From the people behind the well-known BumGenius nappies comes Flip. Flip nappies are a reusable with the flexibility to take two types of washable inserts or an eco-disposable insert, so you can take the convenient route when needs must.
Flip nappies are the new product from Cotton Babies, the makers of BumGenius, which is currently one of the most popular reusable nappies on the market. Flip nappies were introduced in 2009, and consist of a waterproof outer shell, with a choice of three inserts: Stay Dry, which uses three layers of microfibre; Organic, made from 100% Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton, and Disposable, the only disposable to get Oeko-Tex certification. The idea is that you use your cloth inserts whenever you can, but if you’re away from home or behind with your washing, you can use the disposable inserts and throw them away when you’re done.
The shell comes in a choice of green (ribbit), blue (moonbeam) or deep pink (zinnia), and is a birth-to-potty system (also called a one-size system), where poppers adjust the fit for a small baby or a chunky toddler.
To start off with, you buy a shell in your choice of colour, with your choice of insert – either the microfibre or cotton. You can then buy additional cloth inserts, and/or a pack of disposable inserts, so that you can reuse the outer part of the nappy more than once. Price wise, the trial pack is £13.95 with Stay Dry insert or £15.95 with Organic insert. It costs £3.95 for 18 disposable inserts, £3.95 for one Stay Dry insert, or £5.95 for one Organic insert. A cover (or outer wrap) costs £10.95.
Flip nappies aren’t the first to come up with the idea of switching between washable and disposable inserts – there are also the Mothercare Smart Nappy system and the Wee nee from Australia – but the difference here is that the throw-away version is certified 97% biodegradable.
What we love
The idea of Flip nappies is great. For those who put absorbency and fast drying at a premium, there’s the Stay Dry insert; if you want natural fabrics, you can choose the organic cotton insert; and for convenience when you’re away from home, without fear of adding to landfill, you can opt for the disposable insert. Lots of cloth nappy users admit to using disposables when they’re on holiday, but many are unhappy about having to do so, and will welcome another option.
The outer shell of a Flip nappy is made of incredibly light, stretchy material and it really feels as if my baby would be cool and comfortable in it and be able to move around freely. It’s also a very neat fit and didn’t give the ‘big cloth bottom’ look that you get with some reusable nappies.
I love the colours too – I tried the green and blue on my son, and they’re both very bright and cheerful.
I was a bit dubious about the disposable insert because it is so thin – it’s a bit like a big sanitary towel! I thought I’d get leaks within an hour. But three hours after I put the nappy on, it was still going strong. The wrap is very waterproof, too, and on one occasion when I left my son too long between changes, the insert was very wet, but no moisture leaked out at all.
What to watch out for
The organic inserts need a good few washes – they recommend six – to get them up to full absorbency. You also need to wash the coloured wraps with other colours for the first few times to avoid running into your white nappies.
Although the disposable inserts are very convenient for when you’re out and about, you still have a problem if any poo gets onto the outer shell, as you need to transport that home for washing. When my son did a poo, it wasn’t all contained by the disposable insert and some got onto the outer shell, which I then had to wash. So the disposable convenience went out of the window fairly sharpish!
I also feel that the organic pre-fold option is expensive for what it is. It doesn’t seem much different to other pre-fold nappies on the market, and the advantage of a pre-fold nappy over a shaped nappy is usually that it’s a much cheaper option. I think it’s great that this nappy gives a choice of options, with a disposable one for convenience, but I feel it’s overpriced. However, there are lots of great offers on these nappies at the moment as they’ve just been launched, so you could bag a bargain if you’re quick off the mark!
Who are the Cotton Babies Flip nappies best for?
Eco-minded mums who don’t want to switch to standard disposables when they’re away from home.
The Flip nappies are a great idea and offer parents lots of versatility. However, they could do with a lower price and more reliability when dealing with poos.