Basic Cloth Info


Nappy Components
Cover / Shell

The waterproof outer part of the nappy that fits over the absorbent part(s) of the nappy to prevent leaks

Insert / Booster

 

The absorbent part(s) of the nappy contained within the cover/ shell

Liner (* optional*)

 

An additional liner between the absorbent part of the nappy and baby's skin 

 

Types of Inserts

Snap In Inserts/ Boosters: Insert/ booster that have inbuilt snaps that allow it to snap into a snap on the internal side of the cover/ shell. Snapping an insert in helps to keep the insert/ booster in place

Why use liners?

Liners are fantastic if you use barrier creams on bub's little bottom as they prevent a build up of barrier cream on the absorbent components of the nappies. Although barrier creams should wash out in hot water, if they don't they can coat the absorbent fabric causing it to repel rather than absorb liquid

Why disposable liners? Awesome if you have a weak stomach and don't like dealing with poo! Catches most of the solids so you can simply lift out the liner + poo and the job is done! Usually flush-able (check your septic system can handle this) and sometimes even compost-able

Why not disposable liners? Can be a cause of nappy rash or skin irritation if your bub has sensitive skin. Try going without a disposable liner if your little one is experiencing nappy rash or other skin irritations but also check your wash routine as this may be a contributing factor. And of course, seek medical advice if necessary

Why re-usable liners? Microfleece (and similar fabrics) make great reusable liners as they wick (fancy word for move) liquid away from baby's skin helping to keep your little one's bottom feeling dry. They protect the more expensive components of your nappy from staining and the build up of barrier creams, extending the lifespan of your nappy

Nappies by Styles
All in Ones (AIO) Cover + inserts combined into 1 single piece. AIO covers also often include an internal pocket to hold additional inserts as required to increase absorbency 
All in Twos (AI2)

 

Cover is one component, inserts are separate. Inserts can often be snapped onto the cover to hold them in place. AI2 covers also often include an internal pocket to hold additional inserts as required to increase absorbency 

Pocket

 

 

Cover is one component, inserts are separate. The cover has an internal pocket to hold inserts as required to achieve desired absorbency 

Cover

 

Cover sold as an individual item to allow inserts to be purchased separately or so that the cover can be used in conjunction with prefolds, flats and fitteds

Prefold

 

A flat, multi-layered rectangular nappy, similar to traditional cloth nappy flats but different. The rectangle is generally divided into thirds with extra layers of fabric located in the central panel to increase absorbency while allowing the prefold to be less bulky along the side panels

Can be folded in multiple ways to suit your bub's shape, size and absorbency requirements and is held in place with a nappy fastener of your choice (at TCS we use Snappi fasteners, see below under fasteners for further details)

Prefolds are the absorbent components of a nappy so they must be paired with a waterproof cover/ shell

Flats

 

Usually a square single layer nappy that can be folded in multiple ways to suit your bub's shape, size and absorbency requirements. Can be held in place with a nappy fastener of your choice (at TCS we use Snappi fasteners, see below under fasteners for further details).

Flats are the absorbent components of a nappy so they must be paired with a waterproof cover/ shell

Fitted

 

 

Shaped like a cover/ shell but these nappies are the absorbent component of a nappy...think of them as a different style of insert. Fitted nappies are the absorbent components of a nappy so they must be paired with a waterproof cover/ shell. They usually have inbuilt fastening mechanisms such as snaps or velcro and therefore do not require a separate fastener

Dedicated Night Nappies

 

Designed to last the night leak free, these nappies are bulkier than day nappies but they need to be! They come with additional inserts/ boosters to provide added absorbency to contain night time liquids...so you can all have a peaceful sleep

All-In-Ones: 

Why an All in One nappy? The closest it gets to disposables, this nappy is all one unit. A great start for those who are not familiar with cloth (i.e. childcare, grandparents & even dads (sorry dads, no offence intended!). Most AIOs also include a pocket for stuffing additional inserts or boosters if required!

