Are you a new parent or expecting a little bundle of joy? Wondering whether it’s possible to go green and save money, while ensuring your little one’s bottom stays soft and dry with minimal fuss? Then it’s worth considering real nappies.

Gone are the days when they were bulky white squares of terry towelling held together with a safety pin. But what about the smelly bucket of used nappies sat in the corner waiting to be washed?

We get the low down on what you can expect from the modern day real nappies straight from one of our real nappy mums, Ruth, who has written a frank account about her experiences and her growing love for cloth nappies.

Green goddess or green eyed monster?

My baby’s skin is like silk. His rosy cheeks and chubby thighs display the very picture of health, and I’m particularly proud of his bottom.

Yes, that’s right. His wee bum is as smooth as… a baby’s bottom. He has no trace of nappy rash, no irritation and wears his nappy all night up to 12 hours with no ill effects. At 14 weeks old the only thing we have ever used on his skin is coconut oil, and my homemade baby wipes are soaked in a mixture of boiled water, baby oil and lavender oil.

But I believe the real reason for his peachy wee buns to be his delightful set of cloth nappies. And when you have this as an excuse, not to mention the financial and environmental benefits, it’s easy to get carried away.

Carried away? With what?

My name is Ruth and I’m a cute cloth addict.

I recently joined a Facebook group to try and sell on my newborn size ‘stash’ and made a tidy £90 back from my original spend of £120. Result. But in doing so I found myself scanning the ‘for sale’ posts in the group, day and night while waiting for mine to sell.

I have to confess there is now only £23 left in my paypal account. I’ve been unable to resist buying some of the cute designs I’ve seen. And I’ve been telling myself that this is a perfect example of a low carbon cycle – all these nappies are ‘pre-loved’ (let’s not think about all the Carbon Royal Mail are expending pinging these things to and fro across the country from one mad mum to the next).

Like a real addict, I’ve been rooting through my other nappies to see which old tatty ones I can sell on to fund my new habit. I was given a bunch of tired but functional nappies by friends and colleagues and *ping* they just sold tonight. So I’m like a gambler – trying not to be tempted by more cute cloth.

My poor, poor husband. He is becoming increasingly bewildered by my new habit. Lots of new nappies arriving means new systems to work out and new methods, remembering which boosters go with which nappy and so on.

My favourite type of nappy is a pocket style – you have an outer ‘shell’ with Velcro or poppers to fasten and more poppers to adjust height (so they can fit a baby for a long time). These have an opening at one end so you can insert a booster pad, which is the bit that absorbs all the wee. The leg/waist elastic is what contains any solids and the great thing about pocket nappies is that you can add more boosters for more absorbency. Here’s a picture (copyright Littlelamb).

My favourite booster material is bamboo – not only is it a natural material but it’s super absorbent. It takes a while to dry compared with cotton or microfibre but it’s by far the most effective of the three. You can also get boosters made of hemp and even charcoal… A whole new world eh?

To find out how Ruth got on with night time nappies and how she tackled her bucket of dirty nappies, read the full article Green goddess or green eyed monster? about her real nappies’ experience.

If you want to be able to see and touch the real nappies for yourself and talk to other parents who have used them, then come along to one of Changeworks’ free Nappuccino events. They are held on the last Thursday of the month in Edinburgh. You can also find out more about real nappies on our website, and can sign up to the Nappuccinos on our Facebook page.

Our next Nappuccino is from 10am to 11:30am on Thursday 27 March 2014, Duncan Place Resource Centre, Duncan Place (just off Duke St, Leith), Edinburgh, EH6 8HW. Come along for a coffee and a chat!