“ Brand: Littlelamb / Type: Nappies „
When I was pregnant I can't remember thinking too hard about my nappy of choice. I remember talking it over with my husband for all of 5 minutes but it wasn't until my friend (mother of 3) and I were chatting about nappies that I considered going down the reusable route.
"It saves money," she told me. "And we've used them full time when we've been strapped for cash." She then let me borrow some terry towelling squares (made up in the old fashioned way of nappy pins and waterproof pants - you can also buy 'nappy nippas' which are non jaggy fastener.) It was when I saw our disposable nappy bill that I considered giving reusable's a chance.
As I have covered a lot of my journey into reusable nappies on my Bambino Mio review (http://members.dooyoo.co.uk/baby-bath/bambino-mio-pure-cotton-nappies/1588253/) I won't go into the boring details.
I'd tried various reusable nappies such as Bambino Mio and now the old fashioned terry towelling prefolds...I wanted to find something which I didn't have to fold and was close to a disposable in it's design but wasn't going to cost me £20 a week. This is when I stumbled across Little Lamb nappies. Their website (which has been since updated) was very basic and this put me off a little - however, at the price they were offering along with free postage I decided to trial a microfibre nappy (they advertised this as their fastest drying nappy so I thought why not.)
The trial nappy came with a nappy and insert stitched in, a booster liner and an outer wrap - I choose their aqua colour which is a very bright aqua colour. All of this was posted to me in a lovely green wet-bag that had the Little Lamb logo emblazoned across the front. I was very pleased with my purchase but the real test came when I put it on my son - well, it was easy as putting on a disposable!
I put the booster liner in, put in my disposable liner to catch any solids and draw away any wetness from my son's skin, put him into the nappy which was secured around his waist with a velcro fastening that joined at his tummy then it was a case of repeating the process with the outer wrap - very simple! On removing the nappy, it was again very simple. To stop the velcro being damaged there is a tab on the inside to stick down whilst in the wash - this gives the nappy a longer lifespan :).
I've also trialled these nappies when out and about - again, simple stuff. I've changed from a cloth into a cloth whilst out and although this might not be everyone's cup of tea, it works for me very well. My husband can be reluctant to change cloth nappies but I think it's because he's so used to disposables.
At night time I didn't notice that they were any worse than disposables - however my husband complained so much about them leaking (think they leaked, understandably, when my son heavy wetted and had a blow out. Which would also happen with disposables and to be honest I've had more leaks with disposables!) at night that we now use disposables for night time.
I don't bother to pre-soak them before washing as most modern machines have a pre-soak option, so I just store any wet or soiled nappies in the wet bag I was provided until I need to wash them. They can be washed at 40 degrees but I would recommend washing at 60 just to kill off any bugs.
If you were really worried about them leaking you could even cut up some face cloths and use them to boost the nappy - or purchase more boosters from Little Lamb.
I wish I could use these full time but as my husband does a majority of baby care and doesn't like to use these (as he believes disposables are the best thing since sliced bread) then we're stuck using them part time and not at night.
Price wise I have found these reasonable. I paid £12 or so for my trial pack - and I think microfibre is the best out of all the fabrics used as they dry so quickly! They also stay soft after many, many washes. I've had my nappies since my son was 9 months (as he moved into a size 2 at this age) and they are still lasting at 19 months. Size 2 will take you from 20-38lbs but I was putting my son into them when he was 15lbs and they worked out just fine as I found I could put the nappy and outer wrap on pretty tight so wasn't worried about any leg leakages ;).
I loved these so much that I went onto buy a nappy kit of microfibre nappies - this time with a white outer wrap. The nappies also come with an elasticated back and I think this has been such a clever addition. It keeps things contained in the nappy and allows the nappy to fit the child's shape perfectly - after all, each baby is different. I keep wondering when these nappies will look worn, but they don't! They're still soft and actually seem to get softer every time I wash them!
I can see myself using these for my next baby (still in the discussion stages of that, so no due dates set or anything like that :P) as they are the perfect product. I will also be investing in a birth to potty kit if Baby Number 2 does make an appearance and use these completely full time - husband will just have to lump it ;).
I have ordered online from them on 4 different occasions and twice the nappies have been delivered the next day and twice after 1 day and its free delivery to mainland uk!
