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MAD - Master Advice Document

Monday, 20 July 2015

When you fill in a Nappy Lady Advice Questionnaire I will consider many factors before deciding which cloth nappy system suits your criteria best. These are discussed in more detail here.

Brief Introduction to the Jargon

Those of us who are familiar with cloth nappies often forget that the jargon can be confusing and intimidating, and that there is a real risk of people sticking with disposables just because the alternative seems so foreign. Remember, however, that cloth nappies are not harder than disposables, just different. Before looking at the different issues affecting your advice, I have therefore set out a list of the key terms. Please feel free to ask me if there is anything which you are not sure about.

Essentially, a cloth nappy comprises up to four basic parts. Working from the outside in there is
1) waterproof outer - also called a wrap or cover
2) nappy - absorbent part
3) booster - increases or boosts level of absorbency
4) liner- to make getting rid of poo easier.

Not all parts are needed for all nappies – some are combined, some are optional extras. Once you understand the basic parts, you will find it much easier to assess the different nappy systems you see described. The waterproof outer, often called a wrap, is simply the barrier between the nappy and the clothes, to ensure that wetness stays within the nappy. Some form of barrier between nappy and clothes is essential.

The nappy itself provides the absorbency for wee and containment for poo. It is the nappy which should bear the brunt of your child’s bowel function, not the wrap. Nappies can come in different sizes or designed so that one size fits from birth to toddler. Nappy quantities vary depending on factors including budget and laundering facilities available, but we would normally recommend around 20 nappies from birth or 15 nappies from around 6+ months old.

Inside the nappy, you can also place a night time booster. A booster is simply an additional piece of absorbency to give an increase to the nappy’s capacity. Boosters can be made out of anything absorbent  but the most common is bamboo, cotton or hemp. Boosters are not generally needed in daytime nappies unless the nappy in question is inadequate for the child’s level of output. We would normally suggest around 6 boosters for a reasonable laundry turnaround.

Against the child’s bottom, and on top of the nappy (and any booster), is the liner. The function of the liner is to catch poo, making it easier to separate it from the nappy. Wee goes through it to the nappy underneath, where it is absorbed. Liners may be either disposable or washable. Some nappies have a built-in layer of fleece and so no separate liner is required.


Drying Facilities and Options

Drying cloth nappies need not be difficult, but does require some thought, especially in areas with unreliable weather or where drying facilities are limited. Limited drying facilities are the most significant constraints on the choice of suitable nappy system, and have the largest influence on my recommendation for you. You should consider a drying option which best suits your current lifestyle, since it is unlikely that you are suddenly going to become keen on using the outside line, for instance, if you have not done so before.

Outdoor Drying

If you have a rotary drier outside, you could consider one of those plastic covers which enable you to hang washing out to dry even if it is raining.  On a rotary drier, in damp air the washing will take a long time to dry, unless it is pretty windy. An old-fashioned long line high up on a pulley system is by far the fastest way to dry anything outdoors, as it lifts the nappies out of the shelter of the garden and right into good air currents. They will also smell lovely and fresh for being blown about. One advantage of outside drying is that the sun (if it shines!) is a natural bleach, so this will keep your nappies whiter.

Tumble Drying

Regular tumble drying of cloth nappies largely outweighs the environmental benefits of reduced landfill, so should be avoided if this is a major concern. The Priorities section of this document contains more information about how to minimise the environmental impact of using cloth nappies.

A washing machine with a higher speed spin will reduce the amount of drying needed. However, I would recommend that you keep the spin speed around 1000 revs, because higher than this may damage some nappies, or at least make the fabric go tatty. You will know from your own experience of washing your clothes how fierce your spin facility is! Having a tumble drier is the ultimate last resort, as you are then not limited to having to wait for your nappies to air dry. However, regular use of the tumble drier will of course increase the cost. To speed drying times, put a dry towel in with the nappies, as this absorbs the condensation the nappies produce. Try to avoid putting too many nappies in the drier at one time, in order to keep the drying time down.

If you have a combined washer/drier, and intend to use the drier, you will need to empty the washing machine after it has finished, and shake the nappies before putting them back in. Otherwise, some will tend to stick to the side after the last spin cycle, and these will not dry easily. You may need to split them into two loads to dry, as the drying capacity of these machines is much lower than the washing capacity. If you do not have the backup of a tumble drier, it would be advisable to avoid slow drying bamboo fabrics.

Air Drying

If you prefer to air dry in general, you could put your nappies in the tumble drier for 10 minutes at the beginning, as this will keep them softer. Air dried nappies will tend to go a bit stiff in hard water areas, although this does not matter at all, if you use a fleece liner. As soon as your baby wees, they soften up anyway. Before air-drying your nappies, give them a good shake first, as this will soften them considerably. Equally, a shake when they are dry will also help. 

Ironically, getting your nappies dry is usually easier in winter than in summer. This is because of the more reliable source of heat provided when we heat our homes. In summer, the house is usually cooler, and yet the weather outside may not be particularly beneficial for drying. Indoor air-drying in summer is usually therefore longer than in winter.

Airing Cupboard

If it is a warm one, using an airing cupboard to dry your nappies is ideal, as long as you can keep one rack free, so you can hang the nappies over the slats - spread out as much as possible.   The airing cupboard will prove especially useful in the winter months, when the central heating is on. In the summer months, or if heavily insulated, the lack of warmth and of air movement might not make it your first choice.

Radiator Drying

Radiators may not be the most attractive way to dry your nappies, but when they are on they do provide direct heat at no extra cost. If you live in a modern, highly draught proofed house, radiator drying can produce excess moisture in the air. However, if you already dry clothes in this way with no problems, there is no reason why you cannot also do so with nappies. I recommend that you turn the nappies over periodically, to speed drying. On radiators which are on, the underside will dry first; when they are off, it will be the upper side which dries first.

Nappies made of traditional looped terry dried on the radiator will tend to go harder than those made out of either modern stretch terry . This can be countered by using fleece liners, and by thorough shaking out before both drying and use.

Bamboo and waterproof covers MUST NEVER be dried directly on a radiator as it will burn the fabric over time.

Ceiling Airers and Similar

A ceiling airer is by far the most practical indoor air drying method, as you can dry a large number of nappies or any other clothes, well out of everyone's way, with plenty of room for warm air to circulate. If you do not have one, but have a space where it would be practical to install one, I recommend you take a look at Sheilamaid.

