Real nappies child

Converting to cloth nappies, also known as real nappies, from disposables can make a BIG difference to the amount of rubbish families with young children generate.

And it's not all about terry squares and soaking any more...

Nappy facts

  • In Leicestershire alone, 50 million nappies are disposed of each year
  • The cost of disposing of them costs £250,000 in Leicestershire
  • They make up four percent of rubbish - but can be over half the contents of the bin for families using nappies
  • Parts of disposable nappies take up to 500 years to decompose
  • On average a baby uses between 5,000 and 7,000 disposable nappies over a two-and-a-half year period - equivalent to one tonne of rubbish.

Dispelling the myths

Myth: Using cloth nappies will involve terry squares and huge safety pins. 

Truth: Today modern cloth nappies come in many shapes and colours, with many looking and working very similar to disposable nappies.

Myth: Using cloth nappies will mean lots of smelly nappies lying around and lots of soaking.

Truth: cloth nappies are lined and it's as easy as flushing the soiled part down the toilet (as you should already be doing with disposables). The nappies can then be stored in a bucket or wet bag ready for washing.

Myth: Using cloth nappies will mean washing all the time at 90 degree washes.

Truth: Cloth nappies only need to be washed at 40 degrees (60 for small babies or when sharing nappies between children).

Myth: Using cloth nappies will cost more than disposable nappies.

Truth: Using disposable nappies costs between £735 and £1,211. Using real nappies can save up to £600.

Nappy suppliers

There are a huge number of nappies available on the market, ranging from simple terries to all in one shaped nappies.

Many suppliers are mums who have used real nappies on their own children and therefore offer another outlet for information and advice.

If you are a nappy supplier and would like to be added to the list, please contact .

Real Nappy Week

This is a well-established annual event. It's organised by the Women's Environmental Network(WEN), and the Real Nappy Association

The week focuses attention on the environmental impact of nappies and raises public awareness of the availability of fitted cloth nappies and nappy laundry services.

Last updated: Mon 9 October, 2023 @ 10:31