Friendly, independent advice with 20 years of real nappy experience


How do I ensure my real nappies don’t leak?

Leakage tends to be the result of one of two things:

Fit: It is important to ensure that the nappy fits well otherwise wetness can leak out around the waist and particularly the legs.  It should be snug but should not be so tight that it leaves red marks on the tummy or legs. If you do find any redness you need to loosen the nappy off or move up to the next size.

Absorbency: Leakage (particularly on older babies) can be due to insufficient absorbency. Sometimes this can be sorted out simply by adding an extra booster to the nappy. All babies are different, however, some much 'wetter' than others, and what works for some babies may not work for others. Wetter babies may need a specific nappy for night times and for others they may need to switch to disposables at night.

Washing routine: If your nappies suddenly stop absorbing it's worth checking that they haven't been washed in fabric conditioner - as this repels liquids and will prevent the nappies from absorbing properly. You also need to be careful not to allow a build up of detergent in the nappies as this can reduce absorbency. You should only use a half dose of detergent and ensure that the nappies go on a good long cycle to ensure that they're rinsed through adequately so that, by the end of the wash cycle, all detergent has been removed.

I need more absorbency at night. What can I do?

Older babies, particularly when they start sleeping through the night, are likely to need extra absorbency and it not unusual for your normal daytime nappy to prove inadequate. Most people are able to solve this problem by either adding extra booster pads to existing nappies or switching to a specific high absorbency night time nappy.

You can add booster pads such as bamboo or hemp pads. These fit into your existing nappies giving extra absorbency. Hemp pads are particularly absorbent but they need a lot of pre-washing before first use and they can take a long time to dry.

Bamboo nappies such as Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch and Little Lamb Bamboo are more absorbent than nappies made of terry towelling and microfibre. It may be worth having a few of these in your stash to help baby get through the night. Wetter babies may need extra booster pads in these as well. Bear in mind that bamboo nappies are generally slow drying. If you're after an absorbent nappy which is a little quicker drying check out the EasyPeasy Bimble.


Should I use real nappies on my newborn?

Real nappies are available which fit from around 5lbs up. These newborn nappies will fit a tiny baby really well (and look really cute) but it's worth bearing in mind how much use you'll get out of them. Babies grow quickly and you may find that baby has grown out of them within just a few months (or even weeks!). It may be worth waiting until baby get to 10-12lbs and then opting for a 'birth to potty' nappy. These can prove much more cost effective. Saying this, if you're planning to have more than one baby, you may find the newborn nappies to be better value if you'll be using them again on baby no.2.

Another option is to borrow newborn nappies from your local nappy library. You can rent newborn nappies out for baby's first few months after which you can move on to a set of your own birth to potty nappies.

How do I use the Nappi Nippa?

Nappies are generally fastened with wither poppers, velcro or 'Nappi Nippas'. Nappi Nippas are the equivalent of the old nappy pin, but are a lot easier, and safer, to use. You’ll see on the back of the nippa that it has a series of little ’claws’; these will simply hook into the fabric of the nappy.

To put Nappi Nippas on, you simply hold the nappy in place with one hand, hook one claw into the fabric on one side, hold the tension and pull across to allow the second claw to hook into place on the other side. Then pull the lower claw and hook into place. Once in position, pull back gently on each ring to check that each of the fastenings are secure. A correctly positioned nippa will form a ’Y’ shape as seen in the photo.


How do I recycle my old nappies?

Lizzie’s Real Nappies supports Rescue Mersy Trust, a baby rescue centre in Kitale, Kenya. The centre provides care, love and support for up to 20 babies who have been abandonned or orphaned. The Trust aims to provide long term loving homes for the babies. If you have nappies which you no longer need and wish to donate to the centre please contact us - they are always very grateful! You simply send your nappies to an address in Cornwall from where they are transported to Kenya.

If you’re trying to sell your nappies you'll find there is a good second hand market. Real nappies often have a lot of life left in them, especially if they've only been used on one baby. You just need to be sure that your nappies are described well (in terms of use and condition) and be sure to take your postage costs into account when setting a price).

If you’re happy to give them away to another local family try Freecycle or donate them to your local nappy library.

Reusable nappy trial packs

Trial nappy kits allow you to try out different nappy brands before paying out for a full set of nappies. Trial packs give you the opportunity to get a feel for the fit, absorbency, containment, drying times etc and to be able to compare different brands.

Cashback Schemes: Remember that many local councils offer cashback on real nappies. In some cases this means that you get to try trial nappies for free. Please contact your local council as sometimes you will need to register with the scheme before purchasing nappies from this site.

Need guidance on which nappies to trial? Give us a call or email

  • how do I use real nappies?
  • what are the environmental and cost benefits of reusable nappies?
  • how do I choose the right brand?
  • how many nappies, and which accessories, do I need?
  • can I try some trial nappies to help me decide?
  • I've started using the nappies but I have some questions.


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