Expert Advice

How to change and clean a reusable cloth nappy

Consider this your go-to guide.

The humble terry or reusable cloth nappy is seeing a rise in popularity as trendy, funkier versions are arriving on the market.
You will get the hang of nappy changing in the first weeks. But yes, you'll also have your fair share of leaks and lop-sided nappies. If you have a boy, you can also expect the occasional warm shower!
However, it will soon all be second nature. Meanwhile, to get you started, follow this step-by-step guide.
1. Wash and dry your hands (you can use a baby wipe).
2. Set up a warm, clean, dry, area to change your baby. In the beginning you may use a changing mat, but a towel or clean cloth nappy on any soft, warm surface will work, too.
3. Prepare your supplies. If you've opted for terry nappies, you'll need a clean nappy, safety pins and plastic pants. Using fitted cloth nappies? You'll need a clean nappy and liner.
4. If your baby has or is prone to nappy rash, you'll also want to have some cream or petroleum jelly to hand.
Changing a cloth nappy
1. Unpin or unclip the nappy, wipe away any poo with the dirty nappy, and put it aside. Use a baby wipe or wet cloth to clean your baby's bottom thoroughly.
2. Place a clean nappy under your baby. Make the flaps by flaring them out at the top of the back half of the nappy.
3. Pull the side flaps forwards from the back of the nappy.
4. Place two fingers under the nappy fabric to avoid giving your baby an accidental pinprick. Insert the nappy pin away from your baby's navel, taking care not to push it through all the layers of the inner fold of towelling so you don't prick yourself.
QUICK TIP: If you stick the pins in a bar of soap first, they'll be easier to push through the fabric.
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5. Tip any poo from inside the soiled nappy into the toilet. Put the used nappy in your nappy bucket, and close the lid tightly.
6. If you're not using a nappy laundering service, wash the nappies in a separate load. Use hot water, double rinse, and avoid fabric softeners or anti-static products, as they can irritate your baby's sensitive skin.
7. Dress your baby and wash your hands thoroughly when you're done!
Folding a cloth nappy
1. Spread the nappy. Fold one third of the width from the left edge towards the centre.
2. Now do the same from the right edge, leaving a strip one third of the width of the original cloth. The nappy should now be three layers thick.
3. Fold one third up from the bottom so you have a six-ply thickness. Position this area in the front for a boy; for a girl, place it under her rear.

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