Newborn Nappies - A Guide to changing your first Reusable Nappy

newborn nappies

Changing your newborn baby’s reusable nappy for the first time may seem a bit daunting. But it will soon become second nature to you and your partner. After all, you're going to get plenty of practice! Our tips will help you along the way.


1. Choosing your first reusable nappy

There are so many nappies out there for you to choose from! So, where do you start? At TotsBots we have two nappy designs, an all-in-one nappy and a two part nappy system.

All-in-one nappy

Just like a disposable, our EasyFit All-In-One nappy keeps your little one snug as they grow and helps to make nappy changes quick and simple. With the handy hook and loop nappy tabs and adjustable poppers, you’ll find this nappy easy to get the hang of.  You can find out more about the EasyFit here

Are you expecting twins? Or has your little bundle of joy arrived earlier than expected? If your little one weighs between 5 – 12lbs, our super cute TeenyFits or Newborn Nappy Kits will be perfect for your teeny tot!

Our TeenyFit nappies are the same design as the EasyFit, just slightly smaller to give a better fit around your wee one’s legs and waist.


Two-part nappy system

Our Bamboozle Two Part Nappy System is a super absorbent day-to-night nappy, consisting of a waterproof nappy shell (called a Bamboozle Wrap), the award-winning Bamboozle Stretch, and soft Bamboo Nappy Pads.  You can tailor the nappy absorbency to suit your little one and to prevent any sneaky leaks. To find out more about our Bamboozle Two Part Nappy System, click here.

Still not 100% sure on what nappy to go for? Check out our Cloth Nappy Guide.


2. Packing a hospital bag

It’s hard to know exactly how many nappies you’ll need to pack in your hospital bag as you may be in the hospital longer than you think, but we’d recommend packing 8+ reusable nappies and some disposable nappy liners to help make those first few changes easy!

Don’t forget to also pack a wet bag so you can store your reusable nappies until wash time. If you’re a new parent-to-be, check out our handy Hospital Bag Checklist.


3. Reusable nappies and umbilical cord

If you decide to use reusable nappies from day one, fasten the reusable nappy tabs slightly lower around your baby's waist so air can circulate around the umbilical cord.


4. Prepare for A LOT of nappy changes.

As a rough guide, your baby will need a nappy change before or after every feed, and whenever they have pooed. This can mean up to 10 nappy changes daily to begin with!

A lot of parents will mix and match with reusable and disposables nappies until this settles down to 5 to 6 changes, which is usually by the time your baby is 6 weeks old. 

It’s likely that your baby won't be bothered by wetness at this stage but getting into a habit of changing regularly will help keep the baby's skin soft and free of nappy rash.

Nappy rash can be super uncomfortable for baby (cue screaming) and happens when their skin is damp for too long; causing soreness and irritation.  According to My Expert Midwife, changing your baby's nappy regularly and ensuring the skin is clean and dry will massively reduce the chances of nappy rash appearing.

For extra protection against dampness and nappy rash, pop in a TotsBots fleece liner. These clever liners sit against the skin and let pee pass through into the nappy where it's absorbed. The liner stays dry and baby's skin stays happy. Simply wash and reuse again and again.

Top tip: To check whether your little one’s nappy has pooped, carefully peek inside the back waist.


5. Getting ready to change your baby’s reusable nappy

To help you feel confident and prepared for your first couple of nappy changes, set up a nappy changing station with everything you need.  Psst, nappy mats tend to be made from cold waterproof PVC, so to keep your baby warm, top the mat with one of our fluffy waterproof Happy Change Mats.

Here are our top 10 nappy table essentials:

  1. Stash of reusable nappies
  2. Nappy Liners
  3. Nappy Booster Pads
  4. Soft reusable wipes (We love them as they’re delicate on your baby’s skin and easy to use. Simply dunk the wipe in cooled boiled water and wash your baby’s bum).
  5. A top-and-tail bowl to help you keep the water and reusable wipes for your baby’s face and bum separate.
  6. Toys to help distract your little one
  7. Nappy wet & dry bag
  8. Nappy bucket
  9. Organic cotton Muslin to clean up small spills or to use as a comforter
  10. Hand sanitizer


6. Baby's Poo

In your baby's first nappy, you can expect to find a greenish-black, sticky stool that looks like motor oil. Don’t be alarmed! This is called meconium and it is perfectly normal. It's just your baby's bowel clearing out everything that has accumulated during their nine months in your womb. When your baby is two to four days old, the poo will become lighter in colour and less sticky. 

If your baby is exclusively breastfed, the poo will usually be yellow or slightly green and will have a mushy or creamy consistency.  If the baby is formula-fed, it will be pasty and peanut butter-like and either tan-brown, yellow-brown, or green-brown colour.


7. Cleaning baby’s bottom

Ok, we’ve made it to the nitty-gritty part of how to clean your baby’s bum:

  1. Wipe around your baby's genitals and bottom to clean away any poo. Remember to wipe the area from front to back and make sure you clean the groin creases. 
  2. Pat dry with a clean towel or reusable wipe, remembering to dry the groin to avoid any chaffing.
  3. If possible, leave your baby’s bottom open to the air for a few minutes before putting on a clean reusable nappy.


8. Nappy rash and barrier cream 

You don't need to use a barrier cream with every reusable nappy change. In fact, some parents only use it at night-time as the baby will wear the reusable nappy for longer compared to during the day.

It’s unlikely that your newborn will develop a nappy rash, until 9 to 12 months. However, your newborn’s skin is sensitive and you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t become irritated.

If you’d prefer to use a barrier cream, be sure to use a nappy liner and a natural-based cream that will dissolve in detergent. 


9. Nappy liners

The main cause of nappy rash is wetness from contact with wee and poo. So, the best defence is a dry bottom!

Using a nappy liner will help protect against irritation. Nappy liners are made from a non-absorbent material to catch the poo and keep wetness away from the baby’s skin. We recommend using disposable biodegradable liners or reusable washable fleece liners.

The washable ones are best for newborn skin as they are absolutely the best at keeping it dry.


10. Night Nappies

To help your baby sleep through the night, we’d recommend the Bamboozle Night – Two Part Nappy System. 

The Two Part Nappy System will give you double containment and protection against leaks, especially when the reusable nappy is worn for longer periods of time.

Check out our full range of reusable nappies here


newborn nappies