Why not an All in One nappy? Downside is that they can take longer to dry than other styles but the ease of use definitely makes them worth a try! Some have a sewn in flip out insert that allows for a quicker dry time

All-In-Twos: 

Why an All in Two nappy? The separate components allow for quicker drying times & allows for a more customised placement of absorbent components to suit bub's needs

Why not an All in Two nappy? Maybe a little harder for grandparents and minders, especially those who are not familiar with cloth, to fit these nappies properly on your little one. Inserts can move around within the cover if bub is super wriggly (snap in inserts helps to mitigate this) but you should not have this problem if your cover fits correctly!

Pockets: 

Why a Pocket nappy?: Very similar to an AI2 in regards to quick drying and a more customised placement of absorbent components. Can make clean up easier as poo goes directly on to the cover/ shell's internal lining rather than squishing between multiple layers of inserts (that sounds yuckier than it actually is sorry!) The pocket secures inserts and boosters flat and in place so that they don't move around within the cover/ shell if bub is a wriggly one!

Why not a Pocket nappy? Maybe a little harder for grandparents and minders, especially those who are not familiar with cloth, to fit these nappies properly on your little one. Can be time consuming trying to stuff inserts into narrow pockets...especially for those large man hands! Look out for nappies with double entry pockets that make stuffing a little easier

Prefolds: 

Why a Prefold nappy? Completely customisable to your bub so its easy to find the perfect fit. Can also be used with a wipe down cover/ shell which means you don't have to purchase as many shells to complete your full time stash. Prefolds can be used as an extra insert too, rather than folding around bub, which makes them incredibly versatile! Plus they dry relatively quickly.

Why not a Prefold nappy? Still requires folding around bub so fitting can be hard and time consuming on a wriggly bub. Depending on the fold they can be on the bulkier side

Flats: 

Why a Flat nappy? Completely customisable to your bub so its easy to find the perfect fit. Can also be used with a wipe down cover/ shell which means you don't have to purchase as many shells to complete your full time stash. Flats can be used as an extra insert too, rather than folding around bub, which makes them incredibly versatile! Plus they are fast drying. An economical night nappy solution where bulk isn't an issue

Why not a Flat nappy? Can be hard and time consuming to fit onto a wriggly bub. Depending on the fabric and fold, they can be on the bulkier side

Fitteds: 

Why a Fitted nappy? Great for newborn nappies or night nappies as the entire nappy is absorbent so it contains newborn liquids and caters for those tummy or side sleepers! Easy to put on while still providing the same wrap around absorption of a prefold. 

Why not a Fitted nappy? They can be on the bulkier side for a day nappy.

Dedicated Night Nappies: 

Why a Dedicated Night nappy? Because in some cases you just can't do without a dedicated night nappy 

Why not a Dedicated Night nappy? If you can get away with using a day nappy or a day nappy with an extra insert then do it! Night nappies are on the expensive side because of all the extra absorbent components they entail 

Fold Types: Padded or trifold fold, angel wing fold, newspaper fold, jelly roll fold or the bikini twist fold. Some of our suppliers have wonderful videos or images to demonstrate specific folds so be sure to check out the brand specific website of the prefold or flat you are looking at....or a quick google will bring up some great videos for step by step instructions on each fold

Nappies by Sizes
Newborn

Typically birth - 3kgs

 One Size Fits Most (OSFM)

 

Typically from 3kgs - 16kgs give or take a kilo or two on the upper end. Designed to fit your baby for most of the time they require nappies, from birth until toilet training. Look out for OSFM nappies that have rise snaps, these will allow for you to adjust the fit as bub grows. Also look out for you tube videos that have brand specific newborn hacks, these show you how to fit an OSFM on a newborn so hopefully you can avoid having to purchase a newborn stash!