Many 20th (or 21st!) century houses, however, do not have the high ceilings that a ceiling airer requires, or indeed it may simply look out of place. Lakeland Limited offer a number of solutions at a good price: a traditional ceiling airer, a wall-mounted bespoke airer (which telescopes away) and a freestanding "hangaway" airer (please note that they are listed under a different name than "airer" by Lakeland). These three options are well worth considering and are comparatively inexpensive.

Aga Drying

With an Aga or similar, you will no doubt have a permanently warm kitchen. Combine a range cooker with a ceiling airer, and there really is no need for a tumble drier! You can also dry your nappies on the bar in front of the cooker, but be careful to keep fastenings (especially any plastic poppers) away from direct heat. As with drying on a radiator, turning over the nappies periodically will speed their drying considerably. Try to avoid putting too many on at once.


Use of Detergents - Bio/NonBio

The milder the detergents you use, the less effective you will find them to be at shifting deep stains.  The general rule and recommendation is to use Non Bio Powder detergent for washing nappies because it's safe to use with modern bamboo fabrics.

Biological detergents have enzymes in them which help to lift out stains, and in a good washing machine there should be no risk of them remaining by the end of a wash programme. However, some biological detergents contain an enzyme called ‘cellulase’ which can have a degrading effect on cellulose fibres like bamboo and cotton and this can be particularly severe and lead to your nappies balding if combined with radiator or tumble drying. For this reason we would urge caution when using biological detergent, and in the case of bamboo fibre would ONLY recommend the use of non-bio.

In terms of skin sensitivity we have no issues with biological detergent being used, bear in mind that the UK is one of very few markets in the world for which non-biological detergent even exists so readily.  Yet, the UK has one of the highest rates of eczema in the world. This seems to raise questions over the claim that non-biological powder is gentler for children’s skin. In addition, we have come across many situations where a child’s nappy rash cleared up on the switch from non-biological to biological detergent.

The following general points have been made by our contact in the detergents industry:

  • Powders outperform liquids and have more "features" built in to them, such as ingredients which work at different temperatures
  • Powders generally contain bleaching agents, but liquids do not
  • Cheaper powders often work by lightly bleaching things rather than lifting stains out
  • Water hardness will have a major effect on detergent performance
  • Excess detergent (whether powder or liquid) can give worse results – it is better to use less than more. We generally suggest using half the manufacturer’s recommended quantity
  • Tablets and sachets offer convenience, but work out much more expensive, both because they are priced as a premium product and also because you cannot reduce detergent quantities to your own preference
  • Use of a water softener will mean you can use less detergent (but note it can cause damage to the elastic in shaped nappies)

If you are interested in knowing more about modern washing powders and how they are made, I recommend you take a look at this link. Finally, please remember never to put any Bicarbonate of Soda in with your nappy wash. Over time it can cause terrible damage to the fabric, particularly if you are also tumble drying them, as heated Bicarbonate will rot cellulose.

Vinegar has traditionally been used as a nappy soak however most nappy manufacturers specify that Vinegar, or any soaking agent including Bicarbonate of Soda, Nappisan, bleach or harsh stain removers should never be used as they can corrode the nappy fabric and effectively destroy your nappies. Please note that if any of these products are used on the nappies it will invalidate any product guarantee. Bamboo is an especially delicate fabric and is particularly susceptible to harsh chemicals.


Keeping Nappies Soft

If you are lucky enough to live in a soft water area, you will find that you naturally need to use less detergent than someone who lives in a hard water area, to achieve the same level of cleaning. Apart from the lower level of chalk in the water (which eventually "grinds" clothes in hard water areas) resulting in softer fabrics, reduced detergent levels also help to keep nappies softer. In hard water areas, however, keeping nappies soft can be a challenge. There are a number of different ways to help:

  • Installation of a water softener. Although this is not cheap, it will have a knock-on benefit for all your clothes washing, not just nappies, and will also stop lime scale build-up in your washing machine
  • Good shaking out of your nappies before they are air or tumble dried, and again at the end
  • Tumble drying, or at least for 10 minutes before air drying
  • Careful use of a suitable fabric softener (see below)
  • Using short pile modern stretch terry nappies rather than nappies made of traditional long loop terry or hemp
  • Using fleece-lined nappies, or separate fleece liners – even if the nappy is quite hard, the fleece is soft against baby’s skin until he/she wees and softens up the nappy naturally

Avoid the use of softening agents such as Calgon which can cause damage to the elastic in the nappies. The use of agents like Calgon will invalidate any product guarantee. Fabric conditioner operates by coating the fibres of your laundry. This makes it generally unsuitable for use with cloth nappies, as the coating inhibits absorbency. 


Wash Frequency

For washing cloth nappies, I would recommend daily washing initially, moving to alternate day washing once the number of nappies per 24 hour period has dropped. When recommending for a newborn, quantities are based on an allowance for one day’s worth of nappies to be in use, one day’s worth to be drying and a few extra to ensure you do not run out. For older children, the quantity recommendation covers two days’ worth in use and enough spare to cover the third day whilst the first days are drying. Realistically speaking, it is difficult to find the space to store enough nappies for a three day turnaround, and two buckets would normally be required. Also, from a washing point of view, the sooner you wash dirty clothes, the better the cleaning result.

The more times a day your child poos, the faster the nappy wash turnaround time, unless you buy a greater number of nappies to compensate, since the nappy obviously needs to be changed if it is dirty. For a breastfed newborn baby, how many times a day that this happens depends on the child in question and how well they digest your diet that comes through in their milk – 5 poos a day is just as much within the norm as once every five days. Bowel function is therefore impossible to predict antenatally, and may not settle down to a regular routine for many weeks afterwards. By the time solids are established, however, you have a better idea of how many daily nappies your child goes through.

As a very rough guideline, we would normally expect a newborn baby to go through about 8 or more nappy changes per 24 hours, settling down to about 6 per 24 hours by about 6 months old. By the time the child is 18 months old, the number of nappy changes per 24 hours may be only 3 or 4, unless a badly timed poo intervenes! First time parents are likely to change nappies more frequently than parents who already have an older child.


