Real nappies

If you're looking forward to the arrival of a new baby in your family, you'll know that there can be a lot of expense involved. From prams and cots to baby baths and clothing - the shopping list of essentials needed to care for a newborn can be pricey! However, there is one important area where you can choose an option that not only saves precious cash but also benefits the environment - nappies.

The average child in the UK has nearly 6000 nappy changes in their lifetime - that adds up to a lot of expense for something that ends up in the bin! An alternative to disposable nappies is to try real nappies, which are washable and reusable. Choosing real nappies saves you money (around 500 or more compared to the cost of disposables) and helps the environment by reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfill and waste treatment sites in Cumbria.

Real nappies are made from natural, breathable fabrics that are comfortable next to a baby's skin. The outer layer of a real nappy is made from a soft, breathable waterproof fabric to prevent leaks and clever designs mean that real nappies are very easy to use, requiring little or no folding and fastened by poppers or Velcro. Even the humble nappy pin has been replaced by a clever fastening device that has put an end to pricked fingers!

Modern washing machines make cleaning real nappies a breeze and biodegradable, flushable nappy liners can be used to catch the messy stuff. The rest of the nappy can be washed at 40 or 60 degrees and then dried on your washing line, on an airing rack or in the tumble drier.

Real nappies are durable and last a long time, meaning that they can be used for two, three or more babies (either your own, or someone else's - 'pre loved' real nappies are in demand and can save you even more money!).

And here's one more great reason to try real nappies: Cumbrian residents with a baby under 6 months old can apply for a money-off voucher from the Cumbria Real Nappy Campaign to use against their first purchase of real nappies from participating retailers (full terms and conditions on the nappy campaign website).

So there are plenty of good reasons to give real nappies a try but if you're new to the idea of real nappies, by far the best way to find out more is to see them for yourself and speak to an expert. The Cumbria Real Nappy Campaign team are often out and about doing talks and demonstrations, so keep an eye out for an event near you. Cumbria also has a fantastic network of friendly and experienced real nappy retailers, many of whom are happy to visit you at home or with a group to talk about real nappies.

For more information on real nappies, Cumbria's network of local retailers and the money-off voucher scheme, visit www.cumbriarealnappycampaign.org or call 0845 055 1118.

If you have a question about resources or recycling in Cumbria call our helpline on  0300 003 1118
or email us at  info@recycleforcumbria.org