Modern Cloth Nappies: A complete how-to guide

2 billion disposable nappies are dumped in Australian landfill each year. Disposable nappies can take 500 years to break down - the disposable nappies we may have worn as babies are still in landfill!

Are modern cloth nappies more environmentally friendly than disposable nappies?

Even though modern cloth nappies need to be initially manufactured, and then washed after each use, they are still 40% more environmentally friendly than disposable nappies. Every single modern cloth nappy that is used instead of a disposable nappy makes a positive impact on our planet.

The benefits of modern cloth nappies for parents are not only environmental. The average baby from birth to toddler will require an approximate 6,000 nappies. This equates to costs averaging $3500 to $5000 per child for nappies alone. Not only do modern cloth nappies save space in our garbage bins, but they are also good for our wallet too!

Plus, modern cloth nappies are sooo much more adorable than your typical disposable nappy! We have an extensive range of Alva Baby modern cloth nappies for you to browse and purchase. Alva Baby modern cloth nappies have been tested and are worn every day by our own baby, now toddler, and we love them!

How many cloth nappies do I need? 

A full-time pack of Alva Baby Modern Cloth Nappies is 15-20 nappies, and a part-time pack is 8-10 nappies. It's always a good idea to trial the nappies first to make sure you and bub like them. A trial pack can be as little as 3 nappies to get you started. Buy 8 or more nappies to receive a free gift.

Any one modern cloth nappy used is one less disposable nappy in landfill for the next 500 years!

How often should I change cloth nappies?

Every 2-4 hours. You’ll need to change the nappies more regularly for a newborn (closer to every 2 hours), but as they get older, you might only need to change them every 3+ hours depending on your bub and how heavy they have soiled the nappy. If the baby has done a poo, then just like disposable, you change them straight away.

How do I use Alva Baby cloth nappies?

Alva Baby modern cloth nappies are 'pocket nappies'. This means you stuff the nappy insert into the nappy shell. The nappies have snaps at the front and can be used from 4kgs to 17kgs.

How do I wash cloth nappies?

  • Remove and rinse off the residuals (knock solids into toilet), then store in dry pail;
  • Pre-wash in washing machine at the end of each day (30-60 minutes) in 40-60oC;
  • Wash in washing machine every 2-3 days (cottons, 2+hours) in 40-60oC;
  • Hang up to dry in the sun (sunlight helps bleach the nappies to remove any remaining stains), or low tumble dry;
  • Do not use bleach or fabric softener.

Modern Cloth Nappy Diaper Wash Routine

Tips and tricks:

  • If the baby is breastfed there is no need to knock the solids (poo) into the toilet. Breastmilk waste is water soluble. Once you start introducing solids, you'll need to knock the solids into the toilet before putting the cloth nappy in the washing machine.
  • Some parents like to put a disposable bamboo liner along the nappy against the baby's skin. Especially once solid food is introduced - this can help make getting the poo off easier.
  • Alva Baby modern cloth nappies have snaps at the front so you can make them any size you like. Play around with what snaps work for your bub. There is no need to 'unsnap' the nappies between washes once you've got them to the right size.
  • After a while of heavy use, the nappies may start to smell even after washing (it took about a year for us). You will need to 'sanitise' (also referred to as 'strip') the nappies at that point. When you get to that point please review the latest guidelines at the time, as they change regularly, at: Clean Cloth Nappies