A Guide to Newborn Cloth Nappies

Choosing to use reusable nappies from birth is absolutely achievable and we are here to show you how! 

If you have any questions or would like to chat about the best option for you then feel free to contact us any time.

Why choose reusable for a newborn?

Newborns can go through upwards of 500 nappies in the first 6 weeks which means a lot of dirty nappies in the trash at home and in our landfills. 
Newborns have very sensitive skin and disposable nappies contain many hardful chemicals and plastics so choosing natural fibres are better for baby.
Reusable nappies also contain explosive newborn poo a lot better than disposable nappies would. 

The initial outlay of purchasing a stash of newborn nappies can be daunting but we personally feel as though the benefits outweigh the cost by far. Newborns can go through around 500 nappies just in their first 6 weeks of life so purchasing a set of newborn nappies that could last up to 3-5 months will actually save you hundreds of dollars in the long run, especially if you are planning more children. Newborn nappies also have a great resale value as they are generally in great condition, the amount lost through the purchase and sale of newborn nappies will be far less than using disposables. Not to mention the impact on the environment!

Choosing newborn or one size nappies

Firstly, many people ask whether they can just use One-Size (osfm) nappies from birth but we recommend that it is better to start with newborn nappies instead. Newborns are teeny tiny and can have skinny legs so it can be hard to get a good fit with a one-size nappy right from birth. If you have gaps in the legs from a poor fit you will find that newborn poo (which can be very runny) will escape and you will end up with a lot of accidents.

What styles are available?

There are a few different types of newborn nappies. We recommend starting with a trial pack of a couple of different brands and styles giving them a go once baby arrives and then purchasing more of what you like the most. Remember, what works for one family may not work for yours, in the end it comes down to personal preference.

Here is a break down of the different styles available for newborn nappies, each has its pros and cons and sometimes its great to have a mixture of styles.

All in One Nappies

The easiest style to use and the most similar to a disposable nappy. All in One nappies have everything you need attached to the nappy, just put on baby just like a disposable. When soiled the whole nappy comes off for washing.


  • Very simple and easy to use, often velcro closure
  • No preparation (folding/stuffing)
  • Great for first time cloth users
  • Nice trim fit


  • The most expensive style
  • Can take longer to dry and tumble drying is not usually recommended
  • Can be harder to add extra absorbency inside the nappy

Grovia Buttah All in One Newborn Nappy
Grovia All in One Newborn Nappy
Baby Beehinds All in One Newborn Nappy
Bubblebubs Pebbles All in One Newborn Nappy

All in Two Nappies

All in two nappies are very similar to All in One nappies however the absorbency comes apart from the nappy which often means you can reuse the shell, you can also tumble dry the inserts for faster dying times. All in two nappies need to be put back together after washing but this is usually simply snapping an insert into a shell.


  • Still very easy to use
  • Can reuse the shell through multiple changes if not soiled
  • Can often add extra absorbency if needed
  • Nice trim fit
  • Versitile, also use as a cover with prefolds and flats


  • In the higher price range
  • Need to put back together after washing (just a matter of snapping insert inside shell)

Bare and Boho MINI Newborn Nappy

Fitted Nappies and Covers

Fitted nappies are made from natural fibres and are fully absorbent, this means they do need a cover over the top but think of this as an extra layer of protection.


  • A lot of absorbency
  • All natural fibres against skin
  • Good protection against explosions


  • Have two parts to put on
  • Middle ground price range
  • Can be bulkier than modern cloth nappies

Bubblebubs Bambams Newborn Fitted Nappy
Baby Beehinds OSFM Bamboo Fitted Nappy
Baby Beehinds OSFM Hemp Fitted Nappy

Prefolds and Covers

Prefolds are squares of absorbent material with a few layers of absorbency. They can be folded and used along with a nappy cover. You can often reuse the cover multiple times a day.


