The Reusable Nappy Scheme

Monika and Inés

The Reusable Nappy Scheme from Real Nappies for London is helping parents like Monika Bourtal switch over to reusable nappies to help save on cost and household waste. She tells us why she has started using reusable cloth nappies for her little one, Inés

What was your motivation for using reusable nappies?
Our motivation was both environmental and financial. It was the thought of throwing away all that plastic while our child will be in nappies and knowing that disposable nappies cannot be recycled or composted. Our nappies look like they’d last forever, or at least for the next baby and even perhaps for the one after that. I love the sense of fulfilment I get from doing the nappy laundry. When I look at the neatly lined up nappies, I get the feeling of satisfaction that I am doing by bit for the environment.

It was also a no-brainer for us cost wise. I kept on calculating how much money we would need to spend on disposable nappies over the next two and half years. At the rate we were going, we would have reached £800 to £900. Now, after redeeming the reusable nappy voucher, we have everything we need for full time use – including 27 reusable nappies and some accessories – costing us around £300. We will save at least £500 over the years to come.

Did the Real Nappies for London scheme help you?
Yes, it did, but I only found out about the Real Nappies for London Voucher scheme when we were already using reusable nappies. I was delighted to learn there was a scheme helping parents financially. Redeeming the voucher helped us to complete our nappy collection, so now we have enough nappies that we only have to wash and dry a batch every two to three days.

How was the transition to using reusable nappies?
Using reusable nappies is just the same as disposable nappies, but there is no blue line in them to tell you when it’s time for a change. It’s just a question of adapting and knowing when to change them. For us it’s usually every three to four hours.

Do you use reusable nappies all the time or a combination of the two?
One hundred percent reusable nappies. We expected it would be a gradual thing, but it felt natural and comfortable to use reusable nappies full-time immediately.

Do you use reusable nappies during the day and at night?
Yes. Generally, there is no difference in using reusable nappies between day or night. You may want to have better absorbency for the night, so I normally use pocket nappies with two boosters, or a nappy made of more absorbent material.

What would be your top tip for parents and carers who are considering using reusable nappies?
I would say just go for it. People can always switch back if they want to, or if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason. Have a think about which types of nappies you’d be more comfortable using and pick up one or two from different brands. While Inès loved them immediately, some fitted her better than others.

Using reusable nappies is good all-round: for your purse, the environment, the baby, and it gives a boost of fulfilment and satisfaction because you’re doing your bit for the world that our kids will live in.

Real Nappies for London vouchers are funded for Islington residents by Islington Council and North London Waste Authority.

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