This post was written by Billy of The Great British Nappy Hunt

16. April 2016 · Categories: Billy's Updates, Cloth Clinic · Tags: ,

Cloth Clinic

Billy and his team are holding a Cloth Clinic on the GBNH Facebook page on Tuesday 19 April from 8pm.

Do you need any help with choosing cloth nappies?  Or do you have a problem with using them?  Either way, Billy and his team will be available to answer your questions on the night.

Simply visit Billy’s page on Facebook and post your enquiry and our team will help you out.
cloth clinic

This post was written by Billy of The Great British Nappy Hunt

02. April 2014 · Categories: Cloth Clinic, Trouble Shooting

We hear lots of talk about smelly nappies and washing routines – indeed it is a hot topic at #clothclinic, and as it is so frequent, we decided to blog about washing techniques and how to avoid ‘’The Stink’’.

Keep a lid on things……

First things first, most of us dry pail. Dry pailing means that is we put the nappies in a dry bucket or wet bag without soaking them. That is fine, and the best option for modern cloth nappies. It prevents damage to elastics & PUL/TPU (the waterproof layer). It also means not having to handle dirty water … yuck!

Then it is time to wash …

Quite often, we come across lovely mamas who don’t realise that a cold rinse beforehand is a great way of not only rinsing away the nastiest bits (yes, its not always easy to dispose of every single last bit of poo!) whilst also ensuring that stains aren’t set in to your nappies. If you wash on hot straight off, this is much more likely to happen.  It’s also worth considering that urine will, over time, weaken the fabric, so if you can dilute this by rinsing off before popping in your bucket (many folk just hold the nappy tightly in the flush of the toilet) then it will definitely help longevity if you’re planning on using them for 3 babies.

So cold rinse has done, now its time for the main wash. A lot of people wash at 40 degrees, that is fine. Some wash at 60, that is also fine. 60 degrees is very unlikely to immediately damage nappies, but it may occur that their lifespan is shortened. Not significantly by any means, it might last on one less baby than planned 😉

We do suggest checking and following the washing temperature recommended by your nappy manufacturer, this should be shown on the label.

Am I using enough?

We generally find that washing temperatures and detergents play the biggest part in the issue of stink. We have noticed recently that many people seem to be scared of detergent and their nappies.

We love a good dose of detergent and a hot wash. For nappies that are eye-wateringly smelly, we have found that a good full dose of powder (minimum half of what is recommended for a dirty wash) with a 60 degree wash works a treat, followed by a rinse at the end.

How to rid the Stink….

We always see people say  “my nappies stink! Do I need to strip them? I use a tablespoon of washing powder.’’  This just is not enough. Would you wash a dirty football kit in only one tablespoon of powder? Probably not, because it wouldn’t clean them enough! So don’t do it to your nappies!


This post was written by Billy of The Great British Nappy Hunt

18. March 2014 · Categories: Cloth Clinic, Trouble Shooting · Tags: , ,

Are you thinking of using cloth right from day one? Here are a few hints, tips, and questions that might help you decide….

Will my baby’s meconium stain my nappies?

No! Although meconium is very black and tarry, if you do a rinse before you wash your nappies, it will come out in a normal wash. If you want to be extra sure you won’t stain your nappies, you could add a fleece liner in to ensure the meconium is caught (in our experience most of it sticks on the bum anyway!)

1489195_10152330196792008_29586979_nWill they look too bulky on my newborn?

Lots of new parents think that cloth nappies will look huge on their brand new tiny babies. If you choose a nappy designed for newborns they should fit well from around 6lb in weight without being too bulky. They might look a little big at first, but you will soon learn that babies grow really quickly!

What about the umbilical cord?

Some newborn nappies have a snap-down section that will allow it to go under the umbilical cord while it is healing. However, as long as you keep the area clean and dry, it shouldn’t do any harm if the nappy goes over the cord either.

What different nappy options do I have for a newborn?

Newborns obviously grow very quickly, so many people like to go for an economical option for the early days. Good-quality muslins can be folded and used with a Nappi Nippa and a wrap for a very simple and cheap way to cloth nappy from the early days. Those muslins come in useful later for many other purposes.  Other cheap and useful options for newborns are smaller sized terry squares. 40cm is ideal for low birth weight babies/twins, or 50cm which may last up to a year without the bulk of a standard 60cm.  Prefolds are an option – always wrap around and secure with a Nappi Nippa for best containment.

Alternatively, all-in-one options are very simple to use, but fitted nappies with wraps are super reliable.  Always make sure with a fitted nappy that the wrap is the correct size for your baby, a fitted nappy can always be folded down to fit your baby but it is the Cloth Nappies and Newbornswrap that is the last line of defence, hence needing to be best fit.

Where can I find newborn nappies?

There are plenty of options available, you might decide on a the cheapest options of flat nappies, muslins, terries and prefolds. Or you may choose a fitted nappy which could fasten with a Nappi Nippa, or with Velcro/popper. The latter are more expensive but will give good containment.  Both these options need a snugly fitting wrap over the top designed specifically for the size/weight of a newborn baby.
Alternatively there are smaller sized all in ones and pocket nappies, these are typically designed to fit from 5-6lb, which you may find more convenient being just one piece to put on. We suggest you contact your local nappy retailer or nappy library for advice on what’s available.  You can find a list of retailers and a map detailing your nearest nappy library here.

