* Prices may differ from that shown
Whilst we use pocket nappies during the day and love them for that, we find that they simply aren't absorbent enough to last the six to eight hours Baby JJ sleeps through the night. We've tried all of the various Little Lamb shaped nappies over the last five weeks and the Little Lamb Bamboo Nappy has proved to be our night time nappy of choice when combined with booster pads and a bombproof wrap. These nappies are available in three sizes, with the smallest, Size One being said to be suitable for babies ranging from 7-20lb, which averages out at from newborn until approximately nine months of age. As Baby JJ was only a couple of weeks old when we started using cloth nappies, we obviously bought this smallest size. The Bamboo Nappies are also available in Size Two, which is suitable for babies in the 20-38lb range (7months-potty trained) and Size Three (35lb+). In the world of cloth nappies these are very reasonably priced with a single nappy retailing at just £9 and discounts being available when you buy in larger quantities.
On first receiving these nappies, I couldn't help but be impressed at how soft, fluffy and silky they felt, the 90% bamboo/10% microfibre mix really does produce a nappy that almost feels like a cloud. Each nappy is supplied with a bamboo booster (sewn in with the larger sizes) and fluffy, fleece liner, with the whole lot needing to be washed several times before the first use. Little Lamb recommend that they are washed at least three times before the first use on a 40 degree cycle to remove the sizing and increase absorbency, with the absorbency increasing further over at least the next three washes. After washing the nappies aren't quite as soft to the touch as they were before, but they are still far, far softer than any of the cotton nappies we also own.
While the bamboo used in these nappies cannot be described as organic due to the manufacturing processes used to turn the raw bamboo into a fabric, it is Oeko-tex certified, which means that it has been tested throughout the manufacturing process for harmful substances. Bamboo is also a very renewable resource, with some varieties growing over a metre a day, in fact I had some growing in my garden once and I swear I could hear it growing. Due to the nature of the bamboo and the lack of bleaching, rather than being white these nappies are a cream/beige colour, which is very attractive even though I do like to see freshly laundered white nappies on a baby's bum. To look at, these are very similar in appearance to disposable nappies, they are shaped to fit (rather than needing to be folded) with elasticated back and leg cuffs. The nappies do up via Velcro, which when combined with the elastic gives a perfect fit.
We've been using these nappies at night for a little over five weeks now and I can honestly state that when combined with the Little Lamb Wrap we've not had a single leak since working out the best combination of boosters to add in the mix. One of the aspects of these nappies that is great and puts these nappies head and shoulders above disposables is how easy it is to customise the absorbency to fit your baby and the way they wet. With some babies you may find that they are such light wetters that you don't need to boost at all, with others you may find you need one, two or even three boosters to last the night. In our case the best combination is two boosters with the bottom one folded over at the front of the nappy and then a washable fleece liner is placed on top of the boosters so that it sits next to the skin and wicks the pee away from Baby JJ's skin and into the boosters and nappy.
When we first started using these nappies I did think they might be a little big for him as although at over eight pound he was above the minimum recommended weight, he was and still is a long skinny baby. To start with we had to do these nappies up in such a way that the two flaps folded over each other, which is something Little Lamb had thought of as there is actually Velcro there to do this. This gave a nice snug fit, without any gaping, however now Baby JJ has chunked out a bit the two flaps no longer meet, but the fit is still snug. These nappies have quite a low rise (how high they go up the baby's waist), from the first use they've been below his belly button, which I quite like as he looks uncomfortable in nappies that reach his waistline.
While disposable nappies are designed to be super slim fitting, as with any cloth nappy these are not. They are in fact very bulky, especially if more than one booster is used, but personally I love the look of a big, fluffy bum on a baby. Plus there is an actual developmental advantage to using cloth nappies in that the bulk holds baby's hips in a better position than disposables, they also give a nice amount of padding when baby is learning to walk and falling on their bottoms. The only real disadvantage to the bulk is that clothing manufacturers no longer cater for cloth bottoms and you do have to think about what your baby will wear. During the day I tend to team the nappies up with baby leggings and a top, for a really cute look that shows off the nappy/wrap and at night I've gone a size up in sleepsuits so as not to put pressure on the nappy and cause compression leaks.
