How do they perform 9 months down the track?  If it’s budget that has inspired your decision to use cloth (as opposed to the green, save the world type motivations), there’s plenty to consider in outlaying for a stash of nappies to use full time.

While there are an abundance of one size systems, which in theory will fit newborns and toddlers, they are not all created equal!  Here are some of the things I have found with they systems I have tried.

 

TOTS BOTS TERRY, NO APLIX

  • While I love the soft elastic, the “stuffing” or fluffiness of them didn’t last long.  After 9 months, among a nappy stash of some 37 nappies used for one child (hardly working them vigorously!) they look a little nude of toweling.   
  • Although they are a sized system, you can use the size two folded down at the front for a newborn, though it’s bulky.  At nine months, they are a great fit.
  • Despite the unfluffiness of them, I do like these nappies, they are easy to put on and look like they would be comfortable, but I wouldn’t tell myself that I was paying for nappies to use for subsequent children – I don’t think they would last the distance.
TOTS BOTS BAMBOOZLES, WITH APLEX
  • I don’t like the aplex!    I have better things to do than pick hair and fibers out of the Aplex.  I have two only, which I purchased to use for night use, so it is not an all consuming occupation, but I wouldn’t like to have to do it on a grand scale.  I can’t compare the “life expectancy” of these to the terry, as I haven’t had them as long.
  • These take so long to dry, you would have to resign yourself to using the dryer a lot.
BABY E
  • The soft elastic is holding up
  • The fabric is a little stiffer as it ages, but still soft against the skin
  • The fit is trim, with room to grow if needed
  • Probably the best for fitting both a newborn and crawler (my crawler is on the large side..a chubby 9kg)
  • While I like features of all the other types, this is probably the best overall choice if you are not wanting to buy a sized system.
MANDY MACS
  • Hemp that hasn’t been in the dryer, is stiffer than your cereal box and a good deal scratchier!  While they are very absorbent, I am glad I chose the built in liner model, because they really are tough when they have been washed a few times!
  • The leg elastic was too stiff and lumpy for my newborn, and it is still very stiff and lumpy for my crawler!  They need a longer “frill” around the elastic to prevent it from digging in so much.
  • While they fitted reasonably well on a newborn, they are too short in the rise for my older baby, and this makes it a bit of a juggling process to get them on.
  • On the upside, they will probably out last all the other nappies I have, they are very trim,  and the built in liner is something I have come to appreciate.  
  • The liner has prevented any stains, and it keeps the nappy looking new.
ZAPPY NAPPY
  • Velcro.  Grrrrr. Apart from the picking out hair and fluff, it is not nearly as “gripping” as when it was new – and it hasn’t had that much use.
  • The absorbency factor was low for a newborn, it is almost non-existent with an older baby.
  • The fit was good then, it is still good, being very adjustable.
PREFOLDS
  • While I used these for a while with a newborn, the absorbency is not great for an older baby, and the need to wash covers more often was a bother.
  • They are extremely handy to have around for mopping up spills, lining change table, protecting my shirt from baby spit etc, but I wouldn’t want to use them full time.
KOOSHIES AIO
  • These are not great for absorbency, but can be boosted.
  • The velcro issue again, and they have annoyingly small tabs
  • They are good for blindingly tired, middle of the night changes – though any all-in-one would probably be the same.  I have two only, just for those rare times when my husband might change the baby, or the night has been particularly bad and I can’t face getting all the bits together for a regular change.
A Word About Covers…
BABY BEEHINDS WOOL
  • These covers have great, low profile velcro, they are soft to touch, have nice elastic and are very effective.  However, they are low in the rise, for the sizes.  So while they go over my mandymacs, I wouldn’t try to put one over a tots bots nappy in a corresponding size range.
IMSE VIMSE WOOL
  • In the larger sizes, these come with velcro (aplix) in a very large panel, which is great for adjusting the fit, as well as a couple of press studs at the bottom.  They have a double layer through the centre, soft feel, leg gussets, and are great covers!
IMSE VIMSE ORGANIC COTTON
  • The layer of cotton on the outside of these PUL covers means although cuter,  they require more frequent washing then the plain PUL covers of other brands. The sizing is good, and the extra wide velcro panel means they can be pulled right in for trim fitting nappies, and expand for padded out, boosted nappies. 
BEAUT BOTS
  • Both the wool and PUL covers are a very generous size.  They have soft elastic, no gusset, but offer a good fit.  The wool is a single layer only, which may not give the same protection as the other wool brands, but I haven’t noticed a difference yet.
For any brand, choose  one size larger than is recommended when purchasing a night time cover, as this allows you to use boosters, with out stretching the cover too much.
A Word About Boosters….
If you plan to use cloth long term, I can’t recommend strongly enough the Thirsties hemp fleece boosters!  They are perfect for overnight, adding heaps of absorbency without a lot of bulk. They are also very reasonably priced. If you have a toddler, or a heavy wetter, you could use two without it being too cumbersome, or skip the nappy altogether and use a liner with three large hemp fleece boosters in a firm fitting cover, staggering the placement so the ends graduate.  
I have tried the microfiber boosters, and they are not nearly so absorbent.  
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