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Modern Cloth Nappies

Modern cloth nappies (MCNs) have revolutionised how parents approach nappying, offering sustainable alternatives to disposable options. Despite initial concerns about complexity, these reusable cloth nappies are surprisingly user friendly. Not only do they reduce environmental impact, but they also save money in the long run.

We understand that switching to fabric nappies can be overwhelming, but choosing high quality modern cloth diapers like the ones available at Hello Charlie can ease your concerns. Our cloth diapers are safe for your little one as they're made from and non toxic materials. We thoroughly research our reusable cloth nappy products, so you can focus on caring for your child.

We've carefully selected various affordable MCN nappies that can help with potty training. Our options are designed to adjust to your child's growth, which includes adjustable sizing and easy to use fasteners. These reusable baby products are also made from eco friendly materials that are safe and gentle on your baby's sensitive skin.

Why Should You Use Reusable Modern Cloth Nappies?

No more constant trips to the store for disposable nappies! You can save as much money by switching to these nappies. Your little one will be comfortable and well protected from leaks and messes, and you'll be helping the environment by reducing waste.

Eco cloth nappies can also speed up the potty training process. The breathable material and wetness awareness can help your little one conquer toilet training milestones sooner than possible. And the best part? They're super easy to use, with no fancy techniques required.

Cloth nappies are economical

Reusable baby nappies are an economical and eco friendly alternative to disposable ones. By reusing them, you can save money in the long run since you won't have to keep buying new ones. They're also durable and can be passed down to future generations.

To save even more money, consider getting second hand cloth nappies. Using MCNs helps reduce expenses and supports sustainability and the circular economy. And if they're in good shape, you can sell them later to recover some of your initial investment.

The cost of cloth nappies vs disposable

In contrast, disposable nappies can cost around AU$ 840 annually per baby. And if you think about it, babies use around 6,000 nappies during their first two years. So, imagine how much money you'll spend on just one tiny human.

However, if you use reusable cloth nappies and wash them at home, you can save a lot of money. By using cloth nappy products like liners or inserts, you can also reduce the need for frequent replacements. Not only will you enjoy lots of savings, but you'll also be doing your bit for the environment by opting for washable cloth nappies.

How long does a modern cloth nappy last?

The lifespan of a cloth nappy depends on various factors. For example, you can use cotton cloth nappies for 50 to 200 times before being repurposed as rags. Other factors affecting their longevity include the quality of the fabric and materials used in their construction and how they're cared for during laundering. To prolong their lifespan, following proper washing instructions and rotating multiple nappies is essential so that each one is washed less frequently.

Reusable nappies are easy to use

Reusable cloth nappies come in different styles. They're also designed to be just as easy to put on your little one as a disposable nappy, which makes them a practical option. They usually have convenient closures such as velcro or press studs, so there's no need for safety pins.

Caring for reusable cloth nappies becomes easy once you establish a cleaning and washing routine.

Are reusable modern cloth nappies better for the environment? Yes!

In Australia and New Zealand, 3.75 million disposable nappies are used daily, and 92% end up in landfills. However, KESAB environmental solutions conducted a project proving that families who use cloth diapers, even part time, can significantly reduce this waste. With just 30 participants, they prevented 128 disposable diapers from ending up in landfills daily, saving up to 46,592 nappies per year. So, using a few cloth nappy pieces daily can make a remarkable difference in reducing landfill waste. 

How sustainable are cloth nappies?

There are various factors to consider regarding the sustainability of MCNs. It's important to remember that the chemicals used to clean a cloth nappy can affect the environment. To maintain a greener approach, mild and eco detergents are recommended while cleaning them. The washing temperature and drying method also affect their sustainability, so opting for lower temperatures and air drying can help minimise energy consumption. Additionally, microfibres shed during washing can be captured with a laundry bag or filter to prevent them from entering water systems.

While disposable ones can affect the environment during manufacturing and disposal, reusable cloth nappies have the highest impact during use. Considering these factors, we can make cloth nappies a more sustainable choice for our children and the planet.