Baby JJ obviously finds the combination of these nappies and the Little Lamb wraps extremely comfortable as for the last week he has been sleeping for up to eight hours at night, which he would not do if uncomfortable. As long as he hasn't pooped, the nappy will stay on from about 11pm until around 8am and while it is obviously wet there has never been a leak. Bamboo is far more absorbent than cotton, which means for the same amount of bulk you get far more pee soaked up and this is very evident with how heavy the nappy feels when it is removed in the morning. Once the dirty/wet nappy is removed the Velcro flaps need to be folded down and then the nappy is simply placed in a lidded nappy bucket until you are ready to wash. An aspect of using any cloth nappies that may be considered a disadvantage is that the wet nappy is in contact with baby's skin. However, remember that urine itself is sterile and that in the main it is only when urine mixes with poop that irritation and nappy rash occurs. Baby JJ certainly doesn't find it uncomfortable and has not suffered from any kind of nappy rash or redness since we stopped using disposable nappies and wipes, although I do have to admit that we also use a cloth friendly salve on his bottom.
Washing the dirty/wet nappies is simplicity itself. If your baby produces solid or semi solid poop then you will need to flick that into the toilet (it's a very good idea to use a liner) but breastfed poop is water soluble so it can go straight in the machine. While the instructions state to wash these at 40 degrees with a half measure of non-biological soap powder, I have to admit that after a little trial and error I have a slightly different routine. I do a nappy wash every other day (which means some of the poop has dried a little) and I start with a rinse cycle, which soaks any dried poop, I then put the nappies through a forty degree cotton wash with an Ecoegg, finishing off with an extra spin. Following this regime every last sign of bright yellow poop is removed and the nappies are beautifully cleaned without any build up of detergent. It is very important, however, not to add fabric conditioner to the wash as it will coat the fibres reducing absorption. If you want the nappies to smell nice then a few drops of essential oil can be added to the conditioner drawer, (tea tree is a good oil to use as it is anti bacterial, viral and fungal).
Drying these nappies is an extremely time consuming affair, especially at this time of year when they have to be dried indoors. Before I added the extra spin into the mix it was taking more than three days for these nappies to dry, but with the extra spin it takes between two and two and a half days for them to dry on an airer. I put them on an over bath airer, in the bathroom with the window open, turn them over at least twice a day and this seems to reduce the drying time as much as possible. Once dry the nappies are once more soft and fluffy to the touch and do not smell of anything other than the essential oil I have used. So far we have had no staining, but if they should do so, sunlight is supposed to be an excellent way of removing stains. Although there was a small amount of shrinkage with the very first wash there hasn't been any subsequently and the elastic and whole nappies show no sign of wear and tear after almost five weeks of use.
Whether you are thinking about cloth nappies as a way of saving the environment (a million tonnes of disposable nappies go to landfill in the UK each year, with it taking 200-500 years for them to decompose!) or a way of saving money (up to £1500 when washing is taken into account, much more if you use the same nappies on a second child) you will need to find a night time nappy and this Little Lamb Bamboo Nappy is our night time nappy of choice. Yes, it is bulky and even more so when boosted, but it is also super absorbent and in our case keeps Baby JJ comfortable all night long. I'm not sure that I would use these as a daytime nappy though, no matter how cute they look under a wrap, they are bulky and I prefer pocket nappies for during the day. Of course what suits one baby will be a total failure on another and with a standard price of £9 for a single nappy (with reductions if you buy in multiples) it can be quite expensive if they don't work for your baby and so would recommend that if you want to try these you buy a trial pack for £12 which contains the nappy, booster, liner, wrap and wet bag.
Little Lamb's bamboo nappy with bamboo insert and fleece liner
When I was pregnant I already knew that I wanted to try and use cloth nappies, I had heard lots of positive reviews and although I didn't know anyone in real life that had used them after having a browse around online I found that those who used them tended to love them. So I jumped straight in and bought a few different types of nappy not knowing what I would like best or what would suit my little one the best. However, now after months of use and trying a good few different variety's of nappys there are some I love more than others and I LOVE the Little Lamb's bamboo nappy complete with bamboo insert and fleecy liner.
In my experience the hardest aspect of using cloth nappies have been the negative comments from people, before my baby was here I was so sick of hearing how much more difficult the reusable nappies where going to be, how much more work and washing I would have to do, etc, etc. I really haven't found that the case, they are simple, straightforward and I never worry about running out and really I only do around three extra loads of washing a week. So far I have found that I tend to wash nappies every second or third day at 40 degrees, I hang them up to dry beside a radiator if it's miserable out or out on the line if the sun is shining. Plus personally, I just feel better about using something soft and natural next to my baby's bum and not adding years worth of disposable nappies to the landfill is yet just another bonus. Also I would like to have more children in the future and the nappies should be fine to reuse with another baby so that means any additional Inchy babies should be nappied for a much reduced cost.
