Why choose washable nappies?

As plans are released to develop 5 sites around the UK to recycle some of the millions of disposable nappies thrown away each year, wouldn’t it be better for us all to use washable nappies again?

There are many reasons for choosing to use washable nappies for your child. If you are considering making the change, read on to find out how reusable nappies can save you money…and the environment!

Save money

Using washable nappies will save you money!

  • Long term, using washable nappies could save you between £500 and £1200!
  • Now think of the money you could save by using the same nappies on second or third children.
  • There is also a thriving ‘pre loved’ nappy scene making it possible to get some money back when you are ready to sell on.
  • Using washable wipes will save even more money and they are much kinder to your baby’s skin.

Save the environment

  • An average baby will get through around 6000 nappies over 2 and a-half years!
  • That’s 6000 nappies sitting in a landfill site.
  • Disposable nappies take between 40 and 500 years to break down in the ground.
  • Washable nappies are 40% better for the environment than disposables (Environment Agency, 2008).
  • At least 4 and a-half trees are required to make nappies for just one child.

So, 6000 disposable nappies buried in the ground, or 20 fluffy cloth nappies flapping in the breeze on your washing line?

Best for baby

What would you prefer to have your bottom wrapped up in all day and night? I personally would choose a soft, fluffy cloth nappy over a scratchy disposable one every time!

  • There is some evidence to suggest that cloth nappies are less likely to cause nappy rash than disposables as you have much more control over what is next to your baby’s skin.
  • The fleecy liners are the best to have directly next to the skin as they are beautifully soft and feel drier for longer by wicking water away.
  • Having a big, cloth bottom is a great cushion for when your child starts walking!
  • There is support that cloth nappies can help with potty training as toddlers can feel when they are damp and start to know when they have had a wee that bit sooner.

Accessorise darlings!

Gone are the days of having only plain white terry squares and frilly, plastic outer wraps. Now there is a huge variety of fabrics, styles, colours and patterns making cloth nappies an item of clothing in their own right. Go on, make a nappy statement!

Main concerns

Some of the main concerns parents have when considering using washable nappies include cost and time. There is such a wide range of nappies currently on the market that there is something for every budget. A complete set of new nappies can cost less than £100, and remember they can be passed down or sold on! Alternatively, look for pre-loved nappies.

With so many parents returning to work, it can be easy to feel as though you simply don’t have time for all that extra faff and wash loads. However, I’d recommend you take a look at some all-in-one style nappies which are virtually the same as disposables to put on. Then they go into a bucket instead of a bin to wash every other day or so. They are also a great choice for nurseries, child minders and grandparents, who are obligated to use washables if you request them to.

Finding out more

Many councils across the UK have initiatives and voucher schemes to encourage parents to try washable nappies. There are also Nappuccino groups to visit for independent advice.

Visit Go Real for lots more information on washable nappies and
services available in your area.

Photography: Lori Ann @Flickr

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