Reusable Nappies: Benefits And How To Get Started

Reusable nappies and disposable nappies bring different benefits for you and your little one. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming, and can leave you wondering if you’re making the right decision.


reusable nappies


Benefits Of Reusable Nappies


There are many benefits of reusable nappies, including the following.




Reusable nappies are much better for the environment than disposable nappies. Disposable nappies are not recyclable, which means that they usually end up in landfill, an incinerator, or in the ocean. Using reusable nappies instead of disposable nappies can reduce your household waste by half.




Reusable nappies are generally cheaper than disposable nappies. There is an initial outlay, but reusable nappies can save you around £200 to £500 over the two and a half years that your baby is likely to be in nappies.




Many parents using reusable nappies report that the nappies feel soft and more comfortable. There is also a suggestion that as they’re made with natural materials, they’re less likely to irritate the skin and cause nappy rash. Some parents do report that reusable nappies aren’t quite as absorbent as disposable nappies, but you can use a removable inner lining layer. These linings can be changed more frequently, rather than changing the entire nappy.




Reusable nappies now come in so many styles and colours that you have incredible choices. You can choose whichever colours, patterns and designs you want, and even the type of closure system.


How To Get Started With Reusable Nappies


The first step in getting started with reusable nappies is to work out how many you need. As a guideline, assuming that you’ll be washing a load every other day and want to have a few spares as well.

  • Using both reusable and disposable nappies – Eight to twelve reusable nappies
  • Using reusable nappies during the day – Twelve to twenty -four reusable nappies
  • Using reusable nappies day and night – Twenty-four to thirty reusable nappies


You should also get around ten or twelve inner lining layers and boosters, which will increase the absorbency of the nappies. You can find reusable liners, or biodegradable nappy liners. Biodegradable liners can simply be added to your compost bins.


How Often To Change The Reusable Nappy?


Changing reusable nappies follows the same guidelines as changing disposable nappies. You should change after each feed, so every few hours, and as soon as a nappy has been soiled. You should also put on a fresh nappy before bed, and a fresh nappy first thing in the morning.


What Other Equipment Is Needed For Reusable Nappies?


Technically, you don’t need any other equipment. You could just use plastic bags to store dirty nappies, or dirty liners. However, there are some pieces of equipment that can make your life a lot easier.


  • Dry pail – A dry pail can be any bucket, or laundry basket that you use to store used and wet nappies until you’re ready to wash them. You can use pretty much anything for this, as long as it wipes clean. Make sure that you scrape and rinse the nappies before putting them in the pail.
  • Nappy bag – You can use any nappy bag, but you should make sure that you have a waterproof bag for storing soiled nappies when you’re out and about.
  • Clothesline – Reusable nappies are generally suitable for tumble drying, but will keep their shape better if you dry them naturally on a clothes line or clothes horse.


How To Manage Leaks


If you’ve been using reusable nappies, and you notice that your little one is having a lot of leaks, there are two most likely causes.


The first is that you need to change your little one more often, or you need a more absorbent liner. The second likely cause, if the nappy is dry or only a little damp, is that the nappy isn’t a good fit. Many reusable nappies can be adjusted for a better fit, and always make sure that the nappy is sitting correctly, without any tucks or twists in the waist or legs.