A crash course on newborn cloth

A crash course on newborn cloth

The aim of this article is to outline why newborn cloth is so worth it and how to do it, in a nutshell.

Part 1 :Is newborn cloth worth it?
For those of you who are only considering starting cloth after 3 months, is newborn cloth worth ?
Newborns go through the most amount of nappies (in a diaper lifetime) in the first 4 months.

1. Money saving:
  • Newborns can use up to 10 - 15 nappies a day.
  • That is 450 nappies in a landfill and R1350 of your hard earned money thrown in the bin. In only ONE month! 3 months = R4050
  • For under R6000 you can cloth your baby from birth until 10kg (if using Pokkelokkie medium sized flats). That can be anything up to 6 – 8 months of wear. Enough said.
    2. Is it worth the effort for a first time mom?
    • Do not feel pressured to cloth full time. This is not a competition - this is an effort to save our planet, save us money and to have fun and enjoy your little cloth bum.
    • Cloth involves some patience, some practice and a bit more washing.
    • Having support is important- by that we don’t mean family and friends – we mean US. We offer full support to get you going with your Pokkelokkie nappies via email or whatsapp.
    • You WILL succeed and we will make sure if it.  Your hands need to learn how to handle a small baby. That takes time.
    Part 2: What to expect (the reality of using NB cloth):
    • Feeling overwhelmed with dealing with a new human life and now having to manipulate a piece of cloth around this tiny bum and make sure to get it on right (what is right?). Give yourself time and practice - one day at a time.
    • Crying. A lot of newborns hate nappy changing. You are not doing it wrong, do not feel hurried. You are the mom and you are doing what is best for her. Try take your time and do not avoid trying your cloth because he cries. She will cry no matter what. IT DOES PASS. Ask a friend/husband or nanny to stand with you while you experiment. TIP: always feed your baby before the change day time. This can buy you an extra 10 minutes. Expect this picture: 

    • Weeing in a fresh nappy. We know this one all too well. You have finally mastered the nappy, got it on aaaaand….a big wet spot. Yup … it’s a big wee. Remember with a disposable you cannot see that wee so we don’t even know about it. Expect them to pee in your fresh nappy!
    • Cloth nappies will feel wet. Expect damp cloth. A nappy that has held 10 wees and has not leaked has done its job beautifully. Aim for the nappy feeling like a very damp wrung out towel. If it`s sopping wet – more boosting is needed (boosting to be covered later)
    • More contact with poop. Newborn poop is actually the best stage (if I can use that word). It can be easily rinsed off and popped in the machine. Cloth contains poop very well if the nappy is on properly. Just another reason NB cloth is worth it- much less mess! Remember- your baby`s poop is YOUR baby`s poop. This can only really be understood once you have your baby. The idea of dealing with it changes a lot once that bundle of joy is in your arms. It really does not matter in the end. Do not let this factor determine whether or not you use cloth nappies.
    • Friends and family gasping in horror when you joyously announce you are going to use cloth. Yes - GASPING. Who knows why people are so unsupportive- oh well. You will show them wont you 😊
    Part 3
    How to start in order to succeed?
    1. Get fully absorbent nappies. They work.
    • Pokkelokkie flats and fitteds wrap around the baby. Avoid AIO and pocket or snap in one style. They leak.
    • The whole nappy absorbs therefore there is little chance of leaking.
    • The nappies mould a small frame giving a snug and trim fit.
    • Boosters are the key to cloth diapering the Pokkelokkie way. Always invest in NB sized boosters. 


    2. Pack your cloth nappies into the top drawer of your changing area. Do not pack them down below thinking “oh one day ill get to those when I feel ready”. “That” day never comes moms. Newborns keep you on your toes and 1 day turns into 3 months. If your cloth is not the closest point of call it will be forgotten.
    This was my shelf above the changing station - all our flats piled up!
    3. Start cloth at home when you are comfortable and have no interruptions.
    4. Aim at using a few cloth nappies a day. Tackle one type and give it at least a good few tries before you decide whether or not it works for you. We urge moms to use 1 cloth nappy after another rather than 3 a week. This gives you a full experience and allows your hands to get used to what you are doing. It will get easier and easier. This is a fact.
    5. Reach out for our support. It often only takes an experienced onlooker to see a problem which can be easily solved. Save our whatsapp support line 0787052797 also avaliable weekends!
    Day 2 

    Part 1

    Using flats on a newborn

    • Use good quality flats. Buy well, buy once.
    • The customized fit prevents leaks and provides the trimmest cloth nappy on the market today!
    • Fastest drying nappy- the faster they dry the less you need, the more money you save, the less washing you do.

