Everything you need to know about getting started with cloth nappies.
No matter what stage of the parenting journey you’re at, there has never been a better time to start using cloth nappies than now. We’ve created this page for our cloth nappy newbies. We hope it covers everything you need to know about getting started. If we’ve missed anything just get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer it and add it to this page to help others.
How do cloth nappies work?
Old-school cloth nappies were a bulky piece of towelling folded and pinned to bubs - many people still think of these when they hear ‘cloth nappy’. However today you’ll find cloth nappies combine traditional functionality with contemporary design to suit our busy modern lifestyles.
Today’s cloth nappies are generally made up of two elements; a waterproof cover and an absorbent insert. Our covers are made of a breathable TPU fabric and lined with ultra soft wicking suede to keep bub dry and comfortable. Our absorbent inserts are made of bamboo terry and attach to the inside of the cover to catch everything. Watch our video to discover the anatomy of an EcoNaps nappy.
Are there different sizes?
EcoNaps offer a one size nappy that can be adjusted throughout your baby’s nappy wearing years. Our nappies are designed to fit from 3.5kg to 16kg which typically covers newborn babies right through to toilet trained toddlers. This means you don’t need to purchase different sizes and can simply adjust them to fit your growing baby. Watch our video to see how our nappies resize.
Is it hard to put cloth nappies on your baby?
If you’ve ever dressed a newborn you’ll know it’s fiddly for the first time. Using our EcoNaps cloth nappies is no different and will take a couple of goes to get right, but we promise you’ll be a pro in no time. We’ve created lots of demo videos to guide you every step of the way. Explore videos here.
Can I just use cloth nappies just some of the time?
Of course! Even if you swapped one disposable nappy to a cloth nappy each day, you’d divert around 900 nappies from landfill over your baby’s nappy wearing years. Every small decision can have a big impact so why not give it a go!
How many cloth nappies will I need?
Some people start slowly by using just one or two nappies a day while at home. This approach lets you get used to cloth nappies with your little one before investing in a full set. Others dive right in and use them all the time!
Below is a guide on how many cloth nappies you might need. This is based on you doing a load of washing every second day but we’ve also popped a few extra nappies in to get you through rainy days (when your nappies might need a little extra drying time).
8 to 10 cloth nappies is enough for part time use of 2-3 per day
12 to 18 cloth nappies is enough for full time day use of 4-6 per day
24 to 28 cloth nappies is enough to use full time both day and night
What else will I need to start my cloth nappy journey?
You’ll need to set up a baby change area at home with a few things for a fuss-free experience. Here’s what we recommend having ready to go.
Extra inserts can make EcoNaps even more economical because it’s possible to change them (and not the cover) if bubs has just done a wee. You’ll just need to give nappy covers the change to air dry before using again.
The inserts supplied with your cloth nappy are already very absorbent, so you may have no need additional boosters. However there are times when an extra booster is useful. For example if you have a heavy wetter, an hourglass booster will add extra absorption. Or if you are going to use cloth nappies overnight, a trifold booster will offer about twice the absorption of the hourglass booster. Our booster kits give you freedom to choose exactly what you need.
Wet bags are an essential (and adored) cloth nappy accessory. They’re made from the same waterproof fabric as EcoNaps cloth nappy covers and are used to hold soiled nappies when out and about. They’re reusable, leak resistant, odour containing, and can be tossed into the wash with our nappies after use. Grab at least a couple to cover your cloth nappy needs.
Cloth nappy liners:
Liners are handy if you’re worried about dealing with poo. Our mess-free bamboo liners are made from 100% biodegradable bamboo viscose and resemble a very thin paper towel. You lay them on top of the nappy insert before fitting the nappy to bubs. When it’s time to change the nappy you simply peel off the liner and dispose of the poo.
Basket for dirty nappies:
There are many fancy (and expensive) nappy bins available, but we recommend a good old fashioned laundry basket. Through a bit of nifty research (and cloth nappying our own kids) we’ve realised that more airflow equals less smell! If you choose something unbreathable like a sealed wet bag or bin with a lid, moisture is trapped which encourages bacteria to grow. Long story short, choose anything with airflow.
How often do you need to change cloth nappies?
As a rule of thumb, most babies will need to be changed every 2-3 hours in a cloth nappy.
This is slightly more often than disposable nappies because cloth nappies use physical absorption to soak up liquids, not a powdered gelling agent like most disposables. The time will vary from bub to bub and you’ll soon learn what works for you. As bubs gets older and gains some bladder control, you’ll find the number of nappies per day decreases too.
Do they work at night?
Yes! You might just need a little extra absorption to extend the time between changes. While the inserts included with our nappies are very absorbent, some babies need a little more support. With some trial and error you’ll soon learn if your baby needs more absorption and you can simply add a tri-fold night booster to your nappy if so.
How do I wash cloth nappies?
It’s easier than you think. There’s no soaking or scrubbing involved and you’ll only need to do a load of washing every second day - even if you’re using cloth nappies full time. Check out our washing guide to discover how easy it really is.
How do I use cloth nappies while out and about?
It’s simple. The only difference to disposables is that you take the nappy home with you rather than toss it in the bin. We recommend carrying a wet bag with you everywhere to securely stash nappies before you return home to wash as normal. Find more tips on how to use cloth nappies on the go over on our blog.
Want to see our nappies inside & out?
Head over to our About Our Nappies page to take a closer look at our nappy anatomy.
I’m ready to give EcoNaps modern cloth nappies a try, how do I start?
Get started with our Trial Pack of two nappies and we’ll give you a $50 credit to redeem on your next purchase of 6 or more cloth nappies. If you’re keen to buy more nappies and get started right away, simply put the trial pack in your cart along with 6 or more cloth nappies and your $50 voucher will be applied automatically. Orders over $99 also get free shipping.