What's in a cloth nappy?
Yes, yes, I know, wee and poo is what goes in a nappy... What I mean, is what goes into making a modern cloth nappy like Cushie Tushies and why do they cost what they do?
The very first Cushie Tushies nappy, so un-named at the time, was actually created back in July 2005 when our founder and designer, Michelle Parker, wanted some nappies for her first baby. According to Michelle, when she tried that first nappy on her newborn she realised it was crap and she threw it out. Determined not to be beaten, back to the drawing board she went!
To cut a long story short, after many thousands of hours refining the design, researching different fabrics, and testing different combinations of design and fabric on various babies, the first "for sale" version of the Cushie Tushies nappy was produced. Our hero nappy design has undergone additional design iterations over the last 10 years, further improving the design, fabrics and functionality, as well as the pretty outer fabrics.
So first of all, when you buy a Cushie Tushies nappy, you get an original design that is the result of a great deal of research, design and testing. The fabrics used to make a Cushie Tushies nappy - the elastic, the bamboo/organic cotton, the waterproofing - are top quality. Plus they have been tested on real babies to the stringent standards of real mums who have to change nappies every day (and obviously want a quality product that will do the required job!).
Have a think about how much a ladies shirt might cost to buy today. Depending of course on the brand and the fabric used, you might spend around $30 - $100. Did you know there is actually less fabric used and less time needed to manufacturing a shirt or blouse than a modern cloth nappy! Yet the nappy needs to withstand some very serious usage, washing and drying every day or two, over a long period of time. That's some serious engineering going on to get a product to do that for the right price!
Unfortunately not every modern cloth nappy is created equal. If you've ever done your own research you would have been inundated by the innumerable options available! So how do you tell if you're buying the right nappy for you?
First of all, are you buying local?
Is there an Australian phone number you can call or an address you can visit? If not, or you're buying from eBay or Facebook, then chances are your nappies are being sent direct from an off-shore factory. And if you have a question or receive a faulty product, you can forget about any warranty claim or after sales service!
Secondly, what fabrics have been used?
If the nappy comes with only one flimsy microfibre "absorbent" insert then just don't go there! This flimsy thing is best kept for spray and wiping your windows clean, not for putting against your baby's bottom with any hope of absorbing wee! Microfibre is cheap and does not hold much liquid at all. Look for bamboo and organic cotton - these are the thirsty fabrics and are also the gentlest against baby's skin.
Thirdly, what is the price?
You don't have to spend $35 to get a quality product, but if you're going to spend less then look for a much simpler design, such as a prefold (flat square) nappy with a simple waterproof cover. But if you're looking at a more complicated design than that at a cheap price, then you either have a knock-off or inferior products. Basically, you get what you pay for!
Lastly, can you see it before you buy it?
Making the choice to use modern cloth nappies on your baby is significant! If you can't see the products before you commit to buying them - either with a personal or direct sales consultant, at a baby market or expo, from a nappy library or a retail store - then chances are the vendor is not within Australia. You need to feel confident that you're buying a nappy that works and you'll know how to use it!