require a waterproof wrap or cover.

Prefolds / flat nappy - (Bumgenius flips, Bambino Mio) – nappies which are squares of absorbent material – hemp or cotton terry, folded in a myriad of ways, placed in a waterproof wrap.

All in one’s / AIO nappy – (Bambino Miosolo, Tots Bots Easy fit, Bumgenius Freetime) – an all in one nappy were everything is attached, the inner core usually fold out for easy drying.

All in twos / AI2 nappy – (Fuzzibunz, Itti Bitti, Grovia hybrid, Pop in) – similar to an AIO but the inner core snaps in and out, so the outer shell can be reused throughout the day, meaning less washing.

Pocket nappy’s - (Charlie Banana, Baba and Boo, Blueberry)  - similar to AIOs but there is a pocket which a removable inner core can be stuffed into.

Not all types of nappy suit every baby, so I tried a few different styles until I found the ones that suited my little skinny man. I now have an impressive fluff stash of AIOs, AI2s and pockets.  

People often ask me why I use cloth nappies, isn’t it more hassle, what about the poo, and the washing, and the smell!!! I can honestly say that I have never found using cloth more hard work than disposables. Yes there is an extra load of washing to do every couple of days, but I enjoy it, which coming from the girl who has been known to sometimes not do her own laundry for weeks on end is a small miracle. I never have a problem with poo because I use flushable liners which catch the poo and then it just gets flushed down the loo. Easy peasy. I use lovely wet bags instead of the old fashioned nappy buckets, which completely eliminates any smells from the nappies waiting to be washed and they come in pretty patterns too, I also double wet bags up as swim changing bags, wet clothes bags for when out and about and cloth wipes bags (yes I use cloth wipes too!)
There are many advantages to using cloth nappies, the financial savings, the eco-friendly factor, the lack of chemicals on your little ones gorgeous bum, however none of those reasons are why I use cloth, although they are great incentives, and give you a lovely warm glow.

I use cloth nappies because they are cute, I really like them, and it has in a way turned into my hobby. I am a member of this semi-secret community of cloth bum mums, swapping  tips, trading nappies, buying and selling preloved nappies (not as icky as you think), giving advice, sharing discounts and offers, and generally chatting  about our little fluffy bums. I have made lots of online and real life friends through my strange fluff addiction and I feel it helped me get over my post natal depression, having something to focus on and enjoy, whilst saving the world, my pennies and keeping my lovely boys bum rash free!
Using cloth nappies is not only a good thing to do for the environment, your bank balance and your baby, its genuinely fun and enjoyable, and opens your eyes to many other offshoots, like cloth wipes, gorgeous bottom butters, beautiful cut for cloth clothes and don’t get me started on wool longies, shorties and pretties, that’s a whole other world of fluff addiction!

I am a huge advocate for cloth nappies, but I still love a steak dinner, enjoy the odd bottle of beer, love a takeaway Chinese, would probably drop down dead without my daily latte, watch doctor who, and never go 2hrs without checking Facebook and Twitter on my iPhone.

Cloth nappies may not be for everyone…..but they are definitely for absolutely anyone.

Its real nappy week from the 15th April through to the 21st April, where many cloth nappy retailers and supporters have come together to promote the use of cloth through competitions, giveaways and discounts. Why not give cloth a go whilst grabbing a bargain. You never know you could become a fully fledged fluffy mummy like me!

by Geri Smith. -  Cloth Nappy enthusiast and official Fluff Addict.

Check out this useful links...

Please do show Geri some comment love and feel free to ask any cloth nappy questions you may have! Come back tomorrow for our second guest post from Fiona who helps to run a cloth nappy library...


