It has been quite some time since I have reviewed a cloth nappy but I'm excited about the launch of a new website - Freeva - which launched today selling some gorgeous designs of easy-to-use reusable nappies such as this Jungle Animals design which costs £10.95 and is suitable for babies and toddlers from birth to potty.
If you're new to cloth then let me explain; these re-usable, washable nappies are one size and they grow with your baby through a popper system that allows you to make them longer and wider. Holly is now using them on their largest setting. They fasten together using a velcro-style tab which means they accommodate tummies of all shapes and sizes and are so easy to put on and off. Inside the nappy you place a very absorbent microfibre insert (and in our case, an additional ultra-absorbent booster pad for extra absorbency). The fabric shell keeps the moisture inside and, after use, you simply fold the tabs back, remove the inserts and wash everything in your washing machine. You do have to change them more frequently than disposable nappies and you need to have a strategy for dealing with soiled nappies - experience tells me that our most effective way is to not bother using a flushable liner of any sort and to just live with any stains that really won't shift.
I've been a cloth mama on and off for nearly 5 years. Cloth nappies are soooooo much cheaper than disposable nappies so long as you are happy to place all your nappies in a pail and wait a few days between washes. Now that Holly is at nursery, we don't use enough nappies during the week to make it worth it but we can still use cloth at the weekends. I know from a quick analysis of my water bills and elecricity bills over the past years that cloth nappies cost me around £8 a month when we are using them full time in comparison to the £4.80 each week I currently spend on budget disposable nappies. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that cloth nappies save you money and... perhaps most importantly... are kinder to tiny bottoms (neither of my girls ever suffered from nappy rash until I moved them out of cloth and into disposables).
We love the simplicity of these Freeva cloth nappies. The tabs are so easy to use and the elasticated waist results in a really good leak-free fit. The opening where you insert the absorbent core is just at the top of the nappy and doesn't have a flap to cover it over like some better-known and more expensive brands. I think this makes the Freeva cloth nappy a lot easier to use when adding and removing the insert but I did notice at times that the insert can ride up when Holly is wearing the nappy and, if it is wet, then it can result in the wet core touching her clothing and causing leakage. This may just be a sign of quite how active Holly is.
Freeva have some absolutely stunning fabric designs for their nappies, many of them unisex. There are also lots of bright and plain coloured nappies but I think the Jungle Animals design is my favourite and it looks so cool on Holly. It really makes me want to use cloth nappies more permanently.
I have a discount code for use on the shiny new Freeva website if you fancy some of these cloth bottoms for your little one - use the code MELLOWMUMMY at the checkout. You can find Freeva on Facebook and Twitter.