Nappies are put through a lot of hard work, given the average baby goes through 5500 nappies from birth to potty, so over time nappies will begin to show wear and tear. On average a single nappy will be washed between 100-180 times a year, depending on how many nappies you have in your supply and the age of your baby. Just think what your favourite T-shirt or jeans would look like after that many washes, so wear and tear are to be expected.
Wear and tear in nappies tends to happen in the same few areas. Velcro can begin to lose its stick (although make sure it's not just clogged with fluff), elastics will gradually soften over time and you might find if this happens that the fit is a bit looser on subsequent children. Fabrics can show signs of pilling or develop thinned areas or holes - this is more common with natural fibres and especially if the nappy is tumble dried. The fluff in your tumble drier filter is made up of fibres that used to be on your nappies or clothes and slowly over time this lost fluff makes the nappy or clothing thinner.
How quickly nappies wear differs by brand (cheaper nappies will wear out quicker) and how you look after them - soaking, bleaching, biological detergent, tumble drying, excess heat will all wear fabrics quicker (none of these things are required or recommended for use with your nappies).
If your nappies are beginning to show signs of wear, don't feel disheartened! This shows they've been used and loved as they were designed to be. It also doesn't mean that your nappies are destined for the fabric recycling bank, they can be repaired and given a new lease of life or even just continued to be used as you would an old favourite jumper you now only wear at home.
There are many videos on YouTube on how to repair nappy elastics and I've been told if you're ok with a needle and thread it's fiddly but quite simple to do. I'm terrible with sewing (I use badge glue for all my kids' scouting badges as I got all knotted the first and only time I tried to sew one on) so I've never personally attempted nappy repairs but we have many customers that successfully have. If you're like me however, there are small work at home mum companies that will carry out the repairs for you. The following companies are not linked with or endorsed by The Nappy Lady™ but have been recommended by our customers.