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Top tips for changing a newborn's nappy

tips for changing newborn reusable nappies


Babies don't come with an instruction manual. No one is born knowing how to be a parent either and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

That said, there’s some things that would be handy to know before your little one arrives. One is the slightly gross subject of what you can expect when changing their nappy.

If you're eating your dinner whilst reading, you may want to put down your fork for 2 minutes whilst you read this...! We promise it will be worth it, though.


The first nappies with a newborn will contain a slightly scary-looking substance, dark brown or even black in appearance called meconium. It’s REALLY sticky and tar-like.

As well as those trusty reusable baby wipes, make sure you’ve got that wipe down changing mat to hand.

Often parents think that they cannot use cloth nappies from birth because of the meconium. But it is actually water-soluble and does not need to be rinsed off before putting your newborn's reusable nappies in the wash. Sometimes it will stain nappies but you can follow this tip to remove the marks. To help prevent stains you can use nappy liners, but they're not essential.


Milk poos start a few days after birth and they're less sticky & lighter in colour. They’ll also be runnier so be prepared with a changing mat to avoid any mess.

One thing you'll learn pretty early on when changing your little one's nappies is that as soon as their nappy is off, they decide it's time to wee!


No nappy-changing parent is without an encounter with the dreaded poonami. It's exactly how you imagine it to be and can go everywhere, even up to their necks sometimes!! Some of our customers report that our nappies are better at containing them than disposables, but as with any nappy, they're not totally explosion-proof!

If you're at home when your baby has a messy nappy (lucky you) - strip off the soiled clothing and give your baby a gentle shower-down.

To cover your bases when you're out and about it's good to have a fully-stocked nappy bag or wet bag with compartments so you can find things quickly and store dirty things 'til you get home.


When your child is teething, you might notice that their pee or poo is runny. Little bottoms have sensitive skin and it can become sore from this so change it straight away if you can. It's good to let them have some nappy-free time during this phase to let the skin air. Don't forget to put a changing mat down to avoid any accidents & apply nappy cream as necessary.


Babies don't always love having their nappy changed, and who can blame them. The key here is to distract them with a toy so make sure you carry one in your changing bag or attach one to your changing table.


Little boys tend to want to wee as soon as their willy meets the cold air! So make sure you cover it with a reusable baby wipe as soon as you take off the dirty one.

You should also have his willy pointing down when you put the fresh nappy on, otherwise, it will spray upwards and leak out the top!

Here's some more tips on using reusable nappies with a newborn.

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