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Reusable Nappy Care: How Often Should You Change Cloth Diapers?

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  • Bambino Mio
  • Product
  • 09 / 06 / 2023

Discover how often to change reusable nappies and when to start using them. Learn about the best practices for parents focused on eco-friendly baby care.

When to start using reusable nappies

You can start to use reusable nappies from birth as most cloth nappies are suitable for babies weighing 3.5kg to 4kg. Bambino Mio’s Little Rebel Bundle contains everything you need to start your reusables journey, including all the accessories necessary for changing, storing and washing your nappy stash. 

If you have a smaller baby then you might need to use inserts for extra absorbency so that your baby’s nappy doesn’t leak.

When you have a newborn baby you’ll be changing their nappy 10-12 times a day, so it’s important to do it on time and to do it right!

How often do you change reusable nappies?

With a newborn, you’ll be changing your baby’s nappy every 2-3 hours - around the clock. Once they’re a bit older and in a routine the frequency of changes will fall, but you’ll still be heading to your nappy pile every four hours or so.

There are definite points during the day when you should change your baby’s cloth nappy:

  • When your baby wakes up in the morning they’ll need a clean nappy after wearing one overnight
  • Bathtime is another obvious changing point as there’s nothing quite like a nice clean baby with a nice clean bum
  • When your baby has pooed you should change their nappy immediately - for everyone’s comfort…
  • Your baby might “tell” you they’re in a wet and uncomfortable nappy by wriggling and grizzling - you’ll soon get to know the signs
  • When three or four hours have gone by; even without a poo or lots of wee, it’s time for a clean, dry nappy to keep your baby comfortable

Signs it’s time to change your baby’s reusable nappy

There’s one very obvious sign it’s time for a new cloth nappy and you’ll be in no doubt about it! 

There are more subtle signs that your baby needs a clean nappy too. You’ll soon get to know their signals, so watch out for these signs:

  • Low-level fussiness, wriggling and grizzling with no obvious reason - a wet nappy can become uncomfortable so check and change
  • Older babies might start pulling at their nappies when they’re wet, so if you notice this, head to the changing table
  • A wet nappy is a heavy one, so if you notice that your baby’s reusable nappy is suddenly sagging or heavy looking, it’s probably time to replace it
  • It’s not just poo that can be smelly, accumulated baby wee has its own unique aroma and when you catch wind of it, you’ll know it’s time for a trip to the change station

Tips for switching to reusable nappies

If you’re switching over to reusables from disposables then you won’t find it as much of a shock as you might have imagined. We do have some tips to help you make the change successfully:

  • Buy a Bambino Mio starter bundle as this will have everything you need to get started
  • Wash your stash or reusable nappies at least twice before you use them as this increases their absorbency (no fabric conditioner, though!)
  • Make sure you sort out a space for your nappies to dry in, like an airer next to a window or a washing line
  • If you decide to tumble dry your nappies, use a cool setting to save energy and carbon
  • When you’re gathering your clean, dry nappies together for their next round of action, slip in a nappy liner and insert for an even speedier and more efficient change

The benefits of reusable nappies

Where do we begin? There are so many…

  • Your family could save around £500* over the 2.5-3 years your baby is in nappies and if you use the same bundle on another child, you’ll save even more
  • You’ll also reduce your carbon emissions by up to 25% compared to using disposable nappies
  • Bambino Mio’s reusable nappies use natural fabrics in their absorbent cores and inserts rather than super-absorbent gels, which can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin
  • You’ll be preventing around 5,000 nappies from ending up in landfill, where they’ll stay for 500 years or more

*Based on our clever calculations, your baby will get through around 5,000 nappies before they’re toilet trained and at 20p each, that’s a bill of around £1,000. 

Bambino Mio’s starter bundles cost £284.99 and it’ll cost around £175 to wash and dry them over the years. We did the maths so you don’t have to because we’re kind like that!


Citations and references

(1) Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). ‘Life Cycle Analysis of Nappies/Absorbent Hygiene Products 2021/23’ 2023. Web. randd.defra.gov.uk/ProjectDetails?ProjectId=20622

(2) Guardian. ‘Plastic Can Take Hundreds of Years to Break Down – and We Keep Making More.’ 2022. Web. www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/08/plastics-climate-crisis-environment-pollution-kim-heacox