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Cloth 101: Which cloth nappy to choose?
 12/27/2013  by 

choosing a cloth nappyChoosing a cloth nappy from the range out there is not as daunting as you may think. Let get started with considering these questions when choosing:

Would you prefer OSFM or sized? Remember OSFM can work out more economical from newborn to toilet training, but sized cloth nappies provide a better fit, and you need less nappies as your child ages. At this stage, many parents purchase a newborn nappy for the beginning and transfer to the OSFM cloth nappy when baby is 6-12 weeks old. 

Are there any material preferences or sensitivities? Consider your absorbency requirements and if your baby has any allergies or sensitivities to natural or synthetic materials. In many cases you won't know if your baby is sensitive to some materials. But if you are or your partner, then its possible your baby will be too. Also consider the type of material you would like against your baby's skin. There is a range from synthetic (such as microfleece to organic cotton).

Would you prefer snaps or velcro? The old debate always surfaces for new parents. There are pros and cons to both fastening options for cloth nappies. 

All about Velcro or Hook and Loop 

- great for customised sizing, 
- quick easy changes for everyone including dads with bigger hands and grandparents, 
- its easier to replace,
- it can get stuck to other washing, but use your wash tabs or a meshed bag for washing,
- some parents find it noisy when making changes at night.

All about Snaps, Buttons or .

- stronger
- do not get stuck to washing
- harder to replace
- more fiddly, so can be harder for dads, grandparents or parents with arthritis

Would you prefer prefolds, pockets, AIOs or AI2s? At this stage, dont be worried about any particularly option. Many beginning parents dismiss the humble prefold due to the impression it takes too much time and is too fiddly to use. Once parents become experienced at cloth nappying, the prefold can become their preferred cloth nappy option. Its important at this stage to go with your gut instinct as a parent. What will work easiest for you and your baby. Taking into consideration the above questions, will help narrow down the brand you choose. Here are a few quick facts about each style of cloth nappy:

Prefolds and covers: most economical, big range of materials available, use with or without a Snappi/Pins, One size or sized.

Pockets: stuffing pockets can be tedious, having a pocket keeps the insert in place better, shells dry faster than the inserts, are one size only

AIO: most like a disposable, easy and quicker to use, you need to wash the whole nappy, can take a little longer to dry but depends upon the material used, one size or sized available.

AI2: inserts snap/place in the cover, buy more inserts to the cover to save, dry quicker, no stuffing pockets, one size or sized available.


Consider a combination of types, pockets for night and AI2s during the day. AIOs for going out and prefolds to use as boosters. 

Still confused? Check out our Nappy Library. It was developed to help you make this decision.

< Cloth 101: The Environmental Debate  |  How To: Cloth Nappy Folds for Flats and Prefolds >