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  • Jo

A beginner’s guide to Tots Bots

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Tots Bots is a home-grown cloth nappy company that manufactures here in the UK rather than outsourcing overseas. Its range is compact but effective: -

· Easyfit (and Teenyfit for newborns)

· PeeNut

· Bamboozle night nappy

Having a compact range that really works far outweighs making lots of products of varying effectiveness. So let’s have a look at each of these nappies: -

Easyfit/Teenyfit – an uncomplicated all-in-one (AIO) which is a good starter nappy for those new to cloth. The Teenyfit is suitable from 5-12lbs and works just the same as a single use nappy. Open up, put baby in and fasten. Job done! The inner core is 70% viscose from bamboo and 20% polyester. This allows it to offer a similar level of absorbency to a cotton prefold, but is less bulky.

The advertised capacity is 160ml, which is plenty given the frequent changes required by a newborn (and indeed midwives and health visitors will ask about the number of wet and dirty nappies you get in the early days). The Velcro is soft and you can fold one tab on top of the other to make the waistband teeny tiny for dinky babies (think smaller than the circumference of a coffee cup!).

The elastic is super soft around the legs and very generous to the back to contain those early days poo disasters. I always have some of these in my newborn kits as they’re a genuinely sweet and easy introduction to using cloth. The TeenyFit’s big sibling, the EasyFit, is marketed as suitable from 8lbs up to potty training. I’d personally take that 8lbs with a pinch of salt – it rather depends on the size and shape of your baby. Here's the difference between a Teeny and an Easy on its smallest setting...

But once your little one is big enough to get into the EasyFit (I’d say 10lbs upwards-ish), it will go all the way to potty training if a little care is taken with the Velcro. The inner core is made up of a long tongue, again 80/20 viscose from bamboo/polyester, that folds back on itself into the nappy. When drying, the tongue folds back out. On its own, the Easy is advertised as having 385ml capacity but it can be boosted for additional absorbency. The Teeny and Easy are AIOs and the generally consensus is NOT to put them in a tumble dryer. However, if you have a tumble dryer with a specific cool setting, Tots Bots say that these can go in. If in doubt, however, line dry away from direct heat (don’t hang over a hot radiator). Heat from normal tumble drying damages the PUL lining which makes the wrap waterproof.

Let’s move onto the PeeNut system. This consists of the Tots Bots PeeNut wrap with inserts (called PeeNut Pads) that popper inside it. The nappy pad and wrap join together, so this is an All In Two (AI2).

It dries a lot more quickly that the EasyFit. The wrap itself takes a matter of hours to hang dry and the inserts can go in a tumble dryer if you wish. If you don’t tumble dry, the bamboo in the PeeNut Pads mean they won’t dry as quickly as a cotton insert, but they’re far more absorbent. Size 1 is the newborn option and size 2 is the birth to potty option (BTP) with poppers to adjust the rise. The inserts are 3-in-1: a small one for use with the wrap in its smallest setting when babies still have very diddy bladder capacity, a larger one to progress up to with the middle wrap size setting and then snapping the two together for toddler age. In size 2, the small pad holds 210ml and the large 270ml. When combined that’s 480ml of absorbency. The PeeNut system is very easy to use. Set the wrap to size, pop in the chosen pad combination, pop in a liner if you choose (most people do) and off you go!

At change time, if the pads are simply wet and the wrap isn’t soiled, you can give it a quick wipe down and let air dry for another 2 uses before it needs to go in the “official” laundry. I wouldn’t go more than 3 changes with a single wrap. I found that, for speed of changing, it’s easier to have 2 or 3 wraps in rotation. Pre-load up a new nappy, do a quick change and then assess the previous wrap for “wipe or laundry”. And that’s it – a very simple system!

Last in the range is Tots Bots’ night nappy, the Bamboozle. Aaaaahhhhhhh, Bamboozle, my old friend! An excellent nappy indeed. It comes in size 1 for newborns, size 2 for BTP and size 3 for older children 35lbs +. Most families will go up to using size 2. It is a shaped nappy made entirely of their polyester/bamboo blend (with an inner polyester core section).

It comes with a booster that snaps inside the Bamboozle, and the PeeNut wrap covers it to make it waterproof. Because the Bamboozle and wrap don’t join together, this is a two-part nappy, not an AI2. They need to be used together, but don’t join as a single unit. At this point, those who’ve done a bit of research might say “but the PeeNut wrap isn’t double-gusseted!!” in horror. You’re right, it’s not. And I don’t know how they’ve managed it, but by some secret stitching sorcery the PeeNut wrap is VERY good at containment once fitted properly. In other night nappy systems, I’d raise my eyebrow at a single gusset, but Tots Bots have got the know-how and their wrap works just fine as is. The size 2 can hold up to 715ml and the inner booster can be folded on itself at the front for targeted absorbency for boys/tummy sleepers. It’s soft, very flexible and works hard! It should take your little one through the night. But in the case of super wetters, such as my 16mo son who still likes to feed a lot at night, a hack I often use is to combine the Bamboozle with the PeeNut Pads. I use the Bamboozle with the folded inner booster, then pop the combined small and large PeeNut Pads into the wrap and use that around the Bamboozle. That makes for a whopping 1,195ml of night absorbency. Try as he might, my son hasn’t defeated the mighty PeeNut/Bamboozle combo! The PeeNut Pads can also slip inside the EasyFit to boost absorbency there as well, though they'd slide in like a pocket nappy as they won't popper fasten to the wrap.

I admire how the PeeNut system, a relatively cost-effective nappy option in itself, can bolster the EasyFit and Bamboozle to create some serious customisable absorbency from a single brand. Great work, Tots Bots! And there’s no reason why, with a little care, the Tots Bots system won’t give years of good service. And by “care”, I mean ensuring the laundry tabs are folded and any fibres that do get into the “hooking” side are removed (a nit comb is your friend!). Nothing over the top. Tots Bots offer an easy and versatile system. And their prints are adorable, too! Tots Bots are a very big brand here. And for good reason – they make good nappies and have good ethics. Winner!

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