Disposable versus washable nappies

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Advantages of using disposable nappies:
Disposable nappies are light and compact to carry.
They can be less bulky on a baby than washables.
They do lock wetness away from the baby’s skin.
You can throw away when they are dirty. This means no extra washing and no carrying soiled nappies around in a changing bag.
There are eco-friendly nappies available to buy and disposable recycling services are tentatively exploring the UK market.

Disadvantages of using disposable nappies:
They can be more expensive in the long run.
They may be harming the environment through manufacture and disposal.
They have chemicals inside, such as Polyacrylate, to turn the wee into gel.

Advantages of using washable nappies:
When laundered at sensible temperatures and air-dried, washable nappy nappies have a much better impact on the environment.
They don’t contain chemicals and are made from natural materials which are better for the skin. Organic nappies are available to buy and they can be washed in skin-friendly eco products.
Designs of washable nappies can be really funky, with cool designs looking good under little outfits.
If extra loads of washing makes your heart sink, investigate nappy laundry services which pick up dirty nappies from your house and bring them back to you freshly washed.

Disadvantages of using washable nappies:
Can be expensive up front
So many varieties, which to choose?
Extra washing to do.
They don’t lock wetness away quite as effectively as disposables, so it’s important to keep an eye on wet nappies.
Scrubbing out poo.

A compromise between the two could benefit many families.

Try using washables during days at home and when the weather allows you to wash and dry effectively. Launder them sensibly through scrubbing and soaking and washing with your normal load. Seek advice from a local washable nappy advisory service to make sure you buy the best ones for your child, saving money on possible bad choices.

For single parents and busy new mums, adding extra workloads in the form of washing reusable nappies can be an additional unwanted challenge. For families living in flats or without gardens, drying nappies can be difficult or impossible.

On days out, holidays or long journeys, using disposables are obviously the more convenient choice.

Get used to the massive upheavel of having a new baby in your life and when ready, adding a couple of reusable nappies into your baby’s routine can help cut costs.