Quick Guides

Getting started

Start here

Our guides are designed to be uncomplicated and easy to follow and are based on what has worked for us. We believe there is no right and wrong when it comes to using reusable nappies, just what works best for you!

If you have any questions or just need a hand getting started feel free to reach out to us, we're happy to help.

Help! Im feeling overwhelmed

We know what its like when first starting out with reusable nappies, the abundance of information available can seem complicated and overwhelming, and to be frank it can put you off!

Using reusable nappies CAN be easy, fun and rewarding and once you take the first step it will become a lot clearer, we promise!

Our tips for reducing overwhelm

  • Don't put pressure on yourself to start straight away, especially if you are a first time mum, just enjoy your new babe and look after yourself, the rest will come.
  • Getting your head around a wash routine can seem overwhelming but it will all fall into place once you get started.
  • Try not to get caught up with reading reviews in facebook groups, what works for one family may not work for yours.
  • Theres no problem starting with one nappy.
  • Consider trying a few styles or brands before going all in on one brand.
  • Please feel free to reach out to us any time, we would love to help!

Why choose reusable

There are 3 main reasons people choose to use reusable nappies;


  • Friendlier on the environment
  • More economical than single use nappies
  • Safer for baby


The 3 main reasons people choose reusable →

Where to start

There are many styles of reusable nappies which makes it hard to know where to start. We recommend the best way to get started is just by purchasing 1-2 nappies you like the look of, throwing it on at a day time change, and going from there. We think the best style to start out with would probably be an AI2 style.

Another great way of starting out is by hiring first. You can then try a number of styles and see if reusables suit your family. Nappy Mojo in New Zealand and Clean Cloth Nappy Hire in Australia have great options for hire packs.

Washing + Care

How to wash new nappies

Now that you have received your beautiful new reusable nappies it is time to get them ready! New nappies need to be washed prior to their first use to remove manufacturing residue.

We recommend washing nappies just once before their first use. Natural fibres such as Bamboo and Hemp will increase in absorbency after approx. 8-10 washes. In the mean time, just change a little more frequently.  


Step 1 | Washing

1. Unsnap, pull out inserts and secure velcro on laundry tabs
2. Warm wash between 40° - 60° on a normal cycle with detergent.

Step 2 | Dry

1. Line dry in the shade or tumble dry on low (only tumble dry PUL shells on low).



  • If you are only washing a few nappies they are fine to add to other general household items, just be mindful of colour run onto your inserts.
  • PUL Nappy Shells are colour fast, they will not colour run on to your inserts.
  • Any nappy shell or AI1 containing PUL should be line dried in the shade.

A word on washing

Our wash and care recommendations are an adaptation based on our brands advice, the research from Clean Cloth Nappies, and what has worked for us.

Our washing recommendations may not work for your family and thats fine! We suggest familiarising yourself with each brands recommendations and developing your own wash routine according to your families needs.

If you are finding any problems or have any questions about washing please feel free to reach out to us, we will be happy to help!

You can chat to us via Instagram and Messenger at @tushiestore or by email at hello@tushie.co.nz

Washing recommendations

Step 1 | Dry Pail (storing dirty nappies prior to washing)

When nappies come off, store in a basket with plenty of air flow until wash time (dry pail)

    • Wee nappies go straight in dry pail.
    • Breastfed poo nappies go straight in dry pail.
    • Poo nappies - discard any solids and rinse then pop in dry pail.
    • Nappies that have been on all night - hot hand wash with detergent and then dry pail or pop straight into a morning prewash.
    • Aim to prewash within 1-2 days.


Step 2 | Pre Wash (the first wash before the main wash)

The pre-wash is a first wash, it gets rid of the all the nasties prior to the mainwash. Aim to prewash every day if using night nappies or every 1-2 days if only using day nappies.

  1. Discard solids and rinse any non-breastfed poo nappies.
  2. Choose a short cycle that drains and spins. Approx. 30 - 60 mins between 40° - 60°
  3. Use half a dose of mainstream detergent or a full dose of plant-based detergent.
  4. Take out and pop in a dry pail until its time to main wash, no need to dry.


Step 3 | Main Wash (All nappies that have been prewashed already)

The main wash follows the prewash and works hard to get the nappies sparkling clean. Aim to main wash every 2-3 days max.

  1. Pop all the prewashed nappies from the last couple of days into the washing machine.
  2. Ensure the washing machine is fully loaded to ensure agitation, add extra items smaller than 60x60cm to bulk.
  3. Use a full dose of mainstream detergent according to directions.
  4. Consider using 1.5 - 2x the recommended dose of plant-based detergent.
  5. Choose a long cycle with good agitation such as a normal or cotton cycle approx. 2.5 - 3 hours long between 40°


Step 4 | Dry 

  1. Inserts and Boosters can be line or tumble dried
  2. Nappy Shells, Covers, Wetbags, Changemats, Playmats, Cloth Pads and Breast Pads and AIO's that contain PUL should be line dried in the shade

Care recommendations

These are our recommendations for ensuring you are both looking after your nappies and getting a good clean. If well looked after your nappies will last through multiple babies.



  • Wash in 40° - 60° especially if using night nappies.
  • Use main stream detergent (we use Persil)
  • If using plant based detergent consider using 1.5 - 2x the recommended dose
  • Wool Covers need a different wash routine.
  • Store dirty nappies in a dry pail with lots of air flow
  • Wash twice (prewash and mainwash)
  • Check your wash machines prewash function as it may not rinse, drain and spin. If not then choose a cycle 30 - 60 mins that does so.
  • Ensure you are fully loading your mainwash. If it is not full enough you can add small items such as tea towels, baby clothing, burp cloths to bulk it up.



