You should change your baby’s nappies regularly. Your baby’s wee, combined with the bacteria in her poo, may make her skin sore and lead to nappy rash. Change your baby’s nappy before or after every feed, or whenever she’s done a poo. Though changing your baby’s nappy at night may disrupt her sleep, it may be worth routinely changing your baby’s nappy if she has woken for a feed. Otherwise she may wake up again an hour later because she is uncomfortable. Your newborn baby will poo several times a day and wee every one hour to three hours.
Wetness doesn’t bother most babies though, so don’t expect her to cry or show discomfort every time she needs changing. Disposable nappies absorb moisture particularly well, so you may not always be able to gauge their wetness until they’re soaked. Check for wetness every couple of hours by testing with a clean finger. Some disposable nappies for young babies have a wetness indicator on them. This is a line that changes colour if the nappy is wet. This isn’t necessary, but it’s a handy way to tell if it’s time for a change.
Disposable or cloth? Cloth nappies are inexpensive in the long-run, and some mums think they cause less nappy rash. Cloth nappies can be used over and over again, whereas disposables have plastic liners that don’t decompose. Nearly eight million disposable nappies are thrown away in the UK every day. But washing lots of cloth nappies very often can have a negative impact on the environment. This is especially if you use bleach or non-biodegradable detergents, and if you use a tumble dryer.
Using a nappy laundering service, if you can afford it, and if there is one in your area, is probably the most environmentally-friendly way of using nappies. Nappy laundering services use less energy than washing at home and use less water, as the nappies are washed in bulk. It’s also less hassle for you, as when the nappies are taken away, fresh ones are delivered in their place. Pros of using cloth nappies: Cheaper than disposables in the long-run. Most are designed to wash and dry quickly. Soft on your baby’s bottom, as they are chemical-free.
May be more environmentally-friendly, as they reduce landfill. Look nicer than disposables, with a choice of eye-catching designs. If you have more babies later, you can reuse them, reducing the environmental impact further. Cons of using cloth nappies: It costs more at the outset, instead of paying for nappies slowly, week by week. May be more likely to leak than disposables, though not everyone agrees. May be more time-consuming than using disposables, and babysitters will need a full briefing on how to use them.
Tend to look bulkier than disposables. You need a tumble dryer or space to dry nappies. Tumble drying your nappies considerably reduces any environmental benefits associated with them. If you’re out and about, you have to carry dirty nappies around with you. You need more accessories such as liners and plastic nappy grips. Even if you choose to use cloth nappies, you may find disposables useful for when you’re away from home, or for emergencies. And there’s no shame in changing your mind if one method isn’t working for you.