Frequently Asked Questions about Cloth Nappies


Frequently Asked Questions about Cloth Sanitary Pads


I’ve heard that cloth nappies have the same effect on the environment as disposables. So why should I use cloth?

Many of the larger disposable companies use comments like that as a way of making us feel better about using disposables. But it just isn’t true. It’s like saying it would be as environmentally friendly to wear disposable clothes and eat off disposable plates etc.

Now we need to consider that very few people actually follow the procedure written on the side of the packet of disposables telling them to shake faeces down the toilet etc. Believe me I know quite a few people who use disposables and I have never seen one of them do that! Disposables go into our landfill where they sit for 500 years or more and leach bacteria filled with human faeces into our ground water. Do we really want Australia to become a third world county?

Fortunately, the environmental impact you have while using cloth is partially in your hands. You can reduce the impact by washing in cool water, using water saving and energy efficient washing machines, buying environmentally friendly washing products and line drying.

I hate doing the laundry. Isn’t it just easier to use disposables?

It is much easier to use disposables than cloth nappies, as you just have to throw the disposable in the bin. However you still have to lug that pile of stinky nappies out to the trash and with cloth nappies you never run out at inconvenient times as you can wash them anytime you like, even at midnight.

Caring for your cloth nappies really isn’t much harder then doing a couple of extra loads of washing a week. I promise, it’s much less difficult then most people think.

How many cloth nappies do I need?

That depends on how often you want to wash and how old your baby is. If you want to wash every other day, then you will need 24 – 36 nappies and 6 – 8 covers for a newborn. For older babies you will be able to get away with 18 – 24 nappies and 4 – 6 covers.

How can I afford to buy cloth nappies?

I know that the initial start up costs seem quite a lot but if you break it down you will be saving hundreds, if not thousands in the long run.

Here’s a quick calculation.

Using disposables, let’s assume you would use 8 nappies a day. That totals 8 x 365 x 2 = 5840 nappies. Disposables cost about $0.40 each. That’s a total cost of $2336 over a two-year period.

Let’s repeat the calculation using cloth nappies. The cost of a cloth nappy is around $25.00. Thirty nappies would be ample. The total initial outlay would be $750.

And this calculation is just over a two-year period. Children in disposables generally take longer to toilet train than those in cloth nappies (they feel ‘wet’ more in cloth nappies than in disposables so they train themselves more quickly) so the costs with disposables are usually much higher than that given in the above calculation. There is an even greater saving with cloth nappies if you have a second child.

Even with the long term savings I know that a lot of you find it very difficult to come up with the upfront expense. That is why we offer a lay-by program. To enquire about our lay-by program, please email us at

Do I have to change cloth nappies more often then disposables?

The short answer is yes. Cloth nappies do not hold nearly as much wetness as the chemical laden disposables. However it is recommended that no matter what type of nappy your baby wears that the more often you change it the less likely the event of nappy rash. Just because the baby feels dry doesn’t mean that they haven’t wet themselves. Sitting in waste for any prolonged period of time only increases your baby’s risk of painful and irritating nappy rashes including yeast and bacteria rashes. So, yes, you do have to change cloth nappies more often but you should be changing disposables just as often.

How long should a child really be wearing nappies?

In the last 15 years, the average nappy-wearing period has become considerably longer. Nowadays, there are nappies that fit children up to 30 kg.

In 1989, children were generally out of nappies at about the age of 2. In 2006, children were generally out of nappies between the ages of 3 and 7, which may be due to the dry, disposable nappies used today. Children feel drier when they wear disposable nappies than cloth nappies so they are less able to associate the feeling of wetness with the urge to go to the toilet.

How many sanitary pads do you need?

You need approx. 30 sanitary napkins to cover the whole menstrual period. This is usually made up of a combination of sizes/absorbency depending on your individual needs during your period.

Are they hygenic?

Yes, they are. The sanitary pads will be completely clean if you wash them at 60-90° C.

Can the pads be seen outside the clothes?

The sanitary pads are very thin and pliable and cannot be seen outside the clothes.

Do they smell?

Menstruation does not smell in itself. Since the cloth pads allows air to circulate, the risk of odour is much smaller than if you use impermeable disposable sanitary pads with an outer layer of plastic. But for all menstrual protection devices, you should change often for your own sake.

Do cloth pads help against itching?

Itchy fungus infections have been on the increase in recent years. The cause of this may be the plastic and chemical super-absorbent content of impermeable disposable sanitary napkins. With cloth pads, you help to prevent itching and the development of fungus infections.