Let’s give a quick stop knowledge drop of cloth nappies, and share the A – Zs. Feel free to add some alternatives in the comments…


AIO – a type of cloth nappy, the All In One is a great option for those new to cloth, or babies in childcare. The absorbent insert is attached to the nappy and folds out for quicker drying. No pockets to unstuff when you take the nappy off your baby – just pop in the storage pail and away you go.

Bamboo – an incredibly absorbent, soft, and naturally antibacterial, material that cloth nappy inserts, and reusable wipes can be made from. You can also find disposable liners in this material.

Cover – a nappy cover, or wrap, is used in a 2 part system with either a pop or place in insert, or nappy inside. Often a very streamline option for fluff.

Disposable insert – an option that some take when on holiday so they can maintain the reliability of cloth nappies (much more effective at holding poos in than disposables), but cut down on the amount of luggage they are taking, by taking nappy covers and using a disposable liner that can be thrown away. Disposable liners are often made with far less chemicals, and in a more ethical fashion, than disposable nappies too.

Elastic – there is elastic around the leg gusset, and the back of the waist, in cloth nappies. These create a seal that will stop anything escaping from the nappy. Try to find nappies with a good, stretchy elastic, that is soft enough to get a tight seal without digging in and leaving red marks on baby’s skin.

Fluff – an affectionate nickname given to cloth/reusable nappies. Fluffy bums, are one of life’s great joys, and fluffy mail (post containing a new cloth nappy) is one of the most exciting things in this world.

Gusset – the part of the nappy around baby’s thighs. The double gusset, that is found in certain nappy brands, is one of the holy grails of cloth nappies, giving an almost impenetrable barrier against blow outs.

Heat – be careful how you dry your nappies. Most will require air drying, and no artificial heat (like a radiator), as this can reduce the effectiveness and lifespan of cloth nappies. There are, however, more and more brands developing tumble dryer safe nappies.

Incentive schemes – did you know that many local authorities and councils offer incentives for those who are looking to use cloth nappies. These often come in the form of vouchers, which can give you a portion of your nappy stash for free. Click the link to find out if your council offers an incentive http://www.goreal.org.uk/finder

Just one more – when the cloth nappy addiction hits, it hits HARD! Just ask my husband, who has given up asking how many nappies I have, and telling me we don’t need any more. There’s no such thing as ‘too many nappies’

Kin – did you know that you can reuse your reusable nappies with more than just one child? Yup, no need to buy a brand new stash for every child, your little one’s siblings can give your forgotten stash a brand new lease of life…unless you want to buy more, of course. Hey, who am I to dispute your excuses for shopping 😉

Liner – nappy liners can be disposable or reusable. Disposable ones are great for those particularly nasty poos. They allow urine to pass through in to the insert, keeping baby dry, but create a barrier to stop poo from sticking to the nappy; much easier (and cleaner) to get rid of the offending matter. A reusable liner (often fleece), will also allow urine to pass through to the insert, keeping baby dry, and will still make it easier to get rid of pooh (with, perhaps, a little more persuasion that disposable liners require), but you can wash and reuse it.

Popin Nappy-57

Money – one of the most appealing reasons to use cloth nappies, the savings. With the average child using around 5,500 nappies before they are potty trained (estimated 6 nappies per day from birth to 2.5 years), at 15p a nappy, disposables will set you back a whopping £825. Cloth nappies, however, will cost you around £275 for a full set (20 will comfortably see you for full time wear). Just think of what you could buy with that extra money…

Night nappy – the nappy worn overnight will, of course, be worn for much longer than those during the day. To account for this, you’ll need to find a nappy with particularly high absorbency, and stay dry properties. There are a number of great night nappy options on the market today. Check out out Eventual Mother Real Nappy Awards video, released Thursday 21st April, for our Top 5 Night Nappies. (shameless plug)

OTB – On The Bum. Meaning just that…that the nappy is being worn by baby. Because we don’t just use cloth nappies, (we talk about them, obsess over them, covet them, and love them,) we like to share photos with other fluffy parents. You can share these photos in a stash shot (all nappies together in a magnificent and beautiful sight), or OTB of your child.

