Do you remember when cloth nappies were just a plain white towel square? You might be too young to recall, but it’s likely that your mum, or her mum, had no option but to wrestle them on to a wriggly baby on the daily. Working up a sweat, trying desperately to force giant safety pins through thick layers of origami terry towelling and avoid a deeply pierced finger or two, or worse a perforated infant! These fine fluffy creations were then covered what my mum nostalgically calls, crackle pants(mum-code for what are basically just plastic undies that look like shower caps with leg holes). Let’s face it, it doesn’t make cloth nappies sound in the least bit appealing. Even if you wanted to do more for the environment and give cloth a go, you would be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed with how difficult, and messy, it all seems.
Well, fear not, intrepid nurturer! Cloth nappies have come a seriously long way since then, and it has never been easier to give your babe the best start, or for you to do your bit for the planet.
As a first time mum, I was truly concerned with how overloaded I would be taking on cloth nappies as well as bringing home a helpless, wrinkly, pink, human being! But I was also concerned about the world that I was bringing her in to. I saw the piles and piles of disposable nappies that were plaguing not only our local tips here in Australia, but the rubbish dumps, and even the oceans, across the globe. Full of determination and resolve to play my part in reducing this unnecessary waste, I looked into modern cloth nappies (mcn) and was surprised to find how far things had come since I was in nappies myself *cough* 35 years ago *cough*. I finally took the plunge and ordered a few trial packs that week, one of which was the Candie All in Two trial pack from Bubblebubs. When it arrived on the doorstep I opened the package, pulled them out, and was immediately impressed with how thick and snuggly the inserts were; I couldn’t wait to try them. A soak to prep, through the wash, out to dry, and our first Candie was immediately on the bum. I was in love! There really is no denying that the award-winning Candies are absolutely gorgeous. They offer a range of solid colours and adorable prints to suit any baby, and come in luxuriously soft minky as well as PUL.
But what is it exactly that sets Candies apart from other modern cloth nappies? Well, first of all, they’re side-snapping, which means instead of adjustable snaps on the front of the nappy, Candies have side tabs with two rows of snaps on each which are used to fasten the nappy around your bub’s hips and waist. No rise snaps to deal with means a simple, streamlined fit without fussing around on the change table. The cool thing about the double side snaps is that they can be fastened independently of one another, meaning if you have a bub with a skinny tum, but chunky thighs, or vice versa, you can cater to their individual shape. It also means that the print pattern doesn’t lose its continuity when the nappy is fastened up.
This style of nappy differs from an all-in-one in that the inserts snap in and out of the cover. Some mums find the all-in-one easier to manage as it is a complete nappy. However, all-in-ones can take much longer to dry as the absorbent inserts can’t be removed from the quicker drying shell. The great thing about Candies is that the snap in insert is so easy to pull apart and put together which means you can have more shells ready to go sooner; definitely helpful if you are in rainy or humid climates, or throughout winter. Better still, the inserts can be thrown in the dryer, something you shouldn’t do with your all-in-one nappies. An added bonus is that if the inner suede cloth of the nappy shell hasn’t been soiled, it can be aired out and used again before needing to wash. It also means no pocket to stuff, and no need to put your hand into a dirty nappy to fish the insert out!
The 2-layer snap in trifold and 3-layer booster are 500gsm bamboo and should last on your bub for 2-3 hours (though some mums use them 10+ hours overnight for young, light-wetters with no problems). The booster can be folded to where baby needs it most, providing up to 12 layers of absorbent bamboo in the wet-zone! The trifold has a soft stay-dry layer, keeping bub’s skin from feeling wet between changes and, because it folds out, it dries far faster than many other brands of inserts.
The good news is that Candies are a one size fit most (OSFM) nappy and are designed to fit your child from 4.5-15kgs; you won’t need to size up and buy more nappies every time your baby grows – and we all know how quickly they do! Candies are intended to last all the way through to toilet training, which is perfect for families on a budget.
There are so many reasons why Candies work for so many families, but the thing that attracted me most to Bubblebubs nappies is the brand’s commitment to ethical production without compromising on quality. Candies, and all Bubblebubs products, are manufactured offshore in a small family-owned factory employing, among others, many husband and wife teams who are able to make a decent living wage and have excellent working conditions. The owner, Vicki, travels overseas to visit the factory as often as she can to oversee production and ensure the factory’s practises align with her ethical values. The company started out in her kitchen, so moving production overseas was a big deal and part of the reason she believes the people manufacturing her product should be treated well, even though it’s not on such a small scale anymore.
Here’s what other Bubblemums have to say about Bubblebubs Candies:
“All-in-two is what I’m always after. I made the transition to side snaps because I was having trouble getting a good fit with most of my front snapping nappies.”
– Natalie, mum to a little boy.
“Probably my favourite thing is the square shape of the inserts; they dry well compared to other comparable brands due to this and are so easy to fold and snap in place, as well as being absorbent.”
– Jessica, mum to a little girl
So, while Candies are super cute, they are also super functional, and made with exceptional quality in mind. If you’re worried that starting out with cloth might be tricky, or even if you’re finding that the mcns you currently own aren’t quite working for your family, Candies have so many positives that make them well worth a try. The Candies trial pack is a great place to dip your toe and see if you like them. www.bubblebubs.com.au
Review by Katherine Edwards.