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Cloth nappies are becoming increasingly popular as parents look to reduce the crazy amount of single use waste that comes with having a baby in this day and age.
Unlike the variety our parents and grandparents used, modern cloth nappies are really easy to use and wash, but Aussie brand Modibodi says it’s gone one step further and improved on the current design with its newest offering.
Branching out into baby products for the first time, the period underwear label has taken the same technology that’s made its signature products popular and applied it to cloth nappies in an attempt to stop leaks and keep baby feeling dry.
How they’re different
Just like its period undies, these cloth nappies are made of multiple layers of different materials that work together, starting with the top layer of polybrush that wicks moisture away from the surface. That liquid is then absorbed by multiple layers of microfibre, rather than the bamboo or hemp used in most cloth nappies currently on the market, and the whole thing is encased in a waterproof outer layer to ensure bubba’s clothes stay dry.
To further bolster its liquid-holding capacity, each nappy also comes with a booster pad that can be inserted for extra protection overnight, or for older toddlers who pee more throughout the day. Together, the nappy and booster have been tested to hold up to 1026ml, which is a fair amount considering the average baby loses around 100 to 150ml of urine at a time.
Another thing that’s different about these nappies is that they’re all black on the inside - a simple change from the regular white, but one that means stains will no longer be a problem. Modibodi’s founder and CEO Kristy Chong, tells Yahoo Lifestyle they were looking to create something different and address the obstacles stopping parents from switching to cloth nappies.
“To create our innovative patent-pending all-in-one design, we undertook research with both disposable and reusable nappy users to identify the challenges and objections stopping parents from switching from disposables to reusable nappies for good,” she says.
“We took those insights, together with our eight years of proven expertise in leak-proof apparel, and did what we do best; we combined science, safety and innovation to develop an original product to solve a pressing environmental problem – the huge waste created by disposable nappies.”
Moving away from bamboo
Most cloth nappy brands use natural fibres like bamboo in their products, but Modibodi has gone down a different route to increase absorbency. Kristy says, “Our choice of materials needed to balance performance, durability and safety, while reducing carbon emissions, water use and the waste caused by disposable nappies.”
“We tested a wide range of natural fabrics including cotton, bamboo and hemp, but found their performance didn’t meet our high standards for both absorbency and safety. The microfibre terry in our middle absorbent layers, which don’t sit next to baby’s skin, have been knitted and manufactured exclusively to meet our product goals, delivering a level of performance and absorbency which is unique to Modibodi products.
“All of the fabrics and components in our reusable nappies are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified for baby’s safety,” she adds, which means every part of the product has been tested and approved by Oeko-Tex, an international association that tests textiles for harmful substances.
I’ve been using cloth nappies alongside disposables with my bubba since she was three-months-old, and ease of use has always been a priority as someone who’s seriously lazy and unable to stick to anything if it adds loads of extra time to my routine.
For this reason, when purchasing cloth nappies for my baby I chose the easiest and least complicated design; an all-in-one, one-size-fits-most, velcro waist cloth nappy - and I’ve never looked back. For those new to the world of modern cloth nappies, there are all-in-one nappies that you just grab and put on, or all-in-two nappies that you have to stuff with extra padding before using, you can get them in multiple sizes or a single one-size-fits-most that you progressively loosen as baby grows, and nappies that close at the waist with velcro, or that have a series of snap buttons.
Thankfully, the Modibodi nappies are also the simplest possible combination of the above. They have a velcro close waist which makes them as easy to put on as a disposable nappy, and are a one-size-fits-most with additional buttons along the front that can be used to adjust the size as baby grows, so you should be able to use them from about three-months to three-years-old.
My bubba’s 15-months-old now so we didn’t need to use the buttons at all, and there’s still plenty of overlap around the velcro waist for her to keep growing into.
For younger babies, they can be used as an all-in-one nappy, but they also come with an extra booster pad which has been a game-changer now that my bub is a toddler.
In the last few months, my bubba's been having so many more leaks in our original all-in-one nappies that didn't come with a booster pad, so to stay dry I've been needing to change her much more often - which is not easily done with a squirming toddler who hates being made to lie down.
We’ve yet to have a leak in the week we’ve been using the Modibodi nappies with the booster, and I’ve also been popping the boosters in on top of my original cloth nappies with great results.
Even without the booster, the absorbent layer built into Modibodi nappy is quite thick and I imagine would have been fine on it’s own when my baby was younger, but after having to change so many wet pairs of pants over the last couple of months, I wasn’t prepared to run the risk and try it out on its own.
Washing is a breeze
Just like the other cloth nappies on the market, these are super easy to wash - just pop them into the washing machine on their own for a quick cycle to wash away any surface gunk, and then run them again on a longer cycle with any other washing you have.
If you don’t want to wash them straight away, pop your dirty nappies into a dry bucket either without a lid or with a lid that has holes in it. There’s no need to soak cloth nappies before washing them, but just make sure to scrape any solids into the toilet, just as you would with a disposable nappy, before putting the nappy into the washing machine or the bucket.
Another thing I liked about the Modibodis is their open cut design for faster line drying. In winter I have to turn my current nappies inside out to make sure they dry properly and I haven’t had to do that with these ones.
Overall, I’ve found them really easy to use and wash, plus I’m getting fewer leaks thanks to the booster pads which come included for the same price as my current nappies (from UK brand Tots Bots) which don’t come with boosters.
In terms of price, they sit at the upper end of the cloth nappy price scale at $140 for a four pack, which works out as $35 per nappy.
To compare that to other Aussie cloth nappy brands, Baby Beehinds has a one-size-fits-most with a velcro waist for $37, while for one-size-fits-most nappies with a snap button waist, Bilby Eco has one for $40, Bare and Boho for $28 and Hippybottomus for $17.
Modibodi is also selling additional booster packs separately for $25 for a four pack and a wet bag for $20 (which, if you’re new to cloth nappies, is essential for nappy changes when you’re out and about).
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