Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about using Real Nappies.
How many nappies do I need? This depends on how often you wash, type of fabric of nappy and drying facilities.
How often do I need to change a Real Nappy?Regularly, as with a disposable! In practice, this usually means every 2-3 hours or sooner if soiled. Newborns may need changing up to 12 times a day, which can be quite a challenge in terms of having enough nappies! Sometimes, with heavy wetters, you might need to boost nappies/use the more absorbent types. Remember too that until you have pre-washed your nappies several times they will not absorb well, just like with new towels and tea towels etc. Fabric conditioner will also reduce the absorbency of nappies so should not be used. Finally, there will come a point where some nappies wear out - in practice this is only likely to happen if you have inherited some old nappies or have bought second-hand nappies which turn out to be rather well-worn.
Do Real Nappies work at night?Real nappies can work really well at night but you might need to boost your normal daytime nappies or use thicker ones at night. Initially, with small babies, this won’t really be an issue if they are waking regularly for feeds and nappy changes anyway. As children get older and sleep for longer periods they need nappies that absorb more. You can buy special booster pads, improvise with terries/prefolds as extra padding or buy a couple of thicker nappies. There are some nappies that are specifically designed for use at night. Some parents like to use breathable fleece or wool wraps/covers over night nappies as they let a little moisture evaporate and may be more comfortable for baby when his/her nappy is not going to be changed until morning.
Are Real Nappies really environmentally-friendly?All nappies, disposable and cloth, have an impact on the environment. Disposables are a single use item which cause a major problem when they need to be disposed of. Real nappies can be used over and over again and avoid the landfill problem. Please see below for suggestions as to how to minimise the impact of using real nappies:-