Sweet Dreams or Nightmares? Reusable Nappies

We always knew that were unlikely to find disposable nappies made in Britain. However, we hung on to hope, far beyond the point at which we realistically knew that all hope was indeed lost. The alternative, a far too scary a proposition for us to fully admit to – the reusable nappy!

Reusable nappies seem to have such a devout following, and generate such passionate advocacy from the parents that use them, that you cannot simply dismiss the concept as hippy nonsense. It seems that those that use them come from a broad spectrum of society and are not all eco-warriors, earth mothers or smell overwhelmingly of patchouli oil. Many of them, in our experience, seem quite reasonable people who live squarely in the modern world. So, it would be unfair for us to be totally dismissive of their virtues. But in short, if you were to ask us if we would be using them if there was any other British made disposable alternative, we would have no hesitation in saying no. We also fully accept that this standpoint may indeed change as we get used to the concept of waking up and scraping poo every morning.

Lucan only uses nappies at night and occasionally when we make a long journey out. This means that most days we are down to 1 nappy a day, which in itself is a small mercy. We bought the Tots Bots Bamboozle stretch nappies about 2 weeks ago now. We have had a brief period, of a couple of nights, when we dug into our disposable reserves. This was because Lucan was ill but apart from that we have used the Tots Bots for about 10 days.bamboozles-stretch

It must be pointed out that Tots Bots are one of the nicest companies that we have dealt with and they are obviously passionate about their products. Upon ordering I was a little confused as to what I needed and they took the time to explain everything to me. They also admitted that some of their stock of the neutral coloured Bamboozles are made abroad (so be careful with these if you are being strict on buying British). They also have a wealth of information and videos on their website, which despite how simple you think strapping your sprog into one of these things looks, you definitely need to watch!

The first night did not bode well for us. Lucan woke up at about 3am and was wet through. He had  also done a rather substantial number 2. My inexperience at trying to change these things, was compounded by the half light of his Thomas the Tank night light, and resulted in a complete poo-smeared disaster area.

At this point lesser families might have given up, and indeed we did leave it a couple of days before trying again (mainly due to Lucan being ill). I must admit that since that first night we have not had a repeat performance to rival the first and the process is getting a little easier.

What I can see is that if we had started with these types of nappies, we (Lucan included) could have got used to them from the start. Changing to this style of nappy just as he is potentially coming out of nappies is not possibly a wise move. It must also be said that there is quite a large initial outlay of expense which I am not convinced we will see back. Again, had we used them from the start we can see how there would be an eventual cost saving.

The Tots Bots nappies themselves are impeccably constructed and once you get the hang of using them they are a viable alternative to disposables. The question is whether they are right for us at the stage we are at? They certainly allow us to continue living British with pride, but having now had a number of 5am wake up calls, as Lucan shouts he has done a wee and is ‘wet wet’, they are perhaps not ideal for this British family.

This being said we have just ordered some more.

– James & Emily


  1. Huggies disposables although from an American company are still made in Britain. Unfortunately not for much longer as they are being phased out of europe.

  2. That is a brave move. Good luck. When my daughter was born (lived in Switzerland then), I tried to use disposable nappies and gave up after 2 weeks. Also used the type you are mentioning for a few months, but her bottom got quite sore when she became ill and as her being ill had had repercussions on my sleep and energy…I went disposable but cannot say I feel proud about it.

  3. Michael Hodgkinson says

    Our baby is due next week and whilst we have also invested in some tots bots we also have a stash of Huggies that appear to all have been made in the UK!

  4. There are a fair few all uk makers of reusable nappies, by this I mean those who 100% make in the UK. We do at tinyeco.com . You might want to look at supporting smaller businesses rather than jumping on big names.

    It does get easier to use cloth nappies and night time is a good way to start. It may also be that your baby toilet trains sooner now he can feel when he is wet.

  5. When babysitting I dealt with both cloth and disposable nappies (and had to figure out both types on my own). I actually found the cloth ones to be an awful lot easier to change and the disposables felt obscenely wasteful in comparison. If a second child is ever an option you might still make a significant financial saving as well.

  6. IMHO when children can feel they are wet it can help with potty training. Disposables are so good at keeping bottoms dry, they can miss this signal.

    • Have to echo the comments on here that ‘traditional’ cloth style nappies can encourage children to be toilet trained earlier than disposable nappies.

  7. julie vinsome says
  8. I think its brilliant you are giving this a go. I loved both of mine being in reusable nappies for over 2 years. Its not as hard as you may think. Stick them in a bucket then hot wash, bobs your uncle!

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