Updated: Aug 24, 2020
I am delighted to have been gifted a nappy by Elskbar to review and share with all my followers. I approached Elskbar around a month ago, and Louise told me that she would be very happy to send me one of their Natural Snap-in reusable cloth nappies for me to test and review with my 9 month old son, Rory.
"Elskbar is created to the modern and conscious parents who prioritize both the child's health and Mother Earth. The print is made so that the eyes rest and make you think about the nature that we have to take care of." - The words of Louise, the founder of Elskbar Reusable.
A little background on the brand; Louise started Elskbar Reusable after she has experienced difficulties finding good quality nappies with high absorbency and a good fit when using cloth nappies on all 3 of her little boys. She started off sewing patterns at home with a lot of trial and error before committing to the company on a large scale and outsourcing production to an ethical factory in China, producing high quality nappies and shipping them worldwide to cloth bum parents everywhere.
With Elskbar Reusable being a Danish company and I am UK based, I was expecting a longer wait on the shipping due to it being international. This was just not the case. I got an email notification saying that my package had shipped, and then less than 48 hours later, the nappy was posted through my letterbox! It was a very pleasant surprise to have such prompt shipping, especially from an international company. I informed Louise that I had received the gifted nappy extremely quickly and she also was surprised with the speed of shipping, even in these unprecedented times in a global pandemic.
The nappy in person was more beautiful than any photo taken of it. I love the very aesthetically pleasing Mother Earth/Nature theme which Louise has designed for her nappies. It really does fit well with the "make laundry not landfill" and "save the planet" mantras adopted by the cloth community. The outer shell is made from a material called TPU which stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane, which enbles the waterproof quality of the nappy to prevent leaks. Most nappy shells are made from PUL (Polyurethane Laminate, which is made from a chemical process and therefore not very environmentally friendly. TPU is a fantastic substitute which does not contribute to any chemical release. The inner lining is a layer of bamboo terry, which is feels so soft to the touch, and gives one extra layer of absorbency.
With this nappy comes two inserts, a small insert and a longer snake insert. Each of these inserts have 3 layers of mixed bamboo and organic cotton; bamboo for absorbency and cotton for softness. The layer facing the baby's skin is the softness of the cotton, leaving no NEED for a fleece liner as this wicks moisture away into the bamboo and holds it to help prevent compression leaks. I personally love how soft the inner of this nappy is, and I was more than happy for these materials to be upon Rory's sensitive skin.
Fitting the Nappy
With the nappy being a "Snap-in All in One", it means that both inserts popper in to the bamboo terry lining to provide customisable absorption for where I need it the most. Rory tends to be a very heavy wetter, especially during the day due to multiple breastfeeds as well as drinking water with meals. With both inserts snapped in as they are with no alterations, the nappy provides 9 layers of absorption as well as the addition 10th layer of the bamboo terry lining. When I use this nappy, I snapped the long snake insert into the front in order to double it over again to create a targeted 12 layers of absorption for a "boy fold", as Rory tends to pee up front. Even with the extra layers at the front of the nappy, this did not compromise the fit. It fit very well in a mid-rise position, not low like a knicker fitting nappy and not too high to compromise his chubby tummy. It has 3 rise snap options for the height of the nappy, to fit from 6-18kg. Elskbar also sell a Newborn nappy which fits the tiniest of babies from 2.5kg to 6kg!
The nappy is slim fitting between the legs in the gusset to allow full range of movement and minimise any bulk, leaving a very trim and slim fitting nappy. It still gives him the lovely cloth 'booty' that I like to see however! This may not be a problem for us, but I know that finding high street clothing to fit cloth bums can be issues for some parents.
Testing the Nappy
The ultimate test of this nappy for me was whether it could withstand Rory's heavy wetting on a long car journey and not leak through to his clothes. This happens with many of his nappies if he is strapped in the car seat for a prolonged period of time, and as you all know is quite frankly a pain in the neck!
We went for a family outing to a couple of small towns, approximately 45 minutes to an hour's drive away from our home so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to put this nappy to the ultimate test, and only after two washes! After the initial prewash I fitted this nappy on him and it lasted 4 hours before needing to be changed which is amazing considering most of his nappies barely get 2.5 hours. I placed Rory in the nappy an hour before we left in the car, and then took an hour to get to our first destination. I checked his nappy when we got to the first town as I thought he had pooped, but this wasn't the case, and therefore I left the nappy on. We spent an hour in the first town, the whole time he was in his pram, and then back into the car and a further 20 minutes drive to the next town. When we parked, I got him out of the car and checked his nappy. After around 3 hours in and out of the car the nappy was completely saturated but it had done it's job perfectly as there was not even a hint of any dampness to the leg elastics or his clothes. Despite the heaviness of the nappy due to the saturation, Rory's skin felt dry due to how the cotton topper had wicked away the moisture into the inserts. I was over the moon with how well this had performed!
We have had poops in this nappy in subsequent wears and it has been contained very well within the nappy and washed without any staining.
Washing the Nappy; How Does it Perform?
Elskbar recommend to wash their nappy 8 times for the most efficient performance, as its completely comprised of naturally absorbent materials and it requires the washing and agitation to activate these. That being said - I didn't pre wash it this many times (I'm sure we are ALL guilty of not prewashing adequately) and it still performed better than I could have ever asked for. I washed this nappy with all my other nappies, on a long cotton wash at 60 degrees as recommended on the Elskbar reusable website. I then air dried the shell and the inserts outside on the washing line. The inserts should be unsnapped from the shell to prevent any damage in the washing machine, and the shell shouldn't be tumble dried due to it being made from TPU, however I see no issue with tumble drying the inserts. The shell dries very quickly, especially outside.
When the inserts and shell were dry and it was time to reassemble the nappy, I found the inserts to have curled inwards at the edges, and found some slight bobbling to the cotton topper where some fibres are quite loosely embedded into the insert. This has been to no detriment to me or my usage of the nappy but I felt it was worth noting for other nappy users.
Elskbar have acknowledged in their washing instructions that the inserts can curl upon drying, and therefore they advise to stretch out the inserts whilst still damp to attempt to prevent this. It is possible to pull them back into shape if you find that they have curled whilst drying, and again, did not affect the usage of the nappy for me.
Would I Recommend This Nappy?
I ABSOLUTELY would recommend this nappy. The whole range is beautifully designed, performs excellently and is so pleasing to the eye (and the environment!) The newborn nappies are priced at £18 and the birth to potty nappies at £26.50, which is at the very high end of the market price wise, but I must admit you do pay for the excellent quality, innovation and design. I love our Elskbar nappy!
You can buy the Elskbar Cloth Diaper here.
Thank you to Louise for gifting us one of your beautiful nappies to try out and review.
Check out my Instagram @Clothbum_mummy for more on the bum photos of this beautiful nappy and many more!
As Louise wrote to me herself; "You are Elskbar! (It means loveable)."