The nappies i ordered were 2 bamboo ones, 1 microfibre one and one organic cotton one. All but the cotton one are size 1 and i have been using them since baby was 2 weeks old. Very soft and fluffy and ive used the little lambs wraps with them and never had a leak or even a hint of one. ive heard some people say the wraps are not good but they fit my baby very well. The bamboo ones obviously last longer on baby than the microfibre one as they are more absorbant but its great to have such a fast drying microfibre nappy for when you need it. Baby is 5 weeks old and can last in the bamboo nappy for 4-5 hrs no probs and about 3hrs in the microfibre one. I havn't used the cotton one yet as i ordered a size 2 for when baby gets bigger but again it seems so soft and fluffy.
Drying time for the bamboo ones is all day on the line in sun and breeze then overnight on radiator rack just to get any damp out of the elastic. Or all night and day on radiator rack with radiator on most of the time. Microfibre is dry on the line in about 3 hours and cotton is dry over night on radiator rack
Yes some clothes need to be bought in the next size up as the nappies (even the bamboo ones) are quite bulky but that doesnt bother me in the slightest. I find Little lambs to be extremely good value for money and the nappies do exactly what they are supposed to. There are a range of different coloured wraps to suit both genders as well. Ordering online is a piece of cake and like i said provided you order by 11ish the nappies come the next day.
I will definately be ordering a mixture of the different nappies they do in size 2 when baby gets that big. Cant recommend them enough. Very easy to use for first timers to cloth nappies
When I first mentioned to my mum that I was planning to use washable nappies on my baby, her jaw dropped. When her speach finally returned, she warned me a million times that it was a waste of money and I'd revert to disposables within a month. Last January, after my 20 week scan, I bit the bullet and bought my £220 cotton nappy kit on www.littlelambs.co.uk. There are cheaper kits, with less nappies, but I wanted to give myself as big a margin as possible as I've never been too fantastic at keeping up with the washing. For my money, I got:
- 20 size 1 (up to about 20lb/9kg) nappies
- 20 size 2 (20lb - potty) nappies
- 20 size 1 fleece liners
- 20 size 2 fleece liners
- 200 flushable paper liners
- 10 size 1 wraps
- 10 size 2 wraps
- 20 size 1 tongues
- 20 boosters
- 2 buckets with lids
The nappies were delivered very quickly, within about a week, and I quickly unpacked the 2 boxes. I put the larger size bits into one of the boxes and put them away, expecting to wait over a year before using them, and the rest were stored in one of the nappy buckets in my bedroom, ready to pre-wash just before my son was due. To pre-wash the 20 small nappies plus the accessories took two full loads in our washing machine, and the sight of beautiful white nappies drying in the wind outside really brought home the fact that the baby was on his way soon! If you are going to buy these nappies and your baby is due in the winter, it would be a good idea to pre-wash quite early as it can take a while for the nappies to dry indoors.
I decided to use disposables for the first week to avoid having to bring dirty nappies home from the hospital, and also because I expected to be rushed off my feet at first and didn't want the nappies to be just one more thing to worry about in those first days. When my son was 10 days old he wore his first 'real' nappy and it was so soft and lovely. I could really tell the difference in his skin, as the disposables seemed to stick to his bum a little bit sometimes and also made him a bit red. With the Little Lambs his bum stayed really baby soft. The guilty pang I got every time I threw a used nappy in the bin disappeared too!
The waist and legs are all elasticated on the nappy, and on the wrap the legs are elasticated, so there are no leaks. Everything seals with velcro, so there are no pins or clips to break or stick into the baby's skin.
In those first weeks I had to wash every other day to keep up with my son's hectic pooing regime. I used the size 1 nappies with a size 1 liner. Indoors I used a fleece liner but if I was going to be changing my son's bum away from home I used a paper liner so I could flush any poo away. After a week or so I abandoned the paper liners as they seemed to scrunch up, stick to his bum and the poo squished out onto the nappy anyway. You're supposed to be able to stretch the fleece liners over the loo and the poo falls off, but this wasn't really feasible until my son started weaning as breastmilk-poo is too squishy. So I wash the poo off under a flush of the toilet, clean everything in the bathroom sink under the cold tap, then drop the nappy and liner into the bucket. I change the wrap roughly every other nappy change unless there's poo on it or it smells strongly. All this sounds like a pain in the bum, but after a few weeks it becomes second nature.
As the baby grows and produces more wee, you need to add the tongue in the size 1 nappies. The size 2's come with the tongue attached. The tongues are shaped the same as the fleece liners, but are made of cotton. There are also cotton boosters, which I didn't use until my son was 6 months old. They fit between the tongue and the liner for an additional layer of absorbency during the night. Since using these, my son doesn't need a nappy change at night anymore, he goes right through from about 9pm until around 7am in the same nappy with no discomfort and no leaks.
