The Kent Cloth Nappy Service.
What are cloth nappies?
A variety of cloth nappies are now available for today’s babies. They range from simple
cotton squares to shaped all-in-ones that fasten with VELCRO® or poppers.
The three basic types are:
Shaped nappies with
separate waterproof covers
The shaped two piece system fits snuggly around your baby and helps
to prevent any leaks. They are easy to put on and come in two parts
– the nappy and the waterproof cover, called a ‘wrap’. Shaped nappies
are usually fastened with VELCRO® or poppers. Wraps come in a variety
of bright colours and prints and what’s more you don’t have to wash
the wrap every time you change the nappy.
Flat nappies with separate
The flat two piece system can work out to be the cheapest,
most versatile and the quickest to dry. They need a little folding
to fit baby and may need additional fastening with modern
Nappi Nippas. The waterproof wrap holds the nappy firmly
in place and does not need replacing after each nappy change.
Pocket nappies and all-in-one nappies
Pocket nappies are cleverly designed to be a waterproof wrap with a fleece inner.
There is an opening at the back which is then stuffed with absorbent material
(like a small terry) to the level required. Once put together they are very
convenient to use and because they can be separated for washing they are quick
to dry. All-in-one nappies are shaped cloth nappies with a built-in waterproof outer
layer. Both types of nappy are particularly easy and useful for occasional carers,
at nurseries or when out and about.
Why choose cloth nappies
for your baby?
Cloth nappies provide maximum comfort, reliability and efficiency for your baby. They are soft against baby’s
delicate skin, made from the latest high performance breathable but leakproof materials, and durable enough
to last several children.
Even taking into account washing costs and washing machine depreciation,
you could save hundreds of pounds by using cloth nappies rather than
disposables. The more children you plan to have the more you will
save, as the nappies can be reused many times.
By using cloth nappies you really are helping the environment. Disposable nappies
are a one use item for which no recycling facility currently exists in the UK.
Once your rubbish has been collected it is taken to a landfill site. In Kent almost
5% of the household waste that is collected for landfill is disposable nappy waste!
Cloth nappies tend to have a soft, snug fit around babies waist
and legs making them very reliable even for the most active babies.
“Cloth nappies are fantastic, best thing we did!!” Sharon Jacob, Whitstable.
Modern disposables are so small when unused, because they operate
by containing super absorber granules. Once used, the nappies swell
to many times their original size and weight, as the granules turn into gel by
interaction with the child’s urine. Cloth nappies are comparatively bulky when
dry, but do not grow in size when wet, just get a little heavier. They work
by absorbing the urine into the fabric. Cloth nappies are a more natural product
against the skin and therefore parents have more direct control over their
child’s chemical environment.
I Let your washing machine do the work - I If you “dry pail”, simply rinse
a simple wash at 60oc will sterilise dirty through soiled nappies before
nappies. Wet nappies can be washed at adding them to the bucket
lower temperatures with no need to use to prevent stains from setting.
fabric conditioners. All you put in the bucket is
nappies, no liquid is needed.
I Select a routine which suits you, maybe
washing every two to three days. I If you soak, half fill the
bucket with water and add
I Air drying is cheaper, but tumble drying is a tablespoon of vinegar,
faster. Many parents use a mixture of both. bicarbonate of soda or nappy
fresh powder as a sanitising
I Store nappies prior to washing either in a agent. Do not use bleach.
lidded nappy bucket or in a water-proof bag.
It’s up to you whether to "dry pail" or "soak"
your nappies. Try both and see which suits
Both cloth and disposable nappies have an 3. Disposal
impact on the environment, in different ways. With solids down the toilet and nappies
However, cloth users can significantly affect in the washing machine, using cloth
this impact at each stage: nappies significantly reduces your
Choose nappies made from organic cotton,
hemp or bamboo to avoid the heavy impact
of regular cotton production.
Tumble drying has by far the biggest
environmental impact at the laundry stage.