Ways to reduce the environmental impact of cloth nappies

There are a few steps you can take to minimise the impact of MCNs on the environment:

  1. Use natural detergents that are gentle on your baby's skin and the environment.
  2. Try hand washing and line drying your cloth nappies to reduce energy consumption. It would help if you also chose cloth nappies made from natural fabrics to avoid synthetic materials that can harm the environment. Instead of disposable liners, use reusable, washable liners to minimise waste.
  3. Extend the lifespan of your cloth nappies by reusing and passing them down through different generations of children in your family, promoting sustainability.

They help your little one toilet train earlier/sooner

When your little one wears a disposable nappy, they don't feel the wetness they produce, making it harder to understand the connection between peeing and feeling wet. However, using MCNs can help babies learn about their potty needs by feeling wet and prompting them to find ways to stay dry. As a result, they may reach potty training milestones earlier than babies who wear disposable ones.

Disposable vs Cloth Nappies

A survey revealed that 64% of children who potty trained between 16 and 18 months had worn cloth nappies. In comparison, only 8% had worn disposables, and another 8% had used both types. This data highlights the connection between cloth nappies and early toilet training, reinforcing their effectiveness in facilitating faster progress for little ones.

Types of Reusable Cloth Nappies

There are different types of cloth nappies, each with unique qualities. Pocket nappies have a pocket to hold absorbent inserts. All in two nappies have an absorptive part that attaches to the waterproof cover. Cloth swim nappies are perfect for a day at the pool, preventing accidents from leaking out. Washable pull ups or training pants are great for potty training adventures, with a reusable and comfy option. With these reusable nappy options, you can find the perfect fit for your child's needs while reducing rubbish and adding style to their nappy look.

The Best Modern Cloth Nappies

Pocket nappies

When it comes to MCNs, pocket nappies are the most popular choice. They're user friendly and created to fit your little one, with a waterproof lining that eliminates the need for an extra cover. These nappies have a pocket to insert an absorptive pad for added protection.

Here's an example of a pocket nappy: the Baby Beehinds Magicall Multi-Fit Pocket Nappies. These nappies fit babies of varying ages, thanks to their one size fits most (OSFM) style.

You can adjust the size of the modern cloth nappy using the rows of press studs. This makes it easy to change to fit newborns to toddlers in just a few seconds. With this reusable nappy type, you won't have to worry about buying different sizes as your child grows.

The Pea Pods One Size Nappies are also a versatile choice. These nappies come with a thick, super absorbent bamboo insert that effectively contains and absorbs more wee. With a sizing system that uses poppers/fasteners around the tummy, these OSFM nappies adjust easily to fit your little one as they grow. Additionally, the hidden elastic in the leg area is flexible and can be readjusted, similar to a bra strap, to accommodate your baby's growth.

All in two nappies

All in two nappies are like pocket nappies but with a "snap-tastic" twist. Just snap the insert into the reusable nappy, and you're ready to roll. It's a breeze for busy parents, keeping things snug and secure without the fuss.

The Baby Beehinds Magicall All-In-Two Nappies is a great example. It has an absorptive insert that snaps right in, and with the adjustable press studs and velcro waistband, you can make sizing a breeze. You can switch the size from infant to toddler in a snap, which means it's also OSFM.

Other types of cloth nappies

Cloth swim nappies

Cloth swim nappies work like regular ones and are made for repeated use. But they're not meant for all day wear. Their secret weapon? A snug fit and an inner mesh layer keep the mess contained. Reusable swimming nappies prioritise comfort and containment without needing a super absorbent pad, perfect for shorter durations in the water.

Pea Pods have a reusable swim nappy range with a soft cotton inner lining that feels comfy against your little one's skin. With their contoured fit, these Peapods nappies are elasticated for a great fit, so no more leakage! The waterproof and breathable outer layer of these swim nappies ensure that accidents stay contained while allowing for easy movement in the water.

