How to use reusable nappies?

A beginner’s guide to using your cloth nappies.

What are your first thoughts when you hear phrase ‘reusable nappies’ or ‘cloth nappies’? You probably picture your grandma soaking and boiling birdseye flats or terrys, many leaks and constant nappy changes. But thankfully these times are long gone!

Nowadays reusable nappies (sometimes called washable nappies) look completely different to what they looked before. And they are much easier to care for.

How to use washable nappies: Step by step guide


It may sound obvious but the very first step to start your reusable nappy journey is to have the reusable nappies. The best place to buy them is online but recently some of brick and mortar shops have started selling them as well. Also, not many people are aware that you can rent reusable nappies from nappy libraries. The main advantage of renting a stash is that you can try various nappy systems yourself and decide what suits you best before investing money in the actual stash.

However if you’d rather buy brand new reusable nappies, you can find a wide selection in our online shop.


I am planning on writing a separate article about cloth nappies wash routines but just to point out the most important things:

You have to wash the nappies and inserts before first use. Wash them regardless if you decided to buy brand new, second hand or just borrowed some from a friend. Majority of the brands advice to wash their PUL nappies at max 40C, however washable nappies made of very high quality PUL are normally allowed to be wash up to 60C. Do not add fabric softener to the wash and spin them on low speed (800-1000) to ensure longetivity of the elastics and PUL fabric. It is worth noting that absorbent parts of nappies (i.e. Inserts, boosters) require multiple washes to achieve their full absorbency. You can use them straight after first wash but it’s just good to remember it can take some time to get the required absorbency.


There are various systems available in the market and putting nappies on may differ from one system to another however the principles remain the same. To ensure the nappy works its magic and you don’t experience leaks, it should fit the baby well.

  • use correct size. For newborn babies you’ll find a range of newborn nappies (NB or size 1). For older and bigger little ones you may be best to invest in BTP (Birth to Potty) or OS (One Size). It means that by using e.g. poppers you can adjust the size of the nappy on the rise and in width. ‘Birth-to-potty’ may be a little confusing, as some parents might be successful in using the BTP nappies from the birth of the baby, however in most cases they will fit best from approx 6kg+.
  • ensure waist panel is not too tight. You should be able to easily put at least 2 fingers between baby’s tummy and the reusable nappy panel.
  • adjust poppers on the rise if needed. Most of the nappies will come with poppers on the rise, they allow you to alter the height of the nappy for smaller babies.
  • tuck elastics and excess of fabric into the knickers line
  • ensure there are no gaps at the legs.


  • take the washable nappy off
  • in case there were any solids, knock off/spray or spray the solid poops to the toilet
  • put a dirty/wet reusable nappy to a dedicated nappy bucket or a wetbag until you are ready to wash

TIP: exclusively breastfed babies’ poop is water soluble. There is no need to remove it from the nappy before putting to the washing machine.


Ideally if you plan to wash reusable nappies everyday or every other day. Don’t use fabric softeners as they can cause build up and prevent optimal fabric absorbency. The best way to dry washable cloth nappies is flat or line dry. To ensure longetivity of elastics we recommend drying on line as per the picture below. Do not iron the nappies.


Talk to us! If you are unsure where to start, how to use a particular system, you are getting leaks and can’t figure out why, just contact our friendly customer service and I will be delighted to answer your questions 🙂 .



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