There’s no doubt about it, information on the internet about modern cloth nappies can be lengthy and confusing! The short descriptions below should assist you in understanding the different types of cloth nappy systems. If you have any questions, then I encourage you to phone Claire at Mod Bots on 0409941066. Or you may wish to book a free consultation to see how the nappies work. We would love to help!
Firstly, I need to say that the differing types of cloth nappies listed below, essentially comprise the same two elements, which are:
– a waterproof outer shell of breathable PUL (fabric that has been laminated to make it waterproof).
– an insert* made from highly absorbent material such as hemp or bamboo.
*I have used the term insert, but you may also see these called soaker pads.
The absorbent insert and the shell are two separate pieces. The insert is laid into the waterproof outer shell, and is kept securely inside the nappy with snap fastenings. After use, the insert un-snaps from the shell and a clean insert can be snapped into the shell. This system has the advantage of saving you money, as you do not need to buy as many outer shells as you do inserts.
Pocket Nappies have an internal pocket running the length of the shell in which you slide your absorbent insert. This system gives you the flexibility of adding extra inserts (known as boosters) to increase the absorbency of the nappy, for example, for overnight use. The pocket protects baby from direct contact with a wet insert and is usually made from a stay-dry wicking fabric that keeps baby extra dry. Arguably, it is easier to clean poo off a pocket nappy than an all-in-two nappy as you have a smooth single surface to clean.
All-in-Ones have the absorbent insert sewn into the outer shell so the nappy is just one piece just like a disposable nappy. They are very easy and convenient, as you do not have to assemble any pieces together before popping on baby.
Prefolds are flat, square inserts consisting of multiple layers of absorbent fabric. Prefolds are either folded in three and placed inside a waterproof nappy cover, or they may be folded in specific ways, secured onto baby with fasteners before the waterproof cover is wrapped over the top. With each change, a fresh prefold can be placed into the same cover for multiple changes (unless the cover is soiled or very wet). This system is very economical – it will cost you less to purchase a large number of prefolds with only a few covers versus purchasing a large number of whole nappies such as all-in-ones, all-in-twos or pocket nappies. Prefolds are quick drying and are perfect for the high number of changes newborns require.
Fitted Nappies resemble the size and shape and construction of a disposable nappy (with leg and waist elastics) only it is made of absorbent fabric. A waterproof cover is placed over the top of a fitted nappy. These are a brilliant option for newborns as the fitted nappy fits securely around baby’s legs and have more absorbent fabric than other types of cloth nappies thus reducing the chance of leaks.
Night Nappies are simply cloth nappies, as above, with extra layers of absorbent material. We stock fantastic tried and tested options for night nappies. We have a blog post here for more information on night nappies.
There are two different types of sizing:
OSFM (One Size Fits Most) nappies are fully adjustable to suit babies from newborn right through to toilet training (5kgs to 12kgs). These are very economical, as you do not have to purchase different sized nappies.
SIZED nappies come in Extra Small, Small, Large and Extra Large, and are arguably a more suitable fit than OSFM at each stage.
CLOSURES: Most nappies are offered in either snap fastenings or velcro. Snaps are more durable than velcro and provide a more secure nappy (that most babies/toddlers are not able to take off!). Velcro makes for a totally customisable fit and a quicker nappy change.
So How Do I Choose?
Most parents use a mixture of different types of nappies depending on what advantages and costs are involved. Usually one nappy system or brand becomes a favourite.
Mod Bots offers a Mod Mix Pack that includes one of each type of cloth nappy system at a discounted price, with bonus cloth wipes. This is a fantastic way to experience the different nappy systems.
You will need approximately 15-25 nappies for full time use to ensure you have a clean supply on rotation. If you are new to cloth nappies, you may wish to initially purchase 4-5 nappies to alternate with a day of disposables and then look into purchasing a full time supply or ‘stash’.