Does my bum look big in this?!

It’s ‘Real Nappy Week’ (16th – 22nd April) and some crusaders past and present have drawn together from a variety of sources and our own experiences some hints and tips about using reusable nappies and have written some short insights into our own ‘nappy journeys’. We hope this will be of use to you. If you are starting out and looking for more information please don’t hesitate to contact one of us.

Top Ten Tips for Real Nappies

1. Try a few different nappies makes before you make a big purchase. Not all nappies work well for all children.

2. You don’t need to soak nappies – Dry Pail them – flush solids down loo and put nappy in lidded bucket /wet bag. Paper or fleece liners will help catch the solids. Paper liners can be flushed, Fleece liners keep bums dry.

3. How to wash – COLD rinse, wash at 40 or 60, use less powder than normal wash and DON’T use fabric softener as it reduces absorbency

4. Get a good wet bag for out and about. A drop of tea tree oil on cloth / breast pad inside nappy bin /wet bag will stops any smells

5. If nappies start to smell or looses there absorbency you might need to STRIP WASH them.  This gets rid of any soap build up in nappies.

6. Sunshine is the best stain remover, (does not need to be bright) Put nappy in the sun and let it work its magic. If nappy is damp it works quicker. This will work on windowsill on a wet day.

7. Buy some nappy boosters in advance so that you have them when you need them (little lambs bamboo are good)

8. Be confident  –  it can be frustrating sometimes when it’s all new. Join some nappy forums / fb groups as someone on them will always help if you are having problems / need advice or ask on the Frugi fb page.

9. Use washable wipes – you will save lot of money

10. Buy fab FRUGI clothes as they are cut for cloth bums.

Helen’s story…

I had always wanted to use cloth nappies if I ever had a baby and it didn’t daunt me that much when I found out I was expecting twins – you still have both to change regardless of whether you use disposables or reusable’s – right?! My reasons for wanting to use cloth nappies were mainly that I see them as a more environmentally friendly option and partly because I spotted some VERY cute gingham nappies by Modern Baby (what is now Close Parent) and fell a little bit in love with the idea of my babies looking very cute in such lovely nappies. When the twins arrived we used disposables at first – had enough on my plate to be honest and because I was breastfeeding my husband did most of the nappy changes in the early days and wrestling with understanding reusable’s was a bit beyond him in his sleep deprived state. I had bought some of the modern baby nappies and also some bumgenius organic all in ones but hadn’t done much research, to start with I had no idea about dry and wet pailing or even that you should use a liner to catch the poo. I should have done more research. we might have got off to a better start!

I used bumGenius nappies on and off during the twin’s first year. I didn’t get on with them that well and found they leaked – especially on Jack which made me reluctant to take him out and about in them. I saw on-line some Close Parent pop-in nappies and bought a stash of them too, which I found much better. But it was only really recently that I have moved over to using cloth exclusively during the day, when I became a Crusader, and lovely people came up with very helpful suggestions such as ‘stick a booster in Jack’s nappy so you can take him out and it won’t leak’ and ‘wash on 60°, not 30° to stop the nasty niffs’ and ‘you can sell nappies you don’t use on special forums’ (which I did successfully and have treated the twins to some lovely new TotsBots easy fits!).

Now that I have gotten into the stride of using reusables I find it easy, and the sight of the twins in their very cute nappies plus the fact I am saving money and helping the environment more than makes up for scraping poo off nappies when the liner doesn’t contain it all (which happens occasionally!)

Angela’s story…

My son and I started our cloth journey when he was about 2 months old. He had very bad eczema and I wanted to try cloth nappies as disposables seemed to irritate his skin. I had previously tried prefolds and wraps with my eldest child with little success. Four years later and cloth nappies seemed to have moved on and there was lots of advice available online.

I had some great advice from Esma, the owner of The Clean Green Nappy. At that time Lancashire Council gave a £40 voucher towards reusable nappies, so I bought TotsBots Easy-fits. Fifteen months later and our collection of- nappies has expanded to about 40 (TotsBots, bumGenius, Pop- ins, Smartipants, Itti Bitti, FuzziBunz and Baba+Boo) and we use cloth 95% of the time. Benjamin’s skin is so much better in cloth nappies; I love that our dustbin does not smell of disposables and I like that I am not sending waste to landfill.

Initially I was very wary about using cloth nappies out of the house, but TotsBots Easy-fits got me over that hurdle pretty quickly. One thing that is worth investing in is a good zippered wet bag to keep dirty nappies in when you are out and about – I have a groovy guitars one that will make a great swimming bag when I don’t need it for nappies anymore.

I think I will be very sad to give up my “fluff” (that’s what nappies get called) when Benjamin is ready to be toilet trained. Be warned- once you love cloth nappies they can become a bit addictive with so many beautiful ones available.


Karen’s story…

Using cloth nappies was a decision I made early on when pregnant with my first child. I didn’t actually know anyone else who used cloth at the time – and still don’t – but when it clicked that cloth would save us money as well as being environmentally friendly, it seemed an obvious thing to do. They looked fun – another big plus factor – and really, who wants to wear paper pants all the time?

Bemused. Bewildered. Disgusted (yes, really!). These were some of the reactions I got when I told friends and colleagues about my decision to use cloth. I got some applause for my ‘efforts’ but this was very rare.

True, it isn’t always the easiest option. There’s more laundry to do, you need space to dry the nappies (at the time we lived in a flat with no garden and I don’t tumble dry anything) and carrying spare nappies does take up a bit more room in the nappy bag.

But nappy rash was a rare thing in our household, and cloth – rather than paper and chemicals – seemed a much more natural choice. True, you have to deal with the odd leak here and there, but we also got those on the occasions we used disposables. It was just a matter of trial and error in finding the style that gave us the best fit and security. And let’s not forget what fun you can have with the colourful prints and designs.  Ultimately though, it was healthier and more comfortable for my baby. What’s not to like?!







  1. Jake

    Great post! Quick question for Karen, where on earth did you get that Churchill nappy? It’s hilarious!

    • Karen

      Hi Jake, the Churchill pants were from Twisted Twee, and we used them as a nappy cover – partly to hold in leaks but also because we thought they were great fun! Got them online; I think you can still get those ones as well as a number of other politicians past and present!

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