When I had my first born 22 years ago the alternative was Terry nappies with safety pins, so seeing the new Bumgenius 4.0 nappy, I can see how far the alternative to disposables have come. The nappy looks really cute in a lovely pastel yellow colour with poppers and velcro. It is shaped to fit with padded inserts that fit into an internal pocket. The nappy can be adjusted to fit any baby from a 7lb newborn to a 35 lb toddler, using a clever popper system. The velcro does up snuggly around baby's waist making it a custom fit. Each nappy comes with two inserts, one for small babies and an adjustable one for larger babies. This nappy will last from birth right through to potty training, making it the only nappy you will need to buy.
The instructions for use are:
1: Adjust to size
As simple as that!! It does look fool proof! We put Bumgenius to the test with Freddy as our guinea pig! We used a Tots Bots Spunlace Liner which are 100% biodegradable and flushable.
As you can see we did OK as beginners. The nappy felt really soft with its breathable outer cover and stay dry micro-suede inner, and fitted very comfortably when properly adjusted. The fabric wicks moisture away from the skin and the insert was very absorbent . The leg cuffs didn't rub or chafe at all. I also thought it looked really cute! I love the idea of having coloured nappies that would co-ordinate with outfits!
As Freddy only did a wee, I didn't have to deal with a poo filled liner. (I don't know how an explosive poo would fair in a cloth nappy!) The idea is you just shake off the solids into the toilet, and then deal with the nappy by putting it in a bucket liner in a bucket. The used nappy can be put in the washing machine with the insert still inside as it will work itself out during the washing process. You need to pre-wash them in cold water and then wash them with a little powder. They can then be tumble dried.
It is a simple enough process and definitely much easier than the old fashioned terries!
These nappies will not contribute to landfill like disposables do, however they do generate a lot of laundry, so that has to be taken into consideration. The RRP is £14.99 each and it is recommended that you have 20-25 for full time use, which is a big financial commitment upfront. However across the life of the nappy, this will cost much less than buying disposables every week.
The Bumgenius is an award winning nappy that has been designed to do the job brilliantly. If you decide to use re-usable nappies then these are an excellent option, easy to use, comfortable and good looking. They are pretty easy to deal with and to wash and dry.
However, I still like the convenience and reliability of disposables. I wouldn't personally want to deal with a non-disposable nappy away from home and have to carry it around soiled. Freddy, now he is older, only uses 4 Pampers a day and we never exceed the capacity of our two weekly black bin collection. We only do three loads of laundry a week, and Freddy rarely needs to change his clothes because of nappy leakage.
Nappies contribute 4% of all household waste and 7 million trees are felled annually in their production in the UK alone. Disposable nappy companies such as Pampers are actively trying to reduce their manufacturing footprint by cutting down on the use of water and energy, reducing CO2 emissions and industrial waste. Nappy size and packaging has also been reduced over the years. Re-usable cloth nappies contribute to increasing laundry usage...energy, water and detergents, which has a personal environmental impact.
So, it comes down to personal choice, where the aspects of cost, convenience, confidence, eco-friendliness and environmental impact need to be weighed up. There are pros and cons to each. There are a growing number of parents who swear by cloth nappies and the designs available are really impressive.
If you choose re-usables, definitely check out Bumgenius from Green Jelly. I'll be integrating my Bumgenius into Freddy's nappy usage as I can use it again and again, so I'll get the best of both worlds. At 22 months old Freddy is on the verge of potty training, but we still have a few more months of nappies ahead of us. I can see the Bumgenius being useful and saving a fair few disposables from landfill!