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 and stages, from newborn to infant to crawler to toddler.
Beware of one-size-fits-all (OSFA) 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 OSFA, 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.
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. 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 correct nappy fold.
- Ensure all the cloth nappy insert and liner is inside the nappy cover.
- Wash your reusable nappies before use (to fluff up the absorbency).
- Do not use fabric softener or bleach on the wraps or nappy inserts as this damages the waterproofness. (See our Washing Instructions.)
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. We recommend for full time use:
18-24 nappy inserts (Real Nappies prefolds)
6-7 covers (Real Nappies snug wraps)
How many Real Nappies Snug Wraps Nappy Covers do I need?
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, with a secure lid. You can line the bin or for the more eco-friendly, use a reusable tote bag or similar.
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.
4. Nappy Fresh Sanitiser Powder - An environmentally-friendly, biodegradable nappy cleanser. Sanitises and naturally whitens.
5. 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, they make life a lot easier.
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 the 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.
Do Cloth Swim Nappies hold everything in?
No swim nappy, whether disposable or cloth will hold in the wees. Swim nappies are designed to hold in the poo (and prevent a code brown). This is so they 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 breastfeed; 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
We recommend a Dry Pailing method. A simple routine is:
1. Flush your liner (or compost).
2. Pop your wet nappy and cover in a bucket with a lid - leave till wash day.
3. On wash day, empty bucket into washing machine, add a bit of detergent and some Real Nappies Nappy Fresh, turn on.
4. Dry on the line or using the machine.
What detergents can I use (or should I avoid) on my cloth nappies?
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.
Do I have to clean and sanitise my machine after washing my nappies?
Definitely not. 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.
Do I need to soak my Real Nappies prefolds?
It is not necessary for the prefolds to be soaked after use and before washing. However, if you wish to soak them, then you can do, and we recommend using Real Nappies Nappy Fresh to get them sanitised while soaking.
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 easy disposal. Easy!
Please be careful and only flush one liner at a time. Liners may not be able to be flushed - please check on your individual sewerage and council waterways before use. You are responsible for your own plumbing system.
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.
Cloth Nappy Problem Solving
My Real Nappies prefolds are stiff, how can I soften them?
If your cloth nappies are getting rough it is probably due to detergent build up. This can be easily solved and vinegar can help.
1. Wash your nappies with no detergent on a hot wash, check the water and if there are bubbles, wash again.
2. You can occasionally add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle to remove residual detergent. This deodorises, sanitises, brightens and softens. However, don't do this too often.
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 detergent build up.
1. Give them a good soak (if prefolds only) and/or wash with some Real Nappies Nappy Fresh. Make sure the water is around 60C.
1. Overnight soak with a cup of baking soda.
2. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the final rinse.
3. Rinse really well to make sure tea tree oil is gone
1. Prewash nappies (to get rid of excess detergent).
2. Use a small amount of detergent for the wash cycle, plus 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup borax
3. Add 1 cup vinegar to rinse cycle.
4. Do a second rinse.
5. Machine dry nappies on a high heat.
Remember that we also sell Nappy Fresh Washing Powder, which sanitises and freshens nappies and is really gentle on babies skin.
My cloth nappies are stained, how can I clean them?
Real Nappies Nappy Covers: Never use bleach or whitening agents. This will eventually break down the fibres of the fabric and destroy the waterproof membrane. Never soak the covers.
Real Nappies Prefolds: You can soak the inserts. A good alternative to chlorine bleach is an environmentally friendly oxygenated bleach. But be careful, not all products are created equal, make sure you use one that has no additives beyond sodium carbonate. We prefer Real Nappies Nappy Fresh.
Tip: Rinse the covers as soon as they come off to avoid staining and sunshine is the best whitener!
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. 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.
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 a build up of detergent. We suggest striping them. 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. You can occasionally add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle in order to remove any residual detergent.
When washing your Snug Wraps, we recommend only using 1/4 of the recommended amount of detergent. And remember to NEVER use bleach, whiteners, fabric softeners or soak your covers.
I heard you can use baking soda and vinegar for washing, is that true?
Baking soda and vinegar is ONLY to be used for stripping your covers or for very smelly nappies (those that still smell after washing). Stripping is a ONE TIME ONLY solution as this will eventually HARM your covers. So, be very careful.
All you need for washing your nappies is a little detergent, sun and water. We do recommend using a Sanitiser like Nappy Fresh to keep your nappies clean, white and sanitised. If you like, you can occasionally add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle in order to remove any residual detergent. This deodorizes, sanitizes and brightens.
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 they threads can often be moved back into place.
How do I get free shipping?
If you spend over $150 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 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 5-7 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 guarantee?
You can read all about our 2-child guarantee 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 for purchases. 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 how to return a product and the Returns Form to fill out.
I have two discount codes, can I use them together?
Unfortunately, our system only allows one discount code to 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 Cheeky 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 wipes with a cold damp cloth. There are products out there that a dedicated to the cause, or you could do what we did and buy an old bottle warmer, fill with water and dip your wipes into 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, we often placed a prefold under baby's bum to soak up any messes that might be made and it would give the mat either a few more hours or another day's run.
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.