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Cloth Nappy Starter Advice

This guide is for those completely new to cloth nappies, its will talk you through all the different types of cloth nappies, what they are made from and help you make a decision as to which cloth nappy type is right for you. If you are new to real nappies or considering using a different cloth nappy type, welcome to the quick guide to everything reusable, washable and fluffy, if not but need some questions answered then you may find what you are looking for at our FAQ page!

Cloth nappies can also be known as terry nappies, real nappies, reusable nappies, washable nappies, cotton nappies, eco friendly nappies, prefold nappies and so on. These are all the same thing- a nappy made from cloth (either bamboo, hemp, terry, microfibre, or cotton see FAQs for more details) which is made waterproof either from a built in waterproof layer (PUL) or separate nappy wrap.

Cloth Nappies are a million miles from the folding terry squares and safety pins of the past. Many reusable nappies are now made to be as simple as a disposable nappy with no folding, no pins and often no nappy wraps either! Most of the cloth nappies we stock are fully waterproof without you having to do anything (and where they're not, well tell you what you need to do).

Reusable nappies are often not much more bulky than a disposable due to slim yet highly absorbent materials used.

Real nappies these days are no longer crispy and stiff, just wonderfully soft and strokable with fleece or suede cloth against babyís skin and high grade, breathable fabrics.

Washing real nappies is simple, with no boiling or soaking as suggested. See Cloth Nappy FAQs for further details.

Cloth nappies can work out to be cheap too! We have done our own sums and the average child using disposable nappies will use 4655 nappies from birth to potty training. At an average of 16p per disposable nappy this will calculate to the cost of £745 from birth to potty training spent purchasing disposables! Compared to the rather modest cost of £310 for an average real nappy stash of 20 onesize nappies from TeeHee Baby that will see your child through from 8-35+ lbs.

Real nappies come in a fantastic variety of colours, shapes and materials. From sturdy yet practical hemp nappies, classic terry nappies to fluffy absorbent multi coloured birth to potty nappies and soft and slim fitting all in one nappies.

I hope by now you can see why real nappies are utterly fabulous and the way forward? Yes? Great! Letís move on to describing the different cloth nappy types and work out which type of real nappy will suit you best!

Choosing a Nappy

Firstly you need to decide if you would like a cloth nappy that will fit your baby all the way through from birth to potty or a sized nappy system.

Birth to Potty Nappies

This type of reusable nappy grows with your baby by means of sized popper settings on the front or stretchy elastic.This type of cloth nappy will fit from approximately 8-35+ lbs.

Positives of Birth to Potty Nappies
  • You will not need to buy a new set of real nappies as your baby grows as the popper system means you can adjust the size accordingly from birth to potty training.
  • This option works out very cost efficient!
  • They are incredibly convenient and adaptable and are very much a favourite.
  • Many types of birth to potty nappies (including the Greenkids and Baby kangas) come in gorgeous different fabrics and styles!
Negatives of Birth to Potty Nappies
  • The birth to potty nappy system can sometimes be a bit bulky on a small new baby.

Sized Nappies

This type of real nappy usually comes in two or three sizes. Small, medium and large or sizes 1 and 2Ö

+The fit of sized nappies is often better with this type of real nappy as they have been designed with a specific size in mind.

-Because you will need to get considerably more reusable nappies using this option it is the most expensive option.

+Some of our best sellerís including the Little Lambs nappy are sized nappies.

+The fit is more accurate so can be less bulky on baby.

Then letís choose the type of cloth nappy system that is going to work for you

Pocket nappy

This is a fully waterproof cloth nappy with a waterproof outer layer and soft fleecy inner. The pocket can be stuffed with absorbent inserts which can be adjusted according to need.

+ Very flexible regarding how long you want your real nappy to last. Many pocket nappies have a large enough pocket they can be stuffed enough for overnight usage.

+Simple to use- no folding. And in our experience, new cloth nappy users opt for this option mostly.

-Not the cheapest option.

+ You can separate the inserts from the real nappy for easy washing and drying.

+Some of our most popular cloth nappy types including the Bumgenius, Baby Kangas and Green Kids Minkytimes nappy are as suggested, this type of real nappy!

All-in-One real nappies have a waterproof outer layer with absorbent layers sown in.

+The most simple type of reusable nappy to use. No inserts needed to be added separately as they are already sewn in.

-Because you cannot remove the absorbent inserts; they are the slowest type of nappy for drying.

-There is not much flexibility for adding extra inserts to increase absorbency of the cloth nappy.

+This is the easiest type of real nappy to wash too, as they can come off and go straight into the wash and come out ready to be reused.

The Berry Plush is an all in one real nappy.

Two Parter

As the names suggests, these cloth nappies come in two parts; an inner nappy made from absorbent fibres, and a separate waterproof wrap which goes over the top of the cloth nappy.

+The cheapest reusable nappy option available. The little lambs start at £9 each and with since you only one wrap for up to 5 nappies (reusing the wrap when you change the nappy) it can be very cost efficient.

-Some donít like the bulkiness of two part nappy systems.

+It can be argued that these are the most reliable type of cloth nappy and most suitable for night time usage as extra inserts can be added between the real nappy and the wrap.

-This type of cloth nappy doesnít come in a wide variety of colours like many other types do.

Or Snap in One.

A cross between a two parter cloth nappy and All in one cloth nappy with absorbent inserts that snap in to the waterproof shell nappy shell.

+ This can be cost efficient as you can reuse the outer shell with new sets of inserts like you can with a two parter cloth nappy system.

-Not always as absorbent as other cloth nappy options

+The ever popular Itti Bitti dílish is a snap in real nappy.

+Slim and available in fantastic tutti frutti colours and in strokable minky material.

You will also need

Swim Nappy

A nappy designed to be used on water, contains what needs to be caught without restricting babies movements. Come in beautiful designs and colours and with an optional Tankini top!

Night Nappy

A nappy designed or adapted to last through the night without needing changing. These are the most absorbent nappies on the market!

Right so now we have established why real nappies are so wonderful to use and found you the perfect nappy system! I hope shopping now is a lot easier and donít be afraid to mix and match different inserts with different nappies and to have a few varieties in your collection. If you have any more questions I have not covered here, please do contact me

Cloth Nappy Tree

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