All About Cloth Nappies

What is a cloth nappies? 
A cloth nappy is an earth friendly alternative to a single use nappy. Made using reusable materials a cloth nappy can be used again and again.

A simple way to think of a cloth nappy is something that has an absorbent inner and a waterproof outer.


What are the nappy types?

There are four main nappy types: 

All in one - Absorbent inner part of nappy is stitched onto the waterproof outer

All in two - Absorbent inner is connected to the waterproof outer using hook and loop or poppers allowing it to be separated from the outer 

Fitted/Flat - Terry/muslin squares which can be folded into a nappy and the fitted version is a shaped terry, often fastened using velcro/poppers and sometimes using a nappy nippa. 

Pocket - Absorbent inserts are placed in the pocket sewn into the waterproof outer layer.

How do I get started? 

Start small, get a few different nappy types/brands to start with, either in the newborn or onesize, our starter nappy kits are perfect for this. This will give you a good overview of what nappy is suited to you and baby and from there you can go on to build a stash of nappies that you know work.

How much will it cost?

Cloth Nappying like anything can be done expensively and inexpensively.

Lookout for council schemes, a number of local councils have created schemes encouraging their residents to reduce household waste by using cloth nappies, these schemes can range from free starter nappies, vouchers for purchasing cloth nappies from selected retailers and refunds on cloth nappy related purchases. Find these council schemes here

To reduce the initial outlay cost you can also hire a starter kit from a cloth nappy library. I run our local library in Chelmsford, Essex, which hire kits on a 4 and 6 weekly basis. If you live outside of Chelmsford you can locate your nearest library here, this can reduce the cost of buying nappies that may not work for you. 

What is the best nappy?

Not one single nappy will be suitable for all babies, not only is is dependant on the baby but also on the requirements of the home. There is also a potential for those requirements to change as baby gets bigger/changes shape.

People with less space for drying will find a nappy with a quick drying aspect is much more suitable so the use of all in one nappies may not be for them as they tend to dry slower. 

Some will need the convenience aspect and therefore an AIO nappy with no prep and no folding may be more suitable.

Additionally some choose nappies that only use hook and loop (velcro) due to the convenience but also if a baby is being cared for by a family member/childcare provider that is unfamiliar with using reusable nappies. 

Other ways to be eco without using cloth nappies?

If reusable nappies don't work out for you then there are plenty of alternatives to give a go.

Cloth Wipes (small reusable flannels essentially) are a fab alternative, they are far superior to any available single use wipe and are so easy to use and care for. There are multiple fibres they come in, similar to cloth nappies. The difference being that absorbency isn't the key factor.

Cotton - Most hardy fibre, very grippy, good for hands and bottoms

Bamboo - Softer Fibre, less prone to crispiness from hard water than cotton - good for hands and face

Microfibre - Least grippy - only good for hands and faces!