* Prices may differ from that shown
When I was pregnant I decided I wanted to try cloth nappies, but after hours and hours of research on the internet I was no more the wiser as to which nappies I wanted to buy. So I decided to buy a few of each different type and test them out.
My little girl has been in cloth nappies for about 3 months now and I think I have worked out which I prefer.
These Naughty Baby nappies are probably not one of the most well known of brands. They are one of my favourite, however, could be better. What I have gathered from the internet, Naughty Baby nappies are made by a not for profit organisation. As the company is a not-for-profit, this obviously makes the product quite cheap.
~ Cost and Availability ~
These nappies are one of the cheapest all-in-one birth to potty nappies available. They are only available through the Ebay shop "naughtybaby2008"
Normal pocket nappies like this cost around £15 per nappy, so can be quite expensive to purchase a full set of about 20 required to go full time cloth.
These nappies are currently available in the Ebay shop in the following sets (prices including P&P):
8 Nappies for £40.98, £5.12 each
12 Nappies for £56.99, £4.75 each
18 Nappies for £81.98, £4.55 each
24 Nappies for £104.98, £4.37 each
They also do a Minky range for:
10 Nappies for £65.97, £6.59 each
20 Nappies for £108.97, £5.45 each
So comparatively to other options these do work out very cheap.
~ Style of Nappy ~
These nappies are all-in-one, birth to potty, pocket nappies.
To explain a little further, the "all-in-one" means that there is no wrap required for these nappies, the outer shell is a waterproof layer. My personal experience I did not like the two piece system, with a shaped nappy and waterproof wrap for a number of reasons - you have to effectively put two nappies on a wriggly baby, therefore double the time and with the shaped nappies the absorbent part is the whole of the nappy i.e. everything that touches the skin, over the legs etc.
The "pocket nappy" means that you "stuff" an absorbent pad into a pocket in the nappy, in between the fleece lining (that touches your baby's skin) and the waterproof shell. This pad absorbs the liquid away from the baby's skin, and the fleece lining keeps the baby's skin relatively dry.
Birth to potty, pretty much means just that. These nappies are designed to by used from newborn to when potty training starts. It has a line of poppers down the front which makes the nappy fold in on itself to make it smaller.
The colours that these nappies are available in are probably not the cutest. I just ordered a random selection, and they are mostly bold primary colours, red, blue, yellow. I also have one cream, a pastel green and two bright oranges (which I am not too keen on as none of her clothes are this colour, however, could be good for Halloween). If you send an email with the order on Ebay, you can specify colours preferred.
Naughty baby now offer a Minky range, which I have not tried, but do appear to have cuter styles i.e. animal patterns, polka dots, clouds. I am considering ordering a set as these look very cute, however, the smallest set they do of these is the 10 nappy lot, which I don't really need that many.
The nappy is made up of an outer shell which is made up of a breathable polyester and TPU which means it is waterproof. However, it does not feel plasticy like you can get with some nappy shells.
The lining (the part that touches the baby's skin) is made out of a soft thin fleece. You can use nappy liners with these nappies, I started using the paper liners, but didn't like the way they stuck to my baby's bum. Now I don't use anything, and the fleece lining wicks any liquid away from her bum and keeps the runny poop touching the nappy and not sticking to her bum.
The inserts are a mix of cotton and microfiber, which are very absorbent with liquids however are one of the more bulky materials for inserts. Each nappy comes with two inserts, however, I only use one during the day, as my little girl is not a big wetter, but two may be needed for heavier wetting toddlers. The inserts are very soft to touch but quite thick.
The nappy fastens using Velcro tabs on the sides attaching to a strip of Velcro across the whole of the front. This allows you to get a effective fit as you can make it as tight as required. The tabs also have tabs to fold in on themselves so they don't attach to other items when being washed. This Velcro is the normal type which is quite rough, not the normal soft touch Velcro you find on babies clothes. However, it is very strong, and no amount of wriggling so far has my girl managed to loosen the fit. My opinion may change on this when she is old enough to work out how to open them though!
The nappies are elasticated around the leg, with the fleece lining touching the baby's legs. This means that you can get a good fit with no leaks, but the fleece makes sure the nappies do not rub on my little girls chubby thighs.
These nappies don't come in a natural or organic option, so some eco people may be put off by that.
~ My experience ~
As I said I have been using these nappies for around 3 months now, as I did not start when my little girl was born. I tried them on her when she was a week or so old and they drowned her!