Don’t wash too hot, use too much detergent
or use bleach. Full-time use of cloth nappies
adds only around three extra washes a week to
The Kent Cloth Nappy Service provides I One baby’s disposable nappy
information and advice to all parents-to-be waste will fill 40 black
living in the Kent County Council administration plastic sacks in one year.
area. A significant rise in use over the past few
years has made cloth nappies a popular choice I Approximately 8 million
and by choosing cloth, parents in Kent are also disposable nappies are
making a considerable reduction to the amount used and thrown away
of waste sent to landfill. As well as being in Britain every day.
environmentally responsible, cloth nappies can
save you money and are soft and gentle against I Even if you use cloth
baby’s delicate skin. nappies part-time it can
still make a difference:
More facts about cloth nappies: it does not have to be
I 20,000 tonnes of disposable nappy waste an all or nothing decision.
is sent to landfill every year in Kent. That
equates to 17 thousand cars, 2 million
pushchairs or 16 million bottles of wine!
If you decide to use cloth nappies for your baby It’s our way of saying thank you for
you may be able to receive a cash discount from choosing to use cloth for your baby
one of the Kent County Council registered sellers. and making a positive move to
reduce our waste levels.
Babies must be under 18 months old to qualify
for a claim under the KCC Scheme and live within
the Kent County Council administration area.
The registered sellers will give you a £30
discount on the purchase price of the cloth
nappies you choose. If however, you have
already bought your cloth nappies, are using
second hand or want to buy them elsewhere,
you can apply directly to Kent County Council
to receive £30 worth of gift vouchers.
To request a form call: 0845 345 0210.
A good nappy seller will ask you some key fewer nappies of a suitable type
questions before advising you on the right type and top up as your budget allows.
of nappy for your circumstances. There are pros
and cons to each choice. For instance, you may If you are choosing a flat nappy or
wish to buy a mix of different systems to cater birth-to-toddler shaped nappy you will
for different circumstances, such as for home need only 20 nappies from birth. If you opt
use or if your baby is in childcare. for different sizes of nappy from birth, you will
need around 20 of the first size and 14-15 of the
If you have limited drying options, you should second size nappy. Wraps come in a number of
consider using either flat nappies or nappies different sizes and do not need to be washed
which open out for faster drying. If your child every time you change the nappy.
is at nursery, it is important to have an easy
to use, reliable nappy. If two or more children are using nappies at the
same time a ‘one size fits all’ option is attractive.
It can be a mistake to focus too much on cost
if this means that the nappies you get do not
meet your needs. It would be better to get
Boosters are an extra layer of absorbency used Cotton wool dampened with water is
to help prevent leaks. They can be used adequate for cleaning baby’s bottom
overnight. Boosters come in a variety of shapes but may block your toilet system.
and colours and are generally made of cloth Washable wipes are easy to use and
although some have a fleece liner. best for the environment - you just wash
them with your nappies after use!
Liners are used to catch any solids. Fleece liners
also keep baby exceptionally dry. If you are
going to use ‘throw away’ liners, make sure you
buy flushable/biodegradable ones that can be
flushed down the toilet. Washable liners come
in a number of materials and are particularly
suitable for children who suffer from eczema.
Want to know more? You can find out details of your local
If you want to know what real cloth nappies group by contacting Kent County Council
are like, talk to someone who uses them. on 0845 345 0210 or by visiting our
The Kent Cloth Nappy Network is made up website at: www.kent.gov.uk/clothnappies
of a large group of parents who choose cloth
for their babies. They offer support, help and Join the KCNN internet chat group by
advice to people who want first hand information simply sending an email to:
about cloth nappies. Coffee mornings are free, firstname.lastname@example.org
held regularly all over Kent and are open to
everyone; from parents-to-be to midwives,
and others with an environmental interest.
Come along with your bumps, babies and
children for a coffee and a chat.