Drypailing vs Soaking in the Nappy Bucket

Essentially you have two ways of using the nappy bucket: soaking, or not soaking (also known as "dry pailing"). We recommend dry pailing. 
Traditionally people think that you need to sterilise nappies in Napisan or similar before washing them. If you wash at 60 degrees, as recommended by the Real Nappy Association, this is completely unnecessary.  In fact, Napisan and Milton are both bleach products, and are not recommended for use on any nappies with any elastication or Velcro, or for use on any wraps. The use of these products will invalidate any product guarantee. If you do decide to soak you should use plain water but it should be noted that many nappy manufacturers including Tots Bots and Bambinex discourage soaking of their nappies and The Nappy Lady no longer recommends it. An important point to note is that you should never soak, or wash your nappies in Bicarbonate of Soda, vinegar, bleach or any harsh stain removers which over time can cause considerable damage to the fabric of the nappies, and will negate any warranty. Wraps should never be soaked.

With dry pailing, you will usually notice hardly any smell inside the nappy bucket, and there is no dirty water to have to get rid of. Dry pailing is ideal if planning to wash any less frequently than daily, otherwise you would need to change the nappy bucket water daily and might well need more than one bucket to find room for. In addition, if space is tight, you do not need to have a bucket at all: you could have a large washable nappy bags in your laundry basket or wherever convenient, as the zip or drawstring closure is very secure. In very warm periods, there may be a "hamster hutch" smell from the nappies when the bucket lid is raised. This is easily solved, by keeping a damp muslin with a drop of lavender oil added at the top of the bucket. Every time you add a nappy, just put it underneath the muslin.

Soaking does prevent stains from drying out and setting, this is why the water in the nappy bucket smells when you lift the lid. If soaking, it would be useful to run either a rinse or a spin through on your machine before washing the nappies, to clean out the dirty water first. As many nappy manufacturers are discouraging soaking their nappies The Nappy Lady no longer recommends it.

From a logistical point of view, a bucket with dry pailed nappies in is easier to empty into the washing machine if it is a front loader. A bucket with any form of soaking solution in is potentially at risk of being tipped over, and so the safest place to keep it would be in the bath – if it gets knocked over, the only place it will go is down the plughole. Equally, when the time comes to put the nappies in the washing machine, you can empty the bucket in the bath first, to make it easier to carry. If a nappy mesh has been used, the mesh containing the nappies is simply rested over the plughole until all the liquid has drained away.

When filling the washing machine, it may be helpful to keep a hand towel nearby, with one end in the washing machine and the other under the bucket you are emptying, so that any drips are caught by the towel. The towel simply goes in the wash with the nappies.


Nappy Rash

Many people are initially nervous about using cloth nappies, because they have been told that wetness causes nappy rash. Let me first of all put that myth to rest. The cloth nappy community is very much driven by parents who use cloth nappies for their children, and are evangelical about them. Many of them would not use a disposable if it were free of charge. The simple fact is that they prefer cloth nappies for their children. This is not, ultimately, a decision based on environmental issues, though this may have been the issue which first drove them to consider cloth. It is about parental choice. It is also generally true to say that parents who use disposables may appreciate the convenience or dryness of them, but they tend to treat nappies as a necessary evil, rather than being something they really love and want to tell all their friends about.

No caring parent would use cloth nappies for their child, if they caused nappy rash while the disposable alternative prevented this. Yet, not only do cloth nappies not cause nappy rash, but it also seems clear from customer feedback that disposables do not prevent nappy rash – many children in disposable nappies suffer from nappy rash, despite the stay dry layer.

Nappy rash is not caused by a wet nappy, despite the advertising message put out by the disposables industry. There are many and varied causes of rashing, in all types of nappy, and getting to the bottom of the cause is what matters, whatever type of nappy you use. What is certainly true is that if a child is left to sit in a poo, true nappy rash will arise earlier in a cloth nappy than in a disposable, because of the interaction between the feces and the wetness. However, in our experience, the people who ask about cloth nappies are those who are reading around the subject on many parenting issues, and – as such – are the least likely of all parents to willingly leave their child sitting in a soiled nappy.


 

Change Frequency

If you already have a child in disposables, you will probably know roughly how many nappies per 24-hour period your child uses. If your baby is not yet born, you will need to wait to see how frequently their bowel functions. On the whole, you should not need to use any more real nappies per 24 hours than you would disposables, although they will of course feel wet. Just because they are wet does not mean they have to be changed - they are designed to have a surprisingly large capacity even when they already seem very wet to the touch.

A wet cotton nappy may come as quite a shock initially. Believe me, your child will not notice it. You do not have to change the nappy as soon as it gets damp. You change it at a frequency which suits you, or when they have poo’d. However wet the nappy is, if there are no leaks outside the wrap, there is no problem – it is doing its job. It is very unusual for a child to be genuinely sensitive to wetness, and I can advise you on what other possible causes to eliminate first before thinking this, should nappy rash occur.


Childcare and Nappies

There are two aspects of childcare which affect which kind of nappy system is most appropriate. Firstly, the age of the child and secondly the type of childcare chosen. The younger the child, the more nappies per 24 hour period that they will go through, and the less solid their bowel movements until weaning is well established. This means that you may need to build in an extra allowance of nappy changes, in comparison with nappies for an older toddler. It is always wise to have at least one spare wrap in the change bag.

Additionally, birth to toddler nappies may need to be folded down into the newborn setting, making them less simple to use for unfamiliar changers. The most important criteria are reliability and absorbency. The more potential nappy changers there are, the more "idiot-proof" the nappy system needs to be, and the more it helps to provide a one page information sheet for reference. Modern caregivers often have no extensive knowledge of cloth nappies, or may have very outdated views. Demonstrating a nappy change to your chosen caregiver, and providing clear information about how the relevant parts of the nappy (wrap, nappy, liner etc) work together, make it more likely that your caregiver will use the nappies successfully. Do ensure that this discussion includes a comment on how often you want your child changed. Always stay with one type of nappy at day care, to minimise confusion.  An all in one nappy is the most simple system to use for childcare.

If your chosen carer is someone with whom you have a personal relationship, they may well be looking after your children on an unpaid basis, or cheaper than the going childminding rate. So, the last thing you want to do is have any kind of conflict over a subject like this. You will probably therefore want to be as accommodating as possible with them. Also consider any kind of special needs your carer might have, such as arthritis (eg. Velcro® would be easier than poppers). Some daycare providers may be resistant to using cloth nappies, but would have to do so under their Equal Opportunities policy. It would be just as discriminatory to refuse to accept a child in cloth nappies as it would be to refuse to accept a child who has – for example - special dietary requirements as a result of his parents’ religion.

