Reusable Nappies: Where to Start

September 07 2021 – Joyce Tang

baby in reusable nappy

baby in reusable nappy

Reusable nappies in NZ have become increasingly popular as people become more conscious of the waste we contribute to our landfills. Making the switch to cloth nappies is a more comfortable choice for baby, and a fantastic choice for the environment and your wallet. Whether you’re preparing for an addition to the family or simply ready to change your habits, we’ve put together a detailed guide to reusable nappies to help you get started.


What Are Cloth Nappies?

Cloth nappies have been around for a long time, helping mums save some money and cut back their household waste, and keeping their babies comfy and free of nappy rash. Originally, they were made from a flat sheet of cloth secured with safety pins. Here in 2021 cloth nappies have gained popularity again with innovative designs, cool prints, and more accessibility than ever.


How Many Will I Need?

There’s no right or wrong answer to how many reusable nappies you’ll need, it’s completely up to you! Deciding how many nappies you’ll need to buy comes down to two main factors; how old your baby is, and how you plan to incorporate the use of reusables into your routine.

If you’ve decided to start with cloth nappies for your newborn right off the bat, you need to get prepared! We recommend stocking up on anywhere between 20-30 nappies for newborns, to make sure you’re never caught off guard without a clean one when you need it, as newborns tend to make a bit more mess right at the beginning!

Some parents choose reusables for daytime use only, which still does wonders for helping reduce waste as a family. For part-time use, you won’t need as many, but more than 10 is still ideal. The nappy inserts are super absorbent, but you’ll need a lot of them, as we know how often our little ones need to pee!

Part-time home use is the best way to ease into using cloth options, especially if you’re not confident that you’re prepared enough to deal with public incidents. The best thing about cloth nappies is that you can build your collection slowly, making the transition one step at a time.


How Do I Wash Them?

Many mums can feel a bit apprehensive when laundry time rolls around, but it’s not as daunting as it seems, we promise! To prepare your nappies for first use, a standard wash is fine; the fun begins when you begin using them.

You’ll need to flush any solids, then rinse the soiled nappy and store it in an open and airy nappy or laundry bucket until wash day. If your newborn is breastfed, their poo is water-soluble, which means you can skip the rinsing! Pre-wash every 1-2 days at 40-60 degrees with detergent for 30-60 minutes – we recommend using Persil Ultimate for a powerful clean and no harmful chemicals.

Give them a main wash every 2-4 days at 40-60 degrees for at least 2.5 hours, washing with other small items such as baby clothes, bibs, & cloth wipes. If you’re running low on clean inserts, they can be tumble dried to speed up the process and keep you prepared!

It can be a wee bit confusing at first, but once you get into the swing of things, it’ll feel like second nature!


Which Inserts Do I Buy?

There’s a huge range of inserts available for cloth nappies, so there’s plenty of options to find the right one for your bub. Reasons for choosing what type of insert to purchase can come down to what’s kind to your baby’s skin, their toilet habits (are they a heavy wetter?), and how they’re used. If you’re having trouble figuring out which inserts to buy, check out the handy guide to inserts on our website.



Many mums don’t like the idea of having dirty nappies lying around waiting to be washed, but thanks to some great little inventions, it’s absolutely nothing to be worried about! For dealing with dirties at home, an airy bucket is the best option, preventing bacteria growth and nasty smells, until it’s time to wash. Wet bags come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be fantastic for on-the-go daytime use to temporarily storing dirties, until you can get them home and cleaned.

The Prima Pod is a handy little waterproof bag that will make travelling a breeze. Whether it’s for daycare or a road trip, you can keep nappies, inserts, and wet bags in the little pod to make sure you’re always ready!


Start the Reusable Journey with Chuckles

At Chuckles, we want to make things easier for mum, baby, and the environment, so we focus on designing innovative reusable baby products in NZ to help families save money, reduce waste, and change their habits with ease. If you’re interested in learning more about what we do, browse our full range online, or contact our friendly team of mums today!



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