Choosing cloth nappies for your newborn is a fantastic decision for both your baby’s comfort and the environment. However, getting started with them can often seem overwhelming, especially for new parents. To make your cloth nappy journey smoother and more enjoyable, I’ve compiled a list of top tips for using cloth nappies from whenever you feel ready.
Start with the Right Cloth Nappies
The first step in your cloth nappy journey is choosing the right ones for your newborn. Newborns (usually) require specific newborn nappies designed to fit their small size. These nappies are typically smaller, more snug-fitting, and offer excellent absorbency for your tiny bundle of joy. Alternatively, take a look around at the birth-to-potty cloth nappies that are available. Some brands come up smaller than others (for instance Peachibaby are a far smaller nappy style than say Bambino Mio) and if you have a baby that weighs 8lb or more, these could well be ok to start with. Your other option to consider would be pre-folds. These aren’t something I ever used but The Nappy Lady has plenty of information over on her website.
Invest in Enough Cloth Nappies
Newborns will go through many nappy changes each day, so it’s essential to have a sufficient supply of cloth nappies to hand. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 20 to 30 nappies in your rotation. This will allow you to change your baby frequently, helping to prevent nappy rash and discomfort and not to run out.
Prepping Your Cloth Nappies
Before using your cloth nappies for the first time, it’s crucial to prep them. Most cloth nappies need to be washed several times to help them to reach their maximum absorbency. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for prepping, which usually involves washing them several times without detergent.
Use a Cloth Nappy Liner
To make cleanup easier, especially with newborns who have frequent, runny bowel movements, you could consider using a cloth nappy liner. These are available in both disposable and reusable versions. You simply place these inside the nappy – between baby and the cloth nappy – and when you come to change them you can either throw away the disposable liner or wash the reusable one with your nappies and reusable wipes when the time comes.
Establish a Nappy Changing Routine
Newborns need frequent nappy changes, typically every two to three hours. Establishing a routine can help you stay on top of changes and help to prevent leaks and discomfort. As a rule of thumb, you should aim to change your baby’s nappy when they wake up, after feeding (not if they fall asleep), and before bedtime.
A Good Fit is Key
Achieving a good fit is essential to prevent leaks and ensure your baby’s comfort. Make sure the nappy is snug around the legs and waist, but not too tight. The leg elastics should be tucked into the hip creases (unlike a disposable which sits far lower) and you should be able to get 2 fingers inside the waistband. Too loose or too tight can both cause issues. You can adjust the size of your cloth nappy as your baby grows by adjusting the rise snaps to maintain that good fit.
Be Mindful of Cloth Nappy Types
There are various types of cloth nappies available, including all-in-ones, pocket nappies, and pre-folds. To fully understand what these are, what they look like, how they fit and to get to grips with what you will like I would highly recommend visiting your local cloth nappy library. If you don’t have one nearby you could speak to friends and family who have used cloth nappies in the past and you could also…
Join an Online Cloth Nappy Community
Consider joining an online cloth nappy community or support group. These communities can provide valuable advice, tips, and support from experienced cloth nappy users. You’ll find a wealth of information and a sense of camaraderie among like-minded parents.
Follow Care Instructions
Proper care is crucial for maintaining the quality and longevity of your cloth nappies. Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for washing and drying to ensure they stay fully absorbent and in good condition.
This may sound strange because we are talking about nappies but honestly, once you find a brand or style that you love and get into a good rhythm with them you will love it and you’ll find yourself eager to tell others all about them too, just you wait!
You can find more tips and information from me on cloth nappies here.
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