  • Soak or wetpail as it can be dangerous and degrade nappies.
  • Use vinegar or fabric softeners.
  • Wash with large items like bedding or towels as it inhibits agitation.
  • Dry PUL shells in a hot dryer.
  • Stretch or pull elastics when warm.

Finding a routine

The prewash/mainwash system in basic terms is just washing twice. Although developing a wash routine does seem overwhelming when you haven't yet started using reusable nappies, once you get going it will fall into place and you will find your own groove, we promise!


Some tips for finding a routine:

  • If using night nappies aim to prewash every day, a morning daily prewash routine with the previous days day nappies works well.
  • If using part time with no night nappies you can leave 1-2 max days between prewashing and do your prewash and mainwash back to back if easier.
  • If using one nappy a day or less than part time you can handwash and spin nappies and throw in a daily cycle with other household items. 


Wash routine example (Full time use with Night Nappies):

Day 1 - Prewash
Morning prewash with previous days day nappies and night nappy. Take out and dry pail.

Day 2 - Prewash
Morning prewash with previous days day nappies and night nappy. Take out and dry pail.

Day 3 - Prewash then Mainwash
Morning prewash with previous days day nappies and night nappy. Don't take out. Place prewashed Day 1 and Day 2 nappies in machine and set mainwash cycle.

Manufactures Guarantee

It is important to note that manufacturers recommendations can vary greatly and must be considered if you would like to be covered by a guarantee. Please see our resources page for links to each brands washing and care recommendations.

Wool washing and care

Wool Covers need a different wash routine to nappies. We recommend only washing and lanolising wool covers every 2-3 weeks (unless soiled) If you have a few in rotation you don't need to wash as often.

How to wash wool covers

  1. Turn inside out and submerge in lukewarm water with wool wash detergent.
  2. Gently squeeze to distribute water and detergent.
  3. Leave to soak for 15-30 mins.
  4. Gently rinse and squeeze excess water out.
  5. Wool cover is now ready to lanolise there is no need to dry first.


How to Lanolise wool covers

  1. Melt 1-2 cm of 100% lanolin (Lansinoh is fine) in half a cup hot water with a dash of hand/body wash.
  2. Stir until milky (emulsified).
  3. Add the mixture to a small container of lukewarm/cool water.
  4. Pop in wool cover, there should be just enough water to submerge.
  5. Leave for at least an hour or overnight.
  6. Squeeze out and roll in a towel to squeeze out extra moisture.
  7. Dry flat in shade.

Washing night nappies

Night nappies are those which have been on for longer such as 4+ hours or overnight.

If you are using night nappies it is our recommendation that night nappies are prewashed in a 45 - 60min cycle on between 40° - 60° soon after they come off.

If you are using nappies on a full time basis a good tip to reduce double handling is to do your daily prewash in the morning - as soon as the night nappy comes off throw it in a prewash with the previous days nappies. (See example routine in 'Finding your routine').

Nappy Sizes


Newborn nappies are designed specifically to fit premature to newborn babies and are available in most nappy styles.


One Size Fits Most nappies are designed to convert to fit from birth through to toddler by adjusting either 'Rise Snaps' found at the front of a nappy or 'Side Snaps' found at the side of a nappy. They are generally avaiable in AI2 and Fitted Styles


Sized nappies come in sizes to suit different weight ranges from newborn through to XL and are generally available in AIO, Fitted and Cover styles.

Nappy Styles

All In One

All in One nappies are the closest style to a disposable. They have absorbency built in.

All In Two

All in Two nappies are similar to an All in One nappy however the nappy comes in two seperate parts. The absorbency separates from the shell.

Nappy Shell + Inserts


Fitted nappies are entirely absorbent. They look like a nappy however they need a Nappy Cover over the top to make them water resistant.


Night nappies are designed specifically for long hours and overnight. They have many layers of absorbency and can are available in either a Fitted or AI2 style.


Nappy Covers are designed to fit over the top of certain styles to make them water-resistant.
They are usually used over the top of Fitted, Prefolds, Flats and Night Nappies.


Prefolds are absorbent material that is pre-folded and stitched with extra layers in the middle panel. They are designed to be folded again and used with a nappy cover or inside a pocket nappy.


Flats are traditional nappies. They are large squares of absorbent fabric that can be folded in various ways and secured. They are designed to be used underneath a nappy cover.


Coming soon!

Common Questions

Coming soon!



Modern Cloth Nappy or Modern Reusable Nappy


Work at Home Mum

Often refers to small businesses operated from home who hand-sew and custom make mcn in either Australia or New Zealand.


One Size Fits Most

Refers to a modern reusbale cloth nappy that can convert to fit from birth through to toddler.


All in One Nappy

The style closest to a disposable nappy where the absorbency is built into the nappy


All in Two Nappy

The nappy comes in two parts:

Part 1 - Nappy Shell
Part 2 - Inserts


Nappy Shell - usually refers to the outer part of an AI2


The absorbent part of a nappy


Extra absorbency to add to the nappy if needed


A nappy which is entirely absorbent. Usually used under a water-resistant nappy cover.


A cover that goes over the top of a fitted nappy. Can be purchased in either PUL or Wool.


Polyurethane Laminate

Chemically bonded lining used to make MCN and wetbags water resistant.


Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Heat bonded lining used to make MCN and wetbags water resistant.

S&S or SS

Strip and Sanitise

Refers to a washing process to reset problematic or second hand nappies.


Washing advice

Brand Links

Washing machine/detergent/troubleshooting advice

Bare and Boho Downloadable Guides

How can we help?

If you have a question or just don't know where to start, send us a message we'll be happy to help!


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