Real nappies

Real nappies are also known as washable, cloth or reusable nappies

Real nappies are the reusable alternative to disposable nappies. More and more MK parents are choosing real nappies for their babies, as they are:

  • Better for the environment – using disposable nappies creates half a black bin bag of waste per baby per week
  • Save you money – cheaper option compared to using disposable nappies (see info below). Use again for second baby or sell second hand
  • Easy to use - there are no pins, folding or soaking, now have Velcro and poppers.
  • Lots of choice - huge variety of styles and colours

Watch our on-line nappy mini tutorials
How do real nappies help the environment and save money?
The jargon explained
Starting up

Watch our on-line nappy mini tutorials

Understanding the 3 main types of real nappies will give you confidence in choosing the right nappy type for your baby:

Pre-fold nappy tutorial

Shaped nappy tutorial 

All-in-one / pocket nappy tutorial 

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

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How do real nappies help the environment and save money?

The average baby is in nappies for 2.5 years and will use approximately 4,000 - 6,000 disposable nappies, at a cost of £700 to £1,200 per baby, depending on the brand. That creates just over 3/4 tonne of nappy waste per baby going into your black bin bag.

A set of real nappies will cost around £300, plus additional washing costs, estimated at £150 for water, washing powder and wear-and-tear on your washing machine. Plus nothing goes in the bin, the poop is just flushed down the toilet.

Look after your nappies and they may be usable for more than one child or sold second hand.

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Here's the jargon explained...

Nappy - the cloth part that absorbs the baby's urine, and can be made of various materials, including cotton, microfibre and bamboo

Wrap - the 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 on top of the nappy that the baby's poo attaches to aid removal. Paper liners are then flushed away, but fleece and silk liners are also available

Booster - an additional cloth piece that can be added to increase absorbency

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Starting up

  • Newborn baby: between 20-24 nappies with 5 wraps

  • 6+ months old: between 12-16 nappies with 4 wraps

  • Liners

  • Nappy bucket

Optional extras: nappy bucket net, booster pads, swim nappy and washable wipes

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Last Updated: 18 October 2021