By Raising Children Network
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Changing cloth nappies: getting ready

Prepare the change table; make the process quick but enjoyable for baby; keep your hands on baby; wipe bottom using the clean front of the nappy.
  • Before changing cloth nappies, make sure you have everything you need within reach. This includes a fresh nappy, nappy liners, baby cream, baby wipes or washcloths, and some water.

  • Lay baby down on a changing mat. If she grizzles, sing a song or offer her a favourite toy. If you’re using a change table, always keep one hand on baby so she doesn’t fall. Never leave baby unattended.

  • Undress baby’s bottom half, then undo the nappy. Have a spare cloth handy in case baby wees. Use the front of the nappy to wipe off any poo, then fold the nappy tightly to stop spills.


Cleaning bottoms and putting on clean cloth nappies

Wipe baby's bottom clean and apply cream; lift baby by the ankes to slip a nappy underneath; if needed, put a nappy cover on.
  • Lift baby’s bottom and gently clean the area with baby wipes, a damp washcloth or wet cotton wool. Always wipe front to back. Put on some nappy cream. Talcum powder isn’t recommended. 

  • Take a new cloth nappy with a liner. Slip it under your baby, then fasten it using clips, velcro or press studs. Don’t cover the belly button in newborns.

  • If you use nappy covers, make sure to cover the whole nappy to avoid leaks. Check the nappy and cover aren’t too tight. You should be able to fit two fingers into the waist band.


Changing cloth nappies: handy tips

Keep baby safe while you wash your hands; take nappy essentials when you travel; change cloth nappies 6-7 times per day.
  • Once you’ve dressed your baby, put her in a bouncer or cot or let her play on a clean blanket on the floor. Then get rid of the dirty nappy and wash your hands.

  • When travelling, carry spare cloth nappies, clips, liners, covers, baby cream and waterproof bags.
  • You might need to change cloth nappies more often than disposables – it could be 6-7 times a day.
  • Last updated or reviewed 17-07-2017