How many Flaparaps do I need?
If you want to trial Flaparaps, buy one and see how you get on. Make yourself a Trial Pack by choosing one Flaparap, two belts, one pack of small pads and one pack of large pads.
If you plan to use Flaparaps part time alongside proper nappies, three is a good number. I reckon you'll need 18 pads (3 packs of small, 3 packs of large).
If you're going to Flaparap full time, five or six Flaparaps work well. I used to have six in rotation. That allowed me to have one spare by the bed, one spare in my bumbag, one on my baby and three in the wash - but I had 4 kids aged 0, 2, 4 and 6, so life was busy and I only ran the washing machine twice a week... A stack of 30 pads should keep you from ever having to worry about having a clean one, and let you stash a few in useful places in case you get caught out (by the bed, in the bumbag, in the car etc).
Which fabric is best for me?
Read more about the different fabrics, or, if in doubt, use this rule of thumb:
ALL Flaparaps are waterproof.
- Buy QUICK-DRY if you want something very small and light.
- Buy WOOL for night use (and day use) because it's great. You need to be happy to care for it (doesn't take much effort!)
- Buy FLEECE or PLUSH/MINKY if you like the patterns and you love the feel of a soft padded bottom.
- Buy COTTON if you carry your kids a lot and you get sweaty when you have fleece next to your skin. (Your baby will have a cotton pad against their bottom, so the fabric will only feel different to you, not them.)
Should I buy a mix of fabrics?
Yes, if you like :) (Unless you're really into wool - in which case, just buy wool.)
I used all of these fabrics at different times. I would use whichever I had to hand in the general rotation, but there were some that I preferred for particular situations.
I kept Quick-Dry Flaparaps as spares because they take up so little space. I can fit them in my bum bag with lots of other stuff and they don't get caught in the zip. The fleece and wool are just a little bit more bulky.
I used wool at night because it doesn't smell and it's so breathable. I would have used it more in the day if I'd discovered how wonderful it was a few years earlier!
I used the bright cottons and plush patterns because they're so cheerful and pretty. My babies looked rather chaotic in their legwarmers and long socks, so having a pretty Flaparap on display was often a talking point.
I liked cotton in the summer because my babies were always sitting on my hip and it felt nice against my arm - but I still used the other fabrics in the rotation.
Mix and match all you like!
Any new fabrics or colours coming?
Yes! But slowly (here's an explanation of why new batches take ages.) here.
There will be more cottons in lots of bright colours, more wool in Sheepishly Green wool and the new Naturally Ivory, Fleece RainbowBum is coming back, as is the microfleece Reddy for Bed (large) Flaparap.
How do I care for my Wool Flaparaps?
Take a look at this page for advice on lanolising your wool Flaparaps. Take care to wash them in warm water (not hot) or they'll shrink. If you put them in the washing machine they'll never fit again.
The colour will run from wool Flaparaps when they're washed or lanolised. Rinse under running water to take out the worst of the initial bleed. Wash like colours together.
Will my wool Flaparaps leak under compression?
Probably. Lanolised wool does leak under compression when the absorbent layer is very wet. If you squeeze the absorbent layer and water drips out, you can get compression leaks.
To minimise this, make sure you use a large enough pad - or even double up pads if you're getting very big wees - and change as quickly as possible after a miss.
Wool Flaparaps are great at night as long as your baby is dry, or changed straight away. If you leave them lying in a sopping pad you'll have a soggy bed. Night nappies and wool wraps work well because the night nappy is big and absorbent, whereas Flaparap pads are as small and slim as I could get away with. Overnight, use more stuffing and keep an eye on your baby's bottom.
Wool Flaparaps bleed colour when very wet. They shouldn't be getting 'very wet' in normal use if they're lanolised properly. If they're protecting a damp pad, or you change them as soon as the pad is wet, you shouldn't have any trouble with the colour bleeding during use. If they're not lanolised very well and wee is pouring through them, you're likely so see dye moving too. If you're worried, buy Naturally Ivory rather than one of the colours.
How many pads do I need?
I recommend a minimum of 6 for a trial run: 4 small and 2 large (that's one pack of each, which is why I sell them in packs like that).
12 small and 6 large (3 packs of each) should be enough for you to manage if you're pottying part time (or full time if you don't have many misses or do frequent washes).
20 small and 10 large (5 packs of each) should mean you're never floundering for a dry pad.
How do I fold the pads for a milk-fed baby?
There's a video at the top of this page that shows how to fold pads when you're mostly only getting wee misses.
To contain milk-fed poo there is a better way to fold it, starting the final fold from the edges to leave a kind of valley in the centre of the pad.
Can I use my own pads?
Noooooooo! No. No no no. Flaparaps were designed in conjunction with their own pads. They're much too small to take a pre-fold and most cloth nappy boosters are also too big (while not being absorbent enough).