  1. Your little man is such a cutie! Love seeing a baby with a fluffy bum! My son is a few weeks older than yours and I switched when he was about 8 weeks wish I had discovered them back when my daughter was born it really does become an addiction thankfully I've always looked for bargains and bought a few preloved :)

  2. ohh I love you post and the term imama lol, I am addicted to cloth too but started waaay later than you, so sad i misse dout on cute squishy piccies like the one you've put in here! x

  3. Love the stash photo - but it is a little blurry! Maybe a bigger original file would have been better. ;)

  4. This really sounds like me! Big gadget freak, and nappy addict! Trying to convert a few pregnant pals at the mo.
    Been promoting RNW to them to hopefully get them interested!

  5. Your little boy has a gorgeous smile :) Love the stash photo....lots of gorgeous fluff. I did the same as you bought a few different types/brands and found what worked best for my little man.

  6. i am getting some for my sister who is expecting twins.

  7. i am so glad you all liked it. i am very proud of it!!

  8. great post. i love using fluff on my little man although still struggling to find the best fluff for night time, going to use the different deals on throughout real nappy week to buy different boosters to try.

  9. Lovely post! I too am a cloth nappy addict and I wish I used them on my two eldest kids. My daughter looks adorable waddling around with her big cloth bum and the designs are cute. I get lots of compliments on her "fancy nappies" from health visitors, the GP and women in changing rooms when I am take her out. I find there is less to carry too. When we go out, I just give her a more "stuffed" nappy or stick a Close Parent Pop-In on her. I think I'll save these nappies for my grandkids! Can't do that with Huggies. ;)

  10. IMama is great, I'm definitely using that one ;))
    I'm a huge cloth nappy advocate, now local advisor/guru I switched because my daughter was being burnt by chemicals in disposables and never looked back. I love the cute factor, my bin doesn't smell, I save on the weekly shop. Same as you I've never found washing a struggle, it's not like we're doing it by hand xx

  11. what a lovely post - I enjoyed reading this! x

  12. Here here! We've made fab fluffy friends to share the parenting highs and lows, cake and washing tips!

  13. At age 18, I told my parents I would always live in London, and I would have a gardener to look after a window box. Now I live in a little village in Kent and I have a lovely garden (which needs work doing to it!). I have changed, but I never thought I would be a cloth user. Now I love them and would actively encourage all my friends to try them when they start having babies! I don't think of myself as an earth mother, but cloth nappies has encouraged me to try other new things like wraps and baby led weaning. I also love the cost saving!

  14. I can really relate to this post... there is a certain 'stigma' associated with using cloth (eco warrior thing) particularly in the area in which I live which really is wrong and I know if everyone around me knew I was considering real nappies they wouldn't actually be impressed. Theres just some things I want to try and do differently this time around (now 3 days overdue with baby number 2!). I have a Sling! And I really want to try the baby led weaning route as I hated weaning DS. I actually feel quite excited about the prospect of trying out cloth nappies!

  15. You sound so like me, sort of. I'm mumma to a 6month old and am just starting to change from disposables to cloth and everything you've said, especially at the start about the type of person you are has me down a tee. I'm hoping the transition is going to be a smooth one.

  16. Hahaha! iMamas! Totally brilliant! Never thought I'd be using cloth nappies either but here we are! Babies change us in more ways than we can imagine.

  17. i also found not all nappies fit well, but i do love sitting and sorting/suffing freshly washed nappies, i find it relaxing

  18. Agree with so much of this!

  19. Great post. Can't relate to so much of it!

  20. Fab post. I used cloth with my son almost 12 years ago but so much has changed. Baby boy number 2 is due in October and I have already started on my stash interesting to read what others have found that helped xx

  21. Fab post. I used cloth with my son almost 12 years ago but so much has changed. Baby boy number 2 is due in October and I have already started on my stash interesting to read what others have found that helped xx

  22. lovely post and I know what you mean about the addiction, hoping we are having a little girl so I can buy frilly ones this time xxx

  23. I'm going to have to have another look at Preloved and see if there are any bargains to be had!

  24. Brilliant post Geri and a really helpful explanation of all the different types. I really need to build up a stash and I'm thinking preloved might be somewhere for me to start.


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