You do not need to be apologetic about your choice of nappy, and you should also ensure that agreed arrangements are adhered to. However, it is best to be as non-confrontational as possible about this, since you want to retain their co-operation. Practical issues to be covered include storage of dirty nappies in either a bag or a bucket and whether poo will be dropped down the toilet or the liner simply folded over it, for you to deal with at home. They should also be made aware that the whole nappy area from the waist downwards needs to be cleaned properly, not just the genitals. This should be obvious, given that the whole of this area will get wet, but it often does not seem to be.

There is no need to soak nappies, and this would not be advisable where other children are around. Instead the nappies can be stored in a waterproof bag (dry pailed). When the nappies go in the wash, the bag will go in as well and can be supplied clean with fresh nappies the next day. I have mentioned the nappy bag in the "recommended items" section at the end of this advice analysis. It is best to have two, one of which holds the clean nappies, and one of which holds the dirty ones. You could add a coloured identifier of some kind to one of the bags, which would mark it out as always being used for clean nappies, so that your caregiver does not inadvertently place a dirty nappy in the bag with the clean nappies.

If it would help to provide a contact point for the caregiver in case they have any problems with using cloth which they want to discuss, you are welcome to give them The Nappy Lady’s number. Sometimes it can be hard for them to admit to the parent there is a problem, but they might feel happier to sort it out by talking to someone else. Finally, however, do bear in mind that it may well not be worth risking your childcare arrangements (especially if a personal relationship is involved), if you encounter resistance on the subject of real nappies. The way round this might be to offer a super-easy all-in-one or pocket nappy style of cloth nappy or even disposables of some form whilst your child is with your carer, if necessary.


Liners

The questionnaire asks about possible complications with plumbing particularly in respect of disposable liners. There are a few potential issues which you should be aware of. It is by no means essential to use a liner with nappies, but they do make things rather easier in terms of picking up and disposing of poo. Thus, most people using real nappies tend to use liners. Liners come in essentially two types: washable and disposable. Washable liners, of course, do not affect the plumbing because they are washed and reused rather than flushed away (except by accident!).

Disposable liners need to be treated with caution, even if they are marked as flushable, and especially if you live in a house with old pipes (which tend to be very narrow or may suffer from tree damage). Anything which does not break down on contact with water, like toilet paper does, can potentially cause a blockage. Obviously, if a liner does break down immediately on contact with liquid, it is no use as a liner.  Some liners can be washed and reused a number of times, which saves on the ongoing cost. However, the more times a liner can be reused in this way, the more potential risk of blockage such liners present.  We would advise caution, and suggest you bin wet-only ones and only flush soiled liners. Should your flushed liners cause a blockage, the first you will know about it will be when you need to call the emergency plumber! Having said that, one of our customers has a husband who is a plumber and he told us there is a very affordable product called a ‘power plunger’ on the market which would alleviate any blockage of this type. We are not aware of anyone needing to use one as yet though so I’m afraid we’re not in a position to personally recommend it.

The thicker Ultra liners or Bambinex liners can be used either as a liner or as a wipe. We do find that they are better at absorbing newborn breastfed poo than other disposable liners, and as they are long they can stick out of the nappy at both ends, which helps them stay in place better. Remember that the liner needs to be completely contained within the wrap. 

If you have a digester system, we would strongly advise that you consider using only washable liners, as flushable liners can clog it up.  You should also be aware that it is important not to over-use detergent in powder form, as this can cause blockages in drains.


Different Age Children in Nappies

If you are planning to have children of different ages in nappies at the same time, then a nappy which can be used from birth to toddler makes a great deal of sense. As one size fits all, you do not need to keep two separate stacks of nappy sizes. When using the same nappies on two children, it is important to wash at 60 degrees, to ensure that there is no risk of either child passing anything on to the other. However, if you do go for sized nappies, you might consider having size 1 and size 2 nappies of different colours so that the two sizes are easily identified.

It is also worth considering having wraps that can easily be told apart - eg. one size in white and the other in print. Or one size with popper fastenings and the other one with Aplix®.

Subsequent Children in Nappies

There are no guarantees that nappies or wraps will last for more than one child. However, if laundered carefully, some brands can be expected to last for two or even more children. The Motherease Onesize nappy probably has the most durable elastication of all nappies on the market, and the Motherease wraps are definitely the wraps with the longest-lasting potential.

Twins and Multiples

Recommendations for multiples can be tricky to get right, because aspects like limited laundering facilities are relatively so much more important. Where multiples have not yet been born, it is especially difficult to recommend appropriate quantities, because so much depends on the children involved: two children who both poo 5+ times a day are going to go through an awful lot more nappies than twins who both poo only once every 4 or 5 days. Or you could have one at each end of the frequency spectrum. Multiples who are already here and have a relatively regular toilet routine are much easier to advise for on quantities.

As a general rule, you do not simply multiply a singleton’s quantities by the number of children, because the quantity recommended for one child builds in a drying allowance. When you have multiples in nappies, the chances are that you will wash nappies daily – or at least alternate days – otherwise the nappy bucket builds up too much. Therefore, the turnaround of nappies may be faster anyway. As a very rough guide, quantities for twins would generally be about 1½ times the quantities for a singleton.

With multiples, therefore, you should be prepared for my recommendation to provide more of a general guideline, which might be over or under on quantities. It is best if you prewash only part of your order initially, and then play it by ear as to whether you will need the whole set, or even need additional quantities, once you have a feel for how many nappies and wraps you end up using in practice. By doing it this way, you can return any products which are surplus to your anticipated requirements.

Twins are rarely above 5lbs or thereabouts at birth, so you may need to consider preemie size nappies initially, if you plan to use cloth from the start. Having said that, having twins is an even bigger change of lifestyle than having a singleton, and it might be wisest to wait until they are around 8lbs in weight before starting to use cloth.

No Plans for Other Children

If you are not planning any more children, you can make a nappy decision based purely on your current situation, without building in allowances for other future children. Bear in mind that good quality nappies and wraps can easily be sold second hand once you have finished with them.


Having a Supportive Partner

Having a supportive partner is a major plus in making your chosen nappies work for you, because you will not feel under pressure to avoid "I told you so" comments. A partner who is "reasonably supportive" or "willing to be convinced" is already part way there, and is likely to become very enthusiastic about real nappies once he has seen them in action. However, if your partner is against using real nappies, it is particularly important to get this decision right. It may be worthwhile to try and find out the reasons why your partner is not in favour of this decision, if you do not know already. It is usually one of the following:

Fear of wasting money

If you have (as many of us do!) a bit of a reputation for spending a lot of money on something which then does not get used, your partner may well think that real nappies are likely to be an expensive waste of money at a time when money is probably going to be tighter than usual for a few months at least. However, you can get a trial set of nappies to try them for a few weeks before investing in the rest. In the unlikely event of you not getting on with them, you would be able to sell them very easily for at least half their initial cost - the amount that they have cost would be no more than you have saved on disposables in that period anyway.