If you're going to use your own pads anyway, please don't ask for an exchange or refund when Flaparaps don't work as you had hoped. I don't exchange or refund once Flaparaps have been worn or washed. Having said that, if you're a practical kind of person you can 'make do' with all kinds of things - from cut up t-shirts, to wash cloths, to boosters to muslins. Some people manage using their previous booster pads but most reach for their Flaparap pads first.
(There should be a photo here showing Flaparap pads vs boosters and prefolds to give you a size comparison, but I haven't sorted it out yet...)
Will the dye run in the wash?
Yes! It certainly will! Treat the pads like coloured t-shirts and wash them with like coloured clothes or on their own (not with white bed sheets).
What kind of dye is used on the pads?
The pad fabric is OEKO-TEK 100 certified. The fabric is knitted and dyed in the UK by a professional factory in Leicester using reactive dyes. It is a consistently high quality and is very absorbent.
Why are the pads blue?
I'm glad you asked. I wanted colourful pads because when Flaparaps started, nappies were very white. I needed a colour that changed dramatically when wet, so it was easy to see if the pad needed changing. I tested around 20 different colours from each of two manufacturers, and these blues absorbed most quickly. Some colours were pretty much water resistant. Some barely changed when wet. Others had great absorbency but not until after many many washes. So here we are - blue. Wash them with your jeans.
Can I buy organic pads?
Yes! At long last... you can. Hooray!
How many Flaparap belts do I need?
If you have one Flaparap, you need one belt. Two if you want them to grow with your child.
If you have more than one Flaparap, buy at least 2 belts in your size. That lets you mislay one or accidently chuck one in the wash without breaking stride. I had three for my six Flaparaps, but only really used one. If you leave them attached during the wash you'll need one per Flaparap.
What size belt do I need?
That depends on how old and chunky your child is. If your toddler is an average kind of size, I doubt you'll need the extra-long belt, I've only had one person need some extra length, so I make them 'just in case'.
How do I get a good fit?
Have a look at the video halfway down this page.
Yes you can, but you need to be realistic.
Newborns poo all the time. My babies poo'd after every feed for months. They wee very frequently too... and Flaparaps need to be changed every time they get wet.
If you're all gung-ho, then go for it - Flaparaps are great! But if you think you might want couple of hours off every now and then, don't blow your whole budget with me. Have some proper nappies to hand (whether cloth or disposables) so that sometimes you can let your baby sleep through their wees :)
Also, be aware that newborn poo is basically yellow liquid. (If you do NCT classes, they'll say it's like curry sauce, but that's what it's like once the nappy has absorbed all the water.) With a tiny bottom and a resizable nappy, it's difficult to prevent the Flaparap from getting soiled when you have a poo miss. Poo quickly spreads from the pad to the Flaparap elastic and you'll need to wash the wraps a lot more frequently than with older babies. If you're planning on Flaparapping full time, make sure you have enough spare wraps or you'll be constantly frustrated that they're in the wash just when you need them most.
I found Flaparaps handy right from the first week - because I'd used them before and changed my babies over my knee or dangling from my arm, but almost never lying on their backs. If you like to lie your baby down, you're going to struggle and might find that you choose other nappies until your child is more robust - at around 3 or 4 months.
That depends on how old your toddler is, and what your plans are from here.
My babies became toddlers at between 9 and 12 months old. We were using Flaparaps until they were at least 18 months, and with some, on and off until they were 2.
Is it worth your investment to buy now...? Could well be! :) My babies never cried during nappy changes because they barely noticed as I changed pads on the hop. I wasn't stressed about misses because they were so simple to deal with and made so little mess. Maybe you do wish you'd found Flaparaps sooner - but maybe this investment will make every day easier from here on in?
Nope! Your toddler needs a bare bum and you need big fat dollop of patience.
Good luck! Hope it goes swimmingly! (And well done for taking the plunge.)
Gah! Why is international postage so expensive?!
I know, it's a shocker - but it simply costs that much to send anything with tracking or a signature.
I won't ship any parcels without tracking because even with tracking it can hard to actually track them.
What about customs? Will my parcel get stopped?
If you're in the EU (and the UK is also in the EU...) there are no customs fees to pay.
If you're outside the EU your country probably charges duty, tax and a processing fee on packages over a certain value. See this website for details: www.dutycalculator.com.
If you ship via courier all packages are stopped at customs and processed - then you're charged at your door when they make the delivery. BUT when you ship with your national carrier (i.e. when I send via Royal Mail) only a small proportion of parcels coming into the country are stopped and inspected. So, not only is shipping cheaper, but your chances of not paying any extra are also quite good. Royal Mail takes around a week to deliver to well connected countries.
Can we club together and put in a bulk order?
If your country has a courier rate (see the shipping page) then you can get up to 29kg of goods for a flat fee. You'll need to organise the purchase amongst yourselves and then get one person to place the order and make the payment.
Why can't I buy Flaparaps on Amazon?
Unfortunately, UK Amazon warehouses will only ship within the EU. I ship worldwide and I don't want to have to split my stock. I'm a very small operation and it's better for me to keep everything together in one place. That used to mean 'my bedroom' but in April 2017 I started using a shipping agent.