How many newborn nappies will I need?

Newborns can get through a LOT of nappies – 8-10 in one day. Realistically, a bare minimum of 15 nappies would be needed if you keep on top of your washing. 20 would allow for a more relaxed approach.  If using a two part nappy and wrap (whether flat or fitted nappies) you’ll also need about 4-5 wraps.

What type of nappy would you recommend if I am planning on breastfeeding?

As breastfed poo is generally very runny and can be explosive, containment is going to be one of your key requirements. You don’t want to have a poo explosion from the back to the hairline, as is frequently found with disposable nappies. Unlike cloth nappies, disposables don’t have any elastic along the waist.

We would suggest trying a two part system of nappy and wrap. This gives you a double barrier of elastic at both the waist and the leg, and gives you the bomb proof combination to help hold those explosions in the early days – if the nappy leaks, then the wrap contains. There are plenty of brands of fitted nappies out there, ask your local retailer or nappy library for advice. As long as you use a good wrap that is the correct size for your baby, it is the wrap that does the final containment. For wraps, we would suggest a wrap with leg gussets, that provides a snug fit at the legs and giving a deep channel to contain mess.

Cloth Nappies and NewbornsCan I use Birth-to Potty Nappies on a newborn?

Birth to potty (BTP) nappies can definitely be used on some newborns with success. Most one-size nappies realistically fit well from 9-10lb in weight, so if you are expecting a larger newborn they are a great option to save you money and get you set-up for the long term. We have known BTP nappies be used with success on babies as small as 6lb, but they will look bulkier than newborn specific nappies. If you plan to try BTP nappies look for ones with cross-over waist snaps or Velcro to increase your chances of a good fit.

What do I do with all the newborn poo?

Some people choose to rinse nappies before putting them in the dry pail, however there is no need to do this. Simply chuck them in your machine mess and all, pop a cold rinse on before your main wash, and it will deal with all the mess! Using fleece liners can help prevent any stains on your new nappies. Paper liners can often be fairly ineffective at containing breastfed poo

Newborn cloth nappies.

This post was written by Billy of The Great British Nappy Hunt

01. July 2013 · Categories: Cloth Clinic

Our ever popular cloth clinic, which we hold over on our Facebook page, raises lots of questions from parents about cloth nappies from leaking issues to which type of nappy is the best. We love to help answer all your questions and thought we would start at the beginning and put our answers on blog posts for you.

So are you sitting comfortably? Yes? Well, we shall begin right at the start….

How many cloth nappies will I need to use cloth nappies full time?

Depending how organised you are, and whether you have a quicker drying synthetic nappy such as pocket with microfibre insert or are tumble drying, most people tend to have an average of 15-20 nappies, slightly more for a newborn.  If using fitted nappies, then you’d need 4-5 wraps (definitely 5 is easier for a newborn).  If buying for twins or two in nappies, then it’s worth remembering a standard machine load is 15-18 nappies, so you’ll need enough to last till your load is dry, so you would probably need at least 30 nappies for two children.

What are the start up costs for full time use?  

It does depend on the type of nappies you choose to buy. From as little as £80-90 for terry squares, Nappi Nippas and one size wraps, which is a traditional system that will fit from birth to potty. If you decide for example to go for a brand such as TotsBots, it will cost about £350 for a pretty set of EasyFit all in ones.

There are optional but very useful extras such as your bucket and mesh bags, which do make life easier. There is also the option of buying washable wipes, which will save you a fortune on buying baby wipes.

On average, considering all the above, the average spend for all you need to cloth nappy full time is around £250.



How do I know which type of nappy to start off with?

If a newborn, especially a breastfed one, you’re going to have to contend with runny poo, and thus containment is going to be your top priority.  Most people are amazed how efficient a well fitting cloth nappy is at containment when compared with a disposable. Disposable nappies have a thin leg elastic and all to frequently none at the waist resulting in poo-to-the-hairline explosions!

The best system for a newborn is going to be a fitted nappy and appropriately sized nappy with a separate well fitting wrap again of the correct size over the top.

For an older baby I would look more at your needs – do you need quick drying, is cost a concern,  or are your priorities local production (British Made) or of a natural fibre or organic?  Then I’d choose something within that remit that looks like it will fit well eg don’t buy something where reviews say comes a bit low in the rise if your 18m is above the 100th centile!

Billy has more information about different types of nappy over on his website – click here for more information.


A lot of Billy’s collaborators do try before you buy scheme and are always happy to advise which nappy would suit your baby and lifestyle, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of us. Please see below for the list of where you can get in touch:

Tiny Nippers
Nappy Go Lucky
Baby Peach
Baby Bum Boutique
Kingdom of Fluff
Bum Deal Nappies
Twinkle on the Web
Luscious Little Somethings
Millies Nappies
Nappy Geek
Rosie Boos

If you are keen to see nappies in the flesh, most nappy retailers help run or organise local events in their area to publicise the benefits of using cloth. This could be antenatal classes, parenting groups or events working with local councils, so do be sure to check out our Events page.

We’ll be back with cloth clinic soon, make sure you keep in touch on our Facebook page!