The Nappy Lady
Nine years on, and I still remember trying to find out about cloth nappies.
It was such unfamiliar territory, compared with the simplicity of disposables. Wraps, nappies, boosters, liners - what on earth was the difference between the latter two? And what were Nappi Nippas when they were at home?
I just needed someone to tell me what I needed, and how many. But back in 1999, there wasn't anyone. So I went by the product reviews.
Not that there was anything like the variety of cloth nappy choices then that there are today. It was basically terry squares, prefolds and a handful of styles of shaped nappies. Based on the product reviews, I went for a shaped all in one nappy, an award winner for 1998/99.
It was rubbish. I mean, dire.
My husband and I rolled our eyes - we had chosen cloth primarily to save money, and £150 later we did not feel we were doing so. Every time we went out of the house, we used disposables, which was hardly going to achieve our aim.
I have a reputation for spending lots of money on gadgets and similar that then never get used, and my husband fully expected the cloth nappy experiment to go the same way. I don't even know why it didn't, but there is something about cloth that gets under your skin. I was not going to be beaten.
And that's where the concept of The Nappy Lady was born. There is no one nappy or brand which is suitable for everyone. That is precisely why - when disposables have gradually coalesced to a single design - cloth nappies have appeared in an increasing variety of styles: flat, shaped, sized, birth to potty, nippa, popper, Velcro etc etc. No wonder so many people take one look and give up. You go onto parenting forums, and everyone you ask for advice tells you passionately about their favourite nappy. Or they wax on about impossibly huge nappy collections, demonstrating that their shopaholic days are by no means behind them!
At The Nappy Lady, we take a different approach. We start with your circumstances, especially laundering facilities, budget and caregiver implications, and from there we will whittle down the choice of nappies to a handful that we know WILL work for your particular situation. From there, it is simply a case of making a choice and - in the early days - maybe relying on your advisor for advice if need be.
Sometimes, we are accused of favouring two brands above all others, Tots Bots and Motherease. There is a good reason for this: both brands come from suppliers who take customer service and quality seriously. Also, and even more importantly, both manufacturers understand that there is no single nappy that suits all circumstances, and so produce a range of options under their brand name.
So, yes, we may have a preference for these brands, but the specific recommendations within them will vary from advisee to advisee. And in fact our biggest selling line at the current time is neither of them, but Easy Peasy's Bumble.
The fact that we believe in what we do, and that it works, is easily demonstrated when you discover how many of our advisors started off as advisees in the first place. Having gone through the advice process, they fully appreciate its value to those who are new to cloth nappies and need their hand holding through the jungle. They also appreciate our unpressured ethos and the fact that we never use anyone's details for marketing purposes.
So why not take advantage of someone who has been through it all before and whose job is to help you get it right?
by Morag Gaherty
aka The Nappy Lady
To use The Nappy Lady's free tailored advice service, which also gives you 5% off their prices, just go to http://thenappylady.co.uk/public/submitTAQ.aspx.