There are many things to consider when if to use reusable nappies, and when to start. The most important thing you should know is that there’s no one answer to this question – it all depends on what works for your family. Some people want to use natural right from the moment their newborn baby is born, others prefer to wait for a few weeks until they feel ready to start washing nappies. Do what works for you.
Where do I start?
If you’re changing your newborn baby’s reusable nappy for the first time, it can be a little intimidating. Your companion and you, on the other hand, will quickly acquire accustomed to it. After all, you’ll have lots of opportunities to practice!
Before the baby is born you can check out your options such as rental kits or trail packs in advance. Make sure you have everything you need before you start including the nappies and the nappy accessories like a nappy bucket, mesh bags or wet bags. You will need somewhere to put the soiled nappies and baby’s poo and you will want to consider whether or not you use nappy liners. For newborns, you should not need any extra inserts for more absorbency. Make sure after your initial purchase that you have prewashed the nappies and they are ready to go.
If you have purchased used nappies, you may want to wash them as well just in case of detergent build-up. Remember these nappies will be on your baby’s bottom and they have very sensitive skin so you want them washed and ready to go!
When should you start using reusable nappies?
It might be difficult to determine at what age you should begin using cloth nappies for your baby, especially if you have never used cloth nappies before! In addition, we all know that too much nappy advice can be overwhelming rather than useful; and we all know that too much advice may be overpowering rather than helpful! True to its nature, there is no correct or incorrect response to this question. It is absolutely dependent on your circumstances and on what you are comfortable with. The wonderful thing about using cloth nappies is that it is never too late to begin using them. Even using one cloth nappy per day will prevent the waste of around 900 disposable nappies from going to trash!
The following are some topics to think about when deciding when to begin using cloth diapers for your baby.
The vast majority of parents who choose to use cloth nappies, do so from the moment their child is born. There are numerous benefits to doing so. Here are a few of them.
- One of the most significant advantages of cloth nappies is, of course, the fact that they are unlikely to cause irritation to the sensitive skin of newborns. Cloth nappies are produced entirely of natural materials and do not contain any chemical additives or preservatives.
- In addition, newborn babies have the highest number of diaper changes per day, averaging between 8 and 12 diaper changes per day on average. That amounts to almost 600 nappies in the first two months! It is evident from these figures that wearing cloth nappies from the beginning has not only significant environmental benefits but also makes tremendous financial and practical sense. Using just one reusable nappy will save money and the planet!
Despite the fact that some parents can see the benefits of using cloth nappies from the beginning, it may not be the best option for their family. First and foremost, having a child brings about a great deal of change in your life, which may take some getting used to.
Some parents simply do not want to bring any additional stress to their lives during the first few weeks following the birth of their child. You will be using nappies until they are potty trained so don’t stress over missing a few weeks at the beginning.
Second, one-size diapers, despite the fact that they are marketed as “birth-to-potty,” maybe a bit too big for newborns who have just been born. There are newborn diapers available. Some parents opt to get a set of newborn nappies to begin with since they are more comfortable for young newborns. If you intend to have more children in the future, this will be a wise investment for your family.
Can newborns wear reusable nappies?
There is no correct answer to this question. It is absolutely dependent on your circumstances and on what you are comfortable with. The wonderful thing about using cloth nappies is that it is never too late to begin using them. Even using one cloth nappy per day will prevent the waste of around 900 disposable nappies from going to the trash!
Hospital Policies on Cloth Nappy Usage vs Disposable Nappies
If you plan on using cloth nappies from birth you may need to check with your hospital and their policies.
Some, though very few, have a no washable policy. toilet babies potty training cloth nappy cloth nappies using cloth nappies nappy changes
Reusable nappies and umbilical cord
You should use reusable nappies from the beginning of your baby’s life. Make sure the reusable nappy tabs are fastened slightly lower around your baby’s waist to allow air to circulate around the umbilical cord.
Other things to consider when switching to cloth nappies:
Another topic that you should reflect on is the fact that many parents prefer using a disposable nappy for their first few diaper changes. This can be particularly helpful right after birth, when your baby may have his or her umbilical cord stump still attached and need special care while being changed. Also, if there is a hospital stay for any reason, it is highly advisable to use disposables.
Finally, you will have to decide whether or not you want the convenience of disposable wipes during your cloth diaper journey as well. Personally speaking, I found re-usable cotton rounds and baby washcloths more than sufficient enough in terms of cleaning my little one’s bottom during changes. However, if you are not comfortable with this option, or simply want the convenience of using disposable wipes occasionally (or exclusively), there are biodegradable disposable wipes available on the market which will not harm the environment.
How do you start using reusable nappies?
You can start by ordering a trial pack and seeing what suits you best. Alternatively, you can get a loan pack from a cloth nappy library for a newborn and try these for 6-12 weeks depending on their terms and conditions. Once you are happy with what nappies suit you and your baby, then you can purchase the ones you like and just get going.
Practice Changing Reusable Nappies on Teddies
Some people, if it is their first child and they are not experienced in nappy changes often practice nappy changes on a teddy or doll first.
Newborn washable nappies should fit perfectly and this will give you a chance to try all the types of nappies and their different ways of changing.
It can be confusing to start with lots of different types like prefolds, pockets and all in ones so even practising on a baby-friendly teddy can really help get you used to all the different types.
Plan Your Changing Station Area
Have your changing area ready and know where you are going to put your nappy bucket and store your dirty nappies. Check if they fit in that area and if you can still walk around easily. Even if you are dry pailing you still need to store your dirty nappies somewhere!
On your changing station, have the nappies and their accessories required in easy reach.
Work out your washing and drying routine.
When you have a newborn baby you are going to have lots of extra washing. Consider if you need a clothes horse for the wintertime to help drying. And remember to take full advantage of any sunny day to get those nappies on the line. Not all nappies can go in a tumble dryer and your night time nappies make take extra long to dry so its worth getting extra to cover these occasions.
Changing Newborn Nappies Often!
In general, your baby will require a diaper change before or after every feeding, as well as after every pooing session. This can result in up to ten diaper changes each day to begin with!
Lots of parents will switch back and forth between reusable and disposable diapers until the number of changes is reduced to 5 to 6 per day, which is usually achieved by the time your kid is 6 weeks old or so.
Although it is likely that your baby will not be upset by wetness at this stage, getting into the practice of changing your baby’s diapers on a frequent basis can assist to keep the baby’s skin soft and free of nappy rash in the future.
Final Thoughts on Cloth Nappies From Newborn
It can be confusing to start with lots of different types like prefolds, pockets and all in ones so even practising on a baby-friendly teddy can really help get you used to all the different types. If you are not comfortable with this option or simply want the convenience of using disposable wipes occasionally (or exclusively), there are biodegradable disposable wipes available on the market which will not harm the environment.
This article was written by: Gian MIller – Full-Time Writer, Baby Whisperer & Dad of 3.
Gian spends a lot of his time writing. A self-proclaimed baby whisperer, Gian has been through it all with his own children and is passionate about sharing his hard-won wisdom with other parents. When he’s not writing or changing diapers, you can find him playing the guitar or watching baseball (or preferably both at the same time).