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Happy nappy changing

Rhian Gregory, a disabled mother from Cardiff, reviews the Hulabye Happy Changer, a soft fabric vest that secures to the baby’s changing pad to prevent rolling and scooting. Available in a range of designs, one-size-fits-all for babies 0 to 24 months old, from www.hulabye.com.

Happy child
Happy nappy changing

I started using the Hulabye Happy Changer when my daughter was 13 weeks old. Now that my little one has started rolling, aged four months, it has become even more useful.

Easy to use

The design I used was light blue in colour, and very smooth and soft to touch, made out of polyester. It wraps around the changing mat and secures with Velcro fastening, and has a waistcoat-like vest to secure the baby, which also fastens using Velcro. It's all in one piece (no separate pieces), and was easy to use and fasten.

The product came with a cardboard double sided information instruction flyer, which was clear and simple to understand. Laminating the card would make it last longer. To make it more accessible for visually impaired parents, versions could also be produced in larger print and Braille.

I used the product with the firm, rectangle changing mats, as recommended by the company, and this worked best. I also tried it out with my flimsy portable changing mat that fits in the baby bag when I was out and about – it helped a little, but was more suited to the firm, contoured changing mat.

I found the Hulabye Happy Changer useful as babies can be quite wriggly. If you run out of wipes in the middle of cleaning my baby, then that can be tricky. When you go to get more wipes out, the baby can scoot up the mat or roll over, and everything ‒ their clothes and whole body ‒ can end up covered in faeces and urine.

Wrapped up

Most of the time, my daughter seemed to like being wrapped in the changing vest. It's so smooth and soft, which is definitely a plus when using it against delicate baby skin, and it's comfortable for her too. Newborns and little babies tend to still like the feeling of being wrapped up rather than feeling open with nothing around them. It was an added benefit for her as she felt close and safe.

Due to the soft material, I'm unsure how long the product would last if it got contaminated with urine and faeces, and how many washes it would last. Babies wee and poo whenever they want, especially when they are exposed to air with their nappy off. They can do this in all directions, so it’s very likely that the Happy Changer would get dirty quickly and would need washing fairly frequently. Therefore, you might need a spare or two for when the other is in the wash. Perhaps a wipeable material would make the product more useable and longer lasting.

To sum up the advantages:

  • A lovely soft, smooth feel to the material which is good for delicate baby skin.
  • Easy to use and instructions simple to understand.
  • Great for very wriggly babies and for babies who can roll (to stop them rolling when changing them).

Possible disadvantages:

  • Needs frequent washing;
  • Unsure about durability.

I would recommend the Hulabye Happy Changer to others who struggle with a very wriggly baby or anyone that has limited use of their hands. It may also aid some who is visually impaired, as it would help stop the baby from wriggling and keep them in one position for longer.

Published: 12 December 2013

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