Why Cloth Nappies?

When you think of cloth nappies many think of towelling squares loosely held together with a large safety pin. Well think again. Modern versions have come a long way and are now available in a large range of bright colours, patterns and designs.

About 25% of a disposable nappy is plastic and like plastic bottles these take up to 450 years to biodegrade. Over eight million are thrown away every day in Britain and create environmental concerns and financial costs for a local communities.

In North East Lincolnshire alone 1900 tonnes of disposable nappies enter the energy from waste Plant at Stallingborough every year at a cost of £128,000 in 2015 – 16. It is estimated that the council collects around 4 million disposable nappies per year.

What do I need to know?

Velcro fastening, poppers or plastic clips have taken the place of pins. This means you don't have to worry about harming your baby whilst changing their nappy. Also, most modern washable nappies are shaped like disposables, so you don't need a degree in origami to fold them to the right shape.

You can take your pick from a wide variety of shapes and sizes available. Sample a few types of reusable nappy before you buy a bulk pack, because different styles suit different babies.

Another plus point of reusables is that soaking soiled nappies in buckets of hot, soapy water is an option, not a rule. Your baby's poo is collected in biodegradable liner sheets, which can be flushed away. If you choose to, you can use washable liners instead.

You can store used nappies in a dry nappy bucket until you have enough to make up a load in your washing machine. Use your machine's pre-wash to loosen any dried poo, and then wash the nappies on a 40 degree cycle.

You'll need between 15 and 20 nappies if you plan to use reusable nappies full-time, or between eight and 10 if you are using them part-time. If you wash them a few times before using them on your baby it will increase their absorbency. Reusables start to be at their most effective after three to six washes.

Are cloth nappies cheaper than disposables?

Cloth nappies are cheaper than disposables. How much cheaper depends on the type you buy and how you wash them.

Your baby will be in nappies for at least two and a half years. Using disposables for that time will cost about £600.

Where you can really save with cloth nappies is if you plan to have more children. By using your nappies again you dramatically reduce your overall costs.

What are the benefits of reusable nappies?

  • Reusables are relatively easy to use.
  • They are kinder to the environment.
  • They are soft on your baby's bottom because they are chemical-free.
  • They save you money.