Frequently Asked Questions

Aren’t real nappies complicated to use?

Real nappies have come a long way in the last 30 years. Using washable nappies is far easier than many parents believe. There is no soaking, fiddly folds, or pins in sight (unless you want).  Most cloth nappies now come with popper or Velcro type closure. Use a liner and solids end up in the sewage system and not your machine, making it less messy too. And with many choices of both colour and print you can choose the nappy that coordinates nicely with your baby’s outfit!!

Won’t they smell?

All nappies (including disposables waiting in a dustbin to be collected for a week or more) can smell. We advise that you do not soak the used nappies – water will activate the bacteria in the urine that produces the smell.  A sprinkle of either lavender or tea tree oil will not only smell nice, but tea tree particularly has an antiseptic and anti-fungal effect.

My nappies smell when clean, or when my baby first wees on them.

You most likely have a build up of either detergent or urine. You need to do a strip wash – not difficult to do. There are many different ways to do this. Contact us for details.

The main thing is to avoid the build up in the first place. The key is to use lots of water during washing to help flush the detergent through the nappies and the urine out. If you can adjust the water level of your machine, set it to maximum for nappy washes. Use half the recommended amount of detergent and clean your machine regularly to avoid build up of detergent in the machine – run a hot wash on empty with a cup of white vinegar in the wash.

Don’t they leak?

The right real nappy system for your baby won’t leak any more than a disposable nappy. You are less likely to experience ‘pooh-up-the-back’ explosions famous with very young babies wearing disposables, because real nappies have more protection around the waist. The best way to avoid leaks is to ensure that the nappy fits your baby snugly. Choosing the right nappy for your baby is key and will help avoid those ‘pooh-up-the-back’ explosions.

A leaking nappy would suggest that perhaps it needs to be changed more often, needs more absorbency or, a different style of waterproof wrap. All things that are all easily solved. Also avoid using fabric conditioner as this coats the nappy fibres stopping them absorbing the wee.

There are numerous styles and sizes of both wraps and nappies. We can advise on which is most suitable for your baby’s shape and your circumstances.

What about nappy rash?

Using real nappies does not increase your baby’s chances of suffering from nappy rash. Indeed real nappies are made with natural materials, often cotton or bamboo, and therefore breathable, so the incidence of nappy rash is far lower than when using disposables. The best way to avoid nappy rash is to change your baby’s nappy regularly, avoid biological washing powder and use an extra rinse cycle if you wish.

Using a fleece liner can also help to both prevent and heal nappy rash.

What about comfort?

Imagine the difference between chemically treated paper underwear and natural cotton ones, which would you choose?  Real nappies are made from natural fibres, usually cotton or bamboo and so let your baby’s skin breathe and do not contain harsh chemicals.  For hundreds of years babies have been using real nappies without problem.  Now with all the modern styles it is not just easier for you, it’s more comfortable for baby too.

Real nappies can seem bulkier on first glance but this is just a matter of what you are used to.  There are also slim fitting styles. A real nappy has never stopped an inquisitive child getting into mischief!  Indeed the extra padding can help cushion the baby when they are learning to walk.

Are they hygienic?

Using a liner as recommended means that pooh ends up in the sewer system where it should be and not in the bin.  Disposable nappies that end up in landfill can leach pathogens and viruses into the local water course as well as emitting methane, a significant greenhouse gas.  There is no need to boil wash nappies, between 30°-60° is perfectly adequate.

What about childcare?

It is an urban myth that maternity units and childcare facilities will not accept real nappies.  Some may be unfamiliar with the style you choose and just need a little advice and support from you.

I’m worried about going out.

Real nappies are not any more difficult to use out and about. Like every other aspect of being a parent, preparation is key.  All you need is a waterproof bag to store the nappies in until you get home.

Are they absorbent enough for nights?

Babies have been sleeping though the nights for many years before disposables were invented. A booster for extra absorbency and a fleece liner to give the feeling of dryness and your baby will sleep comfortably.  Also try a wool or fleece wrap that will help wick the moisture away from your babies skin. There are also many brands that are specifically designed for night use – contact us for individual advice.

What about breastfeeding?

We all know that, if you can, breastfeeding is best for you and your baby. Breastfeeding is only a nappy-issue for the first few months before introducing solid food. This will be the same whether you are using disposables or real nappies. Again, the key is to ensure a snug and comfortable fit. If you encounter problems then a nappy made with terry type material with large loops is best to absorb the liquid pooh. Please feel free to contact us for more individual advice.

What about potty training?

Today children are potty training 6-12 months later than they did prior to disposable nappy use.Real nappies have the added benefit that children are often potty trained months earlier, so reducing your financial costs. This is because disposables are sometimes too efficient. They can conceal dampness rather too well. The child doesn’t form the mental link between passing urine and the uncomfortable sensation of a damp nappy. Real nappies help to create this link which encourages progress to the next stage in toilet training.

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