How do reusable nappies work?

If you're new to cloth, this may be one of the first questions on your mind, so let us help you...

Parts of a reusable nappy

A reusable nappy essentially comprises of an absorbent part, and a waterproof part. But there are various forms that this comes in; all in ones, all in twos, pocket nappies, fitted nappies and flat nappies. Check out our blog post - types of reusable nappies, for further information on these. A liner is in addition to the nappy and is completely optional. These can be disposable or fleece. Disposable liners help in removing soiling from the nappy but don't provide a stay dry feel against baby. A fleece liner can also help in removing soiling from the nappy but in addition provide a stay dry feel against baby and are reusable.

How do you use reusable nappies?

1. When you first purchase a new reusable nappy, it is best to put them on a quick wash cycle (without any softener). This makes sure there is no manufacturing residue on them, and also starts to build up absorbency of the natural fibres (cotton, bamboo or hemp). Quite often, natural fibre nappies will need a few washes to reach their full absorbency.

2. Hang the nappies to dry. Ideally outside as it is often quicker, but if it's raining inside is fine. Just don't put the nappies directly onto a radiator. It is best not to tumble dry nappies, but if absolutely necessary, some nappies can be dried in the tumble drier on low (check if your brand can first!)

3. Once dry, I find it easiest to stuff all pockets, fold all flats and put them near the changing table so at changing time they are ready go as a disposable would be!

4. When it's time to change baby (every 2 hours for newborn, and around every 3 hours after that), remove the nappy. If only wet, store as it is in a wet bag or bucket. If soiled - PRE WEANING you can store the nappy as it is, again in a wet bag or bucket. POST WEANING, poo needs to removed into the toilet before storing in the wet bag or bucket. If you are using a disposable liner, poo still needs to be removed from this before binning.

5. Used nappies can be stored like this for a couple of days until washing. See our washing guide for detail on this.

6. Once washed, hang to dry.

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