Horror stories about terries

Bear in mind that you have probably been researching this topic for some time, and are well aware of the different modern nappies available. However, if your partner has done any "research" at all, he has probably just asked his mum, whose experience will be of terries, plastic pants and twin tubs. Using real nappies today is a very different proposition from forty years ago, as the washing machine and modern detergents have removed all of the hard work, and modern fastenings have done away with the need for pins. Our parents' generation needed to boil wash their nappies not just to get them clean but to remove the bleach used in the nappy bin - this is unnecessary today, and the use of bleaching products will invalidate any product guarantee. The people your partner needs to talk to are those who use modern cloth nappies, to get an accurate picture.

Belief that wetness causes nappy rash

This is a difficult one because this statement is regularly repeated without any supporting evidence (in fact, independent research done at Bristol University shows that nappy type is irrelevant as a cause of serious nappy rash), so that it has come to be believed by the vast majority of people. When we were in nappies, the rashing children often got was not true nappy rash, but a sweat rash caused by being in plastic pants. As good wraps are now more breathable, this is no longer an issue. All I can say is: if this were true, what kind of a mother would I be to use real nappies for my own family and encourage others to do so also? It may be that the way to deal with this one is to get some nappies to trial in secret for a period of a few weeks, so that you can demonstrate to your own satisfaction that nappy rash is not an issue before mentioning it to your partner. However, in some cases, this approach, when revealed, may do more harm than good - it is for you to judge whether it would be appropriate in your case. Bear in mind that, ultimately, your relationship with your partner is more important than cloth nappies.

If the decision of whether to use cloth or disposables is entirely your own, what you as the sole or main nappy changer think of the nappy is more important than the views of others. Try not to be swayed by those who raise objections, until you have assessed the nappies for yourself – very often, the people who tell you how hard it will be will be those who have never used cloth nappies in their lives. They are either just repeating the ignorance of the masses, or may even feel their own parenting decisions are being implicitly criticised by your choice.


Weight or Build Issues

The younger a baby is, the harder it is to gauge what sort of build they have – and almost impossible to guess it for a baby which has not yet been born. However, immediate family build can give some clues, especially if there are older siblings whose own birth weights will normally give a good indicator of expected birth weight. Although certainly not a failsafe indicator, second children tend to be a little bit heavier than first children at birth.

Where either parent is especially tall (above 5’7"/170cm maternal height or 6’/183cm paternal height), we work on the assumption that the baby is likely to be tall as well. Some nappies, such as the Motherease Onesize nappy, may end up sitting very low on a tall toddler. A birth to toddler nappy may be less suitable in such a situation, as it may be outgrown before toilet training. Maternal height is usually the more important indicator. Having said this, however, parental height is only a possible indicator – we have known plenty of tall babies with short parents and short babies with tall parents!

If the child or either parent is of very solid build, the Little Lambs range is less likely to be suitable than other nappies, because it particularly suits children who are of average or slim build. In such a situation, the Easy Peasy range would be a better-fitting alternative in a similar style. Nappies with side fastenings, such as the Sandy’s nappy, may be less suitable for older male toddlers, because their wee can inadvertently shoot out of the side, unless the willy is pointed well into the nappy at change time. By the same token, a nappy which enables the booster to be folded over at the front may be better for boys, whereas one with the booster attached at the back may be marginally better for girls. The idea is to provide most padding at the point of exit, for fastest absorbency.

A birth to toddler nappy generally has a slight compromise on fit, being bulky on a newborn but possibly too snug a fit in the crotch length for a tall toddler. This is not the case for all birth to toddler nappies, by any means. However, the better the fit at one end, the more of a compromise on fit at the other. Some sized nappies can be used as a birth to toddler nappy by making a small adjustment at the front, and these will not tend to have the short crotch depth problem at the toddler end of the spectrum. However, they may be bulky on a newborn, and you may prefer to use something like muslins for a few weeks to avoid this problem.

Once well-established on solids, children put on weight very quickly until 20lbs approximately. This normally coincides with the time that your babies get mobile, and so weight gain slows dramatically at this point and your babies start to slim down from their "baby chubbiness". Although they are getting heavier, this is the point at which they start to get longer rather than wider, which is why a nappy which fits a 20lb eight month old will also fit a 30lb two year old.

With newborn babies, it is also relatively easy to recommend a good nappy system which meets your criteria, even if – by the time the stage 2 nappies are required – the child’s build changes to such an extent that the products initially recommended might no longer be optimal. If you find yourself looking at size 2 nappies before 6 months in age, I would strongly suggest that we specifically consider this issue, as this may be an indicator that another style may suit your child’s shape better. Most children go into the size 2 nappies between 6 and 12 months in age.

The child who is around about 14lbs in weight is really too heavy to get good use out of size 1 nappies but not heavy enough yet to go into size 2 nappies. In this instance, therefore, a birth to toddler nappy might be most appropriate, unless you have plans for subsequent children who would get use out of size 1 nappies. Medium size wraps would be the best fit at this weight, but might be quickly outgrown. Of course, this will not matter if subsequent children are planned, because the medium wraps will get good use later on anyway, and if there is no further child to consider can always be sold second hand.  It is better to get the right size wraps for the child’s weight rather than trying to go straight to the next size up, especially with the Air Flow wraps which are quite generous anyway. You are more likely to suffer leaks if you use a wrap which is too large on a mobile baby.

The Air Flow wrap has two sizes which start from 20lbs in weight: the medium/large and the large. You can go straight from the medium to the large (as always used to be the case before the M/L wrap was introduced), but there is quite a large leap in size and bagginess. If your child is of relatively slim build, you may prefer the fit of the M/L instead. Indeed, if you have a girl, it is quite possible that she might be out of nappies before the M/L is outgrown, as girls in cloth nappies do tend to train significantly earlier than boys. The argument for going straight from medium to large Air Flow is strongest for a boy, therefore. If wanting to use a wrap from slightly underneath the stated weight range (eg 18lbs), the Aplix-fastening Rikki may be the better choice, as it is easier to make a hook and loop wrap fasten down smaller by angling the way the wings are fastened. It is also a generally trimmer wrap in design than the Air Flow wrap.

