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Modibodi, best known as the maker of period pants, has taken all that know-how and developed a reusable nappy, which is said to be the most absorbent on the market. The nappy has been lab tested to hold up to 1026ml of liquid (with one booster), and was also compression tested against leaks at 500ml (ie. they tested against the kind of squeezing and squashing a real nappy would get as a baby sits, crawls and moves around). That should allow for longer time between changes, and make this a cloth nappy that can be trusted for use overnight.
Gemma is Consumer & Commerce Editor at MadeForMums. She tested the nappy during the daytime and at night with her 18-month-old son, who has been in cloth nappies part-time since he was 6 months old.
What are your first impressions of the Modibodi reusable nappy?
On the outside this looks like your standard modern reusable nappy. There are snaps/poppers on the front to adjust the rise, and Velcro panels across the front for a custom fit on the waist. There are various colours and prints on offer, and Modibodi has chosen to be a bit more muted in its choices compared to many cloth nappy companies. The nappies come in packs of four comprising two prints and two solid colours. We tried a pastel green one.
I’ve used a few different cloth nappies in the past, but never one quite like this. Firstly, it’s black inside, which is quite unusual! The nappy is made up of a number of layers. The top is a polybrush fabric that wicks away moisture. Below that are the antimicrobial middle layers that soak up all the liquid (they’re made of microfibre terry). Stitched to these two layers at each end is a waterproof shell that acts a little like a nappy cover. Essentially what they’ve done is turn an all-in-two into a single nappy by permanently attaching the cover to the absorbent layers. This makes it much easier for a novice, but it does put up the cost per nappy as you can’t reuse the cover.
Each nappy also comes with an insert/booster to increase the absorbency. These are black, chunky and incredibly soft, made from the same polybrush outer and microfibre inner as the nappy itself. Although you could technically use multiple boosters, I probably wouldn’t use more than one due to how thick they are.
How easy was the nappy to use?
If you’re brand new to reusable nappies there is a slight learning curve. I only use them part-time with my son, but I have experimented with a number of different brands and styles. I prefer a really simple nappy like an all-in-one or a pocket nappy, and the Modibodi nappy had a lot in common with those, so it felt quite familiar to me.
Fitting took a bit of practice, but thankfully my son was in a good mood when we first tried this nappy and he let me play around with the snaps and the waist tabs to adjust it to fit him perfectly. I found that the nappy naturally wanted to sit quite high at the back and low at the front which is not what I’m used to with cloth nappies. I assumed a fit error on my part, but we persevered and there were absolutely no leaks, so I think it just has a slightly different shape to brands I’ve used before. He seemed comfortable and was actually quite excited about his new “dappy” (as he calls them).
When it came to using the additional inserts/boosters for nighttime, I wasn’t sure at first whether to put them in between the two layers of the nappy, or on top up against my baby’s skin. A guide on Modibodi website that confirmed they go on top. The good thing about this is I was able to line the booster up exactly where I wanted to add absorbency: my son’s nappies are always soaked at the front because he’s a tummy sleeper, so I could pull it forward to compensate for that.
How did the Modibodi reusable nappy handle poo?
I’ve always used an additional disposable liner inside of cloth nappies during the day, so I did this with the Modibodi nappy too. This meant disposing of solids was an easy (if yucky) job: just remove the liner, put the poo down the toilet, bag and bin the liner and pop the nappy in a dry pail ready for washing. A standard liner fit well in this nappy and held most of the solids, but there was a bit of residue left – this came off fine in the wash. If you choose not to use a liner, the fabric on the top layer is designed to repel solids so they easy roll off the nappy, and you just rinse it before storing it for wash day. I’d imagine this works better on a baby who’s eating solid food than a newborn!
Did the nappy work overnight?
I’ve never had huge success with reusable nappies at night, but I put my son in this nappy with one insert at 7pm, and by 7.30am the next morning we’d had no leaks. I could tell that it had absorbed a lot of liquid, but it looked like it could have quite easily taken more. My son’s skin felt mostly dry, and he didn’t have any noticeable marks or indentation on his skin from the elastic digging in. He slept as well as he does in disposables, even though it was a warm night and cloth nappies can feel quite heavy and bulky.
How did the nappy compare to other overnight cloth /reusable nappies?
The only other cloth nappy I’ve successfully used overnight is the ever-popular TotsBots Bamboozle Night 2-part nappy system. In my opinion, the Modibodi nappy performed just as well as the TotsBots. It didn’t feel as heavy and soaked as the TotsBots tends to, and my son’s skin felt drier. On the downside, it is a little bulkier overall if you use a booster.
How easy was the nappy to wash?
When I came to wash the nappy I was surprised to find there were no laundry tabs I could fold the velcro back onto to protect it during the wash, but if you turn the nappy inside out so the two absorbent layers are on the outside, this encloses the velcro between the layers and mostly solves that problem. Washing them is straightforward and Modibodi has a really simple guide online to help. I put the nappy on my washing machine’s normal 60 degree wash with detergent but no fabric softener and it came out clean and smelling fresh.
Most cloth nappies do need to be pre-washed before their first use. Many brands suggest multiple washes to really build up absorbency, but ModiBodi suggests one wash, on a cold cycle, is enough to active the technology in these nappies. This is a real bonus (and saves energy and water). I only washed the nappy once before I used it overnight.
Is the nappy worth the money?
A pack of 4 nappies and 4 boosters costs £75. That’s £18.75 per nappy, which is towards the top end of the market, but a fairly standard price for a reusable nappy that’s absorbent enough to work overnight. The upfront cost of cloth nappies is generally high, but over time they work out far more economical than disposables. Obviously, they will need to be washed and dried which used power and electricity, but by switching to cloth even part-time you can reduce the amount of nappies that end up in landfills, which is really great news for the environment. I usually wash my cloth nappies alongside our reusable bibs and wipes so I make the most of every load.
Where can I buy the Modibodi nappy?
It’s available to buy in packs of four from Modibodi.
A quality cloth nappy that delivers on its promise to be absorbent and easy to look after, the upfront cost may be high but over time this will pay for itself. A great option for families who are new to reusables, but keen to do their bit for the environment.