Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Flip Nappy System by Cotton Babies (Bumgenius)

This week I was lucky enough to be sent a complete birth to potty system of Flip nappies to trial with Small. As we are already cloth nappy users I was keen to give these a go - I'd seen them around before, but didn't really know how they worked.
They're a pretty simple '2 part' nappy really - there's an outer waterproof wrap, a choice of stay dry insert or organic and you can also get disposable inserts for holidays etc. The only 2 part I'd used before is the Tots Bots Bamboozles with the Tots Wraps which we've been using at night. They've performed well over the past year, but the nappies & wraps now look awfully tatty and wouldn't hold up to a second child (not that we are planning one!).

I was sent - 6 wraps, 18 stay dry inserts and 3 packets of disposable inserts. I preferred the look of the stay dry inserts as they require no folding (apart from sizing which doesn't apply to us as Small is on largest popper setting), unlike the organic ones which are like normal prefolds (similar to Econobums) and I know how much Small wriggles during nappy changes - I didn't need the extra work!

The first thing I'll say is that the wraps really do have a lovely fit. These are the first I've used with snaps, all our others are velcro. I was put off snaps because I thought it'd be fiddly and wouldn't provide a good enough fit, however after using cloth nappies for over a year almost all our velcros have gone tatty (and Small can undo them!) and I kind of wish we'd had snaps to begin with. If you are planning on having several children and hoping the nappies will last for all of them - I'd say get the snaps! The Flip wraps have lovely stretchy tabs so despite being limited by snap placement they provide a nice snug fit.

I gave my inserts about 4 quick washes using Ecozone Ecoballs to prewash them. I prefer to wash with these as there is no chance of having problems with build up. I use Bio D Nappy San every couple of washes as well. I hung them out to dry on the line and the wraps were dry in about 30 minutes, and the inserts a couple of hours later - but it was a very hot day (27C!). I think a more average drying time would be similar to the inserts from my Bumgenius V3 - about 6/7 hours on the line or overnight inside on an airier. The inserts can be tumble dried - I do this every so often to soften them up, but try not to too often. I always air dry the wraps as tumble drying is bad for the elastic!

I have been genuinely impressed with the performance of these nappies. We have to boost every other nappy we use - Little Lamb bamboo boosters in Tots Bots, Pop Ins and the newborn insert as well as full size one in Bumgenius V3. With the Flip we easily lasted 3/4 hours between changes using just the stay dry insert, and with the addition of a LL booster they last us all night! Since receiving these I haven't bothered to reach for any other type as I feel these are so reliable! I've actually cleared out our nappy draw so I'm just left with Flips and Bumgenius - the Tots Bots and Close Pop Ins have been packed away.

When I first had a look at how to put them together I was a little worried about the insert moving around inside the wrap - I'd read reviews about them bunching up in the middle, but I haven't found this to be the case. The insert fits snugly under flaps and the front and back of the wrap - I think this helps keep it in place and stops leaks. I've been using them with a disposable paper liner on top of the stay dry and everything stays in place. Each wrap I've found is good for about 3 nappy changes - I just give the wrap a wipe and pop a new insert in (unless the wrap is soiled). I guess you should aim to have about 3 inserts per wrap, and a birth to potty typically comes with 6 wraps and 18 inserts which supports this ratio. If you find you need a couple of extra wraps you could always look at the Econobum ones, they're made by Cotton Babies too and fit the Flip inserts but are about £8 each instead of £10.95. I've not tried these out yet but am dying to get a look at them.

The disposable inserts - now where do these fit in? My only issue with these is that I wasn't sure why you'd use them to begin with. If I wanted to use a disposable wouldn't I just use an Eco disposable nappy? If you were on holiday surely it wouldn't be convenient to have to deal with soiled wraps?

On opening the packet I wasn't quite sure what to do with the insert. A bit of Googling later and I worked out that the 'diamond' pattern faces up and the extra bits of the sides need to be tucked behind.

They fit in the wraps really well and they're compatible with Bumgenius and Econobum nappies too. The absorbancy I found to be average - Small is quite a heavy wetter and whereas I found the stay dry inserts lasted 3/4 hours these lasted about 2/3 instead - which is fine during the daytime, but means I wouldn't be able to use these at night.
I guess they would be handy to have around the house in case you get behind on the washing, need to use nappy cream and don't want to ruin your cloth inserts or have a disaster like the washing machine breaking down - but I can't see that I'd want to be washing wraps in the sink whilst on holiday, even if they do dry really quickly. In practical use for me I think a packet of these will go to my mum's in case I forget to pack enough of the stay dry's and the rest will be stored away until I need them.

I love these nappies and think they'd be a really good choice if you are unsure as what you want to buy. They're also a good choice when it comes to cost - because you use the wraps for several changes you don't need as many so a full set will cost around £125 (plus a little extra for nappy bucket and nets if you don't already have them), whereas a full set of Bumgenius would cost you between £285 and £330 depending on which type you went for. I know we personally spent around £250 on Totsbots before Small was born and I feel like it was unnecessary - part of the appeal of cloth nappies is supposed to be the money you could save after the initial outlay, however with us having to buy several types before we found what really suited us plus laundry costs I'm not sure we will have saved anything. I'll be using these until potty training!

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