    Day solution: 1 flat folded in origami and add 1 (maybe 2) Pokkelokkie boosters per flat from 3/4 weeks old. Add the cover.

    Flats need the extra layers during this high output stage. Boosters must be sized properly. Pocket nappy inserts do not make good boosters. Our boosters are the bees knees! Used until potty training they never, ever go to waste.

      Watch the first video on this page https://pokkelokkie.co.za/pages/flats

      Part 2

      Let`s talk about BOOSTING flats.

      Boosters and inserts

      • A Pokkelokkie booster is an additional item bought to add extra layers.
      • An insert: The bit that comes with the nappy when you buy it (example: a fitted comes with 1 – 2 of our inserts already inside). They are however the same thing in terms of function. 

      When to boost?

      • NB flats need boosting  from 3/4 weeks old – 1 booster inside and possibly one between nappy that is on and the cover. This 2nd booster can be added if the nappies are drenched at 2 hours (as in no dry patches anywhere). If you need the nappy to last a bit longer, then add this 2nd booster (baby who sleeps for long periods day time) as per the picture.

      • You can only asses the baby`s boosting needs once baby is here. We suggest having a few boosters on hand- you will always use them.

       Part 3

      Putting the flat on baby

      Watch the video 

      Troubleshooting a fit issue (leg gaps)

      Here is a video we made which highlights the most common issues moms face when starting with flats 

      Day 3

      Part 1

      Dawn patrol fitted nappies

      • Easy to put on.
      • Great for dads and carers.
      • Good for outings when you need a quick change
      • Can be used day and night - boost night nappies.
      • Velcro is a Pokkelokkie favourite option. TIP: always close the Velcro tabs in the wash or when not in use.


      How tight is too tight?

      • When putting a fitted on, it does not need to be put on so tight that deep elastics marks occur. If this is happening it is too tight.
      • The wings in the front will slowly grow furthur and furthur apart as the baby gets bigger. Do not try to always get the wings to meet in the middle- this will make the nappy too tight.
      • Once the nappy is, run your fingers, from the back, along the inside of the elastic casings, pulling the nappy down a bit which makes it sit comfortably. The entire nappy will move a bit forward, allowing the elastics to relax a bit.

      Red elastic marks

      • This happens if the nappy is on too tight OR
      • The nappy is too wet. If there are no dry patches, boost the fitted. Lay an additional booster between nappy and cover.
      • If elastics get wet – they can cause red like welts on baby. It can be avoided by simply assessing the wetness of nappies and adding a booster. 

      Part 2

      Some common concerns using newborn cloth

      The cord

      • Do not let the cord delay your cloth journey.
      • Simply move it out of the way. You will not break it off. It just needs to heal which it will do regardless of the types of nappy you use.
      • Cloth nappies sit below the cord. The cover does not need to be on so tight that it bothers the cord. Loosen it up around the waist.

       Rashes and bum cream

      • You don’t need any bum cream when using cloth. Another money saver here.
      • If anything- use some coconut oil.
      • Rashes are rare with cloth – most common is a wetness rash which is red and splotchy both front and back. Solution: change nappies more regularly and add a booster to distribute wetness. Aim for nappies that feel like a damp wrung out towel. Too wet = no dry patches and wet to the touch.


      • Cloth nappies are bigger. Adjust your mental expectation to a bigger bum
      • It is not uncomfortable for baby. 
      • Bigger nappies do no inhibit or delay development at all.All cloth bums reach their milestones at the right time.
      • Crying during nappy changes is very normal. It does not mean baby does not like the nappy. Give it a good half hour. Feed and settle baby before assuming the nappy is the cause of the distress. Being naked in the colder air is more than likely the issue here.
        Day 4

        Part 1

        Storing and washing nappies

        • NB poop is water soluble- so this means it can be washed in the machine as is. Saying that, I always rinsed my little ones nappies off before storing in the laundry bin.
        • NB poop is the actually the “best” (yes the best). It does not smell and is very easy to clean.
        • Rinse the nappy, throw it in the nappy bin.

