Can you use reusable nappies from birth?

Updated April 2024

Yes, you can use reusable nappies from birth. Reusable cloth nappies are becoming increasingly popular among parents with newborns, and we can see why! They are a great option to use on your baby from birth, and they can also help parents save money and protect the environment.

Made up of washable cloth material on the outside and soft microfleece on the inside, reusable nappies are incredibly gentle on a newborn’s skin compared to disposable nappies, which have been known to give babies nappy rash.

With this in mind, reusable nappies are perfect for all babies - even newborns!

If parents decide to use reusable nappies from birth, they could be spending less than £300 on these products throughout their child's infancy. In contrast, a disposable nappy user is likely to spend £900 during the same period. Meaning parents willing to switch to reusables could save up to £600 per child!

6 Top Tips on using reusable nappies from birth: Can you use reusable nappies on a newborn?

So, if you’re keen to begin your reusable nappy journey right from birth, here are some top tips to help you cloth nappy your newborn:


Inform your midwife / birth team

Firstly, it’s important to inform your midwife/birth team that you will be using reusables so they can give you as much support and guidance as possible.

Generally, hospitals are supportive of newborn reusable nappies and encourage the use of them. If you’re thinking of using reusables, your birth team should be happy to provide lots of advice on changing your child, washing reusable cloth nappies and anything else you feel you’d need guidance on.

Be prepared for meconium

The first few times a baby goes to the toilet, it can be particularly ‘messy’ as meconium is quite sticky and dark in colour and has a tar like consistency. The good news is that yes, meconium does wash out of cloth nappies quite easily. Check our guidelines on how to wash reusable nappies properly for more info.

You may want to rinse the cloth nappy separately before putting it into the washing machine for a gentle wash, as this would maintain the quality of the fabric whilst cleaning all mess.

Stock up on reusable wipes

Newborns go to the toilet all the time, and you will need quite a few reusable wipes to ensure you're cleaning the baby properly. The good news is that reusable wipes are great at removing meconium and for the first six weeks you can use them with warm water as you go, as baby's dislike cold wipes!

Thankfully, the number of washable wipes you need is still nowhere near as many as you would need if you used disposable ones.

Try different types of newborn reusable nappies

Every baby is different, and each baby will need nappies that fit differently and have different absorbency. Our wide range of newborn reusable nappies supports the adjustments each baby may need for maximum comfort and absorbency.

Our newborn starter packs could be a great option if you’re unsure of what else to buy alongside your nappies. The new to cloth starter packs include other items such as washable wipesdisposable linersnappy cleanser and a new to cloth nappy guide, ensuring you’re fully prepared to start your reusable nappy journey.

Keep reusable essentials to hand

Throughout your child's infancy, ensure that in the main rooms you expect to use the most in the house, have a basket prepared with reusable nappy essentials. This could include cloth nappies and reusable wipes. This tip is particularly helpful right at the beginning when babies need attention quickly, and it will also make it easier on the parent.

Use a warm, soft reusable changing mat

Your baby will likely holler when being changed as they don't like the feeling of cold on their skin. You can minimise this by using a warm soft washable changing mat.  The Cheeky XL changing mat is portable and washable and holds a massive one litre of fluid!  It can even be used as a small picnic blanket when your baby gets bigger.

Is it hard to cloth diaper a newborn?

No, it isn't hard to cloth diaper a newborn. Well, that is to say if it's your first baby just changing ANY nappy is a challenge, so changing a cloth nappy isn't really any trickier than a disposable nappy.

Take it easy on yourself! If the pressure of being a parent to a newborn is starting to take its toll, and reusables are adding to this, it might be helpful to reach out for support.

For guidance on using reusable nappies, you can look to our Nappy Guru® network for support, or why not reach out to your local mum community to share tips and advice among each other?

Whether you’re using reusables from birth or you plan to use them when your baby is a bit older, creating a network of support is essential.

If you’re interested in switching from disposable nappies to reusables, it might be helpful to take our ‘Reusable Nappy Quiz’ to help you find the best reusables for your baby.

Bestselling Newborn Nappies

Bells Bumz Newborn Pocket Nappy
Bells Bumz Newborn Pocket Nappy
Bambino Mio Revolutionary Reusable Nappy
Premium Reusable Wet Wipes Kit

All-in-one reusable baby wipes kit, for cloth or disposable nappy users, everything you need to get started.

We hope this has answered 'Can I use cloth nappies on newborn' for you.  If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in these:

About the Author: Helen Rankin, the founder of Cheeky Wipes and The Nappy Gurus, began her reusable journey over two decades ago with the birth of her first child. Her experiences with her own four children and early frustrations with reusable options available at the time led to the launch of Cheeky Wipes in 2008. Helen’s extensive firsthand experience and passion for sustainable parenting solutions shine through as she continues to advocate for reusable nappies from birth. Through The Nappy Gurus, Helen now aims to equip a new generation of parents with knowledge and products that support eco-friendly, cost-effective parenting from day one. 
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