Intro Nappy Information The Nappies Designer Nappies Comparison data The Wraps Training Pants Webrings and Links


Nappy Information

Nappy terminology; the Nappies and Wraps we Use;Things we Haven't Chosen; Other Bits and Pieces


Nappy Terminology


When you look at nappy sellers, and cloth nappies, you will find that there is a huge amount of choice available, and when there is huge choice, it can sometimes get confusing. I'll try and simplify the choice down, but its often better to look at the nappies themselves, which is why the ecobabes hire kit is such a good idea, or contacting team lollipop. You may have someone nearby who uses cloth who can show you the different types, and on UK parents cloth forum, if you ask there, there is bound to be someone not that distant! Your council may do discounts for you and your local Real Nappy Network will know this

Leeds Real Nappy network first Nappy fashion show 2003


I've started with the easiest first!

Most nappies come in 2 main sizes . They are small/infant/size1 [6-18lb on average], and large/toddler/size2 [18-35lb on average]. Most people will not need more than those 2 sizes. However, if you have a small baby/ premature or just want a couple of really cute tiny nappies, many also have a size 0/ newborn size. If you end up with a chunky toddler on the other hand, many now also do a size 3 for 35+.

There are as an alternative birth to potty [BTP] nappies, which claim to last the whole range. They are quite bulky on even an average size newborn, and won't fit the chunky toddler. There are some extenders on the market though for the motherease onesize [MEOS].

Wraps also come in a variety of sizes, but as they don't have the stretch of terry, you end to use more sizes. For example, the motherease rikki has 4 sizes [though XL not needed for all children] and the air flow [air-rikka] has 5 [ again the XL not needed for all children]

Small and Large Rikki wraps; 3 sizes of WAHM AIO's [bearbehinds; Minki; tiddlybums]

Types of Nappy

this is where it gets complicated

Most nappies need a waterproof cover over the top, as they consisite of only the soaker part [usually terry or flannel]. Nappies that have an integral waterproof layer are called all-in-ones [AIO]. These are always shaped and elasticated, so as close as disposables in style as you can get.

Flat nappies are squares of either terry, or flannel prefolds. The nappy lady has a page of terry folds, and these can be done up with pins or nappi-nippas which are grippy Y shaped things. Prefolds have already had the middle third folded and stitched for absorbancy, and just have to be folded into 3 and placed in a wrap. The wrap has to be fairly tight fitting, as it is that which holds the prefold in place.

Shaped nappies are already cut and shaped to fit the baby. Most are also elasticated around the legs and waist to ensure a snug fit. They can do up with nappi-nippas [like totsbots unbleached], velcro [like totsbots, sam-i-am and daisies] or poppers, [like kissaluvs and sandy's]. They tend to be more expensive and slower to dry than flat nappies, but are better for containing leaks. [see my nappies page for piccies]

There are a variety of designs to try and give the advantage of shaped nappies, and the speed of drying of flat nappies. These tend to be a fold out design - where the nappies have soakers that splay out on drying, and are easily folded back [packa-nappy and nappy nations], or a pocket design, where the nappy has a gap between 2 layers [ the terry and lining for stuffies nappies, and the fleece and lining for bearlybabies AIO, and the PUL and lining of fuzzibuns AIO]. They can be stuffed with boosters, prefolds, terries, or the manufacturers own boosters.

terry in orgimai fold; folded small and large prefold; open shaped nappy

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The Nappies andWraps we Use


Elinor was born 25/02/01, and is our first child. We have used cloth nappies since we returned from hospital. Now at 26 months, we have only used disposables on 3 other occasions, when we knew there was not going to be washing facilities on hols. Relatives and friends have been quite happy for us to wash nappies at visits, and a number have subsequently decided to use cloth nappies themselves.

Who says you can't camp and use cloth?


