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Review: Bambino Mio cloth nappies

2-part cloth nappy system is a slim-fitting and very economical option

Posted: 22 August 2006
by Maria Muennich

Bambino Mio cloth nappies

happyface Very slim-fitting, light, easy to use and wash and very economical
sadface A bit patchy on runny breastfed pooh containment when used as the 2-part system - you need several of the nappy covers
Features: Simple, thickly-woven cotton nappy to be folded and either inserted into a Bambino Mio nappy cover or used as a filling in a pocket nappy
Price: £15.95 for 8 nappies, £45.95 for a set of 12 nappies and 3 covers
Contact: The Bambino Mio website
Bambino Mio Nappy

The Bambino Mio nappy concept:
Bambino Mio nappies are designed to offer a very affordable cloth nappy without compromising on quality. The two-part system comprises of a flat woven cotton inner with a re-inforced section that you fold and put inside a velcro-tabbed Bambino Mio wrap. The nappy can be folded in several ways to best suit your baby.

The nappies in action:

Ease of use
A common preconception about prefold nappies is that they are more work than shaped nappies, but with the Bambino Mio nappies we found this not to be the case at all. This is partly because the Mios require no fastening on the nappy itself, also because we fold all our nappies as they are dry anyway, and we have always used the simplest of folds with the Bambino Mio nappies - folding them in thirds, popping a liner on top and then leaving them ready to be put in the cover. When it comes to putting them on baby, you simply pop the nappy into the cover first and then close the broad velcro tabs at the top, adjusting for a good fit. Even the most nappy-challenged of people should be able to handle the Mios, although if you have a very wriggly baby then it'll require a bit more dexterity.

If your baby wets in a particular way then you can use a different fold to concentrate absorbency, a fold to suit baby boys for example. This will probably add a bit on to folding time, but this isn't something we've yet felt the need to do.

Comfort and fit
In terms of comfort and fit, the best thing about the Bambino Mios is that they are one of the slimmest nappies we've tried. This makes a particular difference when you're starting out with a newborn and many cloth nappies seem rather bulky. With the Mios there was next to no difference in bulk to a disposable.

We found the nappies fairly easy to adjust to fit and the soft edging of the cover didn't leave red marks on baby's skin when fitted correctly, although you do need to make sure that you change the wrap if the soft binding around the legs and waist gets wet, to avoid chafing. The broad velcro tabs won't be to everyone's taste, they're easy to use for grown-ups, but if you have an older baby who likes to untab velcro then the Mios simply won't be suitable for you.

The cotton nappy itself certainly isn't the softest that we tested, but as we always used a liner for the length of the nappy that didn't really matter.

Washing and drying the nappies
Because the Mios unfold for washing they do wash well, and as they're just plain cotton you also have the option of soaking. If the nappies are stained you can either use a nappy sanitiser/non-chlorine bleach or line dry them in the sun if you have the chance. The Bambino Mio nappies were the fastest-drying of all the nappies that we've tested so far - a big plus if you don't want to have to rely on a tumble drier.

Bambino Mio nappy fit
Bambino Mio nappies' absorbency and pooh containment
When it comes to absorbency the Bambino mio nappies aren't bad at all, particularly when you consider the price bracket. But we found the choice of liner really made a big difference to the nappy's performance: Choose a disposable liner and you'll probably find yourself changing the nappy quite frequently to keep your baby happy if she doesn't like being wet (although you may find frequent changing no bad thing). A fleece liner, on the other hand, really takes these nappies up a notch, keeping baby dry for several hours. While they still wouldn't be our choice of night nappy, we found Bambino Mios a good daytime option.

On pooh containment the Mios were generally ok, and we do like the softness and containing leg gussets of the wrap. But we did have a few instances of explosive breastfed (BF) baby pooh breaching the sides or top of the wrap, depending on which way the force was flowing. Admittedly a couple of these were user error - by not getting a good fit around the legs - but in our experience the Mios didn't offer the same level of anti-pooh security as most of the pre-shaped nappies with separate wraps.

More of an issue we found, as with other two-part prefolds and something that we didn't like about these nappies, is that BF pooh can often get onto the soft leg bindings of the nappy cover where it can't be wiped off, meaning that you need to change the nappy cover more often than you would otherwise do. How much of a problem this poses really depends on whether you have a baby who poohs frequently, as does ours, or one who poohs only a couple of times a day, as well as how runny and explosive the poohs are - a reminder of how personal the choice of nappy is to you and your baby.

In our experience of usage it would make sense to have more than three nappy covers per 12-set of nappies (the 12-set of nappies comes with three covers), given the frequency with which we needed a fresh cover. If you were to use the Mios as your main nappy then you'd probably be fine with five or six covers if you wash every second or third day, and you can buy the covers separately as well as in nappy sets.

Which brings us to something else we did like about the Mios - the price. At less than £50 for a set of twelve nappies and three covers, they really do offer a very economical option for cloth nappy users.

And of course, you aren't limited to using the Mio nappies with the Bambino Mio nappy cover: the decent absorbency, slimness and value of the Bambino Mio nappies also makes them a good choice for filling pocket nappies.

The ThinkBaby verdict

The nappy cover is likely to get soiled in this two-piece pre-fold system more often than with pre-shaped nappies, so you'll need comparatively more covers, and powerful BF poohs may sometimes breach the barriers, but you have to consider this in the context of price: Overall the Bambino Mios are slim-fitting, fast-drying, easy-to-use and excellent value.
Comfort and fit: 3/5 review3stars
Absorbency/containment: 3/5 review3stars
Usability: 4/5 review4stars
Value: 5/5 review5stars

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