Using cloth nappies for the first time

Using washable cloth nappies for the first time can feel a little daunting.

There is a lot of pressure out there from big brands (with big advertising budgets) trying to make you use disposable nappies.

Four years ago Emily from our marketing department had a beautiful baby girl, Elsie; and being a Frugi person; gave cloth nappies a go.

We take a look back at how she got on and what is was like to use cloth nappies as a first time mum.


There is no better washing line sight

There is no better washing line sight

Touching cloth

Ok so I’ve left it until my daughter Elsie is a month old to start using cloth nappies…. I got all organised before her birth and washed them all about 6 times, as the advise was that this improves absorbency.

I’m not really sure why I waited this long to get going with them, I suppose I was worried Elsie’s little bum (7.7lb) would be too small for them, but I needn’t have worried though as on the smallest popper setting they fit a treat. I’m using Tots Bots easy fit nappies, some in the gorgeous Frugi designs and some of tots bots own styles.


Rob my husband wasn’t convinced about the plan to go to cloth, but when I told him about the money saving he was very happy to give them a go! :0)… and as it’s me who does the washing anyway, I’m not sure he had a leg to stand on… (We split responsibilities in our house, they go something like this… me = decor, washing and cleaning the cat tray…Rob = technology, hovering and bins!! Anyway I digress!

Day 1

It’s all gone pretty swimmingly really… Putting them on was straight forward, I had taken a sneaky peek at the tots bots tutorials online just in case, but really they are very easy to use. We haven’t had any leaks and Elsie’s skin looks to be ok, with no pinching marks etc.

One of my friends did try cloth nappies and found her daughter developed nappy rash pretty quickly, so I’m being careful not to let a wet nappy go too long and also to not forget the nappy cream!

Day 2 

Today I’m heading to town and to a friends for lunch so I’m stocking up the changing bag… I’m lucky that the bag I have has a separate laminate zip bag, this means that once I have a smelly one I can pop it into here. However the bag isn’t huge so after one or two changes, I might be in trouble.. I guess I could just tie them up in normal nappy sacks to keep the smell in!

During lunch my friends were really interested that I’d decided to give cloth a go, their idea of cloth nappies was really dated and when I showed them one of Elsie’s they were impressed.. Mostly because they look like nappies and not a huge nightmare that you have to attach bits to etc. They asked me about cost, they thought they were pricey, and even though I explained they would last until potty training, they couldn’t quite get over the initial spend, shame as I thought I might have made my first convert!


Real nappies rock!

Real nappies rock!

Day 3

I forgot to mention yesterday how impressed I was when I washed my first batch of nappies!! Rob thought I was mad getting some white ones… He thought Elsie’s runny yellow poo would be sure to ruin the lovely nappies we’d just bought, however they came up a treat, all white again and good as new!

I was out and about again today and did have a seeping wee moment, however this happened in disposables too, so I guess it’s normal when they do a few mahoosive pees!
One other thing is that, of course, they make your little ones bum that bit bigger, so if your favourite cute outfit is getting snug, cloth will surely make it redundant, but who doesn’t love finding new lovely bits for their baba?


Day 4 

Today Grammy changed her first cloth nappy,  well first of this kind, as she keeps telling me; hers had pins in! She was really impressed with them, “so soft and stretchy”!! I often think It’s a shame they are hidden and people don’t get to see them more, one… so people would see how good cloth nappies now are and two… because the designs are sooo cute!


Day 5

I would say that I’m now a proper cloth user, no turning back!  There is nothing that would really put me off now, after trying them out this week, I’m definitely a believer! Washing and drying them has been fine, using a bucket to chuck them in is brill and keeps any nasty smells locked up.
I find turning the nappy over when slipping the attached liner inside is better and doesn’t snag so easily on the waterproof fabric.

Also when washing, tots bots tip is to fold the Velcro tabs back on themselves to avoid catching on things and it’s really worth taking note of this as it makes separating them when they come out of the machine loads easier!