Everyone’s priorities are different, and there are often trade-offs to be made when weighing these factors up. Sometimes we find that a parent may have one set of stated priorities, but an assessment of their situation may highlight something else as more important than they may have realised. Underestimating the need for fast drying nappies in a situation where drying facilities are very limited, for example, is a common one.


Cost of Real Nappies

In terms of overall cost, there is no doubt that cloth nappies save a lot of money over one child’s nappy-wearing period in comparison with using disposables. However, individual disposables are cheap to buy and the weekly cost is relatively easy to find. With cloth nappies, on the other hand, the bulk of the cost is at the beginning, and this sum may be hard to get together in the first place. Saving a regular amount weekly on an antenatal basis, buying your nappy system in smaller parts which can be used part time until you have your full nappy system, or setting up a Wish List with The Nappy Lady so that family/friends can contribute to your purchase are all ways in which the upfront cost of buying your nappies can be minimised.

Bear in mind that there are a number of ways to minimise the initial cost, if that would enable you to get the nappy system you want rather than one which is just the cheapest one. Sometimes there is a trade off between cost and reliability, as the very cheapest nappies are terries or prefolds, which are certainly not as reliable as shaped nappies if used as a pad. It can be a mistake to focus too closely on cost, if your other criteria are not met: however cheap your nappies are, if you end up not using them they will be an expensive mistake.


Drying Speed

Drying speed on many nappies is helped by them having a loose inner pad which makes drying faster than a thick central panel would.  Modern fabric of microfibre is super fast drying and ideal for families with limited drying facilities however it is a man made fabric which some like to avoid.  Bear in mind though that expectation is often as important as actual speed – many mums manage quite happily with limited drying options and slower drying nappies they love, whereas others may want faster drying nappies despite having much better facilities.


No Leaks

Many people contacting us for advice about moving to cloth nappies experience leaks of poo or wee in disposables, and so the reliability factor is what attracts them. I am pleased to say that if you get the right real nappies for your circumstances and know how to use them properly, you should find them at least as reliable as disposables, if not more so.

One little 14 month old girl we advised for was going through 12-15 disposables a day (plus a number of Care Mats, because the disposables never provided any containment) because she was born with most of her bowel missing and was still being largely milk fed. Her mum was delighted to move on to cloth nappies which actually did the job of containing this, thus saving her both a fortune in nappies and a massive amount of clothes washing. Her experience is extreme, but does demonstrate that people often have a wrong perception about the relative performance of both disposables and cloth nappies.

Some nappy types are less reliable than others for many people, particularly prefolds, this is why, at The Nappy Lady, we have a strong preference either for shaped nappies in our recommendations. Both of these options provide two points of containment - the nappy, and then the wrap -, whereas all in one nappies have one point of containment (the wrap), which means that child shape is far more critical than with a good two-piece nappy system.


Environmental Impact

From an environmental point of view, you should be aware that using real nappies can have just as much environmental impact as the use (but obviously not the production) of disposables. However, you have a great deal of flexibility to minimise this, according to your personal preferences:

  • Do not wash nappies at 90 degrees - 60 degrees is perfectly adequate to sterilise them
  • Do not soak them in bleach, Bicarbonate of Soda, vinegar or other harsh stain removing corrosive products
  • Try not to tumble dry, or tumble only for a few minutes at the start, to soften the nappies before air-drying
  • If you have one, a condensing tumble drier has a slight advantage that the waste heat remains in the house, and will help to keep the house warm in winter - which is when the drier will be used most

The most environmentally-friendly brands of detergent available in the UK are Bio D Surcare and Ecover their environmental ratings are all fairly similar. Of these, according to issue 100 (May/June 2006) of Ethical Consumer, Ecover loses marks from an ethical point of view in comparison with the others. However, the ratings are still nearly 8 times higher than those of leading brands! We do also have some concerns about Ecover, because we have come across a number of cases where nappy rash was eliminated when usage of this brand was stopped.


Ease of Use

In practice, any real nappy is easy to use once you have done it a few times - even pinned terries! However, the older the child or the more nappy changers you have, the more important it is to have a nappy that can be changed with the minimum of fuss. Bear in mind that everything will seem unfamiliar when you first try out cloth nappies. It is like learning to tie your shoelaces, however – once you know what you are doing, they are just as easy to use as disposables. Getting yourself in a suitable usage and laundry routine is probably the hardest thing to master, and the more disorganised you are as a person, the more quantities you need to build in "just in case".

If trialing a few cloth nappies before investing in a full set, bear in mind that the effort of sorting out the laundry for only a couple of nappies is a disproportionate amount of work – it is just as easy to organise a full load as to wash only a couple. Therefore, a trial run may not give a true picture of their ease in full-time use.


Looks

Looks are a notoriously difficult priority as it is such a personal opinion, and the best way round this is to order a trial to have a look at so you can decide with them in your hands which one appeals to you most. The major concern with cloth nappies is their relative bulk as compared to a disposable nappy. It needs to be borne in mind that disposables manage to be so slim simply because they consist mostly of a chemical gel in a plastic outer. With cloth, absorbency is pretty much equated to the amount of fabric in the nappy, though nappies of similar weight can look quite different, hence the need to look first before choosing. Some people will opt for a slightly bulkier nappy if it is the one which appeals most visually.

The fit of clothes is another factor, and it is true that many modern baby clothes are of a skimpier design not suitable for cloth nappies. We have often found this to be the case with some of the ‘designer’ labels, whereas makes such as Tesco, H and M have often been more generous in cut. It will sometimes be necessary to move the babies into the next size of clothes before they reach the upper end of the designated range, but the fit of clothing varies as much in the baby world as it does in the adult, and it is often just a case of finding the ones which work for you.

Sleepsuits can sometimes be a problem as the larger sizes have significantly longer legs, and you may find that those without feet are easier to adjust. You can buy baby clothing specifically designed for cloth nappies from Frugi.

The Nappy Lady encourages you to choose the best products rather than on looks. I would urge you to look beyond the attraction of pretty wraps, because the performance of many is often compromised by a cotton print outer layer, which will wick when wet. However pretty your nappy system, if it wicks, you will end up not using it. The Motherease range of wraps come in many colours and prints and have been the most reliable on the market for nearly 20 years.


