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Trying to find out the answers to some common cloth nappy questions? Check out our FAQ.

How many cloth nappies do I need? 

Like many things, it does depend on your situation. If you’re using cloth full time then around 20 is a really good place to start. Using only in the daytime you will need around 15 nappies. If you’re only going to use them part-time, then anywhere between 5 and 10 will do. As your baby gets older, than you will be changing less and therefore need fewer. Of course, if you get addicted to all the lovely pretty nappies that are out there, or if you want to try them all out, then you could end up with 100.

Which nappies should I choose?

There are lots of choices out there and it can be confusing. Of course, I’m tempted to say ‘choose our nappies.’ But really I’d prefer you to pick the nappies that work for you and your baby. Prefolds are a good choice for newborn babies. Our dinky nappies work well on most babies and go right up to toddler size. It might be worth getting some personalised information with our advice form. Once you’ve finished with these FAQ, then check out our info on nappy types.

Will they leak?

If your cloth nappy fits and has the right amount of absorbency in it, then it shouldn’t leak. If you are having problems, please get in touch and we will help you troubleshoot. A nappy that leaks everywhere would be pretty pointless. No one wants that.

How do I wash them?

Our washing advice is simple. Flush solids away off the nappy. Store in an empty bucket (dry pail) there’s no need to soak. Give them a quick rinse before washing. You can do this as soon as you change your baby if you prefer. Wash in a standard washing machine. (Making sure you have taken the nappy off your baby first) Ideally a warm wash with a full scoop of your standard powder. Avoid fabric softener and bleach. Then dry on the line or on a clothes horse. Alternatively, you can tumble dry.

But I heard washing them was complicated?

It really doesn’t need to be. You don’t need to use anything special or different. Plenty of water does help get them clean. There’s no call for special cloth nappy mixes or potions. You don’t need to do anything special, like dance around naked on a full moon to get them clean either. Unless that your kind of thing of course.

Are you sure I don’t need to soak?

There’s really no need to soak them. Honestly, I’m really really sure. It can actually damage some of the modern fibres and fabrics that are used. If you really want to soak them, then the inserts can be placed in cold water with nothing added. But make sure that it’s kept somewhere safe, out of the reach of small children.

How often should I change them?

This is a key FAQ when it comes to reusable nappies. Most cloth nappies need changing every two to four hours. They should be changed as soon as your little one does a poo. While disposable nappies can last longer than this, it doesn’t mean that they should. Would you like to have a nappy full of chemicals and urine against your skin for hours? No, neither would I.

Will they cause nappy rash?

Nappy rash is caused by exposure to bacteria in poo, reaction to chemicals and teething. Cloth nappies are generally chemical-free. You can change washing detergent if your little one reacts to it. Changing regularly, especially when the nappy is soiled will also help prevent nappy rash. Babies in cloth nappies tend to have fewer cases of nappy rash than those in disposables as the nappies are breathable and chemical-free.

How do I deal with poo?

The thought of dealing with poo puts a lot of people off, let’s face it, it’s not that fun. But most parents find that they have far fewer poo explosions that get on the clothes with cloth. You can also use disposable liners so that you can flush solids away without touching them and then throw the liner away. Another great choice is a nappy sprayer. This attaches to your toilet and allows you to spray the poo right into the toilet bowl without touching it, magic. Once you have children you are probably going to have to deal with some poo at some point and in many ways using cloth actually makes that easier.

How much do cloth nappies cost?

Setting yourself up with cloth nappies can be a bit of an expense. We do have a number of different options in different price ranges. Once you start using cloth you will be saving money and that certainly helps. You can save anywhere between $2000-4000 on your first child alone.

Does wearing cloth nappies slow down walking?

No. If wearing cloth nappies slowed down mobility at all, then there would be lots of stories of modern babies walking much sooner than those born thirty or forty years ago. As with most things, babies learn at their own rates. My own children, all in cloth, varied between the ages of 11 months and 18 months when it came to learning to walk. Cloth nappies can help with hip placement and give a firm base for sitting, so there are some advantages for babies who wear them too.

Any more FAQ?

If there are any other questions you want answering that we haven’t covered in our FAQ, or you want more info, then please contact us. I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have, although if they’re not cloth nappy related, I can’t guarantee I’ll be that helpful. You can also find more cloth nappy info on our Facebook page.

Cloth nappy FAQ, newborn baby with tongue out in black and white.
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