Cloth Nappies for Potty Training and NightTime

So you’ve always been curious about cloth nappies, but never quite got around to using them for one reason or another. Toilet training’s on the horizon, and you probably think it’s all a bit too late. Wellllll, think again! Switching to reusable nappies at any stage is a good idea but switching to reusables at toilet training age is a GREAT idea.

Tell me more
Sonny is 2 years 3 months and is basically dry during the day. Come nap time though, I whip off his pants and pop on a reusable nappy. When he wakes, I remove the nappy and put him back in his pants. Sometimes the nappy is wet so I’ll toss it in the nappy bin, sometimes it’s dry and I’ll put it back in the cupboard. Either way, we’re edging towards ditching the nappies, without having to of course actually ditch any nappy.

Why, though?
Reason #1: Stop more waste!
Every parent whose ever had a child in disposables knows the pain of having to throw away a nappy that gets soiled immediately after you put it on your child. It’s the same with potty training, surely? Having to dispose of a nappy when toilet training when it’s hardly been used, or been worn for all of 2 hours, seems more of a colossal waste than ever. That nappy will still take around 500 years to decompose and will be just another 1 of the 8 million sent to landfill that day (in the UK, at least)

Reason #2: Speed up the process!
Unlike with disposable nappies where the baby doesn’t feel that they’re wet or dirty (thanks to the chemical sodium polyacrylate in the nappy), cloth nappies tend to speed up the potty training process because the child can feel the wetness immediately

Reason #3: Save money!
I’ve talked before about the money saving aspect of cloth nappies and yes some disposable nappies can be as cheap as 4p, but you’ll still be getting through a fair few through during potty training (it might take longer than initially thought…) so why not save some pennies too

Which Nappy to Choose?
This depends on your budget and at what times of the day you’ll use them (just naps or overnight too?). I personally recommend what is known as a two piece system, which means a cloth nappy with a waterproof wrap on top as these tend to hold more (bamboo and hemp are the most absorbent materials) but do pop over to The Nappy Lady site where you can fill out a questionnaire and a few days later receive bespoke advice tailored to your specific nappy requirements. Here’s what we do plus some nappy brands I hear good things about:

1.TotsBots Bamboozle Nappy and Peenut Wrap is the combination we use with Sonny plus a few boosters or liners (either the TotsBots ones or home made ones made from an old fleece blankets). However, he’s a really heavy wetter so I also use some of the Motherease liners which hold an additional 200ml each for night time wear.

2.Motherease make 2 types of wraps that look great – the airflow wrap is the one for older children as it’s roomier so covers bigger boosted nappies and stops little fingers from opening the wrap. Their special binding doesn’t allow any moisture from the nappy underneath to spread to the outside cover. In fact, Motherease are the only brand of wrap that don’t wick – the Nappy Lady explains wicking as like when you “put the corner of a tea towel in a cup of water, the water would gradually spread through the tea towel”. If looked after well, Motherease wraps will go on for years and they are also a brand with a high resell value.

The Motherease bedwetter pant is a cloth pull up pant and also has great reviews. They are pricey, but remember, you’ll be saving on the cost of all disposable pull ups.

3.Bumgenius have a special ‘big’ and ‘bigger’ pocket nappy (you choose the insert you require and pop it in) plus they have a nappy specifically designed for kids with incontinence issues.

4.Petit Lulu have a nighttime nappy that looks great – remember it needs a wrap over the top

Anything else I should know?
If you’re new to cloth nappies remember to check if your council runs any nappy incentive schemes plus do check out online second hand market places for some real bargains. Finally, you can get a 5% discount on everything on the The Nappy Lady site by entering the code ‘MAMALINA’.

Most importantly, try not to be overwhelmed by all the options out there, and give cloth a go!

Emma xxx

P.S My Cloth Nappy Routine and 11 Tips for Hassle Free Potty Training



  1. Vanessa De Carvalho
    February 12, 2019 / 6:24 am

    Hi Emma,
    Congrats on your news! That’s exciting 🙂
    In regards to the nappies, I’ve bought a whole bunch of them second hand and gave them a good wash before sorting them. However, some have come out very stiff and I can’t imagine it would be comfortable for a newborn to wear. Any tips?
    Thank you!

  2. Sandra
    November 14, 2018 / 9:18 pm

    Love your posts and what you’re doing! Any suggestions for tackling really smelly nappies. Have been using disposables at night with my little boy because he just used to wake up reeking!! (He’s almost dry during the day!) We tried bamboozle and little lamb with wrap and with fleece trousers and prefolds but he always woke up smelling so badly of wee the poor thing. Think we have hard water but no amount of stripping or nappy freshener helped. Would love to ditch the disposables for good but need to sort the smell.

  3. Lauren
    November 6, 2018 / 1:19 pm

    Hi Emma,

    Great post! I’ve been looking for a night-time combo for a heavy wetter! Just wanted to say that you’ve put a link for the Motherease Stay Dry Liner, but I think you are talking about the Motherease Stay Dry Booster, which is the one that holds up to 200ml(the liners are designed not to absorb anything, but the boosters are for extra absorbency).

    All best wishes,

  4. September 23, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    Interesting Emma. I used cloth with my first but completely failed with my 2nd and 3rd for various reasons. Like you said, I thought it was too late but I think you’ve persuaded me to go back. You could have mentioned buying secondhand nappies. They’re a lot cheaper and what I plan to do. It’ll be nice to get rid of the nappy guilt and should help Roo to feel the wetness. Another good idea i was thinking about is flannel potty training pants for the stage where they are having small accidents. 🙂

    • Emma Ross
      October 9, 2018 / 12:34 pm

      hey liz, ah im glad the post resonated with you. its definitely not too late! ps im pretty sure i do mention buying second hand at the end – im a big believer in this too xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *