Thursday, March 26, 2009

buying modern cloth nappies

If only modern cloth nappies were readily available in baby shops and department stores! I feel sure simply EVERYONE would be using them if only they could see how cute and practical they are.

However until more people use them, baby stores won't stock them. If you are a cloth user, take every opportunity to ask at stores whether they are stocked. If enough enquiries come in, they should consider stocking them.

On the other hand, I noticed Babies Galore now stocks a certain cloth nappy brand which I know from experience look lovely but for all practical purposes are dysfunctional. They are also hugely expensive. So I didn't hold back telling the store manager what I'd found through experience. Most managers have no idea what is a really useful product, until they get feedback like that.

Until better shopping options become available, you've got to either make your own (see my book) or shop online.
My personal favourites for online shopping (in terms of service and quality of product) are as follows:
Zappy Nappies
Our first cloth nappy (a present from a thoughtful friend) was a Zappy - they are truly great value and I really recommend them for daytime use. They're extremely trim and come in interesting fabrics. The design is great for quick drying and for going from newborn to toddler. Very economical.
After a forgettable trial with some second-hand Australian organic cotton all-in-ones, which was too dogged by leaks to be sustainable long-term, I retired them and bought Scottish-made Tots Bots from this Australian outlet. They were like a breath of fresh air. The cleverly-designed covers are pretty much leak-proof, even if it weren't for the excellent fitting qualities of the nappies themselves. Not cheap, but definitely worth it. Ones to note are Flexitots, made of highly absorbent bamboo velour and microfibre, and Bamboozles, made of bamboo terry cloth. Although the bamboo fabric does degrade faster than cotton, in my experience (making it good for composting but not so great if you are hoping to cover the bottoms of two or three children,) it is a great environmental choice (a fast-growing crop that doesn't need any pesticides, unlike cotton).
Wee Wuns
This store was great for the variety of products. Save money on postage by getting nappies (all the leading brands) and training pants plus useful products like washable menstrual pads and nursing pads, waterproof tote bags for used nappies, swimming nappies, woollen baby clothes, and even patterns for sewing your own nappies and covers.
You can often find great nappies here - not used (E-bay forbids it) but home-made by work-at-home-mums. Fantastic quality can be had for a small price, depending on the sewer. Even if there are only a few advertised, ask if you can order extra to save on postage - they may make them to order.

I also highly recommend bidding on used-nappy auctions (see my earlier post).


  1. Hi Debbie, nice blog!

    I used MCN with my 3 girls (started almost 5 years ago when it was quite unfashionable!)and, for about a year, I had all three of them in them, so it CAN be done. I prefered AIO's just for convenience really and washing line space. Couldn't be bothered with covers, stuffing et al!

    I have tried quite a few over the years but would like to add some recommendations and why:

    1. Bubblebubs AIO - never, ever a leak. So reliable - great design and pretty cute too - Really good newborn -1 year.
    2. Very Baby Hybrid AIO - I bought mine from BlueLake Diapers - I got a range of colours - but they are really trim fitting like a disposable and also really reliable - we used these until the toilet training kicked in and got LOTS of wear out of them. Real value for money.

    I used cut up microfleece as my liners and did combo dry/wet buckets (wet for soiled). A great investment is certainly the little squirt.

    If anyone in Sydney is reading your blog and would like a trip to the Northern Beaches I'm happy to give them a whole lot of brand new microfleece liners and 2 nappy buckets with lids... just follow me to my blog and let me know there xx

  2. Great blog! You have lots of great tips and I might just have to get a copy of your book. If anyone is interested I have a post about using MCN over here.