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The Nappy Guide

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All You Need to Know About Cloth Nappies

Reusable, washable nappies are becoming increasingly sophisticated and there is a large range to choose from. Having reusable nappies provides multiple benefits for your pocket, the environment and of course, your baby.

What do I need to know about cloth nappies?

Cloth nappies have evolved into a range of different designs which can even turn the most dedicated disposable nappy user into a cloth nappy lover.

Velcro fastening has replaced pins meaning you no longer have to worry about jabbing your baby when you change her and the most modern washable nappies are shaped like disposable ones so you can easily use them.

You will need roughly 15 and 20 nappies if you plan to use reusable nappies full time, or if you choose to use them part time you will need between 8-10 nappies. Make sure you wash them thoroughly a few times before using them on your baby so to increase the absorbency of the nappy.

Most of the manufacturers recommend using a non-bio washing powder and no fabric softener (the fabric softener can reduce the absorbency!)

What are the benefits of using cloth nappies?

  • Easy on your baby: Reusable nappies are soft and made up of natural fabrics so they are easy on your baby’s delicate skin.
  • Easy on you: forget the folding and the leaking of bulky nappies, cloth nappies have evolved considerably. With fabric that is breathable and waterproof, they also have hook and loop fastners, and are super absorbent.
  • Easy on the environment: If you choose to use cloth nappies, you’re saving 4000 indisposable nappies from landfill and nappies that will still be there 500 years from now! Another view on this is that you will halve your weekly rubbish and your carbon footprint could be up to 40% smaller.
  • Easy on your wallet: you could save up to £500 compared to the cost of using throwaway nappies and local councils are now offering cashback incentives for parents who decide to use cloth nappies.

Cloth nappies & the environment

About eight million disposable nappies are thrown away every day in the UK and it is thought that they could take up to 500 years to decompose. They also take up about 4% of landfill in the UK.

Many parents choose cloth nappies because they are worried about the environment. With cloth nappies, less waste is sent to landfill and your carbon footprint can be reduced dramatically.

Although reusable nappies may be better for the environment, they do need washing and drying so consider how you wash and dry your reusable nappies.

Don’t forget, you can use the nappies for your second child which will also help with carbon emissions!

Are cloth nappies cheaper?

Cloth nappies are considered cheaper than disposable brands, but the degree to which they are cheaper all depends on the type you buy and how you wash them.

Your baby will require nappies up until at least the age of 2 and a half, using disposable nappies up until that point will cost you roughly £600 compared to cloth nappies which will cost in the region of £250.

Washing cloth nappies over the course of the 2 and a half year period will cost roughly £80.

Where you can save on the cost of nappies is with if you plan to have more children – if you reuse your nappies again you can dramatically reduce your overall costs.

Ask your friends for cloth nappies as a gift

Whilst you’re still pregnant and perhaps wondering what to ask guests to bring as a gift, you can ask for them to give you money towards cloth nappies from friends and relatives. 

Cloth nappies are a good alternative to disposable types with being easier on your wallet, your baby and the environment. With different styles and types of cloth nappy, you have an opportunity to explore what suits you and your baby best.

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