Frequently Asked Questions
Buying Cloth Nappies
Does it cost more (or less) to use cloth nappies?
Babies are all different shapes and sizes, how do you accommodate everyone?
Our Real Nappies prefolds and Snug Wraps are available in four sizes to ensure a slim, leak-proof and comfortable fit for all the ages, stages and body shapes, from newborn to infant to crawler to toddler.
Beware of one-size-fits-most (OSFM) cloth nappies, which are supposed to adjust to fit babies from birth to potty. No single nappy can adequately address the needs of a tiny delicate newborn and a growing, boisterous toddler. With OSFM, the newborn baby is saddled with a very bulky, often leaky, awkward and uncomfortable nappy, while on the other hand, a toddler is left with one that is less than adequate or prematurely outgrown before toilet ready.
Using the correct size nappy ensures a comfortable and leak-free fit. Would you wear the underwear of someone half your age or twice your size, and feel you've got your bottom covered?
Do Cloth Nappies leak?
Real Nappies do NOT leak when put on correctly and if they have enough absorbency. Leaks are often a result of a saturated nappy or incorrect fit. Follow our tips for maximum absorbency:
- Ensure you use the correct size nappy for your baby.
- Ensure there are no gaps around the leg holes.
- Ensure velcro is fastened so the wrap is snug around the baby.
- Use the appropriate nappy fold.
- Ensure all the cloth nappy insert and liner is inside the nappy cover.
- Wash your inserts before use (to fluff up the absorbency).
- Do not use fabric softener or bleach regularly on the wraps or nappy inserts as these damage the waterproofness. (See our Washing Instructions.)
- Do not tuck the prefold under the front or back Snug Wrap bands.
How many cloth nappies do I need?
It really depends on what stage your baby is at. When they are little you will need more, as they get older and have bigger bladders you will need less. It will also depend how often the nappies are washed ie a daily wash load or every 2 or 3 days; and also how they are dried. We recommend minimum for full time use:
Newborn/Infant stage: 18-24 nappy inserts (Real Nappies prefolds)
6-10 covers (Real Nappies snug wraps)
Crawler/Toddler stage: 12-18 nappy inserts (Real Nappies prefolds)
6-8 covers (Real Nappies snug wraps)
And 2 Booster Pads to use from Infant to Toddler stage.
What cloth nappy accessories to I need?
There are many extras you can buy, so here is a list of the basics:
1. Nappy Bin/Pail - 19L is a good size. As airy as possible is best.
2. Nappy Liners - They are biodegradable and can be thrown away when wet. They keep your cloth nappies clean and easy to wash.
3. Night Time Booster Pads - Great for when your baby is sleeping through the night and needs extra absorbency in his/her cloth nappy. Can also be used during the day if extra absorbency is needed.
4. Reusable Cloth Baby Wipes - This makes cleaning up messes easier, and healthier for baby and planet. Just chuck them in with the nappies, so it's no extra washing!
6. Snappi Nappy Fastener - These are great for holding on the nappies, particularly when baby is little and you are using the angel wings fold. They make life so much easier.
Do you sell Nappy Pins?
We sell Snappi Fasteners, available here. These are the modern version of Pins, but with no sharp points for pricking. While Snappis are not necessary for use with your nappies but they help secure the inserts.
What are the Real Nappies prefold sizes?
Real Nappies prefolds come in 4 different sizes. We recommend buying based on the weight of your child. However, for your information, the sizes are the follow dimensions (before being washed):
Newborn (2.5-6kg): 30x40cm (12x16")
Infant (5-9kg): 35x53cm (14x21")
Crawler (8-14kg): 38x58cm (15x23")
Toddler (13-18kg). 43x58cm (17x23")
Please note, sizes shrink after the initial washes to the size correct for the weights for which they are indicated.
Will my baby get nappy rash with cloth nappies?
Usually, we hear of more issues with nappy rash with disposables due to the chemicals in the disposable nappies and mothers often have to try a variety of brands till they find one that doesn't react with their baby's skin. With cloth nappies you won't have to worry about that.
Research has shown that baby's wearing cloth nappies are no more susceptible to nappy rash than those wearing disposables. Any baby can get nappy rash and there are plenty of tips to avoid it.
Nappy rash is most often caused by teething or if poo has been left against the skin for too long.
Do Cloth Swim Nappies hold everything in?
No swim nappy, whether disposable or cloth will not hold in the urine. Swim nappies are designed to hold in the poo (and prevent a code brown). Reusable swim nappies remain light and easy for the baby to use (don't get heavy and water logged).
If a swim nappy was to hold in the wee, it would also hold water from the pool/beach etc, and this would make it heavy and harder for the baby to float. This is also why it is important to use a dedicated swim nappy and not a normal nappy when you take your baby swimming.
Real Nappies Splash Wraps have been designed to comply with swimming pool standards and are double gussetted to ensure no code browns from your baby.
Using Real Nappies Cloth Nappies
Do I have to wash the nappies before use?
We recommend washing your Real Nappies prefolds 3x before use: this fluffs up the absorbency and shrinks the nappies to the perfect size.
