11 Tips for Using Cloth Nappies with a Newborn Baby

11 Tips for Using Cloth Nappies with a Newborn Baby

11 Tips for Using Cloth Nappies with a Newborn Baby

Welcoming a new baby can be quite daunting for parents – experienced or otherwise! In addition to settling into your new role, there’s plenty to learn about this little person who has come to live with you. One such learning curve is nappying. A newborn’s soiled nappy can be the catalyst for a midnight meltdown for even the strongest of us.

In today’s blog, we’ve compiled our list of best tips, curated over the last 12 years with 6 newborns, so that changing bub’s bottom can be a quick and easy task.

  1. Have everything ready and within reach prior to unchanging your baby. The last thing you want is to pull off a nappy and discover a poo you weren’t expecting! Have moistened wipes and a clean nappy ready to go. For little boys, it can be a great idea to have a wipe ready to throw over his bottom while you switch nappies over. If you don’t have your nappies prepped, chances are you’ll end up covered in something unsavoury. Flat cloth nappies or even extra Diversifolds come in really handy here. Use them to cover the change table mat so that any accidents are easily whipped away.
  2. Some newborns really don’t enjoy having a nappy change. Babies generally grow out of this fairly quickly, however if baby is distressed, sing and talk or have a toy that plays a calming tune. Your baby will adjust to the routine very quickly. They will also begin to associate the nappy change with a wider routine of change, feed, play, sleep.
  3. Newborn bottoms are quite sensitive in the first few weeks and if you notice the start of nappy rash from so many changes and wipes, try to give your baby some nappy free time. Warm water and fresh air is by far the best ‘solution’ for red bottoms.
  4. Whether you only have a few nappies or a whole stash, it’s wise to wash every second day if you can. Frequent washing ensures that the nappies are easier to clean, and the inserts will not go mouldy sitting in the nappy bucket.
  5. If you’re using flats, prefolds or fitted nappies, make sure all absorbent parts of the nappy are tucked into the waterproof covering.
  6. Reusable wipes make great boosters for newborns as they are slim but absorbent. These are also great to use to protect your nappies from staining during the meconium stage.
  7. Disposable liners really aren’t necessary in the early days, but fleece liners can be a fabulous stain-preventer. Newborn poo is water soluble and does not need to be flushed, but it’s a good idea to give the nappy a quick rinse by hand if you can. Then, when you have enough for a load, simply put through a rinse cycle in the machine, then through a wash cycle with the amount of detergent recommended by the detergent manufacturer for your wash size and water level. Hanging your nappies inside up to the sun will help to fade any stains.
  8. Change regularly. Consistently, healthcare professionals advise frequent changing as the most important factor in the reduction and prevention of nappy rash. Specifically, we recommend two-hourly changes during the day, unless you know your baby has soiled the nappy, in which case you’ll want to change the nappy immediately.
  9. Use warm water to clean your baby’s bottom at each change. A newborn’s skin is so precious and there is no need to clean them with chemical and fragrance-laden commercial wipes.
  10. When fastening the nappy, try to keep it below the umbilical stump.
  11. Relax! Do what you need to do to enjoy these first precious days.


Newborn nappying is so doable! But like anything, it takes practice. If you have a friend who can show you the ropes the first few days, you’ll be miles ahead! It’s really just about finding a nappy that suits your lifestyle and your baby, and then getting into a routine with it.

Try not to stress during these first precious days. You don’t get them back.

And while you’re taking care of that gorgeous baby, don’t forget to take care of YOU. Enjoy snuggles with your cloth-bottomed newborn!

Want more information? Click Here for an overview of the different types of newborn-sized nappies available.

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