Getting started with cloth nappies is simple and the decision doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can replace 1 nappy a day, try 1 day a week, part-time, daytime only, night-time only or full time. It’s entirely up to you and what suits your family. Cloth nappies are very easy to use and are not hard work. All that’s involved is an extra couple of wash loads in your week. With modern cloth nappies, there is no need to soak, scrub or boil. You simply wash them in your machine and then dry them and reuse.
Quick Start Guide
1. Decide what type of cloth nappy you want to use. We recommend a mixture of types to start with whilst you find your favourite for you and your baby. We have put together a “Bells Bumz For a Day” bundle, allowing you to sample all types at a discount.
2. Decide how many cloth nappies you need. As a rule of thumb, allow for a newborn baby to use around 10 nappies per 24 hours, which will decrease over time to around 6 nappies per 24 hours by the time baby is 4-6 months old. You will not need to change your baby any more regularly than you would in a disposable.
3. Decide what accessories you need. We recommend:
- A Nappy Pail wet bag or an airy basket (more holes than plastic) to store dirty nappies until wash day.
- Wet bags for out and about to store wet nappies (for nurseries that like to use a double bag system, the Bells Bumz mini wet bags can fit a folded nappy and then you can use a medium wet bag as the second bag to collect all the individual nappies inside their mini wet bags).
- A Nappy Pod for in the house or out and about to store clean nappies (these are big enough to fit clean nappies plus other essentials such as baby clothes).
- Fleece Liners to line the nappy, keep baby feeling dry and to catch the poo – but these are not essential.
4. Decide whether you want to use cloth overnight. As a rule of thumb, baby will need changing through the night until they are not soiling overnight (as you need to change after every poo) and until around 4-6 months old. Until this stage, you will not need dedicated night nappies and can simply use whatever you use in the day. This is accounted for in the 10 nappies per 24 hours rule above. Once baby is 4-6 months old, you will need one nappy per night with one wrap, and if using night nappies every night, we recommend 5 nappies with 3 wraps (allowing for the nappies to take longer to dry). We recommend fitted or flat nappies as a two-part system.
5. You may notice pink indentations to your babies’ skin around the legs and the waist – these are referred to as “sock marks” and are completely normal as long as the skin is not broken, they are not red and they disappear after the next nappy change.
6. Sometimes cloth nappies leak. Remember disposable nappies can leak too. It can be normal and with cloth (unlike with disposables) can usually be prevented by looking at fit and absorbency. The cloth community is very supportive and will be able to help you consider if you have enough absorbency in the right place and check the fit of your nappies. The Bells Bumz Parenting and Cloth Nappy chat on Facebook is a wonderful group to join.
7. For washing and caring for your Bells Bumz Nappies, we recommend a daily or every other day pre-wash at 40 or 60 degrees with a half dose detergent, and then dry pail in an airy basket (more holes than plastic), mesh laundry bag or nappy pail wet bag. This should be followed by a regular main wash, usually the long cottons cycle (not eco) on your machine (maximum day 4) at 40 or 60 degrees with a full dose of detergent. Newborn poo (any poo before weaning starts) is water soluble and does not need to be removed prior to washing. Once weaning starts, simply remove the poo (the toilet flush, shower head into the toilet/ bucket or, after poos are more solid, they “plop” off, especially if using fleece liners) before dry pailing.
Bells Bumz Eco launched the FIRST Nationwide Cloth Nappy incentive scheme
Some local councils offer a Real Cloth Nappy Incentive voucher scheme to encourage the use of reusable cloth nappies over disposables. Contact your local council for details of any cloth nappy schemes in your local area. Bells Bumz also offer the first nationwide UK Cloth Nappy incentive scheme. You can apply for your local council cloth nappy incentive scheme and also apply for the Bells Bumz reusable cloth nappy incentive scheme.
Bells Bumz Eco Cloth Nappies and Accessories UK have launched Bells 4 Change, which includes our new Bells Bumz Eco Grants alongside our affordability strategy, Nationwide Cloth Nappy Incentive Scheme, other charitable donations (both in the UK and abroad), supporting Cloth Nappy Libraries and our Family Lifetime warranty, which includes an offer to repair and repurpose old cloth nappies, regardless of brand, to give or raise funds for good causes.