Nappy Types and Terms!


When you first stumble into the world of cloth nappies, it can be a confusing and somewhat intimidating places, full of strange acronyms and funny sounding names. Nappy Guru Rachel, is here to help!

First up, you’ll either buy ‘sized’ or ‘one size’ nappies; sized being more like disposables in the sense that you buy a different size as your baby grows. The ‘one size’ is adjusted by poppers or changeable elastic to fit most babies from birth to potty training. You’ll see these referred to by several acronyms – OS (one size), OSFM (one size fits most), OSFA (one size fits all) or BTP (birth to potty).
Next we’ll tackle the materials they are made from; PUL is the waterproof part that you’ll find on the outside of most nappies. Then the absorbent bits; microfibre, cotton, bamboo and hemp are the most common, listed here from least to most absorbent.
For day time use, you’ll often come across ‘pocket nappies‘ – a PUL outer with a fleece inner that form (you guessed it!) a pocket, into which you place your inserts, made of microfibre or bamboo etc. common brands that you’ll come across are CBs (Charlie Banana) and LL (Little Lambs)
Other options include the ‘All in Two‘, also known as a hybrid or AI2. This is a system using an outer shell (usually PUL) and a snap-in or lay in soaker pad (the absorbent bit!). This is a great system for on the go parents, and they are usually a very economic solution. Common brands are the ever popular GroVia, Close Parent Pop In and Milovia AI2.
For super simple nappies, if you can sacrifice drying time, you might look into ‘all in one‘ nappies, or AIO nappies. AIOs don’t need stuffing or snapping, they go on and wash as they are, often proving popular for changing bags and childcare. GroVia AIO are highly regarded in this category, as are MioSolo – a cross between an AIO and a pocket.

Fitted nappies, or ‘two parters‘ as they are sometimes known, are a great night option, or for heavy wetters. These consist of a shaped nappy that is made of cotton, bamboo or microfibre that you do up with Velcro or snaps, and then put a wrap/cover (usually PUL, or wool) over the top.

Lastly, flats – Prefolds or terries, super flexible, but often regarded as complicated. These are a great option for newborns, or as a relatively cost effective way to cloth nappy to potty training.

Hopefully that gives you a little insight into the world of cloth, and if it still seems a little much to take in, contact your local Nappy Guru for a face to face or electronic chat; we’re always happy to help.

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