---Little Lamb Bamboo nappy with Bamboo booster---
In my opinion no nappy stash would also be complete without some Bamboo nappy's and some bamboo boosters. They are a very simple design and are surprisingly easy to use as they are shaped very similarly to a typical disposable nappy but just with Velcro wings (and they do require an additional separate waterproof wrap). The Little Lamb bamboo nappy is one of my favourites because I have found that bamboo is by far the most absorbent nappy material that I have come across. For me the bamboo nappy is always my bed time nappy of choice, it just keeps my little one drier for longer and hopefully helps her to sleep through the night. Also the bamboo nappies are by far the softest and if I had to choose what I would want next to my own skin I am sure nine times out of ten I would pick the bamboo. In fact, I do because I use the Little Lamb's bamboo breast pads on a daily basis.
But and the bamboo nappies do have one large but, they take forever to dry. Even with placing the bamboo nappy beside a warm radiator or outside in the sun they still take almost a full day to dry completely, which does mean that they are great to have around but you would need quite a lot more nappies if you wanted to just rely on the bamboo ones than if you have a more mixed nappy stash. Personally I have a good mix of cotton, microfibre, pocket and of course bamboo nappies.
The Little Lamb bamboo nappy is a two part nappy and by that I mean that it requires a waterproof wrap to complete the ensemble. Depending upon the deal or special offer available will depend on how many wraps you will get, but if you just want to purchase one Little Lamb bamboo nappy (for £12) you will get a wrap of your choosing. I'm not going to go into too much detail about the Little Lamb wraps because I do plan on reviewing them separately but they are great and really keep all the liquid and even the poop firmly where it is meant to be. I have never had a poop explosion using one of the Little Lamb wraps and so far I have been really pleased with them and I love the choice of colours available.
The Bamboo nappy is made from 90 % bamboo and 10 % microfibre.
--- The bamboo booster ---
As with all the two part nappy's the bamboo nappy comes with its very own booster and let me tell you the Bamboo boosters that Little Lamb sale are just fantastic. They are also available to buy in packets of ten separately and I currently have about 20 extra because I prefer using the bamboo boosters over all other types of booster because they are just so absorbent.
The bamboo booster alone gets five out of five stars from me.
The bamboo nappy comes in a range of sizes - size 1 ( 7lbs - 20lbs (3kgs - 9kgs)), size 2 (20lbs-38lbs (9kgs -17kgs)) and size 3 (fits from 35lbs/16kgs).
I am currently using the size 1's but I do have a stock of Little Lamb bamboo nappies in size 2 waiting and ready to go because I tend to stock up whenever Little Lamb have a special offer available. As far as I have noticed the only real difference (besides the size) is that the size 2 bamboo nappies have an inbuilt liner that is attached rather than the separate bamboo insert.
--- Fleecy liner ---
So far every nappy that I have received from Little Lamb (despite the size) comes with it's own separate fleece liner. And they are great. Initially when my little one seemed to be pooping around the clock and almost hourly (maybe a slight exaggeration) I wanted to use paper liners that I could just throw down the toilet without any sort of thought and less fuss. But now that she only poops once or twice a day and usually around the same time I only use the occasional paper liner and the fleece liners the rest of the time. The fleece liner is exactly what it sounds like a small insert of thin, soft fleece that catches any solids while allowing liquid to pass through to be absorbed by the nappy.
I have bought quite a few of the Little Lamb fleece liners to be used as makeshift bum wipes (along with my own lovely lavender and tea tree infused water) and also to use as bath flannels. The fleece liners really make great bath flannels and because they aren't overly heavy even when wet they are ideal for my little one to play around with. I just make sure I keep my bath fleece liners separate from the bum ones.
--- Just a few extra tips ---
1) Buy and use some tea tree oil when washing the nappies. All I do is add a few drops of tea tree oil in with the washing powder and the nappies come out smelling fresh and really nice. Also tea tree has some natural anti-bacterial properties. I also add some tea tree to my nappy buckets to keep them smelling fresher and cleaner, especially with the weather getting warmer.