My son was a big baby and was ready for size 2 nappies at around 20 weeks. Apart from having the tongue attached, the biggest difference I noticed was the drying time. He was born in June which was great as I could get all the nappies outside for a whole day to dry and get plenty of sun. The sun bleaches any poo stains out of the nappies and liners. It's a bit embarrassing hanging out nappies full of poo stains, but by the time you get them back in they are brilliant white again. Now that the weather isn't too great I have to dry the nappies indoors which means on the radiator for 24 hours and no sun bleaching them. On the positive side, he doesn't go through quite so many nappies now so I only wash every three days. The poo stains don't bother him or me, and when the good weather returns a few hours outside will sort them out. Also after a few months the fluffiness disappears and the nappies need a go through the machine with no powder to return them to their best.
I feel very positive about the whole experience of using these nappies. The initial outlay of £220 (the 40-piece kit is now £240) seems a lot at first, but when you think of how many disposables you would go through and the cost of each pack, it works out a lot cheaper to do it this way. You don't need to wash them in a really hot wash either, I do all my nappy washes on 40 degrees eco wash, using half a scoop of Sainsburys own powder (see an older review!). I don't do a separate wash for the nappies, all the whites go in together and there have been no stains appearing on other clothes. The nappy buckets have a well-fitting lid so you don't have any smell escaping. They don't need soaking so there are no heavy buckets to slop over your carpets on the way to the machine. Now I tend to keep the unwashed nappies in the bathroom in a bucket and wash the poo out all in one go when my son goes to sleep - it only takes a minute or two.
Little Lambs also come in bamboo or microfibre, which are slightly more expensive, but I chose cotton for all-round ease. I picked the biggest set as I said before, but you can buy a trial pack containing a single nappy, fleece liner and wrap for £8.50 (today, 10/Dec/08). There are also packs of 10 or 20 nappies.
You can sell the nappies on after finishing with them - there are always people looking out for them - but I've put away my size 1's to use if I have another baby, as I will definitely want to use them again.
Edit: Update, one year on
My son is now a year old, and has had his first bout of nappy rash. Once the rash took hold, I found that the Little Lambs (indeed, I'm told any reusable nappies) did not help him. I reverted to disposables while the rash was sore, and when healed returned to the Little Lambs. I was advised by the GP that this is the best way, particularly as my son has sensitive skin. I still stand by my belief that using Little Lambs has made nappy rash a much rarer thing for my son than it could have been. I now occasionally put him in a disposable nappy if he looks a little sore, and use this time to give his Little Lambs a soap-free wash to freshen and fluff them up. I do not regret my decision to buy Little Lambs at all, and I have certainly saved money with them.
I always wanted to use real nappies with my baby but before I started looking I had no idea how complicated a decision like this could be. A lot of websites / magazines recommended buying just 1 nappy from a range of suppliers and trying them out before making a decision. I thought that this would work out very expensive and I wanted to start as I meant to go on - without letting myself slip into the habit of using disposables. So, I read lots and lots (and lots) of articles and eventually made a decision.
I decided to go for a shaped nappy with a separate wrap. I didn't want to use terry squares - baby's dad can't fold a sheet so we both agreed that a nappy would be beyond him! The all in one nappies (no separate wrap) were apparently slightly easier but take much longer to dry.
So, once I had chosen my style I needed a supplier. I chose Little Lamb because they were cheapest and they offered a 30 day trial period - if you don't like them you can send them back (even if they've been used). And they recognise that you will buy them early - the 30 days starts from the first day you start using them (not the day you buy them).
The nappies have been great - but we did need to buy more wraps than they suggested. In fact, for the first few months we found them better than disposables. Our baby has always been a skinny little thing and the disposables always leaked wee up his back. This never happened with the little lambs. They are really easy to wash and they dry overnight - and they are so much cheaper than disposables in the long run.
We are now onto the size 2s and we use disposables at night (just because you need to change slightly more often with cloth nappies and the extra sleep really is worth it!). When we ordered the size 2s they leaked. I thought this was because our baby was inbetween sizes - but eventually I realised that the wraps were faulty. I emailed Little Lambs about this and they were great - even though it was quite a few weeks since I had bought them. I just sent photos and they replaced them all.
