Can cloth cut it? A Tots Bots PeeNut review

September 7, 2015

We’ve been testing out the brand new reusable cloth nappy system from TotsBots, so here’s our Tots Bots PeeNut review…

Tots bots peenut review - new cloth nappy reusable

Do you use reusable nappies or stick to disposables? Although it’s fair to say the newer wave of cloth nappies have come on a long way since the very basic ones from when I was a baby, we’ve never actually tried them with either of our girls. First time round I thought the washing and drying would be an issue in our small flat, and second time they’ve just been on the wrong end of a neverending to-do list.

So we’re complete newcomers to cloth. However, TotsBots have a huge heritage with cloth nappies, and a glittery award cabinet to prove it. So when we were offered a sneak preview trial of the PeaNut before it was released I thought this sounded like a perfect opportunity. Here’s how we got on.

Here’s our Tots Bots PeeNut review:

What is the PeeNut nappy it and how does it differ from other re-usable nappies?

New reusable cloth nappies from TotsBots

The PeaNut is a day-night, birth-potty nappy system that consists of a waterproof wrap and a bamboo insert. The insert attaches to the wrap with poppers and instead of having to change the entire nappy each time, you just change the insert and liner (you can also double up on the liner for extra absorbency, at night for example). Obviously reusable nappies mean more washing, but there’s less of it with these particular ones.

With an adjustable fit, the PeaNut is designed to last up until potty training so you don’t need to buy lots of different sizes as your baby grows. The design is less bulky than other cloth nappies and it’s a simple system with no folding or stuffing. As with all cloth nappies, the PeaNut offers cost and environmental benefits (but more on this later).

Using the PeaNut system…

We were sent four PeaNut nappy wrappers (plain and patterned) along with the double inserts, disposable liners and fleece liners.

First off, I really liked the prints; they’re bold and fun.

TotsBots nappy cover

We washed the inserts a couple of times before use as recommended and then were good to go.

It’s a really simple system; you attach the inserts with two poppers that sit at the front of the nappy, add a liner, then use as you would a a disposable nappy.

TotsBots PeaNut reusable cloth nappy

I do think the overall instructions on the packaging could be more comprehensive – I still had a lot of questions – but the guys at TotsBots were really helpful and I imagine there will be a lot more info on the website when they go on general sale.

Eliza was intrigued by the nappies, especially the bright patterns and colours, and  before long her toys were wearing them. It’s been an unexpected way of getting her involved.

What about the washing?

The extra washing (and the drying) was my main concern first time round when we lived in a flat and it’s always one of the negatives I’ve heard about using reusable nappies. But there’s not a huge amount of washing with this design of nappy as the wrap is a single layer of thin fabric, and the insert isn’t huge either. And when you have children you already have so much washing anyway – if you have two children and don’t have the washing machine on most days, tell me your secret – so it’s not really a big thing to do one occasionally at 60 degrees.

And the green-friendly factor?

Like most people with are concerned with our environmental footprint, especially with all the added stuff that comes with children – so we recycle obsessively, try to minimise waste (I’m a big fan of reusable breastpads, for example) and as a positive London-living side effect we don’t drive either.

Cloth nappies mean less rubbish being sent to landfill and a 40% reduction of your carbon footprint (more info here). You do use energy to wash them, obviously, but the design of these means there’s not a whole lot more.

What’s the cost implication?

There’s an estimated saving of £500 with cloth over disposable nappies. But you need to make the initial outlay on buying the cloth nappies though. With the PeeNut an entire kit (8 wraps, 2 of each element print & 2 white), 16 pads, a nappy bucket and mesh, wet bag, washing potion and liners) is £195, which is obviously quite a big outlay if you’ve not tried them.

However, you can buy them individually – a single pack of one nappy and one day-to-night pad (which is two inserts) starts from £15.99 and a mini pack (two wraps and four inserts) is £42.99.

The PeeNut – what’s the verdict?

Cloth nappy patterns

On an efficiency level the fit was absolutely fine with minimal leaks and they worked a lot better than I was expecting. You do change the liner more than you would with a disposable nappy, but not a whole lot more.

The biggest issue we found with the PeaNut is that as the insert isn’t attached at the back, the liner and insert would often get bunched up when you’re faced with my active, wriggly baby. And for any kind of vaguely up the back solid incident – parents, you know what I mean – we have to change the whole thing every time, and not just the liner.

But it’s nothing too hideous, bodily fluid-wise – although the bamboo insert is absorbent they’re never going to be as efficient as a disposable – but if you’re a parent you’ll be used to it already.

So had the from our Tots Bots PeeNut review, has the cloth nappy system completely converted us to cloth? We were surprised with how easily they fitted in and how well they worked. There are always going to be times it’s easier to use a disposable nappy (when you’re out for the day and overnight, for example) and obviously disposables do work so well. But the PeaNut nappies are now a part of our ongoing nappy mix and really handy to have around the house.

I definitely think its worth buying a nappy and some inserts to try them out first if you don’t want to spend all the money to buy the complete set at first (plus they are really handy to have around for when you run out of disposables and the shop is shut). The PeaNut seems like a simpler and easier way in to cloth nappies. And even if you’re only going to use them occasionally then it will save you on buying disposables and there will be an environmental impact – and it all helps.

Tots Bots peenut review - review of the TotsBot disposable cloth diaper

Do you use cloth nappies? What do you think?

P.S. If you liked our Tots Bots Peenut review, here are 32 things you’ll obsess about in the baby’s first year, and the G word.

4 Comments

  • Adele @ Circus Queen

    September 7, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    These are such beautiful nappies! I’m a big advocate of cloth nappies, having loved using them with both girls (though admittedly a few sposies have made it in this time around because my machine IS on most days). I didn’t spend that much on mine (mostly terry towels) but I’ve heard the thing to do is to try one of a few different types before making a big outlay because of different fits on different babies and all that.

  • Alison Perry

    September 7, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I found this really interesting to read. I love the IDEA of cloth nappies but can’t get my head around how they’d work, practically, so this post was really useful. I’d definitely try them out if we have another. Love the designs too.

  • Shirley

    September 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Original cloth nappies were so bulky for tiny babies but these look like trainer/swim pants, which look so bright and a great idea

  • laura redburn

    September 9, 2015 at 10:00 am

    the pattern with the sun and octopus etc is SO cute!

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