Nottinghamshire - Real Nappies FAQs

Real Nappies are more environmentally friendly

Find answers to some frequently asked questions on using real nappies

What are the main benefits of using real nappies?

The biggest benefits of using real nappies are that they save you money, reduce your waste and provide comfort for your baby.

How much will it cost to use real nappies?

You can kit your baby out with all the nappies they need from the high street for under £80, add £1 per week to wash them and you’ll still save £500 compared to the market-leading disposable nappy.

What is the environmental impact of using real nappies?

Real nappies can be up to 40% better for the environment compared to disposables. Real nappies have next to no impact on landfill sites as opposed to the 3 billion disposable nappies that are thrown away each and every year in the UK, 90% of these are land filled. A baby in disposables will need about 4,000 nappy changes in total, that’s 4,000 disposable nappies in a landfill site, or 24 real nappies hanging on your washing line!

How many nappies do I need?

The number of nappies that you will need depends on whether you are solely using real nappies or whether you continue to use disposables when you are out and about and keep the real nappies for when you are at home. We recommend that you have a minimum of 10 real nappies for use alongside disposables, and up to 25 nappies if you use them 24/7. This will allow you to have enough nappies ready to use, whilst allowing for some being in the wash.

Will my baby get nappy rash?

An independent study showed that the type of nappy worn made no difference to the incidence of nappy rash. By using real nappies you have much more control over what is next to your baby’s skin which can actually help to prevent nappy rash.

Do real nappies leak?

By choosing the correct size of real nappy there should be a minimal risk of leakages. Real nappies are very efficient, and you can increase the absorbency by adding booster pads, especially during night time periods.

How often do I have to change real nappies?

You should change real nappies as regularly as you do disposables. Real nappies can however be boosted up for night times or during the day to make them more absorbent.

How do I wash real nappies?

Real nappies should be washed at 40 or 60 degrees. We recommend that you start with a prewash. You can, if you wish, run a prewash and then put other items of clothing in for the wash cycle.

Do I need to soak my real nappies before they are washed?

No, real nappies do not need to be soaked. We recommend that you store soiled nappies in a wash bag inside a storage bin until you are ready to do a wash. You can add in some lavender oil to provide a natural fragrance.

Where can I get real nappies from?

As real nappies are becoming more and more popular, they can be found in many high street supermarkets and baby stores. There is also a wide range of nappies available from a number of website stockists. You can also purchase second hand real nappies online.

What is the difference between an all-in-one and two-part nappy?

All-in-one nappies consist of one piece and are therefore very similar to a disposable. They go from birth to potty in size as they are adjustable using poppers. Two-part nappies consist of an absorbent nappy, and then require a waterproof wrap to be placed around the outside.

Are real nappies more comfortable?

Real nappies come in a range of materials, all chosen to be as kind as possible to your baby’s skin. Cotton, bamboo, microfibre and hemp are the fabrics most commonly used to make the nappies themselves and are all incredibly soft and comfortable, particularly bamboo. When it comes to liners, fleece is the softest and although silk is great for sensitive skin, paper liners can be more convenient. Waterproof wraps are soft and comfortable for your baby. Try using a wrap made from wool for babies with especially sensitive skin as it is naturally both waterproof and breathable.

Will real nappies prevent my baby from walking?

Being padded in all the right places, real nappies act as a great cushion when your baby takes their first steps! As they learn to walk there will be plenty of tumbles, but with a real nappy there to take the force of the fall they’ll be up and about again in no time! Extra padding doesn’t mean extra bulk however, as modern fabrics and new designs make real nappies slimmer fitting than ever, offering just the right balance of comfort and support.


We cannot stop waste production entirely, but everyone can make a significant contribution. Think before you bin!
If you’re not already recycling, find out more about how easy it is and how you can really make a difference.
Currently in the UK about eight million disposable nappies are thrown away each day, which accounts for about three percent of our household waste. Using real nappies can dramatically reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill and minimise our impact on the environment.