10 myths about using reusable nappies.

While I was pregnant I mentioned to a few people that I was planning on using reusable nappies, to my surprise the reception wasn’t as positive as I would have like. Comments like ‘why bother?’, ‘that won’t last’ and ‘you won’t have time’ were common responses. All of this negativity comes from a lot of misinformation, so i am going to bust a few common myths about reusable nappies.

Myth One – One child wont make a difference.

Um yeah it will. 95% of babies in Australia & New Zealand wear disposable nappies. That is a whooping 3.75 million disposable nappies used per day!! (cringe). It takes one cup of crude oil to make the plastic for one disposable nappy. Scientists estimate  it takes between 150-500 years for disposable nappies to break down in landfill so your great, great grandchild will be dealing with your child’s poo.

Myth Two – I’ll have to deal with poo if I use reusable nappies.

Well technically you will be dealing with poo if you use disposables correctly as well. You are meant to scrape off the poo and flush it whether you use reusables or disposables. I had no idea this was the case – in fact I am sure most people don’t do this. 

Myth Three – It’s so expensive to use reusables.

Sure the up front cost of reusables is a little scary but if you are using a premium quality disposable at around 55 cents per nappy from newborn to toilet training (approximately 6500 nappies) you’d end up spending $3575 on nappies alone, not including wipes! So the $500 it might cost you to set up your stash doesn’t seem so scary now does it?

Myth Four – Reusable nappies are a lot more work

If you can wash a load of towels, you can wash a nappy. It is as simple as rinsing and putting in a laundry basket until you are ready to do a load of washing. Using reusable nappies adds an average three extra washing loads to your routine per week. Chucking a load of nappies in the wash is a lot quicker than running out to your bin with every dirty nappy.

Myth Five – It’s gross.

They say it is different when it’s your own child and it is true. A bit of poo in a nappy is the least of your problems. Baby poo goes everywhere – are you going to throw out every outfit that gets a bit off poo on it?

Myth Six – The wetness causes nappy rash.

This isn’t true. Nappy rash is caused by sensitive skin, teething or not changing a nappy regularly enough. A baby wearing cloth is no more likely to get nappy rash than one that wears disposables. When I swapped to disposables for a couple of days, after my daughter had the rotovirus immunisation. She developed a pretty nasty nappy rash – it cleared up quickly when she was back in cloth. 

Myth Seven – My baby will wake up because they feel wet.

Most modern cloth nappies have a moisture wicking micro fleece top layer that helps baby to stay feeling dry.  Alternatively you can buy microfleece liners or make your own by buying microfleece fabric and cutting it to size.

Myth Eight – Nappy buckets smell

Not if they are used correctly. Nappies should be rinsed and placed back into a ‘dry pail’ with plenty of ventilation holes until they’re ready to be washed. A wheelie bin full of a weeks worth of disposables will smell a lot more than a nappy bucket. Our current set up has the change table and nappy bucket set up in our room, I can assure you there is definitely no smell coming from the nappy bucket. 

Myth Nine – You will need to change nappies more regularly

Nope. The general guide line is to change a nappy every 2-3 hours and if it is soiled straight away whether using reusable or disposable. Regular changing helps to reduce the occurrence of nappy rash. Yes, disposables are a lot more forgiving if you forget to change your child because well, mum brain. Generally babies are awake every 2-3 hours during the day so you will be changing them anyway, reusable nappy or not. 

Myth Ten – You can’t use cloth nappies at night.

Not true. There are dedicated night nappies that have enough absorbency to get your little one through the night. Sure it takes a bit of trial and error to get the combination of inserts correct so that you have enough absorbency 


There you have it – ten common myths about reusable nappies, debunked. Have you had any negative feedback from friends and family about using or thinking about using reusable nappies? Comment below with what they had to say.


Want to read how I got started with cloth nappies and my hang ups about using them in the beginning – check out this blog. Keen to get started with cloth but not sure where to purchase – check out The Clean Collective for a great range of nappies.