Real nappies

On average each baby will create 1/2 black bin bag of disposable nappy waste weekly. With nearly 10,000 babies in MK, nappy waste is a huge issue for us at council.

Real nappies, also known as washable, cloth or reusable nappies, are the alternative to using disposables. With real nappies the poop is flushed down the toilet and the nappy goes in the washing machine - no mess, no fuss.

More and more MK parents are choosing real nappies for their babies, as they are:

  • better for the environment 
  • save you money 
  • easy to use 
  • stylish and colourful
  • cost effective

Watch this short video on local parents thoughts and advice on using reusable nappies 

Watch our real nappy tutorials

Watch our video tutorials to learn about the different nappy types, how to fit, wash and dry them:

There are also local and on-line nappy companies who can provide nappy demonstrations, advice and support.

How do real nappies help the environment and save money?

The average baby is in nappies for 2.5 years.

Disposable nappy facts:

  • a baby will on average get through qty 4,000 to 6,000 disposable nappies
  • cost £700 and £1,200 depending on the brand
  • over 3/4 tonne of black bin bag nappy waste per baby
  • disposable nappies also take hundreds of years to decompose

Real nappy facts:

  • a baby will need a set of qty 20 to 30 real nappies
  • average cost for a set of real nappies is £300
  • there are additional costs estimated at £150 for water, washing powder, electricity and washing machine wear-and-tear
  • nothing goes in the bin - the poop is just flushed down the toilet
  • look after your real nappies and they may be usable for more than one child or sold second hand

The jargon explained

Nappy - the cloth part that absorbs the baby's urine. Can be made of various material types including cotton, microfibre, bamboo, hemp, etc

Wrap - the breathable, waterproof cover that prevents the baby's clothes getting wet. They come in a huge range of colours and patterns

Liner - a thin sheet laid inside the nappy, which the baby's poo attaches to aid removal. Paper liners are then flushed away, but washable fleece and silk liners are also available

Booster - an additional cloth piece added to increase absorbency of the nappy

Starting up

To get started you will need:

  • new born baby will need between 20 and 24 nappies with 5 wraps
  • 6+ months old baby will need between 12 and 16 nappies with 4 wraps
  • liners
  • nappy bucket
  • optional extras: nappy bucket net, booster pads, swim nappy and washable wipes

Environment and Waste Education contact information

Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park (by appointment only), 9 Dickens Road, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5QF