Cloth Nappying a Newborn

 Cloth nappying a newborn can be   challenging, especially if it's your first baby and you don't have a lot of help. 


So what's the best way to approach cloth nappying a newborn?

It comes down to what best suits you and your family, but here are some options:

- Use disposables for the first few weeks until you have bonded with your baby, established breastfeeding, and are starting to emerge from the fog of new motherhood. Then go straight into One Size nappies.

- Have a stash of newborn or small sized cloth nappies (work out how many you'll need based on how often you plan on washing) that will last around 3-6 months depending on the brand and the size/growth of your baby. Justify the expense by planning to use them on future children, or share your stash with a friend or sister - so long as your babies are not due at the same time!

- Plan to use One Size nappies from birth, but be prepared for some One Size nappies to not fit very well for the first few weeks depending on the baby. It is a state that generally only lasts until the baby has put on a little weight.

- Have prefolds and covers on hand for your newborn, to last until they move on to One Size nappies.

- Take it easy on yourself and know that once you have a routine set up for your nappy washing it becomes a habit and much easier.

Are there any advantages to cloth nappying you newborn from birth?

There are some definite advantages to using cloth from birth, including

  • Making it easier to record how many wet nappies your newborn is having - which is reassuring when you're establishing breastfeeding. Here's a timeline from the Australian Breastfeeding Association which includes how many wet nappies you should have over the first week.
  • Saving money and waste. Newborns are changed up to 10-12 times a day - that's a lot of nappies if you use disposables. Mind you, it can also be a lot of washing, so if you have someone happy to do your washing for you, it can help!
  • Reducing exposure of your newborn to chemicals - especially if you have sensitivities in your family.
  • Starting the way you mean to continue. It can be hard to switch back to cloth after using disposables for a while. If you really want to use cloth nappies from birth, are prepared and have support and help, you can do it!
See our blog 'Why use cloth nappies from birth'.

Having a newborn to care for is a huge adjustment in and of itself, but there are several issues specific to cloth nappies:

  - It's hard to prepare

  - You don't know your baby's size or shape until they're born and whether they're better suited for a newborn nappy or can go straight into a One Size nappy.

- You need so many nappies

Newborns are changed A LOT! What's 3 days worth of nappies for a 6 month old is only 1-2 days worth for a newborn. This means you'll either need more nappies for the first few months, or wash more often, or bulk out your stash with flats or prefolds, or supplement with disposables.

Keeping up with the washing

All those nappies need to be washed so if you can delegate washing to someone else for those first few weeks, or get someone else to take on some of the other household tasks to free you up, then that takes a lot of pressure off. This isn't possible for everyone; so waiting until things have settle down and nappy changes aren't so frequent can make sense for some.

Newborns grow so quickly!

No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on nappies which will only be worn for a few weeks.


In the long run the benefits truly outweigh the challenges when in comes to cloth nappying a newborn. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding cloth nappying your baby.