2) Buy a nappy bucket and more importantly a mesh laundry bag that fits inside it - all I do is then take the mesh laundry bag from the bucket and put the whole thing in the washing machine it means that you don't have to touch the individual nappies. The nappies also don't need to be soaked.
3) Wash all the nappies at least three or four times before you use them to help get their absorbency up, but you don't need to dry them in between, just throw them all in and keep rewashing them time after time. Personally, I have found that my nappies did take about 10 or so washes before they started being at their peak. If you do notice that they aren't as absorbent as they once where it is worth doing a strip wash, which just entails washing the nappies in water alone to remove any detergent build up.
4) As much as possible hang up your nappies (inside or out) in direct sunlight. I was amazed by how much the sun can bleach any poop stains from even the whitest of nappies. You would be amazed that from my stash of nappies how few of them look like they have any sort of stain and they have to deal daily with a breastfed baby's korma like poop - hopefully no-one's currently tucking into a lovely curry korma delight right now.
I really like the Little Lamb bamboo nappies and from me they get the full five out of five stars and come highly recommend for anyone thinking of starting using cloth or anyone who may need a better more absorbent night time nappy.
With my first son, we gave up on cloth at night quite early on, we got too many leaks and struggled to find the right combination. This time I'm more determined to get things working and heard a rumour on a forum of a ridiculously good offer on Little Lamb bamboo nappies (if you go to their facebook page and find the link to the secret page you may be able to nab them too), so with that and a recommendation from my niece, we were off. We have used these from about 3 months to 5 months so far and have been using the size 1 system.
Little Lamb sent my nappies free of charge via a courier which is amazing considering the price I got the nappies for. The nappies are gorgeous and fluffy and soft straight out of the box but the instructions warned me to prewash plenty before use. The washes meant the lovely, fluffy softness went unfortunately. Drying them away from radiators/by our rayburn made them harder, avoiding these increases softness, and I've heard they come out very soft from a tumble dryer, though I've got no direct experience.
So tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for you to dry
I was worried with the early washes. After each prewash, it took up to 3 days for them to dry. As things progressed though, drying time improved, though it's still at least 36 hours drying time unless exceptionally good conditions. Slower drying times mean more nappies needed and would put me off using these full time.
But the absorbency is a good thing
The slow drying time is because bamboo is very absorbent, and this becomes a plus when the nappy is on. Our nighttime success comes from using the booster included with the nappy (attached in size 2), another doubled in half for a boy at the front and a bamboo booster between the nappy and the wrap. With this we get through a 14 hour stretch with some dry nappy to 'spare'. This combo is significantly less bulky than other combinations that I've tried. Without all the boosting, I find it a slim-fitting day option, almost as slim as pocket nappies, but more absorbent. The fitting has contained some quite explosive poos well and there are no parts where it has dug into my son's skin.
Though I'm glad I got that offer
...because this could be expensive to set up. These are two part nappies so need a separate wrap (we use smartipants smartfit covers), and can cost 9 pounds each without the offer, combined with needing extras for the drying time this could work out expensive. They are a sized nappy meaning more need to be purchased as your baby grows, adding another expense. My son is now 5 months and quite small for his age and the size 1s are still a good fit, though I doubt they'll last to 9 months/20lbs.
For those people who want to buy a sized two part nappy (i.e. absorbant nappy and waterproof wrap over the top) Little Lamb are a very good economical brand.
The bamboo nappy is incredibly absorbant and is so soft it seems a shame to put it on a bum! On the upside the softness of the fabric stays after washing unlike some other nappies, it isn't too bulky and it washes really well. On the downside I find the rise a bit small on my boy (he's quite long so even though he's well inside the weight limit for a size 1 it's just too short on him) and the absorbancy takes many washes to get up to speed (about 10 washes). My son wears the size 2 now and they fit him well.
There are 2 sizes (size 1 for smaller babies upto 20lb and size 2 upto 38lb) but they are very reasonably priced (around £8 each) and even better value if you buy one of the bigger kits.
Although I loved the bamboo fabric it really takes much too long to dry (upto 2 days!!!). Drying time would be shorter if you used a low tumble dryer setting but I hate paying for something the sun will do for free lol. If you are after a quick drying nappy then the microfibre option is much much better.
I bought mine direct from their website (littlelamb.co.uk) it arrived really quickly and you're supporting a small british company too!