They also double up as training pants and are super easy to pull up and down. These are perfect for toilet training toddlers who might need frequent bathroom breaks during playtime at the beach or pool.

Washable/reusable pull ups or training pants

Washable and reusable pull ups or training pants are pull up nappies made from cloth. These soft cloth nappy pants usually come in an all in one or pocket/sleeve style with separate inserts.

The Baby Beehinds Training Pants are a premium choice for parents looking for an easy to use solution for potty training their toddlers. The elasticised waistband allows easy pull on and pull off when nature calls, eliminating the need for fumbling with adjustable snaps or velcro. The reusable nappy pants also include a bamboo booster that you can fold for extra absorbency. With two hidden layers of absorbent microfibre, these pants can hold little accidents and prevent late night sheet changes.

The Pea Pods Bamboo Reusable Training Pants resemble 'big kid undies', but they have built in absorbency to make potty training easier. These soft pants come with a waterproof and breathable inner layer, preventing leaks and discomfort from moisture. They keep your toddler dry and comfortable throughout the day. Plus, they have elasticised legs and waists that ensure a comfortable fit no matter how much running around your little one does.

Things To Consider When Choosing Reusable Nappies

With numerous options available, it's important to consider various factors before deciding what baby cloth nappies to buy. From the design and style that suits your baby's needs to the absorbency required, the fabric, eco friendliness, drying time, and overall longevity, we'll explore all the essential considerations to help you navigate the world of reusable cloth nappies.


Gone are the days of plain white cloth baby nappies. Now, you can find a range of quality, bright coloured MCNs with quirky or minimalist prints, funky geometric shapes or adorable animal patterns. Gender neutral options are also available for those who want to keep it simple and classic.


Reusable cloth nappies have come a long way since the days of safety pins and soggy bottoms. Today, MCNs are practical and trendy. They usually come with velcro or snap buttons, making them super easy to use—no more wrestling with sharp pins or trying to keep squirmy babies still during nappy changes. The waterproof outer layers of modern cloth nappies also mean you don't have to worry about leaks or spills. They'll keep babies dry and comfortable all day long.


Consider the absorbency level before you make a purchase. After all, nothing's worse than a leaky cloth nappy that covers you in pee and poo.

Luckily, you can tell the level of absorbency by the type of cloth nappy and fabrics used for the absorbent layer. For instance, bamboo cloth nappies are ideal for nighttime use because they have excellent absorbency properties. The soft bamboo material can hold more liquid than other fabrics, which means fewer leaks and less mess!


When choosing fabric for cloth nappies, absorbency and softness are essential factors. Cotton and bamboo are popular choices for the inner lining and absorbent layer. Cotton is durable, absorbent, and easy to clean. Bamboo is softer, has antimicrobial properties, and is hypoallergenic, making it great for sensitive skin. Both materials are breathable, helping regulate temperature and prevent overheating - perfect for those hot summer days (or nights).

Eco friendliness

Disposable nappies are convenient, but they contribute significantly to landfill waste and can take hundreds of years to decompose. A better option are fabric alternatives such as organic cotton or bamboo. These materials have a lower impact on the environment during production and break down quickly when disposed of. Organic cotton is grown without harmful pesticides and chemicals, and bamboo requires minimal water and fertilisers to grow.

Opting for cloth nappies made from recycled materials is also a great choice. It reduces waste in landfill and requires less energy to produce than raw materials. Therefore, when selecting cloth nappies, it's crucial to consider the long term sustainability impact of your decision. Who wouldn't want to feel good about doing their part for the planet while changing a stinky nappy?

Dealing with daily poop explosions can be challenging, so preparing enough clean nappies is crucial. However, waiting for your favourite nappies to dry after washing can become a nightmare. Luckily, the new generation of cloth nappies is designed with quick drying in mind. Thinner material means less time in the dryer or on the clothesline, and having multiple pieces allows for easy mixing and matching of nappy accessories for your little one's needs.


MCNs are durable and can last for years. So if you plan on having multiple children, you can use the same nappies. The best nappies are created to grow with your little one, thanks to adjustable snaps or velcro that allow them to fit snugly, no matter how big or small your child gets.

