We briefly tried Flips before when Chloe was smaller but they were far to big on her and I just didnt like them so much, however nearly everyone I know who uses cloth, has a few of these and gets on fine with them. So I decided to try them again and ended up with 3 covers, 6 stay dry inserts, 5 organic inserts and a pack of the disposable inserts, more then enough to give them a proper test. I got most of them from Fill Your Pants*, they do a trial pack for £22.95 which contains a Flip cover, 1 stay dry and 1 organic insert and a pack of 18 disposable inserts. The covers are onesize and have rise snaps on the front, they come in snaps and have just come out in velcro over here as well, there are 9 colours at the minute (including the 3 new Bumgenius colours) and I think they are adding Clementine to the range soon. You can expect to pay about £10.75 for the cover on its own which you could just use as a normal wrap over a fitted nappy or you can use it with one of the inserts and then when it’s change time you simply put the used insert in the nappy bin, give the inside of the cover a wipe if needed and then pop a fresh insert it and use it again. Which does sound fab, a way to reduce the nappies in the bin as rather then whole nappies it will just be mainly inserts and also it means you can just buy a handful of covers and re-use them, saving you some money in the process.
To buy on its own the stay dry insert is £3.95 and has three absorbent layers of microfibre and a single, top layer of stay-dry suede. The organic insert is £5.95 on its own and is made from 100% Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton, which is one large piece of organic cotton that folds very into thirds along the seams. The disposable inserts are in packs of 18 for £3.95 and are fragrance free, dye free and have Oeko-Tek certification, they are biodegradable if put into a compost heap, but they wont do so if they are just put into a normal bin and end up in a landfill! Of course if you buy a cover with an insert then it does work out cheaper then getting them separately, but I found it great just to add a few inserts to other orders to make it add up to free delivery!
Phew, so that’s the general ins and outs, when they arrived I did notice how thin the covers felt, possibly because I’m used to feeling a BG V4 shell which obviously has the pocket lining in it so I noticed the difference. There are flaps on the inside of the covers to keep whatever insert you’re using in place, the front one is fine but the back one is a little loose, it covers the insert rather than holding it in place really. I was surprised at the thinness of the biodegradable inserts, I do think they will be ideal if we’re going out for the day and you dont want to carry around a bag of wet inserts. I popped Chloe in a Stay dry one to start with and it was a little poofy looking but I put that down to it not having any washes and it lasted 3 hours fine.
The organic inserts can be folded in two different ways to make it longer or smaller depending on what you need and the stay dry one has marking on it for where to fold it for small, medium and large sizes, although there are no snaps on it to keep it folded down tightly so we did find when we had it on medium it did stick out a bit under the cover. After the third Flip nappy change I began to notice the skin on the top of her thighs was beginning to get rubbed, it wasnt sore or even red but I knew it would only get worse. So I stopped using the Flips to see if that was it and it got better straight away. A day later I re-tried using the Flips and again after a few changes the skin started to look like it was going to end up sore, so I stopped using them again and the next day I alternated a Flip and then the next change a normal nappy then a Flip etc. This seemed to work fine, giving the skin a bit of a rest and I think its due to the Flip covers just having the elastic covered by the PUL cover and no having any padding or lining to soften it up. She didnt get any red marks, so I dont think it was too tight just that when she moves about it rubs. So I carried on using them spread out like this, which although possibly defeats the point of getting them I wanted to decide which inserts were best.
The stay dry inserts worked fine for 3-4 hours and as they are quite squishy so great for wearing under jeans and things, and are as trim and quick to dry as a BG V4 insert. The organic ones do tend to give a bit of a boxy look to Chloe’s bum because they are quite thick but they are thirsty and if she was going for a bottle and a nap, I’d put her in one rather than the stay dry as it easily goes 4/5 hours. The disposable inserts did work well but as they are so thin I had to adjust the rise settings on the covers to make it smaller. I did tend to change her after about 2 and a half hours as I was worried they would leak so I think next time I would maybe just use two at a time to feel safer.
Ease of use: The inserts just lay in, so no stuffing into pockets or anything so easy for non cloth users to grasp. I did always have a new Flip with insert in ready to pop straight on Chloe at change time, then I’d go to the bathroom and pop the wet insert in the bin and I would give the cover a quick wipe and leave to ‘air’ over the side of the sink for a bit before putting a new insert in and putting in the basket ready for the next change. So I guess it can take up a bit more extra time then just grabbing a new fresh nappy and popping it in the bin when done but it’s not really hard work.
Performance: We didnt have any leaks from these but the stay dry inserts were soaked at about the 3.5/4 hour mark and wouldnt have gone on much longer, whereas the organic ones were fine to keep on for longer if needed. The disposable ones were fine but I would only use them if we going out for a long day and didnt want to carry about too much stuff or if we were staying somewhere where having a nappy bucket wouldn’t be feasible. All the inserts dried in good time, as the organic ones fold out they probably dry in about the same time as the stay dry ones, although we are drying over the radiator at the minute, but I should think outside they’d dry just as quickly. The covers are ready to use from the wash if you give them 30 mins or wipe them over with a towel. I did also use the cover on its own over a night nappy and in the morning there was no leaks at all, but I wouldnt do this often as I’d hate for it to rub on her legs and make them sore, but it can be done.
Design: I think a few improvements could be made, softer/padded leg holes, a firmer flap at the back to hold inserts in and possibly a little bit thicker cover, or even just on the lighter covers, as with the blossom one we have you can see the insert through it. And I do wish they made the inserts contoured between the legs, as they do all give a bit of a sumo wrestler look to them, especially the thicker organic one which looks a bit boxy from behind too.
Overall: As a concept they sound great, reduces the need for a large stash and means your bin wont get as full, but as nappies for Chloe they dont quite work, it’s fine to pop her in them once or twice a day but we couldnt use them full time. I’m sure it’s just the size/shape she is it at the minute and once she grows a bit more the problem would go away but I still find them lacking a bit. I know of other mums that have used them fine for ages and then all of a sudden they started rubbing on the thighs and others who have never had a problem with them so I guess it just depends on your baby. They are a great way to build up a stash but sadly they aren’t really for us, I think I might keep a cover and a few inserts for the day out bag, as they are great for not taking up much room, but I wouldnt be using them regularly due to them being a bit bulky and rubbing on her legs. These arent the best hybrid system I’ve tried, I prefer the GroVia system which works a kind of the same but the inserts snap in, they come in prints, are trim, fit better and well the quality feels so much better. But back to the Flips, I think it’s worth getting one to try with a few inserts and if the fit of them in fine on your little one then get more. It is a shame they dont work for everyone as with a bit more tweaking, trimmer inserts, thicker covers, padded leg holes, etc they would be great. The organic insert is great, a little bulky but I think most heavy wetters will have a problem out peeing it in 3/4 hours. I am glad I’ve given them a good test so I can see what all the fuss is about, great concept just a bit poorly executed for us. Not great on Chloe and I’m not a fan either.
I bought the nappy mentioned in this post and did this review because I wanted to, no compensation was received for doing it.
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