What Are Real Nappies?

Washable nappies that can be used again and again. Real nappies are also called reusable nappies or cloth nappies. They consist of an absorbent layer, a waterproof layer, and a biodegradable or washable liner to capture the solids. Modern designs make using, washing and drying easy. Usually, reusable nappies are cotton, organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, microfibre, wool.

There are three main types of reusable nappies on the market – All-in-one, Shaped and Flat (prefolds). Below we offer some advice about the different types:

All-in-One Nappies

All-in-one (AIO) nappies consist of a built-in waterproof outer layer with an absorbent insert attached on the inside. Some all-in-ones allow the insert to be snapped in and out, some have a pocket for the insert, these are called ‘pocket nappies’ or ‘stuffables’.

gNappies are a hybrid all-in-one, containing a pouch to which you place a stay-dry insert, prefold or biodegradable disposable insert.

Cost: AIO’s cost from around £14 each. Extra inserts around £2

Shaped Nappies

Shaped nappies are fitted nappies with soft, elasticated legs and waist. They are a two-part system which means that all shaped nappies need a waterproof wrap to cover the nappy. requiring a waterproof wrap. Shaped nappies are made of breathable cotton, bamboo or other natural material and do not require folding. They come in ‘one size’ (birth-to-potty) or ‘sized’ (S,M,L and even XL).

Cost: Shaped nappies cost around £9 each.

Flat Nappies

Flat Nappies include terries, muslins and prefolds, which are usually cotton. Flat nappies will need some folding and are a two part system so need a waterproof wrap. No pins are needed if you use a nappy nippa or fitted waterproof wrap. Flat nappies are good for day and night time use. They can also be used in other nappy systems to boost the nappy for absorbency.

Prefolds are popular and the ‘newborn fold’ is a good fold for runny poo containment. When your baby gets older the prefold can be folded in a different way making them a versitle nappy choice.

Cost: around £1 – £3 per nappy.

Waterproof Wraps

A waterproof wrap is worn over flat or shaped nappies. They are machine washable and come either ‘sized’ depending on your babys weight or ‘one size’ (birth-to-potty) adjusting by poppers as your baby grows. Waterproof wraps are durable and breathable, usually contain PUL. There are also wraps made out of wool.

Cost: from around £9

Liners

Bio-degradable paper liners or washable (cotton, silk and fleece) liners can be placed inside the nappies to catch the poo. After changing the nappy simply remove and bin it. Do not flush liners. If only wet and not soiled, some biodegradable liners can even be washed for reuse.

Cost: Biodegradable liners cost around £3 for 100 sheets, and washable liners from around £3 for a pack of 5.