* Prices may differ from that shown
Cloth nappies have come a long way in the last twenty or even ten years, long gone are the days of folding terry squares, holding them together with nappy pins and covering them with rubber pants. Today you can buy reusable nappies in various forms including pocket nappies, pre-folds and shaped terry nappies, with there being almost as much variety in material used as nappy type. Our daytime nappies of choice are the Little Lamb Pocket Nappies (both sized and one size) and our night time nappies are the Little Lamb Bamboo nappies, but there are times when we need a nappy that is more absorbent than a pocket nappy, but quicker drying than the Bamboo. The Little Lamb Microfibre Shaped Nappy fits this bill perfectly, when teamed up with a bombproof wrap it can cope throughout a 5 hour journey and yet it comes out of the washing machine virtually dry. Available in two sizes (size one/7-20lb and size two/20-38lb) these nappies are very reasonably priced at just £9 for a single nappy, £24.30 for three or £72 for ten. They can also be purchased in kits containing ten, twenty or forty nappies along with all the accessories you are likely to need and as a trial pack containing a nappy, booster pad, fluffy liner, waterproof wrap and wet bag for £12.
Part of a two part system these nappies form the fluffy, absorbent layer and are shaped to fit around baby's bottom just like a disposable and then be secured with Velcro tabs. Unlike their cotton and bamboo counterparts, these microfibre nappies are knitted from a synthetic fibre which does not need repeated pre-washing to increase absorbency and so are ready to use after just one wash and dry (to remove any residue). The downside to these being made of synthetic fibre is that if you are using cloth nappy purely for the environmentally friendly factor then you will have to take this into account. Microfibre itself is a super absorbent material that can hold many times it's own weight in liquid. Unlike cotton or bamboo, the liquid is not held in the fibres but between them, which means that the majority of the liquid is removed during the spin cycle of a washing machine and nappies and boosters made of it are virtually dry straight after a machine wash.
When I first started using these nappies on him, Baby JJ was about four weeks old and around 9.5lb and so firmly within the recommended weight range for the size one nappy and according to the Little Lamb website I can expect this nappy to fit until he is around 9 months old. Putting this nappy on really is as simple as using a disposable, I like to prepare all my nappies straight after washing and drying so I already have the supplied booster pad and fluffy liner in place before the nappy is needed. The nappy itself fits well with the elasticated back and leg seams giving a nice, snug fit when combined with the Velcro. What I really like about all of the Little Lamb shaped nappies including these is that they feature a crossover on the Velcro waistband, which means that they fit even the skinniest babies. I find the Velcro is very strong and the waistband is just the right width to make me feel that the nappy will be held closed without causing chaffing.
Once the nappy is on a waterproof wrap does need to be placed over the top to prevent leakage. It is a shame that these nappies need to be covered, they are just so white and fluffy that they look extremely cute on Baby JJ's bum and seem to stay just as white and fluffy no matter how often they are washed. From the very first use it was easy to get a good fit with this nappy, the Velcro tabs make it easy to get a snug fit and by angling them slightly it is possible to adjust the fit around the legs to fit both skinny and chubby thighs. When we first used this nappy on Baby JJ he did have very scrawny legs and I had no trouble getting them to fit without gaping. Over the last couple of days he's chunked out considerably and I can still get a good fit.
I have to admit that I have not tried using the nappy without the fleece liner and microfibre booster, Baby JJ is rather a heavy wetter and I know it would not last more than a hour or so. The fleece liner is beautifully soft and fluffy, I love the feel of it against my skin and so am very happy for it to be the layer that sits against Baby JJ's bum. Not only does this fleece provide a soft, fluffy layer, but it also wicks any moisture away from the skin and into the booster and nappy leaving Baby JJ's skin dry even when the nappy is sodden. The microfibre booster adds another two layers of absorbency to the mix, which means that this nappy can last my heavy wetter four to five hours. You do, however, need to add a wrap over the top of the nappy as that adds the waterproof layer, which wrap you use is up to you but we do use the Little Lamb Bombproof Wrap.