  • Easy to clean and fast drying
  • Good amount of absorbency
  • Budget friendly
  • Easier than traditional nappies
  • Can double as burp cloths etc


  • Need to use with a nappy cover
  • Need some practise to use
  • Can be bulky

Grovia prefolds
Bubblebubs Prefolds
Bubblebubs Bamboo Prefolds
Baby Beehinds Nappy Cover
Bubblebubs Nappy Cover
Grovia Hybrid Nappy (All in Two but can be used as a cover)

Traditional Flat Nappies and Covers

Traditional nappies are large squares of material that can be folded in many different nappy shapes. They are entirely absorbent so need a cover over the top. You can often reuse the cover multiple times a day.


  • Most budget friendly
  • Easy to clean and fast drying
  • Can double as burp cloths/swaddles


  • Can be bulky on a newborn
  • Need practice to learn how to fold
  • Can be hard for those new to cloth
  • Needs a nappy fastener

Bubblebubs Bamboo Terry Flat Nappy
Bubblebubs Unbleached Organic Cotton Flat Nappy
Bubblebubs Birdseye Cotton Flat Nappy
Bubblebubs Nappy Cover

Video: How to fold flat nappies >

So which style do I choose?

There a quite a few styles of newborn nappies available so it can often seem hard to figure out which style is best! We recommend a variety of styles as some work better in different situations. Also, what works for one baby may not work for yours so its best to try a few different brands/styles and building your stash from there.

All in One/All in Two Styles  are great for new parents, caregivers and when out and about as they are so easy to use and perfect fitting. Also great when tired and just need something easy to put on.

Fitted Nappies with Covers are bomb proof, great for using when you know baby is going to be sleeping a little longer like overnight.

Prefolds or Flats and Covers - great as stash fillers and back ups as they dry fast and are so versatile. No so good when out and about if you have not had much practise. Great for those looking for the most natural option.

We recommend starting with a trial pack and once baby comes along see which you like the best and go from there.

Newborn or OSFM?

OSFM can be very bulky on a newborn baby and it can often be hard to get a good fit.

If you know you have large babies you may find you can get a good fit with a OSFM from the start.

How many nappies will I need?

This depends on whether you are using cloth nappies part time or full time and how often you would like to wash.

Newborn babies can use upwards of 12 nappies a day so if you are washing every 2-3 days (don’t leave any longer) then you will need around 24-30 nappies for a full time stash.

You can start with less if you would like to go part time or wash daily. It can help to have a few prefolds and flats for back up.

If you are choosing to use prefolds/flats with covers we recommend about 4-6 prefolds to one cover.

What about meconium?

Meconium poo is fine on cloth nappies and will wash right out with a good wash routine.

See our washing recommendations here >

Can I use nappy creams?

Yes you can use any nappy cream so long as you are following a good wash routine.

See our washing recommendations here 

Do I need night nappies?

Not usually! Newborns poo very frequently in the early stages so you will likely be changing throughout the night, so you usually dont need something with heavy duty night time absorbency and can get away with using your normal reusable nappies that you have been using during the day.

If your baby does start to sleep longer hours or they have stopped pooing and you decide you don’t want to change through night feeds then you can move on to a night nappy. You will most likely find a newborn AIO will not have enough absorbency so you will need something with more layers. We find a fitted nappy or prefolds and flats can work well.

If you have some OSFM you could try using these at night time

Baby Behinds OSFM Bamboo Fitted Nappy

How do I use reusables at the hospital?

Using reusable nappies whilst staying in hospital is achievable if you have someone that can transport them home every other day to take care of the washing. Have a couple of wetbags with you for storing dirty nappies/transporting them to and from the hospital and don't leave them longer than 2 days before washing. 

Just remember...

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to start straight away or go full time right off the bat. Just take care of yourself and bub and the rest will come when you are ready. Have some disposable nappies as back up or for the first few weeks to give you some reprieve for those hard days or nights.

We are always here to help if you have any questions just send us an email or chat to us on social media @tushiestore we are here to help!





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