• Hannah Ettrick


5475 is a bit of an odd number and it's probably a grossly underestimated number in relevance to what you're about to read. 5475 is by my calculation, the amount of single use nappies a baby will use from birth to 2 and a half years old based on 6 nappies a day.

That's 101 bin bags full of crap, quite literally heading to landfill to sit there and fester for the next 500 years. Nice.

I can see the appeal in single use, especially when you can get a large bag of Aldi's finest for £3.50 but can we really afford to be putting a price on the planet during times of such environmental unrest and abuse? We're more conscious now than we've ever been about making environmentally friendly choices so why not now take thing back to the way they used to be? Real nappies were a tried and tested part of raising children for hundreds of years and the option to 'throw away' has became a culture of it's own.

This #plasticfreejuly here's a guide to starting real nappy use in real parent's terms.

Ease yourself in.

By any chance do you have a local nappy library or does your council run an incentive scheme? Sadly in my local areas (Liverpool, Halton, Sefton & Knowsley) we don't have a council incentive to trial or make the switch to cloth which is ridiculous given how much money this change would save the councils each year. Fresh Baby has it's own library and kits are put together to carefully meet parent & baby's needs. I demonstrate everything - how nappies are prepared and how to care for them and wash them.

I recommend my starter birth-to-potty kit. 3 x Baba+Boo, 2 x Close Pop-ins & 1 x Little Lamb. 1 large wetbag, 1 small wetbag, 6 fleece liners and you're off to a great start. I'll even let you pick the prints! This kit replaces 3 single use nappies a day bringing the 5475 down to a much more respectable 2737. You're off to a great start, Petal!


Nappy-talk is something else. BTP, pockets, AIO, AI2, Wraps... the list of things to remember as a retailer gets bigger every week. The nappies Fresh Baby recommend are pocket nappies (where the absorbent parts are stuffed into a pocket) & pop-ins where the absorbent layers 'pop in' to an outer shell. It's a lot easier to demonstrate than to write about but once you've got the hang of it, it's as easy as reaching for a 'sposy.

Long gone are the days when our Mums & Nans used to soak terry nappies in buckets, boil wash and then cover them up in rubber pants. I haven't got time for that. I've got 3 kids and a pretty serious Latte and Netflix addiction to be getting on with. I store used nappies in a large wetbag, washing every 2-3 days (I did actually go 8 days once without washing owing to a blocked milk duct that left me feeling like that flattened witch in the Wizard of Oz) using powder on a rinse, 60 long, rinse cycle. You can tumble dry the absorbent inserts but NEVER the outer parts and I promise you that nothing says 'I'm a real life grown-up' than having a full washing line of these beauties blowing in the wind.


This is why you're still reading. You want to know what happens to the poo, don't you? I recommend reusable fleece liners placed between your little one's tush and the nappy to catch the poop. Breastfed & formula poops are the easiest - a quick rinse under the flush and then straight in the wetbag ready for washing but weaning and onwards poops can be something else. For example, last night my 22 month old ate a full corn on the cob, a slice of pizza, a punnet of raspberries and some Mexican spicy rice. This morning was an absolute delight. If the stink is solid enough it will drop off into the loo and vanish (hurrah!) but if it's not you're in for a shaking sesh. My friend Holly has a poo spoon in her bathroom. She's even written 'POO SPOON' on it so that her husband doesn't get confused and tries to bake something with it. I haven't gone as far as investing in a poo spoon but if I do I'll be sure to write another piece entirely dedicated to crap.

I don't currently stock disposable liners but this might be an option you would like to get on board with - they catch the poop and go straight in the bin or composter. Some claim to be flushable but I washed these ones as an experiment in the machine and they absolutely DID NOT break down in water. However you can buy this type of liner from most larger supermarkets - a nod to how mainstream real nappies are becoming.

Show me the money.

For many parents, their decision to use cloth nappies is not only for environmental benefit but for financial benefit too. Using my total quantity of nappies used over a 2.5 year period (5475) and the price of 44 Aldi nappies at £3.50 per pack (8p per nappy) you could spend an unbelievable £438 on something that you use once and doesn't leave the Earth. Think of the savings you could make if you used cloth full time & then passed them along to your next little one. I've invested about £350 in Mac's nappy stash so far (WARNING: Real nappies can become quite addictive!) and that's all he will need. 25-30 nappies. An extra 2 or 3 loads of washing a week won't break the bank and it certainly won't break the planet.

If the shocking figure of 5475 isn't enough to get your cogs whirling, I'm sure the vom-inducing figure of £438 will.

£438 on crap. And don't get me started on wet wipes...

Much love, Hannah x

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