Cloth Nappy Changing Guide
Bundled up in the joy of becoming a new parent is the realisation of just how chaotic life is about to become; there are many things to take care of when it comes to your new baby. From establishing a feeding schedule and sleeping routine to learning how to install and secure a baby car seat or carrier, your new role as parent will be sprinkled equally with heart-melting moments and hair-pulling frustrations.
One especially important skill you will need to learn is how to change your baby’s nappy. While it’s hard to get wrong, there are some tips and tricks that are worth learning in order to make the next poo explosion much more manageable.
If you’ve decided that cloth nappies might be the right nappy style for you and your baby, you’ll be pleased to know that there are minimal differences when it comes to changing a modern cloth nappy and a disposable nappy. Plus, the added benefit of knowing that you are making positive contributions to the health of the planet is, without a doubt, something to be happy about.
This is one of the common questions around newborns and nappy changing. It takes a little time to get used to just how many nappies a newborn can go through in one day.
The general consensus is to change the nappy around every 2–4 hours, but it really depends on the baby.
One added perk is that cloth nappies are modifiable; if you add an extra layer for absorbency, cloth nappies can last a little bit longer between changes and up to 12 hours overnight.
How to change a modern cloth nappy
The best way to ensure a successful cloth nappy change is to make sure you are prepared with all the supplies you need.
Once you are ready, start to unfasten the cloth nappy. For wet nappies, the process is fairly straightforward: simply roll up the wet nappy and store it for washing. But, if your little one has pooped their nappy, you can use the front half of the nappy to clean away as much waste as possible.
After you have used wipes to clean their skin and put a fresh nappy on, you can get rid of the excess waste in the soiled nappy by flushing solids down the toilet. Rinse the cloth nappy and store it in a dry pail for your next pre-wash load.
A well-stocked changing station will make life a little easier when it comes to nappy changes. Here’s the essentials you really should aim to include:
- Clean cloth nappies
- A clean waterproof nappy cover
- A towel to make sure your baby is clean and dry
- Nappy rash cream
- A supply of disposable liners
- Inserts for added absorbency
- A baby rattle or teething toy to keep baby entertained.
Modern Cloth Nappies
Nappies have a habit of causing rashes and uncomfortable sensations on a baby’s delicate skin. Due to the wonder of bamboo fibres, Bamboo Grove modern cloth nappies are known for their gentleness. And, their environmental credentials are certainly to be admired also.
This unlikely combination makes them suitable as a full time option for your baby. If you plan to solely use modern cloth nappies on your child, you will require around 24 cloth nappies, so that you always have enough clean nappies in rotation. Our Full Time Cloth Nappy Pack includes everything you need to do round-the-clock nappy changes from the moment they are born through to the toddler age.
Some parents do find, however, that a combination of cloth nappies and disposable nappies suits their lifestyle a little better. In this case we recommend keeping 12 cloth nappies in rotation. Our Half Time Cloth Nappy Pack, similar to our Full Time Pack, includes all the essentials you need.
Any time there is a newborn in the house, parents will testify to the essential need to have a functional nappy changing station located somewhere in the home. Just like the frustration of finding an empty milk carton in the fridge, or the last square of toilet paper on the roll, so too can be the panic and frustration at finding your nappy changing station depleted of its essential items. So always make sure it is fully stocked!
One of those must-haves is baby wipes. While Bamboo Grove doesn’t sell reusable baby wipes, there are many natural biodegradable brands on the market, or a natural alternative is to use a damp face washer or similar substitute to clean your baby between nappy changes.
It really is worth your time to set up a change table at home. It helps to have a centrally located change station where you can stock all your nappy changing paraphernalia. This makes for a great way to set the scene and help babies learn to expect a nappy change or a change of outfit when placed in this location.
However, sometimes space can be an issue, making a change station not such a practical addition to the family home. In this case, a great alternative is to use a portable change mat and nappy caddy. These two items are easily transportable, so you can change nappies anywhere in the house.
Portable change mats will help protect surfaces if your little one happens to do a mid-change poo explosion, and since change mats can go in the washing machine, they’re super easy to keep hygienically clean.
One of the perks of using cloth nappies is the ability to increase absorbency. This is particularly handy for overnight nappy wear, or for children who are heavy wetters in general.
Simply adding a few nappy inserts into your cloth nappy shell or inserting them into the nappy pocket will make the cloth nappy highly absorbent. Then, after they’ve been used, simply wash and dry for convenient reuse.
Nappy liners are another game-changing aspect of cloth nappies. They are primarily used to catch solids, making nappy changing easier and preventing cloth nappies from staining.
Nappy liners are 100% biodegradable, so once a nappy gets soiled, you can simply just throw them out. Or if it is only wet, you may rinse and reuse the nappy liner a few times before disposing.
Wet bags are another must if you are using cloth nappies. They make for a convenient place to store soiled nappies, whether you are at home or out and about. The large double pocket wet bags are particularly handy to separate dry and soiled nappies, and keep a small wet bag with wet reusable wipes handy, such a great environmentally friendly alternative to disposable wipes.
The best part is that wet bags are reusable. This is a welcome change from single use plastic bags. Umm… no thank you! A wet bag is also easier to clean than you would expect; simply pop them in the washing machine with your next load of cloth nappies and it will be good to go for the next time you need to store a soiled nappy. We love making parent-life as easy as possible!
We’re pretty sure there aren’t too many parents who love getting up in the night to change a nappy, but since it is a necessary task, having that wet bag on hand will make the whole process a much smoother operation.
Combine this with a change station or nappy caddy that is well-stocked with all the essentials and you really will have covered all bases when it comes to successful, easy nappy changes.
Best baby clothes to use for easy cloth nappy changing
Changing cloth nappies when not at home
In the absence of your at-home nappy change setup, we recommend that you invest in a quality nappy bag with plenty of compartments that you can fill with all your nappy essentials.
Once you find that private space—be it a parent room at the shopping centre, or the boot of the car, everything pretty much works the same, so long as you have your nappy bag nearby.
How to wash modern cloth nappies
One of the best things about modern cloth nappies is their reusability. We love how easy they are to wash and prepare for the next clean nappy change. Once solids have been flushed down the loo, soiled nappies can be quickly rinsed to remove any residual solids.
Store the rinsed nappies in a dry pail until the daily pre-wash, then store them again until you have a big enough load for a long main wash at 40–60C.
Add some towels or similar items to bulk up the load for adequate agitation and to ensure that you will have nice and clean nappies at the end of the main wash.
Once the cycle has finished, you can hang them out to line dry.
Although you can dry the nappy shells on a low heat, you will extend the lifespan of the waterproof PUL nappy shells if they are line dried, as the heat from the drier can damage the PUL shells and cause them to delaminate quicker.
The bamboo-cotton inserts, which are made from all natural fibres, can be tumble dried safely at a higher temperature.
It really is very hard to get cloth nappies wrong. Once you’ve mastered the basics, it will just become the normal part of every day, and you’ll be glad that you’re making a positive impact on the environment as well as not having to fork out money all the time for disposables.
We acknowledge that every family and every baby is different. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find out which nappy system works best for you and your baby. One thing is for certain, tales of poo explosions are a rite of passage in babyhood and every baby is bound to have at least one amusing story that no doubt their parents will make special mention of at their much-anticipated 21st birthday celebrations.