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Special Thanks to Nappy Trial Service for supplying the information

There is no getting away from it, when you have babies, nappies are a necessity. However you do have a choice about which type of nappies you use. The key choice being whether to use Disposable or Cloth nappies.

Disposables it has to said are convenient, however they usually involve numerous shopping trips, add up to over £700 - £1100 for the 2 years each baby is in nappies and can form up to 50% of your weekly waste during this period. Millions of trees are felled for the disposable nappy industry and they are a non-biodegradable landfill headache for your local council. Eco-Disposables go some way to mitigating the environmental issues by using cotton pulp or recycled cellulose and by being 70-85% biodegradable, however are still costly.

Cloth Nappies, it has to be admitted, are a little less convenient to parents as they involve laundering. Nevertheless as there is no sluicing, soaking or boiling nowadays, this simply involves putting the nappies in a dry bucket until you are ready to wash them at 60 degrees with sanitizer. Cloth nappies need only be purchased once, they will save you at least £500 with your first child and even more when you re-use them for your 2nd or 3rd baby.

What are Cloth Nappies like?

They are available in practical modern styles:

  • All in Ones
  • Shaped
  • Flat
  • Pocketed

They fasten easily with poppers, Velcro or Nappy Nippas. Many modern cloth nappies are stay dry i.e. they wick urine away from baby's skin plus they are designed to be quick drying. There is plenty of choice, there will be one to suit you and your baby. They also come in many fun and funky colours or patterns as well as white, unbleached or organic enabling parents to make a stylish statement as well as an environmental stance.

There is a growing swell of households choosing and using cloth nappies on their babies. Will yours be one of them?

Get Real - The Real Nappy Campaign currently funded by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) aims to convert 520,000 households to using Real Nappies by 2006. The Real Nappy Helpline (0845) 850 0606 or website are available to help you locate your nearest nappy scheme, stockist or nappy laundry (where the washing is done for you). If you decide you would like to consider using cloth nappies it is well worth considering using a Nappy Trial which is a Not for Profit Service provided nationwide. This is a cost effective service enabling you to hire a wide selection of cloth nappies, to use on your baby in your own home for 2 weeks (the newborn trial is for 4 weeks). This enables you to find out whether cloth nappies suit you and if so which styles work best for you.