And you can see a post giving a broad overview of our stash here.
So let’s get this said right at the beginning, a lot of people don’t like Alva Nappies. This is because they are made in China, now while some people may object to this, there is certainly an up front cost to reusable nappies and that does have go be considered.
We got our first Alva nappy after we won an online competition. We’d seen the lower price tag and the fact they only come with a single insert and had been put off by that. However these nappies have become a staple of our stash.
What we liked…
First of all we were impressed by the quality of these nappies. They feel well made, the poppers are sturdy, but un-pop at the right amount of force meaning that you’re not just tugging on them hopping that the fabric doesn’t rip.
The soft fabric that sits against your baby’s skin is also extremely soft, and quickly pulls any moisture away from the baby leaving them feeling relatively dry to the touch when the nappy is removed. The pockets of the nappies are also a decent size, and while the insert that comes with the nappy is certainly enough for short periods, there is plenty of room in the nappy to add additional inserts for ensure that the nappy can be worn for longer, and without fear of leaks. Alva nappies are also easily adjustable for your baby’s size, using poppers to make the nappy bigger or smaller, allowing you to find the perfect fit.
Perhaps one of the best things about Alva nappies however is their eye catching and beautiful designs. One of the many benefits of reusable nappies is that they can look extremely attractive, and Alva nappies certainly embrace this fact. The sheer quantity of designs means you are sure to find something that you like.
What we didn’t like…
So as we mentioned above, Alva nappies are produced in China which we know might put some people off of purchasing these nappies.
The real drawback however is that these nappies only come with a single insert. And while this is plenty for short periods of wear, we don’t feel that it really gives you the peace of mind that you’d want from a nappy. We are fortunate that we have a number of spare inserts in our stash, others just starting their collection won’t have such convenience.
The white fabric is also a little prone to staining, while these does not effect the quality of the nappy, it can be touch unsightly. That said, we found that successive washes removed the stains with ease, and the use of napisan (or something similar, we use Bio D Nappy Fresh).
It says a lot that of the nappies we’ve purchased for Gracie, the one nappy that we ensured that we had on hand was the single Alva nappy that we randomly had. Since that I have purposely purchased more Alva nappies for pad out our collection and provide us with more tolerance when it comes to washing and drying our nappies. More than this we intend to purchase more Alva simply because we love the designs, trust the quality, and find that, simply put, they fit Gracie extremely well.
If you are just starting out along the road of reusable nappies, then perhaps these are not a great place to start, but if you have a collection, or are looking for a few statement pieces then I couldn’t recommend them highly enough! However I would suggest a purchase of additional inserts (especially charcoal ones that fit these well).
So here is a not so fun fact for you all: It is estimated that it can take up to 500 years for a standard disposable nappy to degrade in a landfill. I am not going to pretend that I am super hot on recycling, and that I was automatically leaning toward cloth nappies because they just look awesome. But I mean, 500 years? At the rate that babies go through their nappies too. I just couldn’t bring myself to add to that. Now I know that people use disposable nappies for a variety of reasons, and I am not here to moralise you on the subject, but I would ask you all to consider using reusable nappies for your children, especially if you are in a position to do so.
So the one draw back to using cloth nappies can be the upfront cost of getting everything you need. In the long run it costs less than disposables, but you do need to front most of that at the beginning. We knew that we were going to be using cloth nappies before we got pregnant, and we buying up everything we could as soon as we found out we were expecting. The joys of the cloth nappies market is that there are plenty of pre-loved nappies, and we got some of those, and some new ones to bring our stash together.
The majority of our pre-loved nappies are Tots Bots EasyFit Star all-in-one style nappies. Ours came in pretty good condition, and after a a couple of washes, and one evening spent cleaning the velcro, these are ready to go. As these are second-hand the style is no longer available from Tots Bots, but I have to say I am very happy that they are fairy-tale themed. These seem pretty thick, and absorbent so I am hoping that they will be good for the overnight stretch.
We also purchased a set of Little Lamb Onesize Pocket Nappies. These are mostly in bold block colours, but we’ve also bough a few Hawaiian shirt themed ones. These use poppers not just to adjust the size, but also to fasten them closed.
We have dithered on the subject of newborn cloth nappies. At first we thought we’d pick up some biodegradable ones and call it a day, but after doing a little more research we decided to take the plunge and buy some newborn reusables. When considering containment and seepage (something nobody wants to think about) we decided that two-pieces nappies were the best, with an absorbent centre and outer waterproof wrap. We’ve purchased a mixture of Little Lamb Bamboo and Microfibre nappies, Bamboo are extremely absorbent but slow to dry, while the Microfibre hold less but come out of the washing machine practically dry.
To cover the Little Lamb nappies we’ve bought some Motherease Rikki Wrap Covers which combine nicely with the Little Lambs to (supposedly) provide a leak-free experience. We liked these covers partly for the aesthetic but also the apparent ease of use, going on suggestions we found online. In the end we got a couple of these in different sizes so that we will be properly covered until she is big enough for the all-in-ones.
Bulking out our collection we’ve got some Charlie Bananas, Bum Genius, Smartie Pants and Alva nappies. I actually really like Alva nappies and will be picking up some more soon, especially as they are good quality for the price.
One thing we’ve also picked up was some Charcoal booster pads. These will slip in to pocket nappies and they give us an extra hour or so of wear, perfectly for when we’re out and about.