What’s the best age to start cloth nappies?
So you’ve decided to use cloth nappies - welcome aboard!
As a new parent, deciding which type of nappy to go for is just one of the big decisions you’ll face. Breast or bottle? To sleep train or not to sleep train? Which series of Gilmore Girls should you start on when the late-night feeds kick in?
Choosing which type of nappy to go for is another biggie but when you opt for cloth nappies over disposables, you’re giving your child the softest, fluffiest start possible, saving money AND helping the planet. Wait, is this the easiest decision yet?
What’s the best age to start using cloth nappies?
The simple answer is you can start whenever feels right – no judgement here! Some people start their cloth bum journey from birth and some wait until their new tot has settled into their new home (and you’ve had at least four hours uninterrupted sleep).
Starting cloth nappies from birth
Welcoming a new person into your life is stressful enough, but when that new person is tiny, completely helpless, and screams at every minor inconvenience; it’s a whole new ball game.
The first few weeks can be a steep learning curve, but it’s easier than you think to start using cloth nappies from birth. Take it from us – we’ve done it!
First off, you can specify in your birth plan that you want to use cloth nappies - hospitals, birth centres and midwives have seen it all before and will respect your wishes.
Preparation is key
In addition to comfy knickers and emergency chocolate, make sure you have wet bags, plenty of nappies and liners in your hospital bag - soon you’ll be gazing at your cute tot in their first cloth nappy. Aw!
Remember, cloth nappies are especially good for newborns as they’re made from incredibly soft, fluffy materials which are super gentle on newborn skin compared to disposables.
They’re also breathable, which means no sore, red bums and nappy-rash induced woes.
The important thing is getting the right fit on baby; especially if they have skinny little legs. Just make sure there are no gaps, or you'll soon become acquainted with what is known as a “poonami” in the parenting world.
Check out our complete newborn kit for everything you need to start using cloth nappies from birth.
Ready to ditch disposables?
Lots of people make the journey to cloth nappies after a period of using disposables. We get it – they’re cheap, readily available and you’ve got enough to think about!
Once things have settled down and you’re ready, we’ve got everything you need to get started with cloth nappies and to make the transition as hassle-free as possible.
Decide how often you want to use cloth nappies
Before you make the switch, it’s wise to work out if you plan on using cloth nappies every day or just occasionally.
Starting out small might mean swapping one disposable nappy for a cloth nappy per day. This is great if you just want to try cloth nappies (we know you’ll love them) but you’ll also save 365 disposable nappies from landfill per year! Win!
What you’ll need
To start using cloth nappies, you’ll need some basics. At the very least; nappies, nappy liners and somewhere to store the poopy ones before washing. You may want to ease into it and just try one change per day. TotsBots trial kits are a good way to do this as they will contain everything you need for a couple of changes and also enable you compare the different nappy types at the same time.
If you’re decided you want to jump straight in and go for it full-time, we’ve designed complete starter kits containing everything you need;
- All-in-one nappies for day time
- Two part fitted nappies for night- time
- Waterproof wraps
- Nappy pads to boost absorbency if needed
- Nappy liners
- A nappy bucket and laundry accessories incl a specially formulated nappy wash powder
What to expect when you start using cloth nappies
You’ve secured your stash – now what? The main difference in using reusable nappies is washing. Unlike a disposable, you’ll wash and dry the nappy after use then reuse it, again and again. Wear, wash, repeat!
Making the switch to cloth nappies full time does mean spending more money upfront too, but you’ll save money in the long run vs. using disposables (a saving of £1475 per child* - that’s one helluva spa break).
Once you’ve got your routine sorted, you won’t notice much difference to using disposables in terms of time. We’ve been using reusable nappies on our own babies here at TotsBots for the last 22 years and can confirm that they’re not that much extra work at all. It goes like this:
- 5 minutes to put in the machine, pop in the powder and select your cycle
- 5 minutes to hang up or pop in the dryer once the cycle is finished
- 5 minutes to fold and put away
- 3 x times a week
We hope this information’s been useful, but we’ve complied a list of resources here for you if you’d like to know more:
- Join our TotsBots Facebook community Behind the Seams for chats, advice and all things cloth nappy related.
- Watch our handy videos on YouTube here
- Read our cloth nappy FAQs
Or, if you’d like to chat to us directly, drop us an email us here.
*UK Government figures https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/blog/life-events/are-reusable-nappies-worth-it-and-how-much-do-they-cost