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Your Reusable Nappy Washing Routine

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  • Bambino Mio
  • 30 / 10 / 2023


Routines are a really important part of parenthood, especially early parenthood, when time seems to be all over the place and you hardly know which way is up!

You don’t have to stick rigidly to most routines in the early days - especially not feeding or sleeping routines as your baby will decide on these and you just follow along, in varying states of alertness.

A nappy-washing routine is worth establishing from the start

One routine that you’ll need to get into from the get go if you’re using reusable nappies is your laundry routine. You can’t just nip to the shops for a pack of disposable nappies if you run out of clean reusables, so you need to keep a consistent supply coming through the pipeline.

Setting up your nappy washing routine

When your baby is a newborn, you’ll probably be changing their nappy every couple of hours, which adds up to 10-12 nappies per day. This number is pretty much a wash load of nappies, so you’ll be doing one wash a day for the first few weeks or months, which is good practice for starting and maintaining a good routine!

You should have a bundle of around 20 nappies so you’ll always have some that are clean and good to wear while their fluffy chums are drying.

Your exact nappy washing routine depends on you

Doing one wash a day is a good way to work out your laundry routine and fine tune it to your particular needs, your equipment and your home. 

For example, if you wash 12 nappies a day and they dry within 14 hours in your airing cupboard, you’ll know to do your daily wash early on so tomorrow’s batch is ready for action by the morning. 

Getting your timing right is a big part of establishing your routine because you need to give your nappies the time and space to dry once they’re out of the washing machine. The drying part is the longest part of the routine, so make time and space for it.

Arranging and storing your clean nappies is important, too

Although there’s no “final” point in your reusable nappy washing routine as it’s more of a cycle, a definite marker is their return to your changing station.

When your nappies are dry, you should bring them to your changing station and place a liner - reusable or single use - inside each one so they’re primed and ready. You might want to put some of the nappies in your outdoor bag or the boot of the car so you’ve covered all bases.

This process also gives you the chance to count how many nappies you have ready for the next 18-24 hours and to make sure they’re all in good shape.

When your baby is older you can do a wash every other day

Once your baby is a bit older, they’ll only need a nappy change six to eight times a day so you can drop down to one wash every other day, which makes life a bit easier.

You still need to be fairly organised, though, because leaving nappies in their wet bag or dry pail for three days or more can damage the fabric. 

This time limit actually helps you to maintain the routine, because you don’t need to wonder whether you have enough nappies for a wash load. They need washing simply because they’ve been waiting for two days. You can always bulk out the load with towels or reusable wipes if you really want to avoid underfilling your washing machine.

Empty your outdoor wet bag into your indoor wet bag or dry pail when you get home

This is a good habit to get into because it’s easy to forget that bag full of wet nappies under your pram until it’s too late! Make transferring nappies from your Out & About wet bag into your Stay at Home wet bag something you do after taking your baby out of the pram, for example.

Using reusable nappies will only add two or three extra washing loads a week, so it’s an easy rhythm to get into and, for many parents, it becomes a soothing routine during a busy time.