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My youngest daughter (aged 20 months) recently grew out of some of her 'sized' nappies which then reduced her reliable nappy stash down to 5, so I needed to purchase some more, otherwise she would be in disposables a lot more that I would like. So off I went to my most trusted nappy website - www.kittykins.co.uk to see what they had available. I was actually tempted to just top up my 'Close Parent Pop-In' supply of nappies because these are by far the best I have tried, and extremely reliable, the only cloth nappy I have fully put my trust in to be honest!
However....something else caught my eye and I was sucked in like a good 'un, but I have actually been pleased with my purchase. I only bought one just to make sure I liked it, but I may eventually buy a few more (when pennies allow).
What I bought was the 'Thirsties Duo Diaper', for the vast sum of £13.50 - that sounds like a lot of money for one nappy, but if you think about it, once you've used it numerous times, you soon reap back the cost several times over. It comes in two sizes so it avoids the problems that 'one-size/birth to potty' nappies can have, such as being huge on a newborn, and too tight on a toddler. The sizes are 6-18lb and 18-40lb (approx), so I bought the bigger size because my daughter is around 23lb.
The nappy itself is what's known as a 'pocket nappy', which means it has a waterproof outer shell which you can fill with as much absorbent material as you can fit in, depending on the occasion, and then it fastens around your baby in a similar way to that of a disposable (Velcro tabs). This particular nappy comes provided with two inserts which I have found work extremely well so no extra padding is required, unless you were to use it overnight, which I don't.
The outer is made from PUL and has a microfleece (very soft against baby's bum) inner sleeve which is open at either end so stuffing the nappy is very easy as you can adjust it at both ends. This makes it easier because with some 'pockets' you can stuff the filling inside but then struggle to get it to lay flat. With this nappy you can get your hands in both ends and flatten it out, thus creating a more reliable fit. This also makes the filling easier to remove when your baby has done a poo, you can choose the end which is least soiled.
The inserts that come provided with the nappy are a 7 layer system. You actually get two rectangular pads which you can use independently (I think this is for newborns to be honest), or they popper together to be used at the same time. The top insert is made from 2 layers of microfibre, and the bottom insert is made from 5 layers of hemp jersey (I think this is a very absorbent but extremely thin material so no bulk). Both inserts are pretty thin and very lightweight, thus created quite a neat little nappy.
**Fitting the Nappy**
Once you have stuffed your nappy, it is then ready to wear. On the front of the nappy cover you will find a couple of rows of poppers, and these are there to adjust the rise of the nappy so can fit it depending on the size of your child. I have mine on the smallest setting because my daughter is at the lower end of the size range for this particular nappy.
Fitting the nappy is very simple, it fits just the same as a disposable using two Velcro tabs at either side of the nappy. What I first noticed when positioning this on my daughter was that it feels really soft to touch and I wasn't at all worried about any harsh edges rubbing on my daughter's skin.
The nappy is very gently elasticated around the front of the waist as well as the back and I particularly liked this aspect because I have found that some reusable nappies tend to gape at the front, but this one fits very snug around my daughter's tummy. There are also gussets around the legs which are also really soft on my daughter's skin, and so far we have had no red marks or abrasions from the nappy.
**How Does It Fit?**
What I first noticed was that the nappy seemed to be a bit 'baggy' around the bum area, but once I had checked the legs and waist, everything was snug, there just appeared to be excess material around my daughter's bottom. I'm guessing this is to allow for growth, especially since the size range goes up to 40lb...not a weight I think my daughter will reach before she's potty trained (my other daughter has been potty trained for well over a year and she is still only 33lb...however this is irrelevant information).
My daughter is also very slim for a child of her age (she's ill quite a lot) so I suppose I have it on quite a small setting around her waist so that would also cause a lot of baggage around the back.
So despite the worry of it being baggy, it seemed a good fit everywhere else, and it also felt really lightweight on my daughter. Some reusables have a real heavy and bulky feel to them, but this just felt really light, and when I picked her up I couldn't really tell she was wearing a reusable.
With my daughter being almost 20 months old, she is at an age where she is very active, getting into mischief at every turn, and generally running riot, so of course I need a nappy that will stay in position.
I have found with this nappy that it stays in position really well in the first couple of hours, but once it has a few wees in it, it tends to start sagging, especially in this hot weather when she is not wearing a poppered vest, which tend to act as good 'nappy keeper uppers'. This sagging action doesn't seem to bother my daughter in the slightest; it just tends to look a bit odd when she has a builder's bum and a lumpy nappy dangling half way down her legs. And when it starts to sag, this also alters the performance which leads me very neatly onto my next section...
**Usage and Absorbency**
I have found that generally this nappy is very reliable. My daughter is at an age where she tends to let her bladder fill up before releasing her wee, so the nappy can be dry for an hour or so then be bombarded with a full wee, and it copes very well! I have sometimes found with other nappies (I have tried many) that when a baby gets to this stage, some can't cope with the speed and volume of a full wee and just leak it straight out. But perhaps the unique combination of hemp and microfibre helps to stem the flow and keep it within the nappy.
I have found that my daughter can wear this nappy for up to 4 hours and usually not suffer any leaks, and on removing the inserts they are generally not fully saturated which is a really good sign because it means that she could wear it for longer if need be. (I don't usually let my daughter wear nappies for longer than 4 hours at a time if I can help it).
More recently I have noticed a few leaks, and this is because of the reasons stated above (hot weather so no popper vest to hold it in place when it gets heavy with wee). Once the nappy starts to get heavy, it starts to sag and this causes gaping at the legs which then causes minor leaks, the urine tends to wick onto the outside of the PUL outer, but this is usually once it has been on for between 2-3 hours. And this isn't so much a problem at the moment because usually she only has a nappy on her lower half so there are no leakages onto her clothes.
Another leakage has occurred when she has had a daytime nap whilst wearing this nappy. If she is laid on her side and the nappy happens to gape because of the position she is in, then urine may leak onto her bed. I have only noticed this twice in the time we have been using this nappy (about 5 months).
But despite the slight problems we have had with minor leaks, I have been really pleased with this nappy's performance. It's definitely one to add to my 'reliable' pile and one which I can trust to let her wear while we are out of the house without spare clothes. It's a lot more lightweight that my other 'reliables' so it's a nice one for summer when I really need breathability around her sweaty botty.
**Washing and Drying**
I usually wash the nappy at 40 or 60 degrees, depending on the amount of soiling in the nappy bucket, with a non-biological powder, but I have found both temperatures clean the nappy just fine and so far the outer has not deteriorated in the slightest. I have noticed with other nappies that the outer shell can bobble or pill slightly, but this has stayed very clean and neat, and the fleece inner is still very soft.
The PUL outer dries very quickly, but the inserts tend to take quite a long time. In the colder months they can take all day when hung on the line outside, and sometimes longer depending on conditions. In these warmer days, if I hang them out first thing in the morning, they are usually dry by mid afternoon. I think this drying time is so long because of the layers which are within the inserts, which makes them super absorbent, and therefore takes them longer to dry out.
Possibly people with tumble dryers would have more success!
I have been rather impressed with this nappy and would consider purchasing another, especially since I think the fit will improve as my daughter grows, and I do believe that is the main issue with the few leaks I have had. Once she gets a sizeable backside on her the nappy will be more snug around her bottom and perhaps not sag so much when full.
These nappies are available in 8 colours which are honeydew, mango, meadow, ocean blue, orchid, rose, storm cloud and white. I have also heard that there may be some 'prints' coming to the range which I am quite looking forward to!
Available on kittykins.co.uk for £13.50 each (free delivery) and if you buy 12 you get 5% off!