What are Modern Cloth Nappies Made of?

Many modern cloth nappies are composed of a waterproof layer called PUL (polyurethane laminate). This polyester nappy fabric undergoes a high heat or chemical process to bond a polyurethane layer to it. PUL is known for being waterproof, stretchy, breathable, lightweight, moisture wicking, and durable enough to withstand multiple washes.

Well known brands such as Baby Beehinds and Pea Pods use PUL in their cloth nappies. They come in various styles such as a pocket, all in twos, and training pants for Baby Beehinds, and one size and swim nappies for Pea Pods. Although PUL is a synthetic plastic, it's considered inert, which means that it's safe as it will not expose your little one to potentially toxic chemicals or fumes.

Some of the best reusable nappies are also made from sustainable materials. An example is Pea Pods' recycled range of one size nappies, crafted from 100% post consumer recycled materials for all polyester components, including the outer cover, inner lining, and packaging.

When Should I Start Using Cloth Nappies for My Baby?

Choosing when to start using cloth nappies for newborns is a personal decision. Opting for reusable newborn nappies from birth is a great way to embrace eco parenting. But at Hello Charlie, we recommend giving yourself a month to six weeks to adjust to having a baby first. The infant stage is challenging. It's understandable if you can't manage using newborn cloth nappies on top of all the other things you have going on, like breastfeeding and sleep deprivation. Just do what feels right for you and your little one.

Transitioning to reusable training pants

Moving from nappies to reusable pull up nappies or training pants is a big step for toddlers and parents. Transition time varies, but it's usually around two years old when a toddler can control their bladder and bowel for two hours or more. Look for signs like interest in the potty, staying dry, ability to pull pants on and off, or letting you know when they've gone. 

Just like cloth nappies for babies, reusable nappy pants are absorptive enough to hold little accidents but not too absorbent that they mask wetness. These washable nappy pants are perfect for toilet training!

How Many Reusables Do I Need?


Full time or part time?

Using cloth nappies full time is only for some. Part time cloth nappying is an alternative solution. So how many cloth nappies do I need?

It's all about using reusable cloth nappies during the day and disposables at night or when you're out. This approach allows you to enjoy the benefits of cloth nappies without feeling overwhelmed by the amount of washing required. It's also an excellent option for reducing the impact on the environment while maintaining the convenience of disposables.

Type of nappy

Not all reusable nappies are created equal, especially when it comes to absorbency. Modern reusable nappies usually have great absorption than traditional ones due to advances in technology and design.

It's also good to consider the style and materials of the nappy, whether it's an all in two or a pocket nappy, as this can affect its absorbency level. Why? It all comes down to the layers of material used. Pocket nappies often have fewer layers. However, AITs like the ones from Baby Beehinds can provide up to 13 layers of absorbency, making them an excellent choice for parents looking for a highly absorptive option.

Age of baby

As a new parent, it's important to remember that your little one must be changed frequently - around 10 to 12 times a day - whether you use disposable or cloth nappies. While this may seem like a lot, rest assured that the frequency of changes will decrease as your child grows older. By around three months, you can expect to change your baby's nappy about 8-10 times a day, and by six months, this will reduce even further to around 6-8 changes per day. Remember that every baby is different, but this is a practical guide.

How often will you wash

If you plan to use cloth nappies, it's important to consider how often you want to do laundry. It's best to avoid washing them every day if possible. The more nappies you have, the less frequently you must wash them.

For example, if you plan to wash every other day and assume your little one needs eight nappy changes daily, you'll have 16 nappies to wash at the end of the second day. You'll also need eight more nappies for the next day while the first 16 are drying. So, you'll need a total of 24 cloth nappies. However, if you plan to use cloth nappies part time or only during the day, you'll need 12 nappies to be able to wash every other day. Make sure to have a few extra on hand if you need to catch up on washing.

What do most retailers recommend?

