Cloth nappies – all or nothing?

I recently visited a friend to help her make the switch to cloth. After going through the preloved stash that she has bought, and talking about a simple wash routine, she tried her son in cloth for a full day, and then overnight.

Success! Her son, who often wakes up with soaked sheets in his disposable, had gone a full night with no leaks! I got a text to tell me the good news, and that she was going to give it another go at the weekend.

So why wasn’t that it – disposables ditched and full time cloth started?

I messaged her back to tell her fab, and to just get used to them at her own pace, and she responded –

“Some is ALWAYS better than none

It’s so true. Cloth nappies don’t have to be all or nothing. I think people get scared off by the initial outlay, thinking they have to spend £250-450 on a full stash, all bells and whistles included. It really is not the case. If you use just one disposable nappy a day you could be saving around 900 disposable nappies from going to landfill! If that doesn’t make it worth a try then I don’t know what does.

How to get started?

There are lots of ways to get started with cloth nappies without spending hundreds of pounds on a full kit. And just as all babies are different, so are different nappy brands. This can seem confusing as you don’t know which brand will be right for you and you don’t want to buy a full set only to discover they aren’t quite the right fit for your baby.

Nappy Library

With this in mind, a really good place to start is your local Nappy Library. Go along to have a chat with someone face to face. You can have a look at lots different nappies and hire a trial kit for around £10-20, which will include lots of brand for you to try at home. Most kits you can trial for a month, giving you time to decide what works for you and your baby. See the UK Nappy Network to find your local library.

Start Small

Whether you decide to trial nappies through a nappy library or not, there are a few more ways to save yourself some cash when it comes to buying cloth nappies.

  • Council incentives – Check out your local councils website to see if they offer an incentive for using cloth nappies. For example, Oldham Council offer a £30 voucher towards cloth nappies. Cheshire East Council offer a nappy kit that includes 2 TotsBots nappies, several liners and an instruction leaflet. Perfect to get you started! Just search ‘*your council* real nappies’ to find out more.
  • Trial Nappy – Lots of companies offer trial nappies, where you buy a nappy and use it for a month, and if it isn’t for you, you can return it for a percentage of the cost back. For example Baba+Boo offer a 70% refund on their trial nappy. Personally I think it goes to show just how great cloth nappies are – companies wouldn’t be readily offering refunds on used nappies if they weren’t really confident that you are going to love using cloth!
  • Ask a friend – I have leant out nappies to 3 friend now, so if you know anyone who uses cloth chances are they are a big advocate for getting others to make the swap. Ask about their experience and see whether you could borrow a nappy to trial.

I hope this helps to give you some confidence that using cloth nappies is not an all or nothing decision. Start small, as and when you feel comfortable. You don’t have to use them from birth, or full time straight away. It’s not about proving anything, and at the end of the day, any one cloth nappy used is saving a disposable for sitting in landfill for 500 years!

If you have any questions at all, please ask away, I am always here to help 🙂


Amy x

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