Pocket – Pocket nappies are a very popular style of cloth nappy. They consist of a nappy with a space (or pocket) to place the insert, often lined with a micro fleece or other ‘stay dry’ material, and covered with a PUL layer (PolyUtherane Laminate) that is water and leak resistant.

Questions – using cloth nappies can seem really daunting at first; so many types of nappies, abbreviations, different guides for washing, etc, etc, etc. But it really is so simple once you’ve got the hang of it. There are, luckily, loads of place in which to ask questions – online communities (Facebook is a great place to find groups), cloth nappy libraries, (where you can borrow different nappies to try, and get advice from an expert,) even friends, with cloth nappies becoming more and more popular as more people discover the benefits to baby, pocket, and environment.

Reusable wipes – you’ve ditched the disposable nappies in favour of the fluff, but why stop there? Why not go the whole hog and grab yourself some reusable wipes? Kinder to baby’s skin by removing those nasty chemicals, they are convenient as can be washed and stored in the same way as your nappies, and yet another opportunity to save some money. Back to those 5,500 nappy changes your baby will have – with an average of 3 wipes being used each change, and at a cost of 1.8p per wipe, you’re looking at a bill of £295 before potty training; more if you consider the extra wipes used for grubby fingers, and faces. A full stash of 30-40 cloth wipes will cost you a fraction of that at just £20-£40 and will last you through as many children as you have.

Sun – it’s not advisable to use bleach with cloth nappies, so you may be wondering what to do when stains start to appear…the sun! Simply dry your nappies on the line outside and the sun will take care of those stains. I know, I know, we’re in England – what sun?!!! Even the UV on a cloudy day will be enough to banish the marks.

Toilet training – research has shown that children in cloth nappies toilet train, on average, 6 months earlier than those in disposables. Once you’ve stopped mourning the day you have to put your cloth nappy stash away, you’ll be really relieved of this fact.

Untold wonders – cloth nappies really are a wonderful thing. The days of leaky, unreliable, and bulky, cloth nappies of the past are long gone. There are now a whole host of streamline, super absorbent, stunningly beautiful nappies to choose from. Go wild, try them all, and enjoy it.

Velcro – also known as applix, or hook and loop. Nappies will fasten with either poppers or Velcro. Both have their merits, and it comes down to preference as to which you go for. Velcro allows a more tailored fit and are more similar to putting on a disposable, but poppers are harder for toddlers to escape from.

Wet bag – when out and about, you’ll not be filling bins with disposables, you’ll be bringing home your beautiful, but somewhat soiled, fluff, and will need a reliable way of doing so; wet bags! You can get some beautiful wet bags that are leak resistant, in the same way your nappies are, and will hold your dirty nappies, protecting the inside of your nappy bag from dirt and smells, until you get home and can pop it in the wash.

Xylene – one of the many, many chemicals found in disposable nappies, that you can avoid with cloth.

Y – Yes, I’m struggling to think of things for these for these last 2 letters

Z – all those extra Zs you’ll be getting, sleeping soundly in the knowledge that your baby’s bum is cuddled in super soft cloth and no nasty chemicals 🙂

Geko Play Pants-57


We will be revealing our Top Nappies in videos throughout Real Nappy Week 2016 in, the very first, EVENTUAL MOTHER REAL NAPPY AWARDS! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us to ensure you don’s miss out. Plus, you’ll find a whole host of Nappy Reviews on the YouTube Channel and our Facebook Page.

Monday – Top 5 Pocket Nappies

Tuesday – Top 5 Cover Nappies

Wednesday – Top 4 All In Ones

Thursday – Top 5 Night Nappies

Friday – Top 5 Most Streamline Nappies

Saturday – Top 5 Most Innovative Features

Sunday – Top 5 Nappies!

We’ll add the videos to this post as I publish them 🙂

Thanks for reading and HAPPY NAPPYING!!!

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2 thoughts on “A to Z of Cloth Nappies”

  1. This is so helpful! I’m new to cloth and find some of the lingo hard to understand. Thanks!

    1. Wonderful, thanks Sanna. So pleased you’ve found it helpful xx

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