Chemicals in Disposables

I must stress that there are no reasons to believe that chemicals in disposable nappies are in any way harmful. Superabsorbent disposables have been around long enough now, and do get thoroughly tested by their manufacturers (who are very litigation-conscious) for any likely health concerns to have become obvious. If there is a problem with superabsorbers occasionally, it is more likely to be escapes of gel sticking onto the baby’s bottom, which is unappealing.

Like it or not, our entire environment nowadays is highly chemicalised, and it would be impossible to identify and eliminate every chemical without moving to a remote island and becoming organically self-sustaining. However, it is ironic that many people go to great lengths to feed their children organic food and even put them in only organic clothing, yet will wrap their bottoms in what is essentially a chemical product.

The main issue which affects people as regards chemicals in disposables is in fact the fragrances that are added to make them more appealing, as many children get contact rashes from these. This is why Pampers have a Sensitive range, which would not exist if a significant proportion of their potential customer base did not report a reaction to their normal nappies! One of the many advantages of cloth nappies (and washable wipes) is that you are in control of what’s on your baby’s bottom. There are no hidden ingredients or unknown processes to worry about. You decide whether and how you want to soak nappies and which washing powder to use to launder them, and that’s it.


Change Speed

Once you are familiar with your nappies, you should find change speed is little different to using disposables. It takes about a minute longer, that is all. The main difference is afterwards – rather than wrapping everything in a plastic bag and taking it to the bin, you will empty a soiled liner into the bin or the toilet and place the nappy in a bucket until laundry time. Using cloth nappies adds no more than ten minutes to the day’s work, which is a small price to pay for all the advantages.


Organic or Unbleached Real Nappies

Organically produced cotton is more environmentally sound, but the options for nappies are more limited. However, we can offer some high quality organic options in well-known designs, as well as various hemp and bamboo nappy products. Hemp is a far less commercial crop than cotton, and is also naturally weed resistant. This makes it a popular choice for those wishing to avoid cotton which has been subjected to pesticide treatment while it was growing. Bamboo fabric is very popular because it is a fast growing, sustainable crop which again does not need to be subjected to pesticide treatment. The fibre itself is smooth and round, meaning it is a non-irritant, and it is said to have naturally occurring, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Motherease make napipes in unbleached cotton and this may widen the choices further, should you not feel that organic cotton is an essential factor, but want to go as "natural" as possible.

If aiming for organic cotton, unbleached cotton, bamboo or hemp nappies, for environmental reasons, it makes sense to avoid any form of bleach in any soaking solution. Also, be aware that many washing powders – especially non biological ones – contain active bleaching agents in them. This means that unbleached products will gradually whiten until they become indistinguishable from their white counterparts.  Whilst natural fibre wraps are appealing, they tend not to be as effective as laminated polyester (PUL) ones, as cotton-covered wraps normally wick over time. Wool wraps are a possibility but are expensive, often bulky and require relanolising by hand periodically.

Overall, our recommendation would be to use PUL wraps.  Most real nappies (and wraps in particular) start at around 6lbs in weight, but we find it is usually mums who are already experienced with real nappies who put their children into cloth at this size. Other parents tend to wait a few weeks until their babies are a bit more "unfurled" from the foetal position.

The important thing is to decide what is right for you – and you won’t know until your baby is born how confident you feel about parenting or how settled your baby is. Remember that if you are choosing to breastfeed, for example, this is not something which can be put to one side to decide to do a few weeks later, whereas cloth nappies easily can be. Implementing cloth nappies when you are ready to do so significantly increases your likelihood of getting on with them from the start.

At the Nappy Lady, we do not encourage a move to cloth for the first time before you are ready to do so. It is no more difficult than using disposables in principle, but in those early days, the last thing you need to be doing is putting yourself under pressure, especially if you have skeptical family and friends in the background. If you are going to have problems with reusable nappies, this is when it will happen, and it may be better simply to defer the change for a few weeks, until you and your baby are a bit more settled.

Nonetheless, we do not discourage you from using cloth in the early weeks either, if this is what you want to do. Many people feel that they want to do it as soon as possible, and this is where the Nappy Lady advisor system is invaluable. I am here to provide you with any support and advice you need, for the whole of the period that your child is in nappies. For most people, that help is most required in the first few weeks, whilst they get to grips with the whole thing.


Eco-Disposables

For early days or occasional use, there are a number of disposable options other than conventional disposables which you could consider:

Moltex Oko eco-disposables

These unbleached nappies are produced according to the most eco-friendly principles (and have won environmental awards in Germany). They do contain some superabsorbers, mostly cellulose rather than the synthetic polymers in modern disposables, and so they do not "puff up" so much when wet. Cost-wise, they are a little more than standard disposables. The mini double-pack contains 52 nappies. From a landfill point of view, they are no different from a conventional disposable.

 

 

Containment

You may or may not be aware that poo from a breastfed child is very different from that of a bottlefed child in the pre weaning period: breastfed poo is very runny and usually bright yellow. On the plus side, it hardly smells at all. Containment in the pre weaning period, especially if your babies are breastfed, may well be a significant issue. Some children are pretty explosive in their habits, and some are not - sadly there is no way to find out beforehand which type your babies will be! Some bottlefed babies also have quite explosive poo, but it is likely to become solid at an earlier stage than the poo for a breastfed child of the same age.

There is no norm for how often a breastfed baby will poo – anything from just once a week to 5 times a day is considered within the normal range. Infrequent bowel actions for a breastfed baby simply mean that they are digesting their milk better than another child might, and so have less waste at the end of the process. However, if your child does poo infrequently, those poos will tend to be more explosive than those which come out every day! Bottlefed babies are more at risk of constipation if they do not poo at least daily.

Very few nappies are 100% bomb proof against explosive motions in the pre-weaning period. However, you will find that almost all shaped nappies are significantly better at containment than disposables. This is because there are usually two points at which poo can be contained: firstly by the nappy itself, and secondly - if it escapes further - by the wrap. This is why two piece nappies tend to be more reliable than all in one nappies in the pre-weaning period, as all in ones have the same disadvantage as disposables i.e. providing only one potential point of containment.

In general terms, those with "frilly" legs and waistband will perform slightly less well than those with a proper cuff of some sort. Overall, where disposables offer around 70-80% reliability against leaks of explosive breastfed poo, shaped real nappies offer around 90-95% reliability, depending on the design. These figures are guestimates, based on feedback we receive from customers.


