I have looked at cloth nappies from a distance since I was pregnant but was never brave enough to give them a go for a number of reasons:
1. Disposables were familiar and sometimes it is easier to stick with what you know
2. The initial cost of the nappies can be quite high
3. I thought they would be too much hassle, adding to my already bottomless pile of laundr
So I stuck to disposables and never tried them until recently when I was sent a trial pack of cloth nappies from the Cloth Nappy Library and I can tell you, it was an interesting experience.
How it works…..
You log onto www.clothnappylibrary.ie and book your trial for dates that suit you. There are several different trial types you can choose from:
1. Newborn nappy loan (20 nappies for 6 weeks at €45)
2. Nappy trial kits (10 nappies for 3 weeks at €25)-this is the one I got
3. Bed wetting kit (6 pull-ups for 3 weeks at €26)
4. Long term nappy loan (10 nappies for 9 months at €30)
5. Potty training (10 training pants for 3 weeks at €26)
There is also a facility to extend your loan as long as there is availability or you kit isn’t due to be sent to someone else.
Once your kit is booked, it arrives around the date you have chosen. The bag contains everything you need to get a good picture of whether the “fluffy” way of life is for you. Shortly before the end of your trial period, they even send you a reminder.
What is included?
My trial kit contained a variety of types and styles of cloth nappies, liners and inserts, two wet bags for storing soiled/wet nappies before they are washed, picture guides as to what is included and what goes with what and care instructions. They also include a return postage label so literally everything is included.
So what do I think of cloth nappies?
While I cant see myself completely turning my back on disposables, I will definitely use cloth alongside disposables. I have definitely come around to the idea of cloth nappies and I love the patterns and designs they come in. The fact that they are a money-saving, environmentally friendly option is a bonus. They are easier to use than I thought (I’m not sure what I thought beforehand, nappies are hardly rocket science) but they do take a bit of adjustment.
The main hurdles for me were:
1. Learning how each type of nappy (pocket, all in one etc) works.
2. Learning what way each one needed to be adjusted to fit Penny’s size.
3. Getting use to non-disposable dirty nappies (including one or two explosions).
All in all, it was a positive experience for me. The laundry issue was nowhere near as bad as I envisioned, I was not knee deep in a pile of wet and dirty nappies, it turned out to be two washes a week!
And what is the verdict on the Nappy trial kit?
The Nappy loans from the Cloth Nappy Library are a great idea; low cost, convenient and a great way to try before you buy. The trial kits are very well put together, they literally include everything you need right down to picture guides showing what liner/insert goes with what nappy and fool-proof care instructions. A perfect kit for cloth nappy virgins like myself. So if you are curious or fancy trying them out without the large outlay involved when buying them, take a look or visit them on Facebook. There are also local chat groups on Facebook and if you want to meet cloth nappy enthusiasts for advice or tips on using them, there are regular local “Nappuccino’s” which take place nationwide.
Disclaimer: I was sent products on loan in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed are my own.