Bumkins – Cloth Nappy Review

For the cloth nappy committed, converted and curious, and for those who just know something pretty when they see it, I present to you Bumkins nappies, which I’ve been putting to the test these past two weeks.

Bumkins nappy review

Born, an ethical retailer of natural, organic and fairtrade baby products, sent us a few Bumkins goodies to review. We’ve got the waterproof Diaper Cover (that green number), the two-pack contour soaker, fitted diapers in size 0 (5-12 lbs) and size 1 (6-22 lbs) and a Snap-in-One diaper (the one with the owl pattern).

Size 0 Fitted Diaper - Bumkins nappy review.jpg
Bumkins review - fitted diaper.jpg

They’re obviously gorgeous but, as anyone who’s looked after a newborn poo machine knows, it’s function not fashion that ultimately counts when it comes to nappies, be they reusable or disposable.

Bumkins review - waterproof diaper cover.jpg
Bumkins Diaper Cover review.jpg

Having used both the soaker and the cover, and the fitted diaper and the cover, I’m impressed with how slim fit both options are. Cloth nappies can be quite bulky but this wasn’t the case with either combination. They also actually fit. There are nappies out there that claim to be birth to potty but blatantly aren’t but the snap design in this cover (there are a lot of poppers) really secures the nappy around tiny thighs.

This is good news because it’s contained what would have been a bonafide poosplosion twice now. So, yeah, it works.

I’ll admit that I’m more into velcro than poppers as I find the latter a bit of a faff. Snaps do look tidier though and I can see where people are coming from when they talk about babies pulling nappies off though I never had that problem with Talitha.

Bumkins Snap in One Diaper review.jpg

The Snap-in-One (7-32 lbs) is a little bulkier but still not very. It’s inside is deliciously soft and surprisingly absorbent. It, too, hasn’t let down on performance at all. All of these nappies wash well and everything (including the diaper cover and the outer of the Snap-in-One but I chose to hang them anyway) can be tumble dried on low. I hung them up overnight too and they were dry in the morning – something I couldn’t say for some of my other nappies.

Bumkins Snap in One review.jpg

Could I be tempted to get more? I really could, actually.

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These Bumkins nappies were sent to me by Born for the purpose of this review.


Natural Alternatives to Children’s Paracetamol

I had a bit of a Mummy fail yesterday. When Talitha woke up she was croaking like anything and a bit sensitive to my suggestions so I knew she was still unwell. She’d come down with a cold over the weekend. Still, she seemed bright enough and insisted that she wanted to go play at her childminder’s. So, even though a little part of me questioned whether I should be sending her when she wasn’t 100 per cent. I did. I then got a text from the childminder that afternoon to let me know she had a fever and was sitting on the sofa but that she was happy enough and she was just letting me know (because she knows I want to know about this stuff). I felt awful for having sent her even though I knew she was OK where she was in her second home.

We got into an interesting conversation about Calpol via text, though, which our childminder can’t give her and I started talking about natural remedies we’re using at home. It occurred to me that I have this conversation so often, I might as well write about it here in case any of you are interested too.

We are no strangers to Calpol. Talitha has had it for just about everything. But recently, we started questioning our reliance on it for all aches and fevers. Children’s paracetamol is useful, sure, but its efficacy just doesn’t convince us that it’s entirely harmless. And anyway, we both tend to err on the side of under-medicating ourselves so that our immune systems can do their work so it doesn’t make much sense for us to dose up our two-year-old.

Still, just leaving her to get on with it is not an option. So, I’ve gathered a few natural remedies for fevers and headaches, the two most common calls for analgesics. Mind you, if things were really dire and none of these go-tos were working, I’d reach for the paracetamol, truth be told. But they’re worth trying first because they’re surprisingly effective.

Natural alternatives to children's paracetamol

1. Rest
Talk about stating the obvious! Well, you could say that but it’s really easy to overschedule your life and assume that because your child doesn’t have to do much when out and about, it doesn’t have that much impact on them. Resist! Stay home. Do something quiet like read books or crack out the play dough or nap together. If there’s a headache involved, a quiet, darkened room may also be called for.

Chamomile tea for fever

2. Chamomile tea
I kid you not, this stuff is magic. I know others have said they need to sweeten a bit for their kids to have it but Talitha doesn’t mind it as is. She won’t drink masses all at once but can be encouraged to have a sip here and there. This is also really useful for headaches.

Basic food for fevers

3. Basic food
Keep food really basic. We’re talking fruit and vegetables kind of basic. Juice or puree may seem less daunting to a particularly unwell child.

Lavender for fevers

4. Cool lavender compresses
A cloth dipped in cool (not cold!) water with a drop of lavender and placed on the legs or feet works its magic.

5. Tea tree oil spray
A small spray bottle filled with water and two drops of tea trea oil can be surprisingly effective. Spray around the room every now and then.

