Why choose to use cloth nappies when you can use disposables?

Positives of cloth nappies over disposables

It has now been just over a year since we put M in her first cloth nappy and I can honestly say I love using cloth but it hasn't always been an easy journey for us - and still things crop up that we don't know how to solve.

I am writing this post to discuss and ask for help with issues I have had with cloth and how to solve them and also give a list of reason why we, as a family, enjoy using cloth nappies.

Positives of cloth over disposables:

  • They come in so many bright and colourful designs (though you can get plain if you wish).

  • You save so much money - yes it seems a lot up front but if you are dabbling in cloth then buy bit by bit.

  • If you run out you do not need to have money to buy more, or go out and get, just make sure you wash enough.

  • They provide protection to toddlers bums when they fall!

  • Washing and hanging them up on the line is actually quite fun.

  • You are helping the environment. Even if you don't use cloth full time (which we are not 100% full time). If you just changed to one cloth nappy a day that is 365 nappies saved from landfill a year. Imagine if every family did that!

  • When you no longer use nappies you can sell them on preloved sites and make some of your money back.

  • Changing a cloth nappy is just as quick as changing a disposable nappy.

  • You do not expose your child to as many chemicals.

  • You can meet so many other lovely people who love cloth nappies as much as you do!

Positives of disposables over cloth:

  • They are easier to fit in the change bag but unless you are going out for days you don't need as many cloth nappies (I used to carry half a box of disposables in my change bag.

  • They are easy to buy in shops, although cloth nappies are starting to appear in more and more shops (yay).

  • You can bin dirty nappies when out and about so you don't have to carry them home (but a wet bag keeps all cloth ones save in change bag).

Problems solved:

When we first tried cloth nappies we had a lot of leaks. Most of this was due to fitting problems and that M had skinny thighs. Here are some steps we took to eliminate the problem:

  • Pushed the cloth nappy to the knicker line. We had not realised this was what was meant to happen as we just thought they fitted like disposable nappies. This meant we could pull the nappies tighter round the thigh.

  • Popper nappies worked better for us for a while as it meant we could tighten them more round the thigh whilst not having to pull too tight round the waist.

  • Boosting the nappies helped loads. We had presumed that the inserts that were included were all you should use.

  • The opposite of above can also help, sometimes removing some of the boosters can make a better fit.

Problems (can you help):

Just recently we have been finding that M will often leak out of a nappy if she has been in the car for a long journey. A nappy that can last four hours when at home will maybe only last 1.5 hours in the car. How do we prevent this? I understand it will be compression leaking (or so I presume) and as she has to sit on a seat then she is bound to compress the nappy.

I think as M is growing older she is definitely holding her bladder for a much longer time. A nappy can stay perfectly dry for 4 hours now but when she does pee she pees a lot more. Changing the nappy more frequently is obviously an answer but, for example, we drove home from visiting family today and it took us an hour maximum so we did not want to stop. When we got home she had leaked. There becomes a point when it is just too impractical to stop so frequently.

Training Mummy

Training Mummy is a 30 something mum to two beautiful children - a girl born February 2014 and a boy born in October 2015.


  1. Hiya,

    in response to the leaking issue. I found that some of the cheaper ones aren't absorbent enough once they get older and simply wee more. I use boosters in my V3 tots bots for Emma and I have the booster in the V4. I make sure she is in a fresh nappy before setting off if I know I can't change her s often as normal and I also don't put tight clothes on her like leggings or too tight tights as that can lead to leaks too I find xx

  2. Thanks Sarah. I almost always boost all nappies and if in car I definitely do so not that :( I will try with looser clothing I never thought of that!

  3. I think with the car seat harness and sitting down it's quite hard to avoid compression leaks. If we're going on a long journey I usually use night nappies on my boys (Tots Bots Bamboozles with a PeeNut wrap) and they're usually ok. The holding wee then doing a big one is an issue we're also having with Toby. He's two and a half and will hold on for ages then do a massive wee that floods his nappy so I end up having to change trousers too. The only thing I'm finding helps is to stop him having big drinks all at once.