To switch to cloth nappies entirely, retailers recommend beginning with 15-30 MCNs based on your baby's age, washing routine, and lifestyle. It's best to go with the higher range if you have an infant.

Can I Combine Modern Cloth Nappies with Eco Disposable Nappies?

Yes, you can combine the use of modern cloth nappies with eco disposable ones for added convenience and reduced waste.

Disposable nappies are undoubtedly a convenient solution for parents who need more time or energy to wash and dry cloth nappies. Unfortunately, they come with a significant environmental cost that is hard to ignore. The good news is that you can minimise your use of disposable nappies by choosing eco disposable options.

Eco disposable nappies are created from biodegradable materials and manufactured using sustainable processes. By choosing these kinds of nappies, you can feel good about minimising your carbon footprint while still enjoying the convenience of disposable ones.

Cloth Nappy Accessories

Once you've figured out how to use MCNs, the next thing to tick off your list are cloth nappy accessories. Below are some essentials to get you started.

Reusable cloth/baby wipes

Embrace the wonders of reusable cloth/baby wipes - a non toxic, cost effective, and eco alternative to disposable wipes. Not only are they better for the environment, but they also do a better job cleaning up messes like poo. Many mums claim they rarely need more than one reusable wipe compared to multiple disposables.

You can choose from Pea Pods' bamboo wipes, known for their softness. Or opt for the soft, organic cotton options by Baby Beehinds and Nature's Child. They're durable, economical, and eco friendly.

Cloth nappy liners

Made to sit between the baby's skin and nappy, cloth nappy liners catch poo so you can easily dispose of it. Reusable nappy liners like the Pea Pods Bamboo Liners are an eco option as they're fully biodegradable and compostable. Bamboo nappy liners are also antibacterial, thanks to the bamboo material.

Boosters and inserts

Cloth nappy inserts are the main absorbency component of MCNs, and boosters can be added to increase their absorbency for heavy wetters or overnight use. 

Bamboo nappy inserts like the Pea Pods Bamboo Absorber are an excellent option for a nappy insert. The Pea Pods Night Booster is perfect for heavy wetters and nighttime use. Baby Beehinds also have reliable inserts like the Bamboo Fold-Ups, Night Magic All Inserts, and Mighty Booster for cloth nappy users.

Cloth nappy covers

If your chosen nappy lacks built in waterproof covers, don't fret! You can snag some separately or opt for suitable absorbent inserts. Pea Pods Pilchers are a great example. They're a top notch choice for cloth nappy covers, especially when paired with Pea Pods absorbent inserts.

Nappy creams

It's important to choose a suitable cream that won't interfere with the effectiveness of your cloth nappies. Zinc is often considered a culprit for reducing absorbency, but in reality, it's the oil in the cream that can cause issues. Zinc oxide is an excellent ingredient in nappy creams as it acts as a barrier between your baby's skin and wetness, protecting them from rashes. The problem arises when the cream contains oils like petroleum or mineral oil, which can create a buildup on the fabric fibres over time.

One solution is a water based nappy rash cream with zinc or a liner that wicks moisture away from your baby's skin. Not only does this help prevent diaper rash, but it also ensures that any cream you use won't affect your cloth nappies' performance.

At Hello Charlie, we're all about natural nappy rash creams. You won't see any petroleum based options on our shelves!

Are cloth nappies worth it?

Modern cloth nappies are worth the investment. They help you save in the long run, reduce waste, and contribute towards a more sustainable future. The convenience factor has also greatly improved with new designs and features, making them versatile and as easy to use as disposable nappies. With their adorable prints and patterns, they're also much stylish than their plastic counterparts!

Shop the Best Reusable Modern Cloth Nappy Brands at Hello Charlie

Starting with reusable nappies but need to know where to buy cloth nappies for your kids? Australia has many great product options, but Hello Charlie has some of the best cloth nappies that are eco and non toxic, just like the ones from Baby Beehinds and Pea Pods. We offer Australia wide shipping, same day despatch when you order before 10am, so you can save more!

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