These are not the smallest of nappies! Actually they are pretty bulky, so even though it says you can use them from birth, none of the babies newborn clothes would fit over them! When these nappies are folded down to the smallest size, means that the depth is pretty much doubled. The poppers are on the front of the nappy therefore the bulk goes at the front. I waited until my little girl was about 6 weeks old, and able to fit in the second size popper, they still looked massive on her, but it seems to not be so noticeable as her body gets longer.
As these are quite bulky you may find trouble fitting clothes over them. I prefer to put my little girl in dresses rather than trousers and leggings, as it doesn't make her bum look so bulky and its easier to fit. Also as the nappy outer is coloured, it looks like a fancy pair of pants, therefore there is no need to put any pants on her (so long as the nappy colour goes with her outfit.
My little girl is still exclusively breastfed so her poops are still quite runny, but she is not a big wetter. My experience with these nappies are brilliant for containment. I have had no leaks with these nappies.
As these nappies are quite cheap, they are probably not as well made as other nappies. The fleece lining has started bobbling (similar to an old fleece jacket), which I don't think affect the nappy in any way and the fleece is still very soft. The elastic around the legs feels like it may wear or snap, however, looking at the construction of the nappy, it look like it would be quite easy to put a new big of elastic through. I don't think these nappies will last for a number of babies, so I wouldn't recommend getting preloved ones, however, for the price you pay for new, there is no real need.
As the fleece lining keeps the moisture away from baby's skin, these are good at keeping nappy rash at bay. Also, as there are no nasty chemicals in these nappies, they are good for sensitive skins.
As with all cloth nappies, as they don't use the Sodium Polyacrylate (the absorbing crystals in disposable nappies) but use a natural fibre to absorb the liquid, they will never be as absorbent as disposables, so will need to be changed more often. If you are unaware Sodium Polyacrylate is a chemical that looks like little crystals and is used to absorb liquid. This chemical used to be used in tampons, however, was banned in 1985 as it was linked to toxic shock syndrome, however, it is still used in most disposable nappies.
~ Night time ~
These nappies are my night time nappy of choice. The main reason is that the pocket is quite large and you can stuff a lot of inserts to get the absorbency you need. At the moment I manage to get through the night (around 8 hours) with using both inserts which came with the nappy and a Little Lamb bamboo booster folded in half and put at the back half of the nappy (as she sleeps on her back and the wetness pools at the back). Since I have been doing this, I have had NO leaks! I was so nervous to move from the disposables for nighttimes, but I find these nappies perform better overnight with the extra inserts. However, the more inserts you stuff in the nappy, the fatter they look, so you will need a larger sized sleepsuit than normal.
~ Washing ~
When you first get the nappies, you need to wash a couple of times before use, to remove any residues in the manufacture process and to "fluff" up the materials to boost the absorbency. I just stuck them in the washing machine and put it through twice, without removing as they don't need to be dried in between.
I don't soak my nappies, and just stick them in the washing machine at 60C on an intensive wash (I'm not 100% sure what this mode means, I presume it agitates the washing more in the drum). Then I tumble dry the inserts for a short time on a low heat. The nappies themselves don't really need a tumble and are pretty dry when they come out after the spin. The inserts are also, quite quick drying (much quicker than bamboo!), so if you don't have a tumble drier, this is no big deal. If you do tumble the nappies, don't stretch out the elastic at the sides while still warm, as they have been known to snap.
Also remember not to use fabric conditioner in the wash, as this coats the fabric and will affect the absorbency. The nappy's come out of the washing soft without conditioner.
~ Conclusion ~
These are a great cheap pocket nappy, which does the job well, however, are probably not the best made and are quite bulky. I would still recommend these for those on a budget. The normal range could also do with coming in some better colours i.e. more pastels.
### Update 6 months on ###
I have now been using these nappies for around 9 months and some of these nappies have started showing signs of deterioration. It is mainly the velcro holding the nappies together has started to become unsticky, which has left a few unusable as they just pop open resulting in a very wet baby! Also as my little girl in now 10 months old she is moving a lot and the velcro just doesnt seem up to it anymore. As a result I have changed my review down to 3 stars due to the lenght of use of the nappies (my smartipants nappies are still looking like new!). I was aware that these may not last birth-to-potty due to the price, however, they are still a lot cheaper than getting disposables & probably you could purchase a new set which would last until potty training, which would still be cheaper than some of the bigger names in the cloth nappy world.
I would still recommend these if you were unsure about using nappies & wanted some to try for a relavitely low start up cost.