The Nappy Lady Ltd

Using Cloth Nappies for more than one child

Using Cloth Nappies for more than one child

If you’re about to welcome a new little family member, you might be wondering how to change your cloth nappy routine to fit two little cloth bums. The good news is it won’t be as tricky as you might think!


In most cases you won’t suddenly need to double the quantity of nappies you have. Half as many nappies again will normally be quite sufficient. Any more than this and you’re likely to struggle for space to store them, and your nappy bucket filling up sooner than you’re ready to wash. Remember also that an older toddler will be going through fewer nappies in a day so you’ll already have a few nappies sitting around that can be used for a new baby.

Washing and routine

We’ve all been there: your first born has a beautifully decorated nursery with a dedicated changing station, and your nappy bucket fits perfectly alongside. Fast forward to a new baby arriving, you have a toddler running around the house so you’re much more likely to just change the nappy wherever you are instead of carrying a baby or dirty nappy to a different part of the house! I found it much easier to have an extra bucket downstairs so I could easily pop the nappy straight in there without having to leave the little ones unattended. A large wet bag would work well in this situation too, that you could use to take a few nappies at a time to empty into your main bucket.

Depending on the ages of your little ones, you might find that the nappy bucket fills up sooner than the usual alternate day wash routine. A second bucket will help in this situation, or you might find yourself needing to wash a little more frequently, maybe every day/day and a half. This will have its advantages later on when your toddler is using fewer nappies, and maybe only at night, as you’ll always have enough of the younger sibling’s nappies to make up a full nappy load.

With more nappies to hang to dry, you might find that drying space becomes a bit more challenging. When adding nappies for your second child, consider a few quicker drying microfibre nappies so you can get them off the line and back in use quicker while your slower drying nappies aren’t ready yet.

While you have two children sharing the same nappies, it’s recommended to wash at 60 degrees for hygiene purposes.


We are often asked by customers what to do about cloth nappies for the newborn stage if they already have a stash of onesize nappies from an older sibling. Folded muslins with a wrap make a great cost effective newborn nappy: it’s likely that you already have plenty of these at home anyway so just add a few wraps and a pack of nappy nippas and you’re good to go! Hiring newborn nappies for three months is a great option too so you don’t need to worry about ongoing storage space. Once baby reaches 10-12lbs (usually around three or four months of age) they will comfortably move into your onesize nappies.

Planning ahead

If you’re expecting your first baby but planning on having more children later, you can certainly plan a nappy system that will have enough longevity to see you through more than one child.

  • Sized nappies are a more expensive investment, but make an excellent option if you’re planning to use the nappies on subsequent children. As each size will be used for a shorter period of time, they will be subject to a lot less wear and tear so stay in better condition for the next child.
  • With a stash of onesize nappies, you know that you’ll always have a nappy that will fit both children. This comes in especially handy when going out for the day so you don’t need to take different sized nappies. The disadvantage of this is you may be adjusting the rise more often between children, depending on what’s dry in time.
  • Cotton or polyester/microfibre are more durable fabrics than bamboo so we’d expect these to last longer than a more delicate bamboo nappy.
  • All in one nappies are very easy to use, but are subject to much more wash wear as the whole nappy is washed each time. As such, it’s less likely that they will last in a good enough condition to see a second child right through to potty training. An all in two or two part nappy system is longer lasting in this respect, as the wrap is washed less frequently, and if any part does wear out you would only need to replace one part rather than a whole nappy.

How often to change reusable nappies

If you need help or a reminder on change frequency for different ages of baby then read our article how often to change cloth nappies.