Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Reusable nappies

Posted on: December 17, 2008

I am a fan of real (or washable cloth) nappies, having used them on my four children.  I used the old terry towelling squares and can honestly say that it wasn’t that difficult, I did occasionally use disposable, for example when I was out or on holiday, but generally used the cloth ones with a nappy liner.  The liners can either be paper liners, placed inside the nappy to catch the solid waste and also to help keep the moisture away from your baby’s skin, or indeed there are also washable liners too.  Interestingly there is no need to soak or sterilize real nappies as modern washing machines wash so well.

Today there is a huge (sometimes bewildering) range of reusable nappies to choose from, but to help you there are many independent nappy suppliers who will often lend you nappies to “try before you buy”.  An excellent website for information is where you can learn all about real nappies, and this site will also direct you to local suppliers.

Obviously real nappies can be bought in all the usual nursery suppliers but also some supermarkets, however you may like to consider the small local independent suppliers who are often mothers who have used cloth nappies themselves.  Suppliers local to Bedford, Milton Keynes and Northampton are listed on

This subject has recently been discussed on Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert website and I wholeheartedly agree that there is money to be saved by using cloth nappies, particularly if you plan to have more than one child, and take advantage of local council incentives for example offer a £35 cash-back payment for those using real nappies (£40 for those on benefits).  In Bedford you can claim a £25 payment and a similar £25 if you live in Northampton

1 Response to "Reusable nappies"

What a great blog Val! Love it.

For those who don’t know me I own CumfyBumfy which is the only locally owned, independent, nappy business in Milton Keynes and the immediate area.

We agree with everything you’ve said about saving money, and we also think that washable nappies are better for your baby – because you are choosing what fabrics and, perhaps more importantly, what chemicals are going next to your babies skin.

As I am not linked to any particular suppliers I can choose what to sell – so often what I don’t sell is as important as what I do. Some of the franchised agents are limited in what they are allowed to sell, so you have to bear that in mind when they make recommendations.

I stick to a number of principles in selecting the nappies that I recommend:

1. they have to be effective – when a new nappy comes out I won’t just jump on the bandwagon, I will normally wait until I see real feedback from real mums before I will recommend something.

2. they have to stay soft in the notoriously hard water around here – fluffy terry nappies look really cute when they are brand new, but a few washes in Milton Keynes water and they are like bricks

3. they have to be able to be washed at 60 degrees – you don’t have to do this every time you wash, but its a pain if you decide you do want to do a 60 degree wash and you have to start separating out your nappies and wraps.

When someone comes to a CumfyBumfy demo they can see up to 20 different nappy types – it can be bewildering, but we start by examining what people want and need before we help them to find the ‘perfect’ nappy for their baby. Everyone has different priorities so we accommodate that in our demonstrations.

We also try to go ‘beyond’ in terms of customer service – for example, if you choose your nappies before you have the baby and then change your mind about them once the baby is born we will exchange anything that is unwashed and unworn. We tend to sell nappies individually rather than in ‘packs’ as I think that gives people a better choice, but if someone does choose to buy a pack from us (for example Tots Bots are often sold in packs) then we will even exchange a ‘part-pack’ if you change your mind.

We would welcome any enquiries – and even if you buy your nappies somewhere else we are happy to advise if you have any problems.

After 10 years of ‘nappy experience’ I consider myself something of an expert in baby wee and poo (how sad is that LOL?)


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