Using cloth nappies from day one

Thinking of trying modern cloth nappies with your new bundle of joy? While many mums (and dads) choose to start their cloth nappy journey after settling in at home, lots of others are keen to reduce their environmental impact right off the bat. If you think about it, an average newborn can need up to 12 nappy changes a day. In the first 3 months, that’s over 1,000 nappies taking a one way trip to the tip, which is where they will remain long after you and your baby have gone. So, where to start?! It’s a whole new world of its own with enough acronyms to make your go cross-eyed. MCN? OSFM? What?!

Let’s start with the basics. MCN or Modern cloth nappies ain’t what they used to be. The new reusables are so much easier to use and should last multiple children if you look after them as instructed. If you decide to take the plunge, here are a few things to keep in mind when stepping into newborn cloth.

One size fits most

There are a few ways to get started from the newborn stage and one is to use the OSFM. OSFM, or one size fits most, are great if you’re looking at keeping costs down. At Bubblebubs we have managed to get a good fit on a 3.2kg newborn but it is not ideal.  Because they are not intended for newborns specifically, some parents run into trouble and can give up on their cloth journey before it even starts.

Although OSFM are a great cost saver, they aren’t going to do you any favours if they end up leaking and force you to buy disposables anyway. Because the waist and legs are made for larger children (4.5-5kgs), sometimes the OSFM cannot be adjusted enough for baby chicken legs which results in gaps and leakage. Not ideal when you think about those runny newborn poos flowing out of your cherub like molten lava 24/7.

OSFM can also be bulky. The inserts of many OSFM are made to be more absorbent for older children and are often wider and longer, so getting a trim fit can be difficult in the middle of the night.

Newborn Nappies

Newborn nappies are made specifically for smaller babies, therefore the fit is likely to be far better. The leg holes will suit scrawny thighs and teeny waists will be snug as a bug. With newborn nappies you can start using them right from the first day knowing that the fit will be less difficult to manipulate when you’re trying to adjust to life with your fresh bundle.

A better fit means less leaks, which is obviously the main concern when putting any nappy on bub. The great thing about MCNs is that the elastics are stronger than those on disposables, so a full on poo explosion is far less likely. The bulk is also going to be less. Nappy changes for newborns come thick and fast so the absorbency is made for tiny bladders and means a trim fit on tiny babes.

There is also a vibrant resale market and you’re likely to be able to sell your newborn nappies to recoup a large portion of the initial outlay through Facebook buy and sell groups. Try doing that with a used disposable!

Newborn Styles

If you’re keen to try newborn nappies, there are a few different styles to choose from.

AiO
You can use an AIO (All-in-One), like the Bubblebubs Pebbles if you’re looking for something that doesn’t need “putting together”. These newborn nappies have a Velcro closure, which is perfect if you’re just trying to get the hang of things. The Velcro tabs have an overlap at the waist so that they can fit even the smallest of tiny humans. The leg elastics are sure to contain any poonamis, as is the bamboo-lined shell. The attached booster can be folded in multiple ways to suit your boy or girl and where they need the absorption most.

Fitted
A fitted nappy is a nappy that is absorbent all over and shaped to fit bub. The Bubblebubs Bambams are a fitted nappy made of soft bamboo towelling which wraps around your baby’s bottom and fastens at the front with a Snappi (no need for dangerous pins!). The Bambams have a removable insert which is folded and sits inside the fitted nappy for absorbency. These are great if drying time is an issue as the nappy comes in two parts for quick drying. These nappies will require a waterproof cover as they are not an AiO like the Pebbles. Those two separate parts mean that Bambams are a little bit more work to put on but they are your absolutely bombproof option for all newborn explosions.

Flats/Prefolds
Flats are the traditional style of nappies that you might be more familiar with. These come in a range of materials from cotton to bamboo and are folded around baby before fastening with a Snappi. Flats are thin so they are very quick drying. 
For ease of use, Prefolds already have extra layers stitched down the centre of the nappy so that they don’t need to be folded in the same way as flats; this can be better for new parents who don’t have time for folding. Both Flats and prefolds require a separate waterproof cover and are also fabulous for leak protection. They are also great in the long run as they can be reused as boosting for your OSFM nappies, as burp rags or for anything that requires mopping up!

So while there are some good reasons to want to try OSFM on your newborn babe, it’s probably worth investing in some newborn nappies that are guaranteed to fit more snugly and make your foray into modern cloth nappies a successful one.

-Kat Edwards

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