You do not have to dry in-between washing. For maximum absorbency, if you have access to a dryer, machine dry the nappies in-between washes. If not line drying is fine : )
How do I fold my Real Nappies prefolds?
Which fold should I use?
It's really quite individual and depends on what you prefer. The Real Nappies HUG offers three options. A liquid poo fold, which is good for newborns, particularly if they are breastfed; a boy fold for extra absorbency in the front; and a girl fold for absorbency in the middle. Most people tend to use the boy/girl fold when the baby has started solids.
However, there are plenty of other folds you can use and try. Find the one that suits you.
Can I use Infant prefolds in Newborn Covers?
Yes, you can absolutely mix and match your covers with your pre-folds. No one said you have to use the right size pre-fold with the matching size cover. Whatever suits your baby. This is the great thing about our system, it allows for more flexibility to suit your own baby's needs.
How do I wash my Real Nappies?
Check out our page on Washing Your Real Nappies
What detergents can I use (or should I avoid) on my cloth nappies?
A good quality mainstream detergent is best. After all, nappies will be the dirties items you will wash!
Products to avoid are soap-based products and fabric softener which will clog the fibres.
More info can be found on our Washing page.
Do I have to wash my cloth nappies separately to my normal laundry?
No, certainly not. They are fine to go in with your normal washing but it is best to wash them with items of similar size so they do not end up getting wrapped up in large items and not washing properly. For example, sheets and towels would not be good.
Do I have to clean and sanitise my machine after washing my nappies?
No need to. If your nappies are clean, your machine is clean. (No matter how dirty they were when they went in the machine.) However, it can be good practice to clean your washing machine regularly anyway, whether you are using cloth nappies or not. Run a clean cycle as per your machine manual and clean the filter (see your machine manual).
Do I need to soak my Real Nappies prefolds?
We do not recommend soaking after use and before washing.
Snug Wraps should never be soaked.
We do recommend cleaning off any poo before you put them in a dry pail. Please check out or Washing Page for all you need to know on dealing with your nappies.
What do I do with the poo?
One of the great advantages of cloth nappies is that you flush solids down the toilet, where they belong. We have liners that you can use on top of your prefolds in the nappy to catch the poop for disposal. Easy!
Do not flush the liner into the toilet, only the poo. Our liners are biodegradable but as every plumbing and septic system is different it is best to put them in the rubbish bin.
Ways to minimise contact with the poo is using a bidet sprayer or a silicone spatula (labelled for nappies only!) to scrape poo off the nappy into the toilet.
Can I use cloth nappies at Daycares?
More and more childcare centres are getting into cloth nappies. If in doubt, pop in and show them to your childcare centre. Most are pleasantly surprised by how easy they are to use and a lot of them prefer cloth nappies as it means less smelly bins and waste they have to deal with at the end of the day.
You may need to provide a waterproof bag for storing your wet nappies, which you then take home to wash.
Can I use barrier creams with my Real Nappies?
If you are going to use barrier creams, we recommend using a liner so that the cream does not get on the prefold as this can affect the absorbency, particularly zinc based creams. A good wash routine will remove the barrier cream from the insert but it will be easier if a liner was used.
Cloth Nappy Problem Solving
My Real Nappies prefolds are stiff, how can I soften them?
Cloth nappies feeling more rough is due to the cotton being a natural fibre. The same happens with hemp inserts. To soften them up, they can be scrunched up until softer, rubbed across the top of a chair, sat on for a little while (heat will relax the fibre) or popped into the dryer for 5 mins.
For more washing tricks and tips - make sure you read our Washing Your Nappies page.
My velcro is no longer sticking, what can I do?
Often we find the reason the velcro is no longer sticking is because it is full of lint. The easiest way to clean out the lint is to use a toothpick or even a Snappi to pull the fluff etc out from between the teeth.
My nappies are smelly - how do I get them fresh again?
Wash them again. Most of the time nappies are smelly because they are not clean or have not been allowed enough dry time or you have ammonia build up.
1. Wash at a higher temperature a few times with a little more detergent, make sure the water is no more than 60C.
Sanitising the nappies may be needed as ammonia may have built up in the fibres.
Helpful advice on how to do this can be found on the CCN (Clean Cloth Nappies) website.
My cloth nappies are stained, how can I clean them?
Real Nappies Nappy Covers: Never use pure bleach or whitening agents. This will eventually break down the fibres of the fabric and destroy the waterproof membrane. Never soak the covers.
You can scrub the stain with a bar of soap prior to washing.
Real Nappies Prefolds: You can scrub the stain with a bar of soap prior to washing.
Tip: Using the liners also helps to prevent the stains for future use.
The nappy covers seem to get wet at every change. What do I do?
You may just need to change the nappy more often or add extra absorbency. Particularly if it is getting really wet and the insert is also quite wet.
If it is only slightly damp you can still reuse it, if you want you can just wipe down with a cloth.
Some babies do tend to pee more than others, but when they are little consider that a good thing! I mean, it's a pain having to change more nappies, but it means bub is healthy.
