Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

Thirsty little things! Absorbency & prewashing

on February 10, 2012

When you buy your nappies, you have to think about absorbency. How much wee is this beauty actually going to hold? Some nappies work really well for champion widdlers, like my little Monkey, whereas others don’t seem to hold anywhere near as much and are more suited to my friend’s little girl who just doesn’t seem to produce as much.

The type of fabric a nappy, or booster, is made from can make a world of difference. Fabrics such as microfibre are really quick to dry, but don’t seem to hold as much liquid. They act rather like a sponge, soaking up a lot of liquid, but when compressed – the liquid can leak out. However, I have to say that my Baba+Boo nappies have microfibre inserts and are some of the most reliable, leak-free nappies that I have – so this isn’t always the case! The cheaper eBay nappies I possess do seem to have that leaky sponge aspect to them, so I just make sure I change Monkey more frequently when he’s wearing them.

Cotton nappies, such as Little Lambs, are (to my mind) the next level of absorbency. They’re very good and hold a lot of liquid, but need changing more frequently than nappies made from materials such as hemp, bamboo or zorb.

Hemp, bamboo or zorb nappies/boosters/inserts are some of the most thirsty nappy fabrics that you’ll come across. There are other good fabrics that suck up moisture faster than a little child does a lemonade float (mmmm, lemonade float. Is it wrong that I want one whilst there’s snow outside?) Bamboo and hemp take much longer to dry, though, so you need to factor that into the equation when buying your nappies. As you probably know from reading earlier posts, I absolutely love Flips and they seem to last forever! The organic inserts are incredible!

When you buy new nappies, you also have to wash them a fair few times before they reach full absorbency – just like you have to with new towels. They often don’t absorb lots of liquid at first, but get better and better with time. That’s where buying preloved can be absolutely brilliant. Not only do you pay less for the nappies than you would if they were brand new, but someone else has done all that prewashing for you!


4 responses to “Thirsty little things! Absorbency & prewashing

  1. Glad I stumbled upon your blog – you seem to know a lot about cloth diapers.
    I have been using bumGenius 4.0 with my daughter and I wonder if I could buy different kind of inserts to improve absorbency. What would you suggest?
    I wonder whether it is the diaper or my daughter is a heavy wetter…
    Thank you ! I will be following your blog !

    • Rebecca says:

      Bamboo are definitely the way to go for maximum absorbancy. I know people that mix and match inserts and even put stuff in the pocket and put something on top too. You could also try another type just to see. Shaped two-parters are very absorbent, particularly if made from bamboo and you don’t have to wash the cover with every change so can reduce bulk of washing…. that’s my two pennorth worth 🙂

      • Thank you ! I have tried to add a second insert and it is much more absorbent now. It is just very bulky !
        I am going to get some bamboo ones and see how that goes. I love cloth diapers but I want my bumble bee (don’t they look like bumble bees?!) to be able to move freely !

  2. Aw thank you! I’m learning more & more as I go along – only been using them for 6 months!

    With your daughter’s nappies, just wondering –
    – did you buy the nappies new or preloved? They may need a strip wash to get rid of any detergent build up. I’ve had to do that with a few of mine. I put them on a 60 degree wash with no detergent and then rinsed until I couldn’t see anymore suds in the drum. Some people use dishwasher tablets but I’ve not tried that yet.

    – are you folding the inserts where she’s wetting the most? For boys that tends to be at the front, girlies towards the middle/back.

    – you can get all kinds of inserts. Bamboo and hemp are good but I’ve found charcoal bamboo to be great and quite thin!

    – you just might have a heavy wetter and may need to change her more frequently! My little Monkey piddles for Britain!

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