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Real nappies


Try real nappies instead of disposable ones. You could save up to £400 a year and reduce the amount of nappy waste sent to disposal.

Why choose real nappies?

Better for your baby

Cloth nappies can be more comfortable for your baby, as they're made from soft materials like cotton which is gentle to your baby's sensitive skin. Studies have also shown that babies are much less likely to get nappy rash with cloth nappies. 

Although cloth nappies can be a little less absorbent, the design of disposables means the child can't always feel when they're wet. Therefore, babies in real nappies generally potty train sooner than those in disposables.

Better for you

On average each baby will need between 4000 to 6000 disposable nappies, or 25 to 30 birth-to-potty cloth nappies. Families could save between £100 to £1000 by switching to cloth nappies - and the more children in reusable nappies in a house the bigger the saving. 

For every £1 spent on disposable nappies, there is a cost to the taxpayer of 10p to dispose of them. 

Better for the environment

In the UK around eight million nappies are thrown away each day. These nappies take hundreds of years to break down and produce methane gas (a strong greenhouse gas) that contributes to global warming. By using cloth nappies we could reduce the cost to our environment with a 40% carbon saving.  

Modern design and materials

Nowadays, real nappies come in a variety of designs with poppers and Velcro fastenings rather than terry towelling folds and safety pins. Type 'real nappies' into a search engine and take a look.

Where can you buy real nappies?

Many supermarkets and baby shops sell cloth nappies however, there may be a larger selection online. You can also buy and sell pre-loved cloth nappies. 

  • Used nappies - a free classified listing site for second hand nappies.
  • National Childbirth Trust - search for events or groups in your area to find out where nearly new baby products can be bought or sold.
  • Go Real - this independent information source provides real nappy advice and can direct you to a range of sources. 

Get the most out of real nappies

  • Wash soiled nappies at 60 degrees Celsius. 
  • Wash wet nappies and waterproof wraps at lower temperatures along with the rest of your washing. 
  • Avoid tumble drying. 
  • Keep dirty nappies dry in a lidded bucket - avoid soaking them. 
  • Avoid using unnecessary chemicals such as conditioners and sanitizers. 
  • A few drops of Tea Tree essential oil is effective as a steriliser. 
  • Never iron nappies or wraps. 
  • Extend the life of your nappies - reuse them on another baby or give/sell them to someone else. 
  • Use washable nappy liners.

Real Nappy Advisors

We're on the lookout to recruit Real Nappy Advisors to fly the flag for reusable nappies in County Durham and encourage others to make the change today. If you've got a passion for real nappies and would be happy to answer questions and attend events to promote the benefits of real nappies, contact us to get involved. 

Contact us
Waste Management
03000 26 1000
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ
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