Our experts answer your cloth nappy questions

We’re putting some common cloth nappy questions to our nappy experts. If you have a question that you’d like answered, then make sure you let us know. Click here to submit your question. Our ask the experts section, is for anything you’d like to know. It doesn’t matter how big or small.

When’s the best time to start cloth nappies?

  • We think from birth because then you get your systems all set up and you don’t have to change systems while you manage your baby.  If you get it all sorted out before the baby is born that’s even better.  Otherwise, start whenever you can, the sooner you start, the less disposables going into landfill and the quicker you’ll realise how great cloth nappies are! Claire – Real Nappies
  • If you are a first-time parent with a newborn, you may prefer to wait for a few weeks until you get into the swing of things with your new family addition. Especially if you’ve chosen to go with OSFM nappies from the start – some of these don’t fit quite as well as others on newborns so don’t be put off if at first, you have a few leaks. It isn’t likely to keep happening. But if you want to do cloth from day one – go for it! Consider investing in some newborn-sized nappies, prefolds are a very economical option or hire a newborn pack until you’re ready for the abundance of OSFM options.
    • If you have a slightly older baby or a toddler and you’ve been thinking of giving cloth a go – just dive right in. There is no need to wait until you have set the amount, you can start with 1 nappy. Select something you like the look of, seems simple, perhaps adore the print of, based on a friend’s recommendation and give it a go and take it from there.
    • If you have reservations – use them at home to start with. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be enjoying using them on outings, trips and overnight. Erica – Chubby Cheeks
  • Quite literally anytime. Whenever you feel like it! Early cloth nappy days are full of fun experimentation, so I think it helps when you’re in the mood for that – whether your baby is five days, eight months, or two years old at that point doesn’t matter. To me, cloth nappies are supposed to improve and brighten up your day-to-day, not add more stress. Zora – Jubel

What was your first cloth nappy and why did you choose it?

  • I was clueless when I started cloth. I knew I wanted to use cloth and started looking for second-hand and affordable options while pregnant with my first. Being over 7 years ago information and availability was quite different to current options. My first purchase seemed like a bargain – a secondhand pack of 8 Nap Naps fitted nappies. They were organic cotton, AIO with a snake insert & booster & came with a liner, seemed simple from what I read online and were suitable from newborn, would work overnight and from memory they are NZ made. (P.S. I had no idea they needed a separate cover until they arrived.) They were in almost perfect condition so a really good buy. But I’ve only ever used them intermittently over time. I do still have them in my stash with my now 3rd cloth baby whereas some of my other earlier choices have definitely been moved on. Erica – Chubby Cheeks
  • I don’t recall whether it was my very first cloth nappy, but it was definitely one of the first ones. An ALVA Baby nappy with a positional print of The Great Wave. I didn’t know nappies could be that beautiful and I HAD to have it. I’m still a sucker for stunning prints, so not much has changed in that department. Zora – Jubel
  • We used Real Nappies from the very beginning.  We chose them because I really wanted to use cotton (for environmental and softness reasons).  And I was adamant I wanted velcro.  Real Nappies provided both of those options, so we got the Birth to Potty Pack, and a year later we loved them so much we bought the company! Claire – Real Nappies

Share your personal wash routine – what works for your nappies?

  • Every morning – pre wash the previous day’s nappies and that night’s nappy – 50 minutes at 40 degrees.
    • Every third day – main wash three days’ worth of nappies – 3 hours at 60 degrees.
    • Some might say I’m doing the pre and main washes a bit backwards, but my washing machine’s shortest 60 degree cycle is nearly 2 hours long! And I’m not doing THAT every morning 😀 Zora – Jubel
  • Although it’s not necessary to soak, we like to use Real Nappies Nappy Fresh and leave our prefolds soaking until we are ready to wash them.  Then we put them in the machine on a normal wash when we’ve got enough nappies for a load.  This works really well for us.  We always have clean and fresh nappies!  We mostly line dry. Claire -Real Nappies
  • I have a Bosch front loader.
    • Night nappies are hand rinsed in the morning and I dry pail them with the rest of the nappies until pre-wash.
    • Pre-wash every 1-2 days – 1 hour at 40 degrees occasionally 60 degrees if a night nappy has sat for a bit longer
    • Main wash every 2-3 days – just over 3 hours cotton cycle at 40 degrees with kids cloths/small items
    • I use Persil laundry liquid (I switch variants) and I add a small amount of booster to my main wash (sometimes) Erica – Chubby Cheeks

We’ll have the answers to more cloth nappy questions from different experts soon. Remember to let us know if you have something you’d like answered.

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