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Buying for a newborn

Many parents like the idea of having their new baby in cloth from day 1 but it's hard to buy nappies and wraps for a newborn before you know what size, weight and shape your baby is!

Here are a few things to bear in mind...

Not all nappies and wraps suit all babies - it's probably not a good idea to buy (for example) 24 Tots Bots, 5 Mother-ease Rikki wraps and 3 Imse Vimse Bumpy wool wraps before your new baby is born. You may find that the Tots Bots take far too long to dry, you don't much like Aplix fastening wraps and that your baby is sensitive to the lanolin in wool... Just an example but you can see how easy it would be to make an expensive mistake and although all these items have good resale value frankly, you could do without the hassle when you've got a newborn baby to take care of!

Most people end up with a few different nappies with a preference for one or two that may suit different occasions (day & night, or nappies that suit occasions when changing is likely to be less frequent - or when grandparents are in charge!)

You may have a tumble drier but not want to use it all the time, so having some quicker drying nappies alongside your 'normal' Tots or Mother-ease may make sense...

Even if you build up your collection of cloth nappies slowly once you know what suits and use some disposables along the way you will still be helping to reduce landfill and saving money - and it won't take long to have a collection large enough to give up the disposables altogether.

Newborn babies need their nappies changing an awful lot - especially if breastfed - so using something less absorbent but easier to wash & dry might be a great way to start off. Try using muslin squares inside a snug wrap - either folded and fastened with a nappi nippa or pad folded in a slim fitting wrap. They can absorb quite a lot of wee and are very quick drying. They also go on to make great mopping up cloths and makeshift bibs and shoulder protectors... You could also just use a booster inside a fleece wrap or snug fitting PUL wrap - you'll be surprised how much a booster can absorb and when you're changing every couple of hours anyway...

Prefolds can also be an effective, economical solution for newborn babies. Although the containment isn't as good as shaped nappies and they take longer to dry than muslins they can be fastened with a nappi nippa or pad folded in a snug wrap and will work very well after a bit of practice - you may need more wraps than with shaped nappies as the wrap is more likely to get soiled but it's still a good way to get started while you decide what shaped nappies you like best.

We've been busy putting together some nappy kits for newborns, so if you're not sure what to buy and want to try out a selection, do visit our "kits" page.

Typical items you'll need for a newborn include:

nappy bucket
nappy mesh
nappy nippas (if nappies don't have aplix or poppers on)
muslin squares
washable baby wipes
20 cloth nappies
5 nappy wraps
nappy liners - fleece or flushable
boosters
wet nappy bag
tea tree oil
lavender oil