        The nappy bin

        • Get a laundry basket with holes – nappies need ventilation.
        • A pail liner is not necessary.


        Do not let washing put you off using cloth. It is just washing. Your washing is saving the planet. Do not let anyone tell you it is a waste of water. It isn’t. More water is used to manufacture disposables than to wash nappies. That is a fact.

        How to wash 


        • NB poop can leave yellow like marks on lighter coloured nappies.
        • Rub some boerseep (my favourite) and then rinse and wash.
        • Hang in the sun - the sun is like magic and gets rid of stains- try it :)

        Part 2

        Nappy covers

        All Pokkelokkie nappies need a Superwrap cover. You cannot ever use the nappies without this at the newborn stage. Clothes will get wet.

        Things you need to know

        • A cover does not leak – only a nappy leaks. If the nappy beneath is too wet /does not have enough absorption, the cover will not hold it in. The nappy holds everything in. The cover is the barrier between the nappy and the clothes. That is it`s job. So make sure the nappy is nice and snug, boosted and  then no leaks will happen.
        • If any part of the nappy is sticking out and comes into contact with clothes or bedsheets, leaks will happen. Moisture is drawn out and the clothes act as magnet. Always tuck the nappy into the cover. NEVER tuck clothes into a nappy cover, ever.
        • Pokkelokkie Superwrap covers are soft, breathable and can be used day and night .
        • Watch the video which shows you how to get a neat fit using the buttons. These buttons can usually be undone around 5kg.

        A note on poop leaks

        Leaks can happen. Newborns like to poop.Cloth contains poop VERY well. But be realistic… a newborn experience without a few "poopsplosions" is expecting a lot. If every nappy is leaking- there is a fit issue. We will help you get it right. E mail us/whatsapp us.

        Part 2


        Dads do learn cloth - they are often nervous about it but once baby comes and they watch mom get the hang of it – most follow suit.


        • Get some Dawn patrol day fitteds for dads for the beginning if Dad is involved in nappies. Velcro is a winner and gains the confidence of dads very quickly. A nappy that resembles a disposable is more attractive (as in a fitted) if you want to win them over.
        • Flats are not difficult and dads do get the hang of it, once mom shows them the ropes. Dads will surprise you!!!

        Day 5 

        Part 1

        Night cloth

        • Newborns are changed through the night so do not wear one night nappy. Changing cloth is the same as changing a disposable. There may be 2 steps (nappy and cover) but it really does not take that much longer. That extra minute is worth every second.
        • Change then feed. Settle to sleep again.
        • Do not use nappies that are not fully absorbent for nights ever (AIO or pocket or snap in one style). These do not work and cannot cope the night stretch.
        • All babies are different and sleep differently – if youre lucky and baby goes 3 – 4 hours, always boost night nappies to accommodate the time.
        • Leave a small bucket next to the place you change to throw the nappy into. Rinse/store in the morning.


        Using flats at night

        • Pre-fold your flats for the evening once baby is asleep. Then no fuss in the dark.
        • One flat and 1- 2 boosters is usually fine for a 3-4 hour stretch.
        • You will manage to put on cloth at night with half closed eyes! It becomes second nature once you been at it day in and day out.
        • Fold two flats together from about 8-10 weeks old if the one flat is very wet.
        • Expect a bigger bum – the layers are needed for longer stretches. Baby will grow into that bum within a matter of weeks.
        • Keep a bucket next to the changing station /bed to throw dirty nappies into at night. You can then just pop this outside the door and deal with it in the morning.

        Using fitteds

        • Our Dawn patrol fitted is a great night option.
        • Add a second booster and even a third one in the cover for more than three to four hours.

        Part 4

        Being a mom can be hard. Some babies sleep all day – others don’t sleep at all.

        We all have different newborn experiences – some easy and some not so easy.

        Can you do cloth? Yes. If you don`t- does it matter? No. We do not know what we are going to get on that special birth- day.  We get what we are given and we make the best of it no matter what. They are your babies after all. If you have to use disposables sometimes, so be it. It is what it is at the end of the day. Do not ever be hard on yourself!

        Thank you for making the effort. That is all that counts in the end. You are making a change!

        Remember we offer FULL support with newborn cloth. We will make sure you succeed.

        Whatsapp us 0787052797 for a fit assessment or help anytime. Even Sundays!!


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