Although I generally change Baby JJ every two to three hours throughout the day, I was looking for a nappy that could last for the four to five hours that we were going to be travelling on a train and would be quick drying so that it could be used the next day on the return journey. I put this nappy on him at the start of the journey and while it does add a lot more bulk than either disposable or his normal daytime, pocket nappies, I personally don't think they're too bulky. After two months use I've got used to adapting outfits to cloth nappies and tend to put trousers on Baby JJ rather than rompers or sleepsuits and have gone up a size in bodysuits (poppered vests). Little Lamb do state that these nappies are cut to the same pattern as their cotton and bamboo nappies, but due to the nature of the material they tend to be more bulky, but I can't say that I've particularly noticed this.
Although I did obviously check him at regular intervals and would have changed him if necessary, the microfibre stayed on for the duration of our journey and did not leak even a tiny bit. When I took the nappy off, Baby JJ's bottom was virtually dry to the touch even though the nappy was absolutely drenched. There was absolutely no sign of redness on his skin and no markings from where the elasticated legs and back had held the nappy securely in place. All in all I was very pleased with this nappy's performance especially as Little Lamb themselves warn that the microfibre nappies are prone to compression leaks, which are leaks caused when a baby stays in one position for a longer period of time.
After the success for travelling the next test for this nappy was when Baby JJ was due to produce one of his epic poops. Being fully breastfed, Baby JJ can produce some pretty dramatic poops that fill a nappy from back to front and leak from most nappies. In fact we have found that the only nappies that have a chance of coping are two-parters and so I do try and use that style when he shows signs of needing to poop. As with the bamboo nappies that he wears all night and the cotton nappies we use for the same reason, this microfibre nappy performed admirably, managing to contain a very explosive, bright yellow poop so well it didn't even hit the wrap.
Dealing with these nappies at change time is extremely easy, if your baby has been weaned and has solid poop then that will need to be disposed of down the toilet, but breastfed poop will dissolve in the washing machine, so the dirty/wet nappy simply needs to be placed in a lidded bucket with the Velcro tabs folded onto the laundry tabs until you have enough for a load (or are running out of nappies). While Little Lamb give washing instructions which involve washing the nappies at 40 degrees with 1/3 to ½ the usual dose of non-biological powder, I do have my own routine that I have perfected over the last couple of months. I start with a rinse cycle to loosen any dried in pee and poop, then a 40 degree wash with an Ecoegg and finish off with an extra spin (more for the bamboo and cotton nappies). Straight out of the machine the microfibre nappies are virtually dry and still brilliantly white and clean with no sign of staining. I've found these nappies somehow manage to repel the yellow poop that has left stains on other materials. While the bamboo nappies take anything up to three days to dry on an over the bath airer and the cotton nappies up to two days, these microfibre nappies are ready to use within a few hours of leaving the machine making them ideal if drying space is limited.
Overall I am pretty impressed with these nappies and can see that they have a place in my cloth stash. I like the fact that they are easy to care for and dry extremely quickly and the fact that they can cope with quite a long time between changes and hold in explosive poop. I also like the fact that despite multiple wears and washes it is still in the same condition as it was new, with no greying or staining, no shrinking and with the Velcro still being as strong as day one and the whole nappy feeling super soft. While I still wouldn't use these nappies overnight, I have actually some more in order to build up a stash that I can use to take on holiday, where I will be able to wash them in the launderette and then let them air dry overnight, meaning I don't need to take as many.
I would recommend these nappies for those that are looking to cloth bum, but have limited drying space as they really do seem to have the perfect balance between absorbency and drying time. My only issues with these nappies are the fact that they are not as environmentally friendly as they could be and that they do not come in Size Three and so I cannot buy any for my toddler.