Sized Nappies

 

These nappies come in various sizes which allows you to select the perfect fit for bub at the size they are now. This may not seem as economical as OSFM, however some brands have sized covers with standard inserts/ prefolds that suit all sizes which means you are only replacing the covers as bub grows 

Toddler +

 

Typically 18kgs + give or take a couple of kilos on the lower end

**** Sizes vary from brand to brand. The table above is a guide only

FITTING NAPPIES

Most of our nappies will come packaged with fit instructions which will show you how to fit your nappy....but here are some helpful links for more brand specific info:

Alva Baby, Alcmena, Baby Bare, Baby Beehinds, Bottoms Up Junior, Bubblebubs, Itti Bitti, Little Aussie Monster, RAWr Nappies, Real Nappies, Seedling Baby

***Cloth nappies should be worn just like undies.....so tuck those leg elastics into the undies line to avoid red marks ***

 

Materials and Absorbancy
PUL Polyurethane laminate - the waterproof layer
TPU

 

Thermoplastic polyurethane

 

Minky 

Slightly stretchy, short pile fabric (soft & cuddly). Also the waterproof layer when laminated on PUL

Microfleece, Microsuede, Suede Cloth, Jersey

 

Absorbs liquid fast but doesn't hold a lot

Typically used as the stay dry layer. Quickly wicks (fancy word for moves) liquid away from baby's skin helping to keep your little one's bottom feeling dry 

Cotton

 

Holds more liquid than the stay dry fabrics however is a little slower on the uptake. Still faster at absorbing liquid than Bamboo or Hemp however has less capacity for absorbing liquid than both

Bamboo

 

Holds the most liquid besides Hemp and is a little faster than hemp at absorbing the liquid

Typically used in inserts, sometimes in conjunction with other fabrics

Hemp

 

Holds the most liquid but a bit slow (the slowest) on the uptake

Typically used in inserts...often the most expensive option but worth it for those heavy wetters!

Wool Covers A  natural fiber, it is the most breathable (so surprisingly cool in summer) and they have the flexibility (or stretch) to be able to fit over those boosted bums without adding too much bulk. Wool works by repelling moisture back into the nappy beneath helping to keep bub feeling nice and dry. Wool does require some extra tender loving care, most brands specify hand washing and all require periodical lanolising to waterproof the wool....but.... as wool self neutralises & deodorises wee you only need to wash the cover when it gets a bit smelly

*** what to consider when choosing materials....pair a fast absorbing fabric with a fabric that has a high capacity to absorb. The fast absorbing fabric should be the closest to bub's skin to wick away moisture 

 

Fastening Types

 

Front Snaps

Snaps fasten at the front of the nappy on bub's tummy. Easy and quick fastening option, and probably the most popular! Most front snapping nappies have multiple snap placements so you can adjust the fit to suit your bub
Side Snaps

 

Snaps fasten at either side of the nappy on bub's hips. While some consider side snaps to be time consuming and sometimes impossible to fasten on a wriggly little one, here at TCS we love them as they just seem to create a perfectly snug fit. Definitely worth giving them a go!

Note that side snapping nappies don't often have rise snaps (see rise snap details under nappy features below)

Velcro

 

Nappy fastens via velcro at the front of the nappy on bub's tummy. There seems to be either love or hate for this fixing type within the cloth community. Its the most flexible fastening style as you can fasten exactly where it works for bub, creating the perfect fit. Not to mention its quick and easy to fastening on a wriggling bub. Downside is that you have to remember to stick the tabs down for washing (so it doesn't stick to your inserts) and some say that velcro can be easily undone by a cheeky toddler who just wants to escape their nappy!

 

Snappi

 

 

In lieu of the traditional nappy pins, this contraption catches onto the fabric of your prefold or flat to hold it in place...without the risk of pinning a nappy onto your child!

