Newborns and Cloth Nappies
10th March 2015
When you are first handed that teeny tiny bundle of baby, their fragility is one of the first things you notice. Fingers with nails so small that curl up into balls, a squishy little nose that you can’t help but want to touch and the smallest baby bum that fits so well in the palm of your hand. Babies come in all shapes and sizes but these things are a given. Whether it is your first or your third, you are holding something brand new and dressing them for the first time takes so long as you marvel over the tiny parts and take care to support every muscle.
Some parents use cloth nappies from birth (and we love seeing your pictures!), and if you want to start early on in your new baby’s life, then there are some things you should know.
One of the TotsBots team was handed a series of nappies smeared in food at her local antenatal class to let the parents know about the variety of contents to expect from baby (she has gone off Korma ever since!). Meconium, which is what your baby will expel in the first few days was substituted with marmite. The black tar like poop is not fun to deal with but deal with it you must, and plenty of cotton wool (or cloth wipes) and warm water make cleaning it up easier. It is helpful to know that it only lasts a few days and it does wash out of nappies no problem (and if you can hang them on the line to dry after washing then even better). You can use a liner to protect the nappy if you want too.
When babies are born, their cords are clamped and in most cases a plastic cord clamp is put in place to be left on until it falls off naturally. This shouldn’t affect using cloth nappies as they are designed to go under the belly button. Some people choose other options like cord ties which are less bulky, but either way, the cord should be kept clean and dry. It is normally cut with enough wiggle room to make sure it sits over the top of the nappy quite comfortably. The cord stump tends to fall off naturally at some point in the first couple of weeks of baby’s life.
Whilst a toddler may need changing only a few times per day, newborn babies require an awful lot more clean nappies with the general expectation being 10 a day. They may poop after every feed (day and night) for a little while, and keeping their sensitive skin clean is a priority. For this reason, you may need more small nappies than you will bigger ones depending on how often you plan to wash. Our Teenyfits are suitable from 5 – 12lb and our Easyfits from 8lb so you can mix and match to begin with if you want some teeny fluff but can’t invest in a whole teeny kit. We also sell a 2 part system; our Bamboozle Stretch and Stretchy Wraps in a size one which are perfect for smaller babies.
So, what will you need to use cloth nappies for your newborn?
A selection of nappies depending on what you plan to use and how often you want to wash them (25 gives you the flexibility to wash every other day, even with a newborn).
Liners, either flushable or reusable.
A lidded nappy bucket or zippered wet bag to store the used nappies in until you wash them.
Something to clean that little bum, whether you use cotton wool and water, reusable wipes or baby wipes.
A wet bag for out and about to store any dirty nappies until you get home.
Potion or a non-bio washing powder for washing dirty nappies.
Somewhere to store clean nappies and a changing unit/changing mat.
What age was your little one when you started using cloth?