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  • Jo

Nappy review: Fluffy Ducks MCN (Modern Cloth Nappy)

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Fluffy Ducks are a relatively new brand in the UK. They’re designed by a New Zealand-based British mum who didn’t like the cloth nappy choice available for her kids, so decided to produce her own. Kudos to that! Retailing at £19.99 each, the MCN is at the premium end of the market. For that kind of money per nappy, I had very high expectations. Fluffy Ducks claim a “one size fits most” tag on their nappies, boldly claiming that these really do fit from newborn. Most cloth parents roll their eyes at any “birth to potty” nappy making this claim – unless you birth a gigantic baby! But this is what Fluffy Ducks claim, so I decided to have a wee look. My review is in no way sponsored, so I get to say exactly what I think!

So, let’s get into it…

As soon as the nappies arrived, I dived into popping the rise and waistband down to the smallest settings. Gosh, they do go down small! I don’t have a newborn to try them on, but compared to other “true” newborn sized nappies, these fit in very well. I am confident enough to put these in a newborn hire kit.

The outer is a lovely soft PUL-lined polyester. The soft outer fabric is taken back into the inner side of the “belly” rise. Nappies with an inner lining that goes all the way up to the top seam can, at full liquid capacity, leak out onto the belly of vests etc. By bringing the PUL covered fabric back into the nappy so the insert tucks underneath it, the risk of this happening is minimal. They come in superb prints leaning towards bright and tropical themes (no surprise for a Kiwi brand). When browsing through I fell in love with the Sid Sloth print and had to have it. Some people fall in love with shoes. I fall in love with pretty nappies!! The inner is polyester but feels luxuriously brushed and suede-like. The elastic (in legs and back) is very springy and soft to the touch. The inserts are 85% bamboo, 15% polyester. That’s a high bamboo content. As such, they’re very absorbent and take a good while to line dry. They do tumble dry nicely, though. Someone (a lady called Sheree!) has put in a lot of thought to the design.

The inserts snap together with a popper at the centre top and can individually snap into popper fastenings at the front AND back of the wrap. This makes the nappy act like an all-in-two (AI2). I haven’t seen front and back snaps seemingly for the same purpose, but this serves the nappy very well. It allows parents to create multi-layered customisation front or back while a second insert covers the whole nappy, but everything stays fixed in place and can’t be shuffled about. You simply snap the smaller insert where you need the extra absorbency (front for boys, back for girls), fold it in half on itself and fasten the larger insert into the remaining popper and lay across the top to create a full cover. The nappy lining also opens to allow parents to use the nappy as a pocket, if they prefer. There’s plenty of room for this customised absorbency in pocket mode, too. There’s no absorbency benefit of one format over the other. It doesn’t change the performance in any way. If you don’t use liners and would prefer to have the pocket inner against baby’s skin, or someone “uncloth-y” is going to change them and might recoil at the sight of flapping inserts, I’d go pocket style. When considering nappy styles, having a few easy options for cloth muggles to use in your absence is a savvy move. Allowing the choice between AI2 and pocket is a good strategy to broaden this nappy’s appeal base. Cunning.

The fit is snug and not bulky. On my 15 mo, they almost looked like thick pants. On my (very tall and gangly) eldest, there was a small hint of a comedy speedo about them, truth be told. But if the nappy goes down very small, it’s a tad unreasonable of me to expect it to fold out huge as well. When set on the smaller sizes, I’d use the small insert in an AI2 popper rather than a pocket as an easier option. You CAN use it as a pocket, but care must be taken that the insert lay very flat inside the lining to get best peformance.

Right then, enough mooning over design, feel and fit. It was time to put these nappies to work. After cold-soaking overnight and then running through a wash, I proceeded to test the MCN on both my kids. My eldest, not quite 3, only wears a nappy at night for the occasional wet. My youngest, 15 months old, is an absolute firecracker and utterly dedicated to movement and climbing. On my youngest, these were brilliant over days of testing. Never a single leak (including sneaky unscheduled dirt bombs and an accidental 6-hour stint). I couldn’t even smell that the nappy was dirty. Excellent containment!! I will say that the nappy elastics were on the aggressively tight side, but they’re brand new and my youngest has sumo thighs. The marks quickly faded, so no cause for concern. If the MCN were used from birth, I reckon the elastic would soften just enough as the child’s leg grows to maintain comfort. The MCN aced the test as a daytime nappy, but my eldest rather disobligingly didn’t wet for an entire week overnight for me to test night containment. There was only one thing for it; unleash my youngest (a seriously heavy wetter). I knew that the small and large inserts alone wouldn’t do it, so I took a punt and snapped a small insert into the front inside the pocket, then joined a small and large together and snapped those into the back to make 3 inserts (unfolded). I wasn’t holding my breath, but for the sake of thoroughness I gave it a shot.

Well, stone the crows!!! Loaded with 3 inserts, the MCN stood the test for 12 whole hours. From 6:30pm night change through to 6:30am wake up. All three inserts were soaked through to capacity, but the nappy didn’t leak. My hopes weren’t high, so I was very impressed!

The Fluffy Ducks MCN is a carefully considered, well-made product designed by someone who really knows what a cloth nappy needs to do. As a product that could serve from birth right up to potty training without being cumbersome at small size or ineffectual for heavy wetters, the MCN is a rare and most excellent beast indeed. The customer service from the head of UK operations, Hannah, was also fantastic. The only thing I can say I’m not happy with is the fact I have to put them in the library to loan and not keep them all to myself. But Fluffy Ducks are shortly extending their range, so I might JUST HAVE TO update this review before long. For you, dear reader, not because I want to have another play with these, you understand 😉

Chapeau, Fluffy Ducks! Chapeau!

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