A Guide to Reusable Nappies

Why reusable nappies?

Why choose reusable nappies for your baby? There are many reasons why today’s parents consider this option for their babies; they save you money, are kinder to the environment and kinder to baby with no harsh chemicals next to the skin. Plus, they come in a huge choice of great designs and fabrics! 

It's worth considering that from birth to potty, a child can get through 5,000 plus nappies. That’s a lot to end up in landfill, adding up to around 3 billion a year in the UK. 

Reusable nappies can be used from birth to potty training and some research shows a saving of £1475 or more than if you used disposable nappies! We could all do with saving pennies right now. 

Also known as cloth or washable nappies, reusable nappies are worth the investment and a little bit of time spent on researching some of the best brands. Take a look at our guide to start you on your reusable journey…. 

How do reusable nappies work?

Reusable nappies have evolved significantly over the years and you’d be pleasantly surprised by how easy they are to use. Nowadays, cloth nappies can look like disposables and are easy to take off and put on again. The best bit is you can choose from a wide array of stylish designs and fabrics to suit you and your baby. It’s best to try out a few different types before you buy in bulk so you can see which suits. Reusable nappies are made up of an absorbent inner layer which contains a washable or disposable liner and an outer layer known as a cover or wrap. Reusable nappies are available in a variety of materials such as bamboo, cotton, hemp and microfibre. Some brands such as Mother ease have their own custom fabrics designed to move wetness quickly, in order to obtain the highest absorbency. The outer wraps can be made of fleece, PUL or wool. 

Once the nappy has been used you can put it in a nappy bucket or large wet bag ready to be washed. 

What are the different types of reusable nappies?

All-in-one reusable nappies 

As easy to use as a disposable and grows with your baby from birth to toddler. These consist of an absorbent inner layer and waterproof outer layer sewn together making it an all-in-one nappy. 

Two-piece or two-part nappies 

These have an inner nappy and a water resistant outer cover/wrap suitable from baby to toddler and available in different sizes. They can have a shaped nappy (with elasticated waist and leg cuffs) or a flat nappy. 

Pocket nappies 

A two-part nappy similar to all-in-one but has a pouch/pocket in the waterproof nappy cover to insert a flat pad which provides the absorbency. 

There are also other types of reusable nappies designed for Newborns, Night time and potty training from all our Brands which differ according to size, absorbency and ease of use. Check out these categories under the ‘Changing’ section. 

 

All-in-one reusable nappies 

As easy to use as a disposable and grows with your baby from birth to toddler. These consist of an absorbent inner layer and waterproof outer layer sewn together making it an all-in-one nappy. 

Two-piece or two-part nappies 

These have an inner nappy and a water resistant outer cover/wrap suitable from baby to toddler and available in different sizes. They can have a shaped nappy (with elasticated waist and leg cuffs) or a flat nappy. 

Pocket nappies 

A two-part nappy similar to all-in-one but has a pouch/pocket in the waterproof nappy cover to insert a flat pad which provides the absorbency. 

There are also other types of reusable nappies designed for Newborns, Night time and potty training from all our Brands which differ according to size, absorbency and ease of use. Check out these categories under the ‘Changing’ section. 

 

How do you wash reusable nappies?

Cloth nappies are really easy to wash. Some nappy brands recommend a pre wash before using them to avoid any residue on baby’s delicate skin. Just follow the same guidance as your regular clothes and you’ll be fine! 

  • Take out the liner and dispose 
  • Store nappy in your nappy bucket until wash day – no need to soak. Interestingly, storing used disposable nappies in a bucket will smell more than used cloth nappies! When the urine reacts with the chemicals in disposable nappies it creates a very strong smell – which you don’t get with reusable nappies! Another plus! 
  • Run the nappies through a rinse cycle (if you have stored soiled nappies for longer) 
  • Wash warm on 40 or 60 degrees with non-bio detergent (some brands have their own nappy detergent) and no fabric softener 
  • Line dry. Most nappies can also be tumble dried (note this will increase costs) 

     

What are the pros and cons of reusable nappies?

Pros 

  • Cheaper than disposables in the long run, can be used for more than one child 
  • Environmentally friendly 
  • Kinder to baby’s skin – no chemicals, softer on skin 

Cons 

  • Can be slightly bulkier than disposables 
  • Time spent washing and drying 
  • Water and energy costs to consider 

 

How many will I need?

Factors such as baby’s age and how frequently you are washing the nappies is a consideration but the average is around 15-25 reusable nappies. You could start off with 10-12 nappies and see which 

type works for you and then build up from there. There is also the option to use reusables alongside disposables, check out our eco-friendly disposable nappies under the Changing section. 

 

What else will I need?

 

  • Inserts & Boosters 
  • Liners 
  • Wet bags 
  • Washable wipes – you may as well – you can just wash the whole lot together! Over the first 2 years you could spend £250 on disposable wipes. 
  • Nappy Bucket 

Check out our Reusable Changing Accessories 

 

Which is the best brand?

We sell a large number of reusable nappy brands at Earthlets as we believe our customers should have a variety to choose from and all the brands we sell offer so much of a range individually, all suiting different needs. They vary on absorbency, fit, designs, ease of use and of course value for money. 

Click on ‘Reusable by Brand’ under the Changing section on our website. 

REUSABLE NAPPY BRANDS