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Newborn cloth nappies; a how to guide

Newborn cloth nappies can be a confusing and bewildering thing, many people are put off because the idea of using washable nappies on a newborn baby seems to be too hard, too much work and too complicated.  It really needn’t be that way though, using newborn cloth nappies can be easy, straight forward, and a great thing to do.

Tired of conflicting advice over newborn cloth nappies?

Why newborn cloth nappies?

Washable nappies are often something that is not attempted until a baby is past that early newborn stage.  People are put off the idea of dealing with a newborn and heaps of extra washing, or by stories of leaks and other problems that occur.  There is of course, nothing wrong with waiting until you have settled into life with your new baby before taking the plunge into washable nappies, but if you want to give them a go from the beginning, then there’s no reason why you can’t.

 Things to remember; washable nappies and newborns

  • Newborn babies need changing a LOT.

As they have immature bowels, they seem to be able to poo every few seconds, quite often just as soon as you’ve put a clean nappy on.  Of course this might mean extra washing, but it does also mean that you’re not spending lots of money on disposables that are only on for about five minutes.  I’ve always used cotton prefolds, or flat nappies for newborn cloth nappies, as they dry quickly.

  • They are on a liquid diet, so can be very heavy wetters.

It can be quite surprising just how much liquid a newborn can produce, and some people find that they are changing very wet nappies more often than they expected.  Newborn babies are on a liquids only diet, and are likely to be for around six months, so you need a nappy that can cope with quite a bit of liquid.

  • Natural fibres are better for delicate newborn skin.

Would you prefer your baby to have a natural fibre directly against their skin? Or a chemical filled nappy wrapped in plastic? This is one of the great reasons to consider washable nappies for a newborn.

  • They have very thin legs.

Nearly all newborns have very skinny thighs, even if they don’t stay that way for long.  For this reason, it’s often the area that is most likely to cause leaks.  A nappy fits snugly around the legs can help protect against this.  This is one of the reasons that a nappy that needs a cover is a good choice for a newborn, as they tend to fit well in this area.  Once they are a little older, than the other varieties of nappies that are on the market become a good choice. A cover with a double gusset also helps in this area.

Trying out newborn cloth nappies

Newborn cloth nappy tips

Here are a few tips to help you through the early days with newborn cloth nappies;

  • Keep it simple

Sticking to one brand/style will mean that there’s no room for confusion if you’re sleep deprived or someone is helping you out.  Prefolds are a good choice because they also are easy to care for, again helpful if someone is helping you.

  • Have plenty of inserts

Again, if you are using prefolds, having plenty will mean that you always have some on hand for changes, you won’t need as many covers.  They also make good burp/wipe up cloths and then boosters later on.

  • Make sure you have well fitting covers

If possible go for covers with leg gussets, fewer leaks mean fewer changes of clothes.

  • Set up a changing area before your baby arrives

Having a change area with everything you need will make it easier, especially when it’s the middle of the night and you just want to get to bed.

  • Don’t stress about it

Relax and just go with whatever works, even if that means that you use disposables for a day or so when you hadn’t planned to.

  • Stains are not a problem

Newborn poo stains nappies bright yellow, even after washing.  But don’t worry the sun (even on a wet and cloudy day, just put it in the window) will get it right out.

  • Which nappies to choose?

Something simple to use and care for, like prefolds and a cover are the ideal choice for a newborn baby.  I think our ecobots make a great choice for newborns.

brand newborn

So there you have it, our guide to newborn cloth nappies.  Did you use cloth from birth on your baby? What would your top tips be?

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