When it comes to reusable nappies, there are such a vast amount of different brands and types that it can be hard to know what to choose!
When choosing reusable nappies for your baby, it’s best not to rush out and buy lots of the same kind of diaper. Most parents who use real nappies will agree that different diapers suit different children best! It’s better to borrow some from a friend to trial them, get some cheap on eBay or look for a local real nappy lending service so you can try some out for free or very cheap.
In this article I will go over the different types of real nappy that are available, and some of their pro’s and con’s.
There are a vast range of different forms of two-part nappies, ranging from the very basic and cheap to slightly more expensive (but more convenient) versions.
The most basic (and probably the kind that covered your bottom when you were a baby) is the terry nappy. This is literally a big square of soft cotton terry that is folded into a nappy shape around the baby, and fastened with a pin or a nappy gripper. This is then covered with a waterproof wrap. There are also prefold nappies (just the same as the terry nappies but with less work to do on your part), and the shaped nappy systems. The shaped nappy systems are incredibly user-friendly, and are my nappy of choice. The nappy itself is just like a disposable — you simply put it onto your baby and fasten the Velcro (or poppers, depending on the brand), then cover with a wrap. Within the nappy, you put a booster pad (which can be folded over at the front to give more absorbency for a boy baby) and a liner.
The two-part nappy systems can’t be beaten on price. You can get some brilliant, brightly-coloured and funky-patterned wraps to go over them, which can be a lot of fun! The cheaper nappies obviously take a little getting used to if you are used to the ease of a disposable, but as you move farther up the market they become more user-friendly.
All-in-one nappy systems are the easiest and most convenient nappy to use. Some come in a birth-to-potty size, designed to fit from newborn to toddler, and others are sized (usually just two sizes in a range).
These nappies are just like disposables to put on the baby. They are absorbent within and waterproof on the outside so no extra wrap is needed. Some types of AIO nappies can be worn as they are, but most use boosters and liners. There are different styles of AIO’s, such as the pocket variety, which literally have a pocket inside for the booster. When the baby urinates, the liner can be whipped out and replaced and the absorbent material between will still be dry!
They are amazingly easy to use, and there is a myriad of different brands and designs. They are the most expensive type of nappy, however, and some of them can take a long time to dry. Some brands can be tumble dried whereas others require hanging out to dry.
It is worth bearing in mind, when choosing a nappy, whether your child will be attending nursery or a daycare of some kind. Some nurseries won’t take children in real nappies, because they perceive an issue with hygiene. Most childcare services will take cloth-nappied babies, but they far prefer the AIO style or the shaped nappy systems, due to their ease of use.