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Real Diapers (nappies) are fantastic!

Updated on November 6, 2014

Washable nappies and us..

On 9th April 2006 I had a beautiful baby boy (well that is my wife did - I just watched!) and once we were home we started using washable nappies, so from 3 days old matthew has almost exclusively worn 'tots bots bamboozles' nappies, and they're fantastic! easy to put on, easy to wash and dry and we have yet to have any solid leaks onto his clothes - just the odd wee. Whereas the few times we've used disposables theres been poo everywhere...

So why doesnt everyone use washables?

Thats what I want to know, and why I want to compile this information to make it easier for anyone to use these fantastic and non landfilling nappies.

Nappies and I...

my hints and tips for using washables.

So what's it like using washable nappies? is it all buckets of soaking dirty nappies smelling out the house? drying nappies hanging over every surface? and lots of time spent washing and hanging? pin pricks and fiddling to get them on right?, leaks and mess?

well.... no.

The tots bots bamboozles that we use are the nippa version (size 2), so they are shaped like disposable nappies - if a bit chunkier (but the same wet or dry, not like disposables with their amazing swelling)and are made of bamboo fibres (more absorbent, and quicker to dry than terry towelling) So to put them on its just a case of putting in a liner, folding the bottom up and the flaps round like a disposable - but then whipping on the nappy nippa - a y shaped rubber thing, with plastic hooks on each end, which grips the nappy fabric and holds the 3 flaps in place. then putting a waterproof (breathable) wrap (or fleece wrap) over the top to keep the wet in.

This is amazingly effective, as the legs are elasticated, and we've had no cases of escaping poo, and only get wet leaks if we've been a bit slow to change him.

Once they're used they go into a lidded nappy bucket (dry) along with the liner and wipes, and last thing every day the washing machine is filled up and put on. Then first thing the nappies are hung up to dry, and are dry within hours on a nice day, or at most 36 hours if hung inside with no heating.

What about smells? well its hard to say as I'm sure if there are any we're used to them, but I don't think there are really, which is more than I can say for disposables, which really honk! Baby poo isn't actually bad smelling till they're on solids, whereas disposables honk as soon as they're wet.

So at worst we have 2 days of nappies drying (20) and 1 days in use (30 total) plus half a dozen wraps and a couple of nippas. The fleece liners we use are dry in minutes of washing, and I have perfected the technique of chucking the nappies into the washing machine straight out of the bucket without touching them.

Overall then it really isn't any more hassle than buying and chucking disposables, and over the 2-3 years of nappies use we will have, the nappies will have cost about £300, plus the extra washes, and we will have disposed of almost nothing into the bin.


plus he looks really cute with his enormous looking bottom!

6 months on......

where are we now, nappy wise?

Well Matthew is now 6 months old, and a few things have changed.

The routine now involves less washing, with a wash about every 2 days, as he's only getting through 7 nappies a day now (the sleeping through the night makes a big difference!) and its only that frequent because the machine wont hold any more nappies.

We've got more fleece liners, as its much easier if you can have all the dry nappies loaded up and ready to go with a liner in them, and we're using the booster pads at night.

Its still easy, and if the charging by weight for rubbish collection comes in we're still only producing 3 shopping bags of rubbish a week, so no worries!

one year on....

Well, he's much bigger! runing around like a maniac... and still in the same 'bamboozles' as he was at 3 days old...

Getting through even fewer a day now, maybe 5 - it depends if its me or his mum in charge (I tend to change him less..) so we're down to a wash every 3 days.

One big change is half the napppies are now popper style fixings, as one of the 2 'batches' started slipping with the nippas. Tots Bots don't do a nippa version of the bamboozles now, as I think this was a common problem. So they took back the faulty batch and added poppers to them - and the poppers are even easier than the nippas (I'm not sure they'd be as good for the newborn though - We'll find out sometime, but not yet!)

A year on then (well 14 months) the nappies are still going strong, and are still heartily recommended by us...

nearly 2 years

Well Matthew is now 27 months old, and has a baby brother Peter. So the cycle of nappies continues!

Matthew is still in the same tots bots, they're still going strong, as is he, and they still fit (just!). So tots bots are still a hearty recommendation..

Peter is in the popper bamboozles, and nippa bamboozles (Matthews only using the poppers now, plus 5 new (second hand) aplix cotton tots bots) and using the size 2's unfolded - we folded them for about 4 weeks, but he's so big there's no need anymore.

Still a big thumbs up for the tots bots, going strong after 2 1/4 years, and 2 boys!

3 years and counting...

Peter is still in the totsbots, and they are still fine, a few poppers have come off the poppered ones, and the nippas don't grip quite so well on the nippa ones, but they have been washed a lot!

Matthew is out of them now, and merrily bouncing around in "big boy pants"

The wraps have fared less well, with most of the original ones now getting holes, or with the velcro fluffed up, but we never did care for them properly, washing them in with the nappies, and not doing them up before washing.

Overall Tots Bots are still fantastic, and hopefully someone else will get some use out of them once peter has finished with them.

Update... Peter remarkable swiftly made the transition to pants at 2 and a half, so the nappies went out of use for a while, and are now being used by a friends baby, so thats 3 kids worth and counting....

Nappy Care for totsbots bamboozles

So how do I look after my nappies, its easy.

Before they were used they were washed twice - this increases the absorbency.

Once soiled, they are kept in a dry nappy bucket till the end of the day

Then they are washed at 60 degrees in the washing machine - nappies, fleece liners, PUL wraps and wipes (everything that's in the bucket!). Using non-bio washing powder (well tablets)

In the morning they are hung out to dry, weather allowing outside (dry in a few hours), or else inside (can take 36 hours or so to dry)

They dry as soft and fluffy as ever, and get added to the pile to reuse. (a year on they're not quite so fluffy, but running them through my mums tumble dryer gets the fluffiness back!)

The fleece liners and PUL wraps are dry within 30 minutes of washing, so less are needed.

We use 30 bamboozles size 2, about 20 liners (this just means we never have to look for one as there's plenty), and half a dozen wraps.

But what about the washed baby wipes? well they go into an old tissue box to be used as tissues....

It really is easy peasy.

Let me know your experiences of, or questions about washable nappies....

Do you use washables? - were they good bad or indifferent?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Cute lens.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Yes, I used washables for three babies. Two of them just 28 and 29 years ago. I am sure I saved money that way. I always go for the savings part.

    • ChouDoufu profile image


      11 years ago

      Great, high-content lens! A welcome addition to the Dads of Squidoo group.

    • one SquidAddict profile image

      one SquidAddict 

      11 years ago

      Welcome to the Group!

      Baby Baby

    • Andrew Douse profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Douse 

      12 years ago

      Cheers Angela, we'll have to see but we'll certainly try (I really hate the smell of the gel in disposeables!)

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I've loved cloth diapers (I'm in the U.S.) for all my babies. But I've always switched to disposable when they start toddling. I hop you can stick it out! :)


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