If you look into cloth nappies in much detail, or read online blogs or forums, you may have come across the term “China cheapies”. This refers to good value nappies made (surprise surprise) in China, and then sold through different independent companies in the U.K. and the US. They’re often sold through amazon and eBay too. It’s easy to identify when a company is selling one of these nappies as the composition – and noticeably the prints – are identical from seller to seller. Some people have issues with these nappies, as they don’t think they’re ethical, despite some of the companies going to great lengths to show how and where they’re made. I guess it comes down to the principle reason someone chooses to use cloth: if it’s for environmental reasons I’d wager they’re more likely to want them to be made sustainably, perhaps in the country the company originates from. If however financial reasons are behind by decision, then cheaper nappies are going to be very attractive. I am entirely on the fence on the issue. I like the idea of ‘ethical’ nappies, but also want them to be attainable for those who cannot afford a £15 nappy.
Personally, I’ve not used many of the various brands, as I’ve always found if I want a cheap nappy I’ll buy a brand I like second hand. And we tried a few when J was tiny and they didn’t work for us, due to fit. And so when I saw a new brand come up on my instagram feed, and it seemed remarkably good value, I initially discounted it, assuming they were identical to those sold through other U.K. companies. But then I took another look and realised I’d never seen the prints before. And the rise snaps seemed different. And the woman behind the brand seemed just lovely, so I decided to try a few. And man, am I glad I did, because I LOVE these nappies. So, let me introduce you to Planet Friendly Parent.
A BTP pocket nappy that comes with two bamboo and microfibres mix inserts. I will say straight away that I don’t use the inserts, and instead use puppi bamboo, hemp or linen inserts as I know these work brilliantly for us. Anything with microfibre just doesn’t normally cut it for us, though I’d try these inserts at home where I knew I’d be changing more regularly than nursery do. Some of the nappies (I think it’s the kernow range) have a opening for the pocket at both the front and back.
The nappies are lined with either charcoal fleece, or micro fleece (feels more like suedecloth), so no liner is needed. Inside they have a double gusset, but rather than focusing on the leg elastics, it’s closer to what some Australian brands call a ‘poo fence’ – it prevents poo from getting too close to the edges.
Externally the nappy has four rise settings (yay!) and cross over tabs, helping it to fit at a really wide range of sizes. The crotch is pretty wide, so I’m not convinced this would fit until a baby was that bit bigger – in our case I wouldn’t have tried it until J hit about 12lb, and even then I think it would have been bulky on him.
They come in a lovely range of prints too, from pretty though to cute. A big draw for me.
A bit of a backstory for you. We were getting leaks at nursery, constantly. My fail safe nappies (easyfit stars, elementals amongst others) were leaking all the time, and it wasn’t due to absorbency – I could see how badly they were being fitted. I adore our nursery and I knew we could make cloth work. I wanted a nappy that had both hip and waist snaps, and ideally two hip snaps to avoid wing droop, which was the problem we were unexpectedly experiencing, and was leading to gaping at the leg. I wanted a nappy I could use my puppi inserts with (long review of these coming soon), and Planet Friendly Parent nappies meet all of these requirements. And this means they work. No more leaks at nursery. Our key worker has specifically commented on it, and I can see how much better they are fitting them. I assumed Velcro would be easier, but actually a nappy that guides someone how to fit them seems to be crucial. No more leg gapes. No more wing droop. Just a fab fit.
I love the four rise settings as it makes it so much easier to get a good fit. I think this really helps with ensuring no leaks, and means they don’t look to bulky. They’ll fit from a smaller through to a bigger weight range.
I think a double gusset is a great feature. J has had horrendous teething poo recently and the nappies have consistently contained it. Not having to use a liner also means there are few layers to try and unstick the poo from (sorry, it’s rank, I know).
As I said above, these are cute looking nappies. They have prints that are quite different to others I’ve seen, lots of very lovely florals, plus bright and cheerful prints. Some have block coloured popper tabs, which I always like too.
The price (around £8 a nappy) is superb value for such a well thought out, reliable and easy to use nappy. It makes it affordable for people on most budgets without having to compromise on a quality nappy.
Finally, every package we’ve received from Planet Friendly Parent has been beautifully packaged, with a thoughtful note. The customer service is excellent, particularly considering the woman who runs it has a little baby. Kudos to her.
These nappies are pretty wide through the crotch, and while this means a great fit and excellent absorbency now J is older, there is no way they’d have fitted when he was small. I think he would have been about four months, minimum, before I’d have felt these fitted properly (though as I explain in an earlier post, I’m not a fan of the big fluffy bum).
The charcoal fleece has started to look a little worn, much quicker than the white micro fleece. It picks up fluff, so looks a little frayed and tired.
As I’ve explained, I don’t use the inserts. This isn’t a comment on their quality, rather a comment on how good I find puppi inserts.
The Bottom Line
I’ve already recommended these to friends. They are what we send to nursery. They’ve solved the problems we were having with easyfit stars and bumgenius elementals (again, this isn’t a problem with those nappies, rather our nursery struggling with them). I’ve just ordered my third lot of them because they’re so good. And you get to feel good that you’re supporting a small, lovely little business. Highly recommended!