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Frequently asked questions

Won’t I constantly be washing and drying?

How often you wash depends on how many nappies you have and which types. Most parents using cloth only wash them every other day or even every 3 days! They can be tumble dried on a low heat setting or hung outside on the line or indoors on an airer.

For most parents their wash loads increase anyway when a baby comes along, plus cloth nappies contain poop explosions far more effectively, which saves some of the clothes washing!

The initial outlay seems expensive, what makes cloth the cheaper option?

Real nappies save you money. You can save up to £500 for your first baby if you home launder washable nappies from birth to potty training, whilst reusing your cloth nappies for a second baby can save even more money. There are many Facebook groups for selling second-hand nappies. Some people chose this route when starting out to keep costs down and to reduce their environmental impact. You may also be able to use these sites to recoup some of your initial outlay after potty training.

What am I supposed to do with all that poo?

Many people aren’t aware of this but babies and small children excrete many viruses in their faeces including hepatitis A, rotavirus, shigella, salmonellosis, amebiasis, live polio virus (from vaccines), and typhoid among others. Therefore solids should be tipped into the toilet and flushed away. Fleece and disposable liners make this far easier as the nappy can then be stored in a lidded bucket or zip bag until wash time which may potentially be far less than the two week time frame that disposables may potentially remain in your domestic waste bin.

How do I make sense of all the different types and jargon?

All the names and types can be off putting, but the Bedfordshire Real Nappy Library can give you information on what’s available and what types are best for you depending on your lifestyle.

There are online communities and forums where you can get even more advice, as well as details of local ‘Nappuccinos’ or demos on their Facebook page. Home visits are available where you can have a look at lots of nappies, or receive support and advice even if you’re already using cloth.

Won't my baby be wet or uncomfortable?

All modern cloth nappies have either a built in stay-dry layer or the option to add a fleece (or other material) liner to keep babies' bottoms nice and dry. You can buy these or even make your own!


For more information or to get involved please visit the Bedfordshire Real Nappy Library Facebook page (link opens in new window) or email

You can also follow (link opens in new window) Bedfordshire Real Nappy Library on Twitter.