The Ultimate Guide

How to Use Reusable Nappies

It can be daunting starting out with cloth nappies but with a little know how it can be easy and very rewarding

The Ultimate Guide on How to Use Reusable Nappies

It’s only natural as a first-time parent with a small child on the way to have lots of questions. One that is raised a lot these days is whether you should make the switch to reusable and washable nappies instead of using the more convenient disposable options. It’s a big commitment, but here at the Little Goat Gruff, we want to give you a little insight into some questions you should consider before making the change.

First things first, the why.

Why Should You Use Reusable Nappies?

There has been a lot of research done into the subject over the years. WRAP, a UK-based charity discovered some startling evidence in support of reusable nappies. It is believed that parents can save a considerable amount of money by investing in reusable nappies. In fact, it is reckoned that it could be anything from £200 to £500 during the first two and a half years of a single baby’s life. As you’d imagine, you can make even bigger savings if you then use them for any children you have in the future.

Financial gains are just one benefit, though. The environment benefits too. Which would you prefer, in theory? Using approximately 5,000 disposable nappies between the birth of your child and when they are fully potty trained or 25 reusable alternatives?

Right now, the UK is responsible for around 3 billion nappies ending up in the rubbish. That is roughly 2 to 3% of household waste. The process of incineration generates huge volumes of carbon dioxide and then the landfills themselves produce more, along with methane. It’s simple maths – the fewer things that end up in the incinerators or landfills, the less harmful greenhouse gas emissions are generated.

Not only that, but if you consider the water and energy required to make single-use nappies, you can see why fans of reusable nappies are so adamant you should make the change.

How Do You Use Reusable Nappies?

If you are new to reusable nappies, we hope the following is useful to you.

Choose the Right Size

You need to choose the right size of nappies based on the weight of your baby. You also need to invest enough to make sure you always have clean ones ready when others are being washed.

Waterproof Wraps Are Vital

To help make sure your nappies are leakproof, you should invest in waterproof wraps. You put them on the changing mat first and then the nappy on top.

Put The Nappy On

Following the instructions provided with whatever brand of reusable nappies you get, put the nappy on the baby using the Velcro straps to adjust it for a tight but comfortable fit. Make sure any liner is tucked in.

Change Regularly

Even though you are trying to save money and generate less waste, you still need to change your baby’s nappy regularly to avoid him or her getting nappy rash.

Wash Everything

We cover how to wash the nappy and all the related paraphernalia in the next section.

Reuse

How Do You Wash Reusable Nappies?

Although it can be overwhelming and intimidating, it is really quite easy to wash reusable nappies.

Start by holding the liner over your toilet and stretch it until all faeces fall out. If gravity doesn’t do the trick, you may need to use a brush to scrub at it while you flush the toilet.

Put all dirty liners in your nappy bucket or basket until you have a load collected up and ready to be put in the machine. When the time comes put them into a wash together with the bucket liner too.

Wash everything, including the nappy, liner, booster and any wraps, using warm water. You can close the wraps and if possible, use the eco cycle on your washer to save energy and water.

You must use an eco-friendly detergent that is safe for babies' clothing and skin and avoid bleach or fabric softener. Most reusable nappies can be air-dried or machine dried, depending on what you prefer.

There you have it, all you need to know about why you should invest in reusable nappies, how you use them and how to keep them clean.