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Nappy FAQ

Almost as soon as a baby is born, it will start to poo and wee and fill nappies.

The website WhatPrice estimates that a baby will fill 5,353 nappies before he or she learns to use a potty or toilet. That's an average of around seven a day, but those little bottoms are far busier in the first months of life.

How do I pick newborn nappies?

Packs of disposable nappies have labels giving a rough guide to the size to suit babies of a certain weight range. Because babies come in different shapes and sizes, and different manufacturers' nappies designs are different, it may be worth trying a smaller pack first. You may prefer the design and fastenings of one brand over another.

Newborns would typically be size 1 for babies 2-5kg. With newborns, the nappy design should keep the umbilical cord stump area comfy.

If you're worried about how to fit nappies, the NCT suggests getting your midwife or antenatal class teacher to show you how to do it, then practise on a teddy or large doll.

How do I choose the right size nappies for my baby?

Eventually babies will outgrow newborn nappies and it will be time to go up a size. This could be in line with the manufacturers' size charts, or you may see signs of leakage or discomfort that mean current nappies are too small.

If you have concerns, your health visitor or GP can give advice.

Size chart ranges can differ between major brands and shops' own-brand nappies. Some size ranges overlap and others include 'plus' sizes for bigger babies. Typical ranges are:

Size 1 (2 -5 kg, 5-11lbs)

Size 2 (3-6kg, 7-14lbs)

Size 3 (4-9 kg, 8-20lbs)

Size 4 (7-18kg, 15-40lbs)

Size 5 (11-25kg, 24-55lbs)

As babies get more active, their nappy needs may change to avoid leaks. Some nappies say they are specially designed to keep things in with comfort during active play. Some boast special linings to lock-away moisture; others have cartoon characters on them; some are plain.

Again, some trial and error may be needed to get the right nappies for your baby.

Friends, relatives and online parenting forums may have recommendations you trust.

As you'll need so many nappies over the weeks and months, buying in bulk and even having big home deliveries may work out cheaper or more convenient. But try not to get stuck with a cupboard full of nappies that are too small.

What about disposable or washable/reusable/terry towelling nappies?

Your baby probably won't mind which nappies you use. The choice is more about economics, eco-friendliness and convenience.

Even though some local authorities are working on recycling of disposable nappies, most go to landfill. If you'd like to feel greener about nappies, consider washable or reusable types.

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