We use shaped nappies that do up with either poppers or Velcro. We have a tumble drier for winter or rain use, but line dry whenever possible. These nappies are slower to dry on line drying than terry squares or prefolds would be, but suit us due to easy use, and bombproof for the runny newborn poop. Oh, and we have lots of different types, as I like variety, but its not necessary, and you can just stick to one! I've put an absorbancy chart up for comparison.

shaped kissaluv; WAHM AIO; elasticated kissaluv; bumhugger


The nappies we use have to be covered with a waterproof wrap, but you can get some all-in-ones. We use polyurethane laminate wraps for day use, as they are thin, breathable and very reliable. At night we use wool wraps as they are totally breathable, waterproof and don't have elastic, so very comfortable for the long night! We also have some fleece wraps - as I said, I do like variety, but it's not necessary!

velcro bummis super whisper; air rikka [air flow]; WAHM wool wraps

Washing and Drying

We have far more nappies than we need, but it does mean that we can wash every 2-3 days rather than daily. Initially we used 10-12 nappies a day, newborn, 6-7 at 8 months and 5 at 1 year. For 8 nappies a day, you would need 24 nappies to wash alternate days, as you need to allow a day for the wash/dry to occur.

We wash the nappies with ecover last thing at night so they can be hung out first thing if fine, otherwise tumbled. We also dry pail our nappies, so no yucky liquid in nappy bucket! Nappies don't need sanitising or sterilising. Modern washing machines do a good enough job on their own. Nappies can be washed at 40 or 60, we wash at 60, and wraps usually at 40, though we usually just hand wash them at the end of the day in Elinor's bathwater, as they just need a rinse through. They get properly washed once in a while! You don't need to use huge amounts of washing powder, 1/4 to 1/2 of what you would expect will do the trick. If you use to much, it doesn't always get rinsed out, and will cause red marks at elasticated areas, and possibly even a rash. To ensure its rinsed out, do a second rinse cycle to see if there are any suds. Don't use conditioner, as this spoils nappy absorbancy. We usually put a drop of tea tree oil or lavender oil in the conditioner drawer -nappies smell gorgeous! Some people use vinegar.

kissaluvs and totsbots on the line

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Things we Haven't Chosen and Why


1.Prefolds and terries - we had the money to buy shaped, especially when buying second hand, and leakproofness was a high priority initially

2. Birth to potty nappies - I just couldn't get on with the multi-poppered Motherease onesize, though it does have its fans, and the material is the nice sandy material. The flannel in the ultrafit and the earthwise I found wasn't as absorbent as terry.

3. Engel nappies - absolutely lovely material, and really gentle elastication around the legs. However, the tab bit stuck out at the front, and looked stiff and odd

4. Sam-I-am organic - nice idea, but very little absorbency, so was being boosted as a newborn - not very practical!

5. Hemp nappies - I just found the material got more scratchy with use, and didn't like it as much. Apparently jersey hemp is much nicer. Saying that, I still like the feel of my hemp bumhugger, so not all hemp is the same! Its far more environmentally friendly though as hemp doesn't need all the chemical and pesticide spray that cotton does when growing.

6. Flannel nappies - I just prefer terry! I like the burley terry of kissaluvs best as a material, followed by that of motherease

7. pull up wraps - there was a sam-I-am in the trial pack, and it was a pain to put on, and take off - particularly if there was poop on it, as it then smeared down the legs. As Elinor has got older a pull up has been more of a possibility, and I often put on her popper wrap as a pullon with just one popper undone, to speed things up.

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Other Bits and Pieces


We like the Earth Friendly baby calendula care cream and red clover
We use fleece liners as stay dry liners, and at nursery flushable paper on top to catch poop [and at home when Elinor in a regular pattern!]
We use boosters only at night at the moment [19 months], but I have bought far too many! If you have a heavier wee-er, they come into their own much earlier

For the extravagant, designer nappies can be found hand made in America, see

And in the UK, but fairly new at the moment

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Intro Nappy Information The Nappies Designer Nappies. Comparison data The Wraps Training Pants Webrings and Links