Help from us

When you get your pack you'll meet one of the 2 mums we have in the team with experience of using washable nappies on their children. They'll be your main contact and you'll be given lots of ways to contact them. Anna has two boys, one of whom has now been potty trained. Sarah has a baby girl who has been in them since she was almost 4 months old. 

We've also set up a closed Facebook Group, you can post questions, comments etc to this and get responses from us and other parents who have borrowed the pack/use washable nappies and chosen to join the group.

Help from elsewhere

There is a lot of information online, most of it is quite good even though it may not be updated very often. Here are just a few of the places you can look:

  • Go Real: The Real Nappy Information service has lots of information on their website. 
  • The Great British Nappy Hunt has a section about using washable nappies.
  • You’ll also find discussions on NetMums, MumsNet and various other sites for parents about using washable nappies.
  • Many of the businesses that sell washable nappies give advice to help you choose the right type of nappies. You can complete questionnaire and they’ll make recommendations.
  • You many also be interested in this article from independent consumer organisation Which? About reusable nappies.


FAQ’s

How much money can I really save? 

That depends on a lot of things including which nappies you choose, how many you buy, what age your baby is and how many children you use them on. How much you pay for your disposable nappies will also make a difference. But as a rough calculation… We looked at the price of a big brand nappy which cost around 9p per nappy on special offer. If you buy a £16 washable nappy you’d need to use it 178 times to equal the cost of 9p per use. If you use washable nappies for 2 years (a baby is usually 3 before potty training is complete) then that’s one use every 4 days. We think you'll manage that quite easily.

Will they smell? 

A used nappy smells, we think that the smell from a washable nappy is less than that of a disposable one. If you keep your used nappies in the bucket with the lid on or wet bag with the zip closed there will be very few smells. Putting solid poo down the toilet also helps. Your bin will certainly smell better, just think of the smells that hang around in baby changing rooms from the nappies in the bin there. 

How do they work?

There’s lots of information on this website to help you use washable nappies and if you borrow the pack you’ll have help at the end of your phone too. Check out the sections about practicalities as a starting point and get in touch if you need anything else. 

What do I need to get started? 

See our  further down this page section for the answer to this one! 

Are they easy to wash? 

Yes, we think so. See our section about washing and drying for more detail about how to wash them. 

How do I know the trial pack is safe for use? 

If you’re worried about hygiene then we’ve washed it before it comes to you and you are welcome to wash it before you use it. We also check the packs when they are returned to make sure the nappies are still fit to use. 

Does the use of washables make a difference to potty training? 

Anecdotally a lot of parents using cloth nappies think that potty training happens earlier when using washables because your baby will be able to feel when they’re wet because the moisture isn’t completely locked away. This may be true with some babies and not others. 

Will using washables change how long it takes my baby to start moving around? 

There is no evidence to suggest it makes any difference. When babies roll, crawl, stand and walk varies anyway. 

Are washable nappies really better for the environment? 

There is a lot of evidence out there that suggests they are. 

Do I have to use them for every nappy change? 

Use them as often as you want. Some people use them at home only, others don’t use them at night so it’s completely up to you. 

How do I know what size to buy? 

Washable nappies are sold with size guidelines, for example under 9kg or above 9kg. Each brand and type of nappy may have different sizes but when you buy them they’ll usually explain the different sizes. The nappies in our pack which are sold in different sizes are explained in the section about each type of nappy. We can also help explain this to you, just ask us. 

If I want to try other brands before buying do we have any local nappy libraries? 

A nappy library holds a stock of a wide range of washable nappies, you can borrow kits and nappies from them for a charge. The nearest one for west London is in Staines

Do I need to have a tumble dryer? 

No, air drying works perfectly well. Just don't dry your nappies directly on a radiator. If you don’t have one, the quickest drying nappies are made from microfibre or cotton and 2 part nappies tend to dry more quickly than all in ones. 

Would you recommend buying just one type of nappy? 