Baby's output may vary depending on the time of day (eg after the first morning feed which is generally a big one!) or with age, your baby will hold the urine for longer and pee larger amounts less often.
My Snug Wraps are leaking, how do I fix it?
Real Nappies Snug Wraps should not be leaking. The most likely reason Snug Wraps will leak is if there is not enough absorbency in the nappy or the nappy hasn't been fitted properly. There will be a little bit of trialling to see what works.
Troubleshooting #1: if the prefold is totally wet, this means more absorbency is needed. Add a small face wash, a piece of terry cloth or a flat nappy on top of the prefold. A booster pad can be added too if required.
Troubleshooting #2: if the prefold is not fully wet (eg dry at the front or back edge, try a different type of fold to add absorbency where it is needed.
Troubleshooting #3: ensure the prefold is not tucked in the Snug Wrap flaps at the front and back. And ensure the prefold does not stick out from the Snug Wrap at the front, back or between the legs.
Troubleshooting #4: a build up of detergent can also affect absorbency. We suggest striping the prefolds. This process involves washing them on a hot wash with no detergent. Check the water and if there are bubbles, repeat the process until you don't see bubbles when washing them.
Troubleshooting #5: is the Snug Wrap damaged? Inspect it to see if it was caught in the washing machine or if any delamination is apparent.
I heard you can use baking soda and vinegar for washing, is that true?
Baking soda and vinegar is not recommended. This will eventually HARM your covers. So, be very careful.
All you need for washing your nappies is a good quality detergent, in the right amount, with good agitation in your washing machine (not underloaded or not too overloaded. If the items do not rub against each other, they will not wash properly).
When using a Snappi with the flat nappy, it leaves holes in the fabric after a few uses. What do I do?
Snappis are best suited to our prefold nappies that have multiple layers and are designed to fit the unique sizes at each stage of babies life.
If using with the flat nappies you may find the cotton threads are more susceptible to the Snappi 'teeth' as the material is thinner and the Snappi uses hooks and tension to hold itself in place, which can stress thin material. However, they shouldn't leave any lasting damage and the threads can often be moved back into place by stretching the fibres.
How do I get free shipping?
If you spend over $250 you qualify for free shipping anywhere in New Zealand.
Do you ship overseas?
Yes, we ship all over the world. Shipping costs will apply, and will be added at checkout. We run discounts and promotions all year, so follow our social media or subscribe to stay tuned for exclusive deals.
We can't ship to PO Box addresses anywhere in the world. Please always provide a physical address.
For more information on our Shipping, please visit our Shipping and Postage page.
How long will it take to get my Real Nappies order?
It depends on where you are. Orders processed will take approximately 3-4 business days to arrive. You will be sent a tracking number as soon as your order has been packed and processed.
When I try to enter my address, I'm told delivery is not possible or there are no shipping options?
The usual causes of this are either:
- an invalid phone number (remember it requires no spaces) or
- address entered incorrectly (try re-entering your address) or
- if you've changed something in your cart, and the shipping needs to recalculate - try leaving your cart and then returning.
If you continue to have trouble, please get in touch with us and we will help you out.
What is the Real Nappies 2-child limited warranty?
We believe in the quality of our nappies and so have provided our customers with an extra reassurance in the form of a 2-child limited warranty. You can read all about our 2-child limited warranty here.
What is your Nappy Club or Loyalty Program
The Real Nappies Nappy Club is our loyalty program in which you can earn Tickle Tokens to use against purchases.
Tickle Tokens are earned from purchasing from us but can also be earned for referring a friend, leaving a product review or sharing our social media posts.
View our Nappy Club Loyalty Program info page for more information.
How do I get a Real Nappies Helpful Use Guide (HUG)?
A Real Nappies HUG is set out with all our Real Nappies prefolds and snug wraps. You can also download a copy by going to our Want a HUG? page.
Can I return my product?
We always aim for make sure our customers love our products, but if you do need to return an order, we’re happy to help. Please see our Returns Page for details on what can be returned, how to return a product and the Returns Form to fill out.
I have two discount codes, can I use them together?
Unfortunately, only one discount code can be used at a time. This means you can't use two discount codes or sale codes on the same order.
Tips and Tricks
My wipes are cold and they wake my baby or cause my baby to pee, what can I do?
Simply find a way to warm them. Nobody, myself included, would want to have their bum wiped with a cold damp cloth. Get an old bottle warmer or thermos flask, fill with warm water and wet your wipes with the warm water before you clean baby's bottom. Simple and effective.
How do I give my baby nappy free time?
Nappy free time is a great thing to do for your baby as much as possible. It's good to give them some freedom from nappies and their bottoms to get a bit of fresh air.
There are plenty of mats you can use that are designed for this. Or you can lie your baby on a change mat. Or if you have an old picnic blanket that could do the trick too. You just need something that has a comfortable side, i.e. fleece or towel and a plastic side (to protect your floors from pee) and is easily washable.
To avoid having to wash the mat everytime, place a prefold under baby's bum to soak up any messes that might be made.
If you have a boy, I recommend something over the top of his penis too. They can get quite a range if left unchecked.
You can contact us through our contact page! We will be happy to assist you.