 

Nappy Features

 

Trim

Nappies that are less bulky and perfect under clothing (often low rise nappies that sit well below bub's belly button) with a single gusset. Some nappy types/ brands are trimmer than others
Tummy Elastic

 

While gaping at the tummy is acceptable and should not result in leaks, tummy elastic is an added bonus to help prevent this. Especially handy in low rise nappies that sit a little bit lower than others under the belly button. And potentially a leak saver at night if you have a tummy sleeper (although higher sitting nappies tend not to gape anyway)

Rise Snaps

 

The rise is the front part of the nappy, from belly button to crotch. Some nappies have multiple snap settings in this area which allow the rise to be reduced or extended to suit bub as they grow. Fold down the rise and snap in place for a smaller bub, then gradually go up settings as required. Typically nappies with rise snaps have 3 settings to achieve a small, medium or large rise 

Hip Snaps

 

Internal snaps on the wings of the nappy that help secure the nappy around bub's legs preventing wing droop

Single Gusset

 

Fancy term for one set of elastics along the leg line...just like undies

Double Gusset

 

A double gusset has a second set of leg elastics and is designed to provide a second line of defense against leaks and explosions. Some nappies have the double gusset built internally in the cover lining while others have an additional gusset as part of the cover outer. 

Is it necessary...no. If you want a nice trim day nappy then single gusset is perfectly fine! But if you want to boost (see cloth slang below) to the max then the double gusset will extend to cover the leg gaps...so perfect for night nappies where that extra boosting is required!

Really....this feature comes down to personal preference but don't discount either, both are worth a try

Wipe down Cover

 

A cover that has no internal lining. This allows you to wipe down the cover between each use. Simply place in some fresh inserts and you're good to go!

Again, this works for some and doesn't for others! Can be economical as you don't require as many covers in your full time stash, however for heavy wetters the cover often requires washing after each use. Fantastic for night nappies where you boost to the max so the liquid doesn't even reach the shell, allowing it to be re-used once or twice before going in the wash!

Double Entry Pocket

 

Pockets have an opening at either end to allow for easy insert placement....less time consuming than trying to slide a bulky insert down a narrow pocket and perfect for those large man hands! 

*** We have tagged our nappies according to their best features.....so you can easily find the range of nappies that have the feature that is most important to you!!!

Pricing Categories
Cheap & Cheerful

Under $20/ nappy (including inserts)

Cloth can be done on a budget! Fantastic, everyday nappies. Perfect for sending to childcare so you don't have to worry about your expensive nappies being mistreated or lost. Depending on the brand and their insert material & thickness, these nappies may require additional inserts on top of those provided. 

Mid-range

 

Between $20 - $30/ nappy (including inserts)

For this price, the nappies should come with sufficient inserts to handle your absorption requirements so that you don't have to purchase additional inserts separately.

There are some nice trim nappies in this category...perfect for fitting under those cute little outfits! 

Designer

 

Over $30/ nappy (including inserts)

These nappies just have the added attention to detail. Again, at this price, the nappies should come with sufficient inserts to handle your absorption requirements so that you don't have to purchase additional inserts separately. There are some nice trim nappies in this category...perfect for fitting under those cute little outfits!

Usually these nappy brands have the "must have" prints and you need to be fast if you want to get your hands on your favourite print come release day! 

 

Cloth Slang
MCN Modern cloth nappy
Folding and Stuffing

 

Referring to the post wash practice of placing the inserts inside each nappy or stuffing them into the nappy pockets and then folding them up ready to go for the next use!

Boost

 

Add extra inserts or "boost" to increase absorption. Very technical!

Stash

 

Your complete set of nappies

Some like to keep their stash limited to a single brand...makes it easier to fold and stuff as you are not searching for the insert specific to each nappy!

Others like to mix it up. They have their favourite fit that suits their bub right now and then as bub changes shape, they find a new favourite....and then bub changes shape again and the old favourites are back in circulation! Or....they have succumbed to the cloth nappy obsession and just cant get enough! Don't judge it can happen to the best of us!

For a full time stash the general consensus is that you will need to have between 24-30 nappies if you pre-wash daily & mains wash every second or maybe even 3rd day if you're lucky. This number is mainly to cater for drying time....especially over winter (see our Washing Guideline  for wash details). 

WAHM nappy

 

A nappy handmade by a work at home mum. Often very hard to get a hold of due to limited stock but totally worth it!

OTB

 

On the Bum or OTB refers to pics or the action of getting the nappies on the bum...nappies in action!

Rise

 

Front part of the nappy from belly button to crotch