Reusable nappies are coming back in fashion, and it's not hard to see why. As well as the environmental benefit, they can also save you hundreds of £££s per child, reduce nappy rash, save you bin space, reduce leaks, and they look super cute! With the increasing costs of disposables, many parents are turning to reusables and falling in love with the sheer number of benefits.
What is a reusable nappy?
Reusable nappies are nappies that can be washed and reused over and over again, instead of being disposed of after one use. They use fabrics much like your clothes to create super soft absorbent nappies for all babies. There are lots of different styles of reusable nappy to choose from, and modern reusables are simple to use and practical for most families on a daily basis.
Because they're not as widely discussed (yet) as disposable nappies, they can seem a bit confusing at first, but they really don't have to be! At The Friendly Eco, we have personal experience in using reusables on our own children, as well as helping hundreds of parents to successfully cloth nappy their children too. There is no singular best nappy, it's all about what suits you and your baby best - and we're here to find you the perfect match.
So let's get you on the right path by helping you to understand reusable nappies and find the ideal nappy for your lifestyle...
When can I use reusable nappies?
You can use reusables as soon as you like - whether that's from day 1 in hospital, or on your 2 year old toddler - its never to early, or late, to start reusables on your baby. Reusable nappies are a great option for newborns as the added back and leg elastics make blowouts a thing of the past. There are specific nappies designed to fit newborns, with some starting from just 5lbs in weight to fit the littlest of bottoms.
Some parents choose to wait until baby is a little older, and they start fitting into 'one size' nappies. The beauty of cloth nappies is that they mostly follow a 'one size fits most' sizing, which means that one nappy will give you a good fit from 10lbs right up to potty training (35lbs).
How many nappies do I need?
You can start with as many or little reusable nappies as you like to use them part time alongside disposables, meaning you can start with a couple and build up as you go!
If you're hoping to use reusables full-time, we recommend having around 15-25 nappies to ensure you have enough to last you through to wash day. The more nappies you have, the more flexibility it gives you around when you choose to wash them. Most parents choose to start at 15 and build up their nappy stash over time - there's bound to be new nappy prints over time that you discover and fall in love with!
There are also a number of extras you'll likely want alongside your nappies to many using them a breeze, these include:
Nappy Wet Bags
These are the reusable equivalent of plastic nappy sacks, they hold your dirty nappies until wash day, keeping everything secure inside, including smells. You'll want a large one to use at home, these usually store 12 to 20 nappies at a time. Then you'll want a few smaller bags for using out of the house, these hold up to 5 nappies at a time depending on the size.
These are an optional but useful item to have. Disposable liners are great for catching any solids for easy disposal at change time.
Another optional one, but a no-brainer if you're already using reusable nappies. Reusable wipes are a budget-friendly alternative to disposable wipes, 25 will easily be enough for full time use and they typically last many years and multiple children.
Which reusable nappy should I buy?
The nappy that you choose is up to you. Whether you choose to buy a full kit of one brand, or you want to mix and match a few types, the choice is yours and everyone does it differently. It's important to work out which type of reusable nappy you would prefer to use, as this will narrow down your options. Have a read of our guide to "Which Reusable Nappy Should I Buy?" to work out which reusable nappy is best for you.
Our best advice is to choose a starter kit or hire a kit from The Friendly Eco. This way you can work out which nappy suits you best before committing to a full kit
Try a huge selection of reusable nappies by hiring a kit.
Pick your own starter kit to use and keep forever.