All in all I’ve been really pleased with how it’s gone and I cannot see a reason to switch back  to disposables…. Yippee!

Thanks Emily 🙂


We currently have a brilliant offer on; buy anything from our AW17 range and receive a free Christmas nappy!

Just use the code CLOTHBUM at the checkout.



  1. Lula

    Love that washing line!! Glad you found cloth so easy. We love them all, but frugi rainbows is cutest and your lo proves it!!
    Just word of caution, Sudocrem not good for nappies- can coat them and make them less absorbant. Couple other brands better for cloth and baby’s bum!
    Hope continues to work for you,x

    • Emily

      Hi Lulu, thanks for the tip… In the last few days a small patch of rash is starting to appear, so will be looking into it ASAP x

  2. Heather

    Good work! I didn’t go for cloth until C was about 3 months old. Definitely no turning back now (she’s 10.5months), and I’ve converted a friend! She’s going to cloth her new bubba and her 2yr old – bought a big set of birth to potty ones and away she goes!
    As per the above post, sudocrem is a problem if you’re not using a liner, and I personally didn’t bother with a liner til we started weaning. CJ’s butter, and Weleda calendula cream are both ok for cloth (from what I’ve read.
    Enjoy your cloth experience!

    • Emily

      Hi Heather, thanks for the info on creams, will hopefully pick something up tomorrow. Well done on your convert, I’m hoping to convert a few myself… We’ll see :0)

  3. abigail harris

    I waited until about 9 months with my little boy but even now i love using them, will use them with no2 (found out today!) I mainly use tots bots but i do love the close pop ins for at night with a bamboo booster and bambino mios too! These are the only brands ive tried and i want to get a few more so i know my options! but brilliant blog, i have converted some friends but like you the upfront cost is quite big, especially as we dont have any council schemes where i live!

  4. Melanie

    I have a 20 year old and a 1.5 year old. When Laura was little I used pampers and she had horrible diaper rash. But as I remember she also had a cows milk protein allergy.
    With Lachlan I also used pampers. He also had the cows milk protein allergy but he never once had even the smallest diaper rash. I tend to think it was more due to the allergy being treated with better formula and knowledge then 20 years ago.

    I have to say the cloth diaper push has rather put me off frugi. I understand its a personal choice. But I think it’s all the emails I get seem to feature cloth diapers and little else.

  5. Frances

    Im glad cloth nappies work for you. I really wanted to use them for my 2nd child and bought (10 years ago now) ultra Kushies. They look like your washing line ones. However, after feeling eco friendly and proud of myself, reality of things came to light. Cloth nappies just couldnt cope with wetness and leaks. I wasnt prepared to have a upset distressed wet baby. I couldnt spend all day changing nappies and extra washing isnt eco sound either. Dont be quick to misjudge disposable nappies. For most of us (i went on to have twin girls) trying just to get through a day is an achievement. Dont add cloth nappies into that stress if you dont wish to. Its your choice and will be different for each child and at each stage in your life. Personally i suffer disabling chronic pain and ive always to find the most straightforward way through situations. Cloth nappies arent right for my children or my health needs. Dont ever feel pressured over nappy or breastfeeding choices. Healthy mum and baby always come first.

  6. Melanie

    I agree frances. It is indeed a lot of extra work. The extra washing isnt eco friendly if you use a non hgreen energy company or detergents. I have both. some washable and some disposable. My disposables are eco friendly, there are lots of disposable green nappies around to choose from that work really great and arnt to pricey. Its good to try a range of things. see what suits you best. Dont go shelling out strait away on a full set of one brand tho that may be no good for you. Experement and try stuff out

  7. helen

    I love cloth I used it worth my now 9yr old and am currently using with my 22 month old and my 13 week old twins. I’ve used it from birth with all of them. I use low temp washes and eco water cycle plus soap nuts and feel I’m not adding much to the eco impact. I’m impressed that 4 kids risk life in nappies costs me less than £500 overall in nappies and wipes. X

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