I have recommended Little Lambs to friends and they have all been really pleased with them too.
nappies. Probably not a subject to which the non-parents among you have devoted much attention, but believe me, when you have a baby or toddler the topic of nappies - not to mention their contents can become a source of endless fascination. Or is that just me?
Anyway, one of the major nappy-related topics to be considered by the parent or parent-to-be is that of which variety to choose, and for many people at least, those with a modicum of environmental concern whether to opt for reusable or disposable. (Or, as many people do, both.) The real vs disposable nappy debate is a big one and Im not going to enter into it here, as this is a review of a particular brand of reusable nappy though I may well address it in future. (Consider yourselves warned.)
When I had my first child, 16 years ago now, the choice was pretty basic either disposables or old-fashioned terry squares as used by your mum, with all the attendant palaver of nappy pins, plastic pants, etc. I opted for the latter, and was widely regarded as a lunatic. Anyway, reusable nappies have come a long way since then, with a bewildering variety available (mainly via the internet shops are still primarily stocked to the rafters with packets of disposables). The novice nappy-chooser can quickly become overwhelmed by this amazing range of types, styles, colours, patterns, etc etc prefolds or shaped nappies? Cotton or bamboo? What about all-in-ones? Or of course, you can stick with good old terry squares, which may be old-fashioned but still have a lot to recommend them (they dry quickly, look lovely hanging on the washing line on a sunny day, and have a multitude of uses once their nappy days are over ) Many cloth nappy users do tend to become obsessed with buying lots of different kinds, and if youve never thought of a nappy as a fashion statement, youd be amazed by whats out there .
Having tried a range of types of nappy, I do particularly like the Littlelamb brand. These are shaped nappies, available in cotton or bamboo, which fasten around the waist with Velcro so they look a bit like disposables, and it is easy to obtain a good fit. Theyre not available in fancy colours or patterns, but to be honest that is not something which unduly concerns me. They are used with a waterproof cover, or wrap (which also fastens with Velcro) and a fleece nappy liner. (Disposable paper liners, which can be flushed down the toilet, are also available.) Once used, you just bung the lot in a nappy bucket no need to soak until laundry time, although the nappy covers can be used a few times before washing. (No smells from the bucket, by the way, as long as you keep the lid on. You can add a drop of lavender oil to the bucket if you wish.)
I have opted for the bamboo nappies it may sound a bit mad, but bamboo is actually a fantastic material for nappies. Its very absorbent (up to 60% more absorbent than cotton, apparently), washes well and is from a sustainable source. Bamboo is a very green crop, as it has a short growth cycle and is grown without the use of chemical pesticides. It is also highly biodegradable and has natural antibacterial properties. You just have to watch out for stray pandas, I guess. The Littlelamb bamboo nappies are gorgeously soft to the touch (the fleecy liners even more so) and my little girl seems very comfortable in them. The waterproof outer wraps are made from a breathable fabric a soft polyester knit with a waterproof laminate bonded to the inside so they are also, presumably, more comfortable for the nappy-wearer. Oh, and we haven't had any major leaks, and not even a suspicion of nappy rash!
Like most cloth nappies, maximum absorbency is only reached after a few preliminary washes. Nappies are easily washed on a warm cycle with non-bio detergent, and come up very nicely (any stubborn stains can usually be eliminated by hanging outside on a sunny day!). Its important not to use fabric conditioner, as this coats the fibres and reduces absorbency. Although the wraps and liners dry very quickly, the actual nappies do take a long time, which is one of the downsides of this type of nappy as opposed to flat kinds which are folded for use. I find a nappy wash every couple of days keeps things ticking over nicely, and I really dont find it much extra hassle. Obviously, disposables have the edge when it comes to convenience (take them out of the packet, use them and throw them away... you can't get more convenient than that, if you can live with the idea of all the waste) but reusables are not as much extra work as you might think.
Littlelamb nappies both cotton and bamboo are available in two sizes Size 1 for newborn (from 7lb) to 20lb, and Size 2 from 20lb to potty training. Single nappies are available via the website www.littlelamb.co.uk - or you can buy a kit of 10 or 20 nappies plus wraps, liners and a bucket, from £99. (A kit of 10 bamboo nappies with liners, wraps and bucket is £109 20 is £155.) Delivery is via ANC couriers. Real nappies do clearly require more of an initial financial investment than disposables, but they do undoubtedly save you money over your childs nappy-wearing lifetime, even taking into consideration the costs of washing them. There is also a thriving second-hand market, so its easy to sell them on once theyre no longer needed.
Highly recommended... definitely worth a try!