Witch Hazel for Headaches

6. Witch hazel compress
For really bad headaches, a cold compress with a bit of witch hazel, left on the head is helpful.

I’m going to assume that if it’s headaches you’re looking alleviate that they’re not regular. If they are, it’s worth looking for a cause. Maybe a food trigger is to blame. Also, if your child has a high temperature, consult a doctor. This post does not constitute as medical advice, obviously. I’m just passing on some folk wisdom.

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Terry square nappies made easy

Terry square nappies have been the staple of our cloth nappy journey almost from the start. I say “almost” because for the first month or so of Talitha’s life, we folded muslin cloths instead.

Knowing that I use cloth nappies, I’m often asked about brands and styles that I’m honestly not well-versed in. Terries really are that good. I’ve not needed to explore.

A lot of people seem to find this way of nappying daunting. In fact, cloth nappy advocates often try to encourage skeptics by explaining that cloth bums have moved on from your grandma’s traditional nappy, which is what a terry square is.

I still think terries are a valuable option though so I thought I’d put together a clear, simple guide on why and how we use them.
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How to organise a cloth nappy changing station

Choosing reusable nappies over disposables can be daunting when you’re trying to work out what exactly happens in the changing process.

As it’s Real Nappy Week thought I’d make a video to answer the questions I’d been getting about how exactly we do cloth nappies. I’m also taking this opportunity to big up my sponsor for the BritMums Live! blogging conference in June, reusable nappy brand Bambino Mio.

The surface
We start with a chest of drawers as our nappy changing surface to protect our backs. Of course you can change a baby anywhere. I like having everything in one place and found that kneeling beside the bed was scuffing up my knees while sitting on it was uncomfortable. When I change her on the floor, no matter how firmly I hold her, she just crawls away. I wouldn’t bother with a changing station though. Why buy a piece of furniture you’ll have no use for later?
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How we do flat terry nappies

In my online quest to find the cheapest way to deal with the nappy situation, it became apparent that the answer was to go old-school. I’ve followed in my mother’s footsteps. Flat terry nappies it is.

Encouragingly, my mother bought metres of terry towelling, cut it into 50x50cm squares and seamed the edges. She’s a legend like that.

Armed with 24 of them, these are our main nappies. They also operate as burp cloths, washable wipes for particularly messy poo situations and bibs. I even lay one on the changing mat to keep Talitha’s bum comfy if it’s cold.
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Kitty litter vs Nappies

My husband Laurence, oft mentioned on this blog, decided to try his hand at guest posting here. He normally blogs about photography at eyediamondeye.tumblr.com.

Head to head – the ultimate show down. These are exciting times for both corners. We have nappies in the red corner and kitty litter in the blue corner. The winner, well the winner doesn’t get anything at all apart from slightly less frowns and sighs!

kitty litter vs nappy's

The warm-up:
For any big event preparation is key: getting your mind in the right place, visualising what is going to happen and when. The unpredictable timing of nappies means that kitty litter takes the first point. Every evening I change/clean the kitty litter before I go to bed [I know, I know I should probably do it twice a day, but they seem to cope and life is a little short to be so fastidious].
Kitty Litter 1 Nappies 0

The equipment:
A bad sportsman blames is equipment. Hell yeah! Good clumping litter is pretty rewarding allowing you to quickly identify and target Number 1’s but non-clumping litter is frustrating beyond belief and you’re using a shovel with holes in it. Regular readers of Adele’s musings will know that we are using reusable nappies, they seem to work (and my vs Adele’s thoughts on the pros and cons of this could be another post). So forgetting disposables for a minute…

When I approach a smelly and screaming girl I have to choose between the origami of terry towels/muslin cloths and Bum Genius style nappies, weighing up time of day, location and the state of my mind. I would choose Bum Genius every time if I could, but we don’t have enough of them, and I’m told they take too long to dry. Clumping beats terry toweling, Bum Genius beats non-clumping. A goal each.
Kitty Litter 2 Nappies 1

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Affording the baby – so far

Before we got married, Laurence and I took a marriage preparation course. It involved a computerised quiz we took separately and it compared our answers to highlight areas of disagreement or uncertainty. When we were shown our answers, every single money-related statement was flagged. We were both floaters and didn’t really want to know about anything financial.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that we’ve spent the last year and eight months of marriage trying to work out why no matter how much we earn, we spend it (though the other side of this is that even when we’ve earned less, we’ve managed).

Modern reasoning would probably have asked why we were choosing now to have a child and whether it was “accidental”, especially with all these scaremongering news reports of how much it costs to raise the little buggers.

Well, with seventeen days until the creature’s estimated due date, we’ve gotten pretty much everything that comes with a baby. It’s all sitting in bags and boxes or in the Moses basket (I never claimed to be that organised) but I’ve realised two things: we’ve used almost every channel for getting stuff imaginable and we’ve really not spent much.

I know a few other baby-making machines read this blog, so here’s how we did it.
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