Getting started with real nappies

Our Experience with the Size One Real Nappy Lending Kit

Edinburgh Real Nappy Community (ERNC) began offering lending kits to parents in 2017. It provides a range of nappies for you to try for three weeks, so you can figure out which types of nappies work best for you and your baby. There are three different kits: newborn, size 1 and size 2. The cost to borrow each kit from us is £20 (plus a £40 deposit) for the three weeks.

New mum Rebecca shares her experience of using the ERNC size one lending kit.

The baby
Baby R is 11 weeks old, tall and quite slim. Weight probably about 11lbs. Exclusively breastfed. Mum Rebecca on maternity leave. Mum Kath working full time.

Users of reusable wipes since birth. Spent the last 11 weeks havering about which real nappies to buy. Keen to get going with the lending kit for environmental reasons and because there had been a number of poo-up-the-back incidents requiring full clothing changes and we had heard of the excellent containment offered by reusable nappies.

The first few days
Week off work for Mum Kath seems a good time to start. We’re away but in the UK. The place we are staying has a washing machine and the days of travelling light are long gone anyway so car full and away we go…

First nappy: Charlie Banana one size pocket. Easy to stuff and assemble. Baby in a very good mood – which is fortunate as I try out almost every possible combo of the poppers. Approx four hours later – longer than we’d have liked – leg leaking. But I think I needed to make the legs tighter. On reflection should probably have read the guidance *before* putting the nappy on.

Next we go for a Bambooty easydry medium (these nappy names are causing considerable mirth). Our first all in one nappy. Fewer poppers and just went for the smallest size so very quick to put on – which is good as the baby is not in such a good mood this time! Some time later… no leaks. Underneath padding very wet but the pad next to her skin felt dry. Pleased with this one. Not a birth to potty (i.e. one size fits all) nappy and I think this shows the advantage of sized nappies.

Next: Bumgenius original. Another pocket nappy and we added a fleece liner. Again seemed to work well. Not quite as quick to put on. Feels a bit more awkward and a little bulkier but I guess inevitable with a birth-to-potty nappy.

For nighttime – a bamboo Little Lamb nappy with a motherease wrap. Our first two part system. Feels very bulky on her. Next morning…longest continuous sleep ever for little R. Don’t think it is to do with the nappy but it did mean that the nappy was well tested as it was on for so long. Worked well. No leaks. Full inspection of her skin shows no red marks or rash or anything which would suggest any discomfort, despite the length of time the nappy was worn.

Another big test today. All the nappies we’ve used so far are going into the wash! We go for a rinse and spin followed by a cycle called ‘baby care’ which washes at 60. We avoid the cotton 60 degree cycle which seems to be 3 hours and 23 minutes long!

Washing done. Boosters came out of the pockets as we had been advised and all looks good. Some very slight yellow staining on some liners but sorted by a few hours on the line and a bit of sun bleaching. The bamboo nappies take a long time to dry.

The odour control properties of disposables are clear as we go through the week. Not so much of a problem now as breast milk poo is fairly inoffensive. May be more of an issue once we get onto solids. But we are using just a bag with the mesh liner here and we do have a nappy bucket at home.

The Little Lamb microfibre held up fairly well. Despite being very soft feeling, it turns out that I am initially not a fan of the microfibre. (And yet… longer term, the little lamb microfibre has found a place in our stash of nappies. Really useful because they’re so quick drying, inexpensive and pair really well with the Motherease Airflow wrap. Just not one for potentially long stints).

Next we go with a Motherease sandy sized nappy and a Motherease wrap. It’s cotton and feels slightly rough but I’ve added a fleece liner. Fit looks good and pretty easy to put on. Motherease sandy contains well.

Next we go to the Bumgenius freetime. Again no particular issues – I think we are getting better at judging fit and where to put the poppers and just quicker at putting them on.

Then into the ones we’ve specifically set aside for nighttime: Little lamb bamboo plus little lamb wrap. Best fit of the two part nappies so far. All Velcro but seems less bulky. And best laid plans aside, a second one tonight: Bambino mio. No problems with this one. Seems fairly bulky for a sized nappy but that’s fine for nighttime and we have added a booster in to the pocket.

Next day we start with the Bumgenius elemental. It is an all-in-one nappy with the inbuilt boosters fixed at both ends but there is just too much material for her frame. No leakage though.

Nighttime comes but we’re out of made up nappies so, in the middle of the night we change her into a disposable nappy. Very strange.

Reflections on using the real nappy kit
Thanks so much to the ERNC – the lending kit has been just great.

Having the kit has really helped us work out what we want to get for Baby R and, although we got on with some nappies better than others, I suspect much of it is about the shape of your baby, poo patterns and wriggliness. And it has really made us think about the quantity we need vs the washing (and drying) we want to do.

Some time later… We’ve slowly established our nappy stash, which includes a mix of sized and birth-to-potty nappies and a swimming nappy. We kept our eyes peeled for special offers and sales, and managed to get some real bargains. We’re really glad that we didn’t go for a single ‘system’, having learnt via the lending kit that different nappies come into their own in different situations. And while we’d never say never, we haven’t used a disposable nappy since that night on holiday.

Get more details about what’s in our lending kits and, for those in the Edinburgh area, how to get hold of one:

ERNC newborn lending kit

ERNC Size 1 & 2 lending kits


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