No, babies change shape over time and you may find that as they grow one type of nappy may leak for a few days or weeks as your babies shape changes so it’s good to have another choice. Also, some nappies are better in different situations so it may be better to have one type of nappy for night time and another for childcare and another for lazing around the house. 

Where were the pack items bought from? 

We bought the items from Bambino Mio, Cheeky Wipes, Little Lamb nappies, Plush Pants and The Nappy Lady. There are lots of places you can buy washable nappies and the accessories, we don't recommend these suppliers and suggest you look at various shops/websites to make sure you get the best price possible.

What’s next?

After you’ve tried out the nappies in the pack, what happens? We’ll collect the pack from you and we’d love to hear about your experience. We’ll send you a short questionnaire too, your answers will help us improve the pack for others. Everyone who completes the questionnaire before March 2017 will be entered in to a prize draw.

If you’ve decided that you’d love to use washable nappies after your 3 weeks then the first step is to decide what you’re going to buy.

What do you need to buy?

These are the items we think you need to have:

  • A bucket or wet bag to keep used nappies in at home before you wash them
  • A wet bag if you’re using them away from home
  • Nappies – around 20 if you’re using them full time, this gives 2 days of wear between washes and a day of drying time. If you’re buying bamboo ones for night time and have no tumble dryer you may need a few more.
  • Boosters – absolutely essential to give you the greatest flexibility
  • Liners – also essential as they help reduce staining so in the long run you’ll get a better re-sale value

Costs

The amount will really depend on which type of nappies you like the best. In the descriptions of the products in the pack we’ve included an approximate price per item, based on costs in September 2016. You don’t have to buy everything in one go, you can buy the basic items and then add to your nappy collection over a few months. There’s a big market of pre-loved nappies out there. There are a few Facebook groups for them and you can occasionally find them at nearly new sales too. Buying this way can save you lots of money.

We’d expect the cost of everything you need to be between £300 - £400 if you buy everything brand new.

Where to buy

Most of the washable nappies need to bought online as very few shops sell them, although this is gradually changing.

Nappy Jargon

All in one
The absorbent inner part of the nappy is sewn to the outer waterproof layer creating a nappy that’s all in one piece. Boosters and liners may need to be added to keep your baby dry for longer.

All in two
The absorbent inner of the nappy is attached to the outer waterproof layer by poppers or maybe Velcro. There may be several inner pieces which attach together or overlap to increase the length of time it can be worn. Coming apart like this helps it dry more quickly.

Birth to potty
The design of these nappies or wraps includes 3 levels of poppers which adjust its size from small babies until your little one is ready for potty training.

Booster
Pads made from bamboo, cotton or microfiber that can be added to any type of nappy to increase its absorbency.

De-stash
Selling your washable nappies

Flat nappy
A piece of cotton that needs to be folded in to shape before it can be used as a nappy. More commonly known as a terry towel as often thought as the only type of washable nappy

Liner
Usually used to catch the poo. You can get disposable ones made from paper or fleece ones. They also protect the fabric of the nappy from stains and fabric ones can add a bit of extra absorbency too.

Pocket nappy
The waterproof outer and some fabric and sewn together but an opening is left to stuff boosters in to (like a pocket).

Prefold
A flat piece of fabric with pre-sewn lines (often horizontal and vertical) that provide a guide for folding it to a three layered piece of cloth and can be stuffed in to a pocket nappy or a wrap.

PUL
This is the material the wraps or outer of a nappy are made from, it’s waterproof and stops the nappy from leaking.

Shaped nappy
One that doesn’t need to be folded before being used.

Sized nappy 
These are made in a variety of sizes, typically small, medium and large or sizes 1, 2 and 3. The sizing for washable nappies is different than the same sizes for disposables as size 3 for a washable should fit a 3 year old.

Stash
The name for a collection of washable nappies

Two part nappy
The fabric part of the nappy is bought separately from the wrap. The wrap covers the fabric and fastens with either poppers or Velcro to make a complete nappy that’s waterproof.

Wrap
The waterproof covering for a two part nappy. It wraps around the inner fabric and is what makes the nappy waterproof.