Choosing your cloth nappies
There are a huge variety of brands and styles of modern cloth nappies to choose from. To start your selection ask yourself a few main questions.
1. Which type would you prefer?
2. Are you interested in sized or one size fits most nappies?
3. Snaps or Velcro closure?
Types of cloth nappies
All in One (AIO)- AIO’s have the absorbent material sewn in although they sometimes include extra boosters to attach for extra absorbency. They are very simple to use and do not require an extra cover. AIO take the longest time to dry out of all the types.
All in Two (AI2)- All in two nappies have inserts that snap into the nappy. This can help them dry faster and can save you money as you can purchase extra inserts to use with the covers instead of buying entire nappies.
Pockets- These nappies have a waterproof outer and stay dry inner and includes an opening to insert the boosters. This allows for faster drying as boosters are removed when washing.
Fitted nappies- The entire nappy is made out of absorbent material and so this type of nappy will require a cover to prevent leaks. Covers can usually be used multiple times before needing washing.
Prefolds- This is a flat nappy which has been sewn into three sections. The middle section has extra layers for absorbency. These require a cover to prevent leaks.
Flat nappies- The traditional type of cloth nappy. These require folding to use and need a cover.
> 2. Would you prefer sized or one sized nappies?
This might depend on the age of your child. Sized nappies will cost more in the long term as you have to purchase new nappies as your child grows. However, they usually will provide a better fit on new babies and as you are not using them for as long you have a better chance of them being in a good enough condition to sell them used or reuse for another baby.
Depending on the brand, one size fits most nappies might not fit at the newborn stage. They are also more likely to be bulky when your baby is smaller but you will not have to purchase nappies as your baby grows.
Generally prefolds, newborn/small nappies or fitted nappies and covers are a good choice for a newborn, although everyone has their own preferences. Then you can move onto one size nappies as they get a bit bigger. If you do decide to use prefolds initially they can always be used as extra boosters later with whatever other nappies you choose.
3. Snaps or Velcro?
Velcro usually gives a better fit on younger, skinnier babies. Nappies with velcro are also easier to use as they are most like the closure on a disposable nappy and are more manoeuvrable for people who might not have the hand dexterity to snap snaps together, ie. people with arthritis. Velcro is easier for a faster nappy change with a wriggly baby.
Cons with velcro are that velcro can get fluff caught in it and will catch on things in the washing machine. Also children will usually find it easier to take velcro nappies off themselves.
On the other hand snaps are more durable and will last a lot longer than many other parts of the nappy.
4. Making a decision
Something to remember- It is advisable not to buy too many of the one nappy to start with as babies are all different shapes and sizes and what fits one might not fit another perfectly. Children also change shape over time so I always recommend to have a variety of nappies in your stash. There is nothing worse than buying 24 identical nappies only to find that they do not fit your child. There is no reason why you have to choose one particular style or sizing system. I have a mix in my children’s nappies. It is just an easier way to start. Once you have tried a few you will know what you like and what works for you and can expand your stash.