All 13 Kent Councils work closely to deliver the 4. Avoid buying disposables - look for
waste and recycling services that you need as items that can be reused or refilled.
residents. Managing waste starts in the home.
5. Recycle for Kent. No excuses, start
Here are six simple things you can do to help recycling today! Use your local kerbside
reduce your own household waste. collection scheme, recycling banks and
household waste recycling centres. A great
1. Think before you buy - only buy products
deal of the waste your household produces
that you are going to use. The food industry
can be recycled.
and government statistics show that each
adult wastes £420 worth of food per year. 6. Get composting. It’s nature’s way of recycling.
Use local kerbside green waste collection
2. Buy products made from recycled or recyclable
schemes and facilities at the Household
materials. Try to buy products packaged in
Waste Recycling Centres. You can get further
materials that you can recycle easily too.
advice on home composting from
3. Don’t bin it! Something that you consider to be www.kent.gov.uk/composting
useless may be very useful to someone else.
Make use of your local charity shops and reuse
Many parents buy cloth nappies from Kent County Council
registered sellers. Some sellers have agents that visit you at
home to offer a non-pressurised advice and information service
on choosing cloth nappies. Agents vary in how far they are
willing to travel to see customers, so even if they do not seem
to be near to where you live, it is worth phoning to ask.
Baby Lady Lollipop Nippers
Retail shop based in Canterbury selling a range of Cornish based company with agents in Kent Retail shop based in Bekesbourne selling a wide
cloth nappy types. Trial packs also available. offering a wide range of cloth nappy types. range of cloth nappy types. Trial packs also available.
Address: Sturry Road / Reed Avenue, Tel: 01736 799512 Address: Chalkpit Farm, School Farm Lane,
Canterbury, CT1 1DT Email: (see below) Bekesbourne, Canterbury, Kent, CT4 5EU
Tel: 01227 787400 Web: www.teamlollipop.co.uk Tel: 01227 832008
Email: email@example.com Agent: Lara Slavin, 01634 402653 (Medway) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web: www.babylady.co.uk Web: www.nippers.co.uk
The Nappy Lady Little Lams Renhams Nursery Store
Kent based company offering a wide range of cloth Retail shop based in Ashford selling a wide range of cloth Retail shop based in Cheriton, selling ‘One Life’
nappy types together with online and telephone advice nappy types together with online and telephone advice shaped nappies.
service. Trial packs and hire service also available. service. Trial packs and hire service also available. Address: 11 Cheriton High Street, Cheriton,
Tel: 0845 456 2441 Tel: 01233 637447 Folkestone, Kent, CT19 4ES
Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01303 273832
Web: www.thenappylady.co.uk Web: www.littlelams.co.uk Email: email@example.com
Agents: Clare Larter 01795 531044 (Faversham) Agents: Carol Bridges, 01474 361990 (Gravesend) Web: www.renhamsnurserystore.co.uk
Tania Sullivan 01634 573313 (Medway)
Sara Hart 01732 369044 (Tonbridge)
The Patter of Tiny Feet The Cloth Nappy Co.
Retail shop based in Medway stocks a good selection Independent company set up by local nappy using mum
of nappy types. They also provide a laundry service offering a range of cloth nappy types, advice and home
delivering fresh clean nappies to your door each week demonstrations.
and taking dirty nappies away to be laundered. Tel: Deirdre Murphy, 01304 617178 (Sandwich)
Address: 22 Station Road, Rainham, ME8 7PH. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 01634 379219 Web: www.theclothnappyco.co.uk
* Information correct at time of print Sept. 2006 but is subject to change. Please check the website for details: www.kent.gov.uk/clothnappies or call the information line: 0845 345 0210
information line: 0845 345 0210
email: email@example.com The Kent Cloth Nappy Service.
This information leaflet is available in alternative This brochure is printed on paper from sustainable sources. Kent County Council would like to say
formats by calling 0845 345 0210. a big thank you to all the parents and their babies in cloth nappies involved with this brochure.
Published September 2006