Cheeky logo

When to start using reusable nappies

When to start using reusable nappies depends on your circumstances really. You can start using reusable nappies from newborn , but having your first child can come as quite a shock to the system and for many new parents, getting used to having a tiny, dependent bundle of joy settled into a routine is often a good idea before introducing cloth nappies.

In this guide we look at some of the questions you've asked around making the switch to reusable nappies:


It's also often the case that reusable or 'real' nappies tend to fit better as your baby grows and reaches the 15lb mark, which is another good reason for wait 6 to 8 weeks before introducing them. This is especially relevant with 'birth to potty' nappies which will struggle to give a good fit on tiny newborns. However, if you're planning on using 2 part nappies, the 'wrap' element can be used very successfully with cotton muslins instead of fitted nappies for this period of time.

Waterproof Nappy Wrap from Cheeky Wipes

In my own experience with my first child, we introduced muslins and nappy wraps from 3 weeks old, when my son had settled into a good daily routine. Then when he reached 15lbs in weight, we switched into his cloth nappies.

When his siblings arrived on the scene we used muslins & wraps from newborn. This time round, we had some clue what we were doing, so it made sense to use reusables full time from the start.

Some parents find it useful to introduce cloth nappies at a later point, perhaps if they find that their child is a particularly heavy wetter. Because they tend to be more absorbent, bamboo cloth nappies make fantastic night nappies, perfect for parents who don't wish to use reusables during the day but who do want a good night's sleep!

'I ordered face wipes and a trial kit of the reusable nappy. I love both these products, the nappy is so soft and not bulky like others I’ve tried. I'm about to order some more!' Becky,  Jan 2022

How Many Reusable Nappies Will I Need? 

On average you'll need 10 to 12 reusable nappies as a minimum if you wash every other day.  However this is just a guide as it really depends on 2 variants:

  • how often you wash your reusable nappies
  • how often your baby poo's

The 'average' baby will need 5 changes a day, one or two of which are likely to be poo. So washing every other day should give you enough to get washed, dried and ready for use again. For some people this can seem like too quick a turnaround, especially if they don't have access to a tumble dryer or don't wish to use one. In that case, having a few more nappies will make it easier.

Of course, you don't have to buy extra nappies, you can simply wash more frequently instead.

How Many Reusable Nappies Will I Need For a Newborn? 

For a newborn, you'll need at least 10 to 12 reusable nappies because a newborn baby can need changing up to 10 times per day! If you have just got 10 or 12, this should be sufficient, you will just need to wash more frequently. It's not worth buying extra nappies for this short phase of time and this will save you money too.

Alternatively, if you're using pocket nappies or a two part nappy system, you can switch in muslins as absorbent soakers alongside a nappy liner for newborn babies. These work really well with nappy wraps.

What Do I Need for Reusable Nappies? 

Keen to make the switch to reusable nappies? For your reusable nappies, you will need: 

1. Nappies 

2. Liners 

3. Home Storage for dirty nappies (nappy bucket or wet bag)

4. Reusable Wipes 

5. Wet bag for out and about 

6. Boosters for extra absorbency as your baby grows / for overnight boosting

Reusable Nappies

There are lots of reusable nappy brands to choose from and the choices vary dramatically based on your budget. Pocket nappies such as Bambino Mio or Baba & Boo are a good budget option. Alternatively, also offering good value are our Cheeky Doodoo nappies which are a fitted bamboo nappy offering brilliant absorbency and a slim fit which many parents find appealing.

All-in-one type nappies appear simple to use, similar to disposable nappies.  However from our experience, they take much longer to dry and don't tend to fit as well as nappies with separate wraps.

Cheeky Doodoo nappies

Reusable Nappy Liners

Reusable nappy liners generally fall into two categories, reusable and disposable paper ones. Often the disposable liners are labelled 'flushable' however we really wouldn't recommend flushing them at all as they can still take up to 12 weeks to break down in the sewers, leading to blockages.

Fleece Liners are a much better idea. Poo generally drops off or flushes off. Simply hold one end of the liner with the mucky part in the loo and then flush to remove solids.

Extra Large Pail Liner - Wet Bags

Nappy Bucket or Extra Large wetbag

Dirty nappies need somewhere to be stored before washing. Most manufacturers recommend 'dry-pailing' rather than soaking nappies nowadays. Nappy pails or extra large wet bags are perfect for this although the 'Strucket' combined strainer and bucket is worth investigating also.

Reusable Baby Wipes Kit from Cheeky Wipes

Reusable Baby Wipes

These are a no brainer if you're using cloth nappies. We find it incredible that some people use cloth nappies and disposable wipes, when it's SO much more hassle to dispose of a disposable wipe than it is to just bung the wipes in with your nappies to wash.

Our reusable baby wipes kits contain everything you need to make switching to reusable wipes easy and will save you money too, lasting until potty training and beyond for hands & faces cleaning. They're also great if you find that your baby is suffering from nappy rash in reaction to using disposable wipes.

We're so certain that you'll love our reusable wet wipes, that we guarantee you'll love them or your money back within 45 days!

Medium Wet Bag in Leopardprint

Nappy Wet bag for out and about

You'll need a wet bag when you're out for the day to carry your soiled nappies. We love a double pocket wet bag as you can store clean wipes / nappies in one pocket and dirty in the other. Perfect!

Nappy Boosters

As your baby grows, you might find that you need extra absorbency in your nappy, particularly overnight or if your baby is a heavy wetter. Boosters come in a variety of materials, but help to up the absorbency of your nappies without adding too much bulk.

We hope that's been useful to you. If you'd like to find out more about Cheeky Doodoo nappies, take a look at our good value nappy bundles or read more of our blogs about reusable nappies.

About the author: Helen Rankin is owner and founder of Cheeky Wipes who launched their best-selling reusable wipes kit way back in 2008. As a Mum of 4, her children used cloth nappies for 10 years, so she is well positioned to give advice on using 'real' nappies.

Along with her crack team at customer services, they all love to talk pee, poo and periods and relish the opportunity to convert parents to 'simple reusables'. Feel free to contact the team if you've any questions!