Muslins

I recommend getting plenty of muslin squares, as you will be able to use these as very slim nappies in the early days, if you think that your main nappy system will be too bulky. Although most nappies are stated to work from 6lbs in weight, this is dependent on baby shape and also on parental perception: as a first time cloth user, they will look huge at first, in comparison with disposables. Using muslins instead, will provide an ideal alternative for the early days. The muslins can be either simply pad folded into the wrap or folded into a simple shape and fastened with Nappi Nippas, if a baby is one of those who poos fairly comprehensively. The Nappy Lady sells the standard 70cm white muslins,. These will work well for first size nappies.

We generally recommend using the Jo Fold with muslins, as the size is highly adjustable: for a smaller size, simply fold the corners beyond the middle. Apart from using them as nappies, you will find muslins to be an excellent all round mop up and burp cloth option. Every new parent should have plenty of them.

Our aim is simply to help you find what suits you best, so the transition to using cotton nappies is as easy as possible. If you are ready to use cloth from the start, then great. If you decide to defer it a little while, that too is great. Better to leave it a few weeks than feel stressed about it, because that is when any problems you might have are likely to arise. What we want to give you is confidence, however you plan to do it.

If you start with the medium wraps, whether you are breastfeeding and how old your baby is when you start using cloth will affect whether you are better to get 4 or 5 wraps. With a newborn, 5 wraps is really the minimum you can get away with. There are more likely to be escapes of liquid poo onto the inside of the wrap, and the last thing you want to be doing is hand-washing wraps in order to keep up with the washing. With a good nappy and wrap combination, you should not
really expect leaks to get beyond the wrap itself.


Accessory Options

None of the following items are an essential part of using cloth nappies. However, we do find that they are very popular and well worthwhile considering, especially the fleece liners and the washable change mat.

Fleece Liners

If you use fleece liners, there is no further outlay on liners. I am happy to explain in more detail to you the many advantages of fleece liners if you wish, or you can look up this information on the Nappy Lady website.

Washable Wipes

Using commercial wipes is also a major cost factor during the nappy period, and has the added disadvantage that these wipes are highly chemical in nature, as a look at the pack ingredients will show. If you use an average of 2 wipes per nappy change, at £1.99 for a pack of 80 wipes, an average 5,500 nappy changes per child from birth to toilet training will cost over £250 each in wipes alone!

Consequently, many people using cloth nappies also move on to using washable wipes. After all, what is the difference between putting a nappy and a wipe in the nappy bucket? There are various branded washable wipes available from various cloth nappy retailers, but most are very expensive for what they are.

The Nappy Lady sells rectangles of hemmed terry wipes. You will find they are excellent performers, not just for bottoms, but also for general face cleaning and wiping up around the home. I strongly recommend getting some, even if you don’t plan to use them as nappy wipes. They will fit in a standard or travel plastic wipes container, and our Practical Nappy Tips leaflet gives a suitable wash recipe if you want to use something other than plain water. One tip for boys: use a dry wipe to lay over his willy when you take the nappy off, to catch any sudden spurts of wee.

Washable Change Pad

Plastic change pads can only be wiped down, and are usually quite small to make up for their bulk. Also, wee tends to bounce off it, which is not ideal if babies decide to perform during nappy change. The washable change mats sold by The Nappy Lady are two layers of 100% cotton, with a layer of lamination compressed between them. They are a generous 50cm x 70cm, yet fold down to fit in a change bag or large handbag. They are not cold for babies to lie on (often the trigger for a wee, incidentally!), but will absorb an accident if it does happen. And finally they can be washed with the nappies at 60. Two other uses for this item, or the larger sizes we sell - for heavily pregnant mums to be who may be worried about their waters breaking on the bed or on the sofa, and also after the birth, if you plan to breastfeed, to protect your mattress either when feeding in bed, or in the first weeks you’re your breasts can tend to leak milk during the night. You could consider them to be the cloth equivalent of a Pampers "Care Mat", but of a far higher quality!

This item is also available in three larger-sized bed protectors, for when your children move on to pants.

Washable Nappy Bag

For changes while out. You can hold your clean nappy, wipes and change mat in the nappy bag at the bottom of your buggy, and then use the nappy bag to store the dirty nappy in until you get home. For children going to daycare, you may need two, so that you have a clean one for alternate days.

Nappy Mesh

A mesh bag which you can put into the bucket, for easy lifting out of the nappies into the bath or toilet to drain (if soaking), and to make transfer to the washing machine quicker. As long as you leave the cord neck open, the nappies should fall out of the bag during the wash. This is a great time saver, which is well worth investing in.

Flushable Liners

Even if you are planning to use fleece liners generally, a few of rolls of flushable liners are useful for odd occasions or when other people are changing the nappy and don't want to deal with fleece liners. The Nappy Lady many types of disposable liner, and full details of the differences between them can be read in the site Shopping section. Please refer to the Plumbing Issues section for more information about flushable liners, and important points to bear in mind when choosing them.

Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream

Bear in mind that regular use of creams is not normally necessary when children are in cloth nappies. However, some children (regardless of what nappies they wear) may suffer from occasional nappy rash during teething, and children with very sensitive skin may do so at other times as well. The Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream is one of the most soothing and effective creams which we have come across, and is a gentle alternative to the chemical creams available at the chemist. The Nappy Lady stocks this in tubes of 75ml.

It is not uncommon for children currently used to wearing disposables to suffer from a touch of redness as their bodies adjust to the change to cotton nappies. This is not soreness as such, and does not normally need any management. It will right itself within a few days, but you may like to keep some cream to hand during this transition. Similarly, children who usually wear cloth nappies but use disposables for a short period (eg going on holiday) may have the same reaction. This is quite different from true nappy rash, and is simply the skin adjusting to the change in a familiar environment.

If you find that your child does suffer from regular nappy rash, please do contact me so we can help you identify and eliminate the real cause. Putting on creams may alleviate the symptoms temporarily, but is no substitute for actually resolving the underlying problem.

Purepotions Lavender Nappy Salve

This is a lovely natural product, rich in lavender and 100% natural with nothing added to make it look pretty – every ingredient has a specific function. There are no synthetic colours or fragrances, or added water to bulk it out. A beeswax base gives it a rich consistency that holds moisture in the skin. You will find a tiny amount of this cream goes a very long way - the salve is rich and spreads easily making each 60ml pot last at least a month or more. It is also suitable for sore noses, lips, chapped cheeks, cuts and grazes so even those of us who no longer have babies in nappies tend to carry a pot in our handbag.

All of the products I have recommended for you are available from The Nappy Lady, and full details about each of them can be found by clicking on the items in our online shopping catalogue.

Nappy help & expertise since 1999