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Reusable nappies

Useful information and advice on using real, reusable, terry and cloth nappies on your baby.
Despite the fact that between 80 and 90% of parents still use disposable nappies on their children, due to government incentives and increased awareness of the environmental impact of disposable nappies, more and more parents are reverting back to cloth.

Things have come a long way in the world of reusable nappies and contrary to popular opinion they aren't as complicated or time consuming as you may think. Due to the availability of shaped cloth nappies fitted with popper, Velcro or gripper fastenings, there is no need to fiddle about folding or pinning your baby's nappy. Additionally, your midwife is likely to be more than willing to demonstrate how to fit a cloth nappy properly and to give you advice on using a cloth nappy system.

Because of the absorbent nature of cloth nappies you will need some form of additional waterproof protection. If you decide to use regular towelling nappies you will need to invest in several nappy wraps (these come in every colour and pattern imaginable) - these don't need to be washed every time you change your baby's nappy, only when soiled. Initially you will probably need at least five nappy wraps. Alternatively, nappies with built in wraps are also available.

Many people choose to use nappy liners (these tend to be biodegradable and so can be flushed down the toilet) which help to draw excess moisture away from baby's skin and to contain solids. This makes washing and storing nappies easier and often means that nappies are sufficiently cleaned on a cooler wash.

There are a huge range of reusable nappies available and they vary greatly in shape and size so it is important to take advantage of the trial packs offered by cloth nappy providers to ensure that you get the style and fit just right. This will help to minimise leakages and make sure your baby as comfortable as possible.

Another popular myth relating to reusable nappies is that as moisture is not drawn away from baby's skin they exacerbate nappy rash. Research has shown that this is not the case; it is only when a nappy is left on too long that baby's skin becomes irritated and this applies to both disposable and reusable nappies.

Aside from the environmental benefits of using cloth nappies (especially if they are cleaned using a 40 degree wash and left to dry naturally), they avoid the use of synthetic materials and absorbent chemicals and allow your baby's skin to breath. They also enable you to monitor whether your baby is taking on enough liquid. Additionally, many believe that the use of reusable nappies facilitates toilet training as from a very young age a baby learns to associate sensations with having a wet nappy.

As newborns need to be changed approximately twelve times a day, you will need to purchase enough nappies for at least two days continual use. However, more would be beneficial especially if you're not planning to wash everyday. Although this does mean that the initial cost is greater than that associated with using disposables; reusable nappies should last beyond your baby's nappy wearing life and can then be used for siblings or sold and so represent a much more economical choice.

The washing and drying of reusable nappies is a factor that puts many people off, especially with all the extra work that already comes with having a new baby! However, nappy laundering services are widely available and provide an incredibly simple way of keeping your baby in clean, cloth nappies. A nappy laundering service will deliver clean nappies weekly and at the same time pick up your dirty nappies for laundering, taking all of the work out of using reusable nappies.

Whether you choose to use reusable nappies for the environmental benefit they provide or because they can be kinder on your babies skin; by trying several different cloth nappies to find the one you and your baby are happy with, reusable nappies provide you with an economical and ecological way of keeping your baby clean and dry.

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My due date is 6th feb and I have bought some organic cotton re usable nappies in anticipation for my little boys arrival. I am thrilled with how they look and the peace of mind of money that will be saved long term plus the reduced cost to the environment. I do hope they work out well.
by ariella 24th Jan 2011, 9:08am
i must shop then which size to newborn and 1?
by VanessaAngela 12th Aug 2010, 10:44am
hey hey im about 16 weeks pregnant with our first bub as i have always been one of those kind of gals to be around kids and i baby sat one of my bates lil brothers for a few years of his life and stuff just so addicted to the ter towling nappies and it will save us with nappy rash and cash in the end with the disposable ones being s god dam exie
by Tigga1991 11th Jun 2010, 5:28pm
My daughter is 4. I used good old-fashioned terry nappies on her from birth to 2 years old. I put her in a disposable nappy at night though, as she was too wet in the mornings. She never once in her life suffered from nappy rash either!! We saved a fortune on buying nappies, and helped "save the planet" too! The washing of them was easy, and it was lovely to see nappies blowing on the line in summer! I only stopped using them on her aged 2 because she only needed to wee once, and it was full! Altho, she was only in disposable nappies for about 6 months, and was fully toilet-trained before she was 3. (Toilet-training only took 3 days as well, from being in full-time nappies, to full-time big girl knickers with NO accidents!!)

I'm 5 weeks pregnant again now, and definitely will be using the same terry nappies on the next child! (I saved Kya's nappies, so I don't even have to buy them again.)
by GayMum 14th May 2010, 5:36pm
We got some reusable nappies from an NCT nearly new sale, we spoke with the nappy advisor's there and after having a test wash and dry at home decided on the tots bots fluffles. When our little one arrived we found he really loves the nappies, the fleece lining on them means he doesn't feel the wetness and they are really soft and snuggly. We got our nappies from ebay in the end as a lot of places don't stock the fluffles anymore, but I would definitely recommend these. We have been using the motherease popper fastening wraps, and the nippa fastening fluffles.
by hannahb123 30th Mar 2009, 9:37am
i'm now having my 2nd child and me and hubby have said we will use re useable nappies this time and every 1 has been really supportive about it and so far it has only cost me about £70 to get every thin we need as my nan still had some nappies and i cant wait to use them just waiting for the lil man to come out i found a really good web site and they every sort of nappy you could want
by kay86 23rd Jun 2008, 8:26am
Before I was pregnant I didn't really think about what type of nappies I'd use until a friend said in horror "your not going to add to the landfill with 5000 nappies are you?"
So I have been investigating the options. One argument is that all the washing you have to do with reusable can cause pollution. I talked to my hubby who is definitely the one to ask as he does environmental impact assessments for a living. He reckons that it’s not only a problem that the landfills are filling up with nappies. What you have to consider is the life cycle of the nappy. e.g. the chemicals and bleaches in production ,the transport pollution, energy used to make them etc, etc and then it takes about 100 years for a nappy to biodegrade. Which brings us to another problem that effects the environment that is the harmful chemicals that are produced in landfill that pollute our air. Asking hubby about the daily washing he reckons that you can buy environmentally friendly washing powders and the water we used does go to treatments plants any way. You can also put your machine on at night to save on the electric bill. Not to say that I would never use a disposable and I have not got a clue what it will be like using reusable nappies. But I am going to give it a go. As I am bringing a child into the world I have to at least try to make it a good place to be. Hope this doesn’t sound preachy and you find this informative. Good Luck what ever you choice is.
by JacksterWood 5th Feb 2008, 9:16am
i would like to know the best websites to buy reusable nappies.
by Elisabeth 21st Jan 2008, 3:25pm
We know, from experience, that taking advice from other parents about real nappy brands can lead to expensive mistakes. We took advice from friends and found that these nappies did not suit at all - simply because they had different circumstances to us and had different needs in terms of real nappies. For instance some nappies can be difficult to dry - so no good if you don't have a tumble dryer; others are nice and easy to dry but are man-made and will therefore not suit people who are after natural fabrics etc etc. In my opinion, it's really worth taking advice from real nappy advisors who really know what they're talking about and know what nappies will suit you best. I have always used - they gave us fantastic advice both before we bought and also afterwards when we had a couple of teething problems. Just do a search on google for companies which give personalised advice. (Lizzies Real Nappies currently has a voucher code available: EC0608 - this gives you £5 discount on orders over £75)
by Jessanna 29th Oct 2007, 8:38am