Getting Started with Cloth Nappies

Getting started with cloth nappies doesn't need to be difficult.  I know there's a lot of information out there about the 'right' way to do things, and if you want to follow that path, go for it!! 

I'm going to try and bring it right back to the very basics below, to take away the fear around using cloth ... because it's not as hard as it sounds.  I promise.

So, what kind of cloth nappies do you sell?
Here at Bear & Moo, we sell a few different types.  We sell pocket cloth nappies in One Size Fits Most and Large, which means there is the outer, and an insert which you put into the pocket of the outer.  The inserts that come with our nappies are made of microfibre.  If you find you need more absorbency you can add additional inserts, or try bamboo, cotton or hemp inserts.

We also sell two all-in-one styles, a newborn nappy with all the absorbency built in, and a Luxe nappy with attached inserts - 4 layers of hemp, 3 layers of bamboo and 1 layer of suede.

Need help with the terminology?  Read the blog or watch the video!

Ok, I've got my nappy.  Now what?
The first thing you'll want to do is pop it in the washing machine.  Doing this before your first use means you're getting rid of any residue from the manufacturer and helping with the absorbency.  So just throw it in the next wash load you do to prep it.

Done that.  I'm ready to go!  
Awesome!  If you have a stash of nappies, the first thing I'd recommend is when they come in from being washed, put the inserts in the pockets so you're ready to go.  That way when you have a wriggling baby you're not trying to stuff an insert as well as dress your little one!

It seems too big, or too small?
See those domes on the front?  You can adjust those to fit.  So you can close them up tighter both length and width wise to give the fit you need.

Here's a video to help with sizing and absorbency.

It's been a few hours and bub is wet.  So what do I do?
Firstly, change their nappy (obviously!).  But then you just take that nappy and put it in an empty, dry bucket.  And leave it until you do a nappy load in the washing machine.

What if it's poo?
Pretty much the same as above.  Start by flushing the poo down the toilet like you would (or should be doing) for a disposable nappy.  Give the nappy a quick rinse to get off any extra poo, and pop it in the dry bucket.

Should I be adding anything to the nappy?  Cleaners? Bleach?
Nope!  Nothing.  Seriously.  A dry bucket is the best place for your nappies while waiting to be washed.  

What about washing?  How often?  What do I do?
I would recommend washing the nappies every 2 - 3 days.  Much longer than that and they may start to smell a little.  And how?  Easy.  Throw them in the machine, add your normal laundry liquid or powder (I prefer Persil), and run them on a warm cycle.  Don't add any fabric softeners or extras, and don't add more liquid or powder than needed.  Then do a second wash with the nappies and other small items like baby clothes.  This should also be warm with detergent.  

How do I dry them?
On the line is ideal.  Sunlight is perfect for getting out any last stains.  You can throw them in the dryer if needed ... just don't make it too hot for the outers.

Prefer to watch a video about wash routines?  Check it out here.  

I like this ... how many more nappies do I need to buy?
That's up to you.  If you want to do nappies full time, you might need around 20 nappies.  It depends on how often you want to wash them, how many kids you've got, and how often you find you're changing your little one.

This is great but I don't want to do full time.  Is that ok?
Of course it is!   You can just do cloth during the day, or when you're at home.  Or if one of your kids is sick, you can use a disposable.  I'm not perfect, and no one is expected to be.  But every time I use a disposable, I remember it's costing me about 45c ... so I have to really want to use it!!

One of my favourite resources is Waste Free with Kate.  She is full of excellent information about cloth nappies and other waste-free products.

More questions?  We would love to hear from you.  Email us at