• Teeny Folk

A Beginner's Guide to Cloth Nappies

Updated: Jan 19

You’ve decided to try cloth nappies, that’s brilliant! Now what?!

Whatever your reasons for wanting to try reusable nappies, the huge selection on offer can feel a little daunting at first. Worry not! It’s actually pretty straightforward! Here’s our beginners guide to cloth nappies to get you up to speed.

All-in-One Nappies (also known as AIO nappies)

The absorbent part of the nappy and the waterproof shell are sewn together to create probably the easiest reusable nappy you’ll ever find! No stuffing or poppering together, just use, wash and re-use. They are a great nappy to send to nursery or for anyone who thinks cloth nappies are “too complicated!”

Check out our range of all-in-one nappies here.

All-in-Two Nappies (also known as AI2 or hybrid nappies)

All-in-two nappies are made of two parts: an absorbent inner part and a waterproof outer part that can be fastened together, usually with poppers. Once these two parts are stuck together the nappy looks just like an all-in-one but you can pull the two pieces apart for washing and to speed up drying times.

Check out our range of all-in-two nappies here.

Pocket Nappies

Pocket nappies are made of a waterproof outer layer and a stay dry inner layer. There is an opening between these two layers, creating a space or ‘pocket’ into which you can stuff the absorbent inserts. As your baby grows and starts to wee more, you can easily increase the absorbency of your pocket nappies by adding more inserts or boosters to the pocket.

Check out our range of pocket nappies here.

Pre-fold nappies (also known as flat nappies)

A pre-fold nappy is a rectangular piece of fabric which is folded into the shape of either a pad or a nappy. This then needs a waterproof cover on top.

Shaped nappy (also known as a fitted nappy)

This describes an absorbent cloth nappy that “fits” around your baby with a fastening at the front (such as velcro) and will then need a waterproof cover on top.

Click here for our range of fitted nappies.

Nappy Wrap (also known as a waterproof cover)

A nappy needs a waterproof outer layer of some kind to stop the wee escaping onto your teeny one’s clothes. The nappy wrap covers the absorbent part of the nappy and helps to contain poo and wee.

Examples of wraps are the Close Pop-in wrap & the Totsbots Peenut wrap.

Pre-fold and shaped nappies are often known as two-part nappy systems because they are composed of a separate nappy and a waterproof wrap. The two parts don’t fix together like an all-in-two.

Insert (also known as a Soaker)

This is the absorbent part that you place inside a nappy to absorb the wee. They vary in material (e.g. bamboo, cotton, charcoal), size and shape depending on the brand of nappy you choose.


A booster is an additional layer of absorbent fabric you put in the nappy to absorb extra liquid. As your baby grows, they will begin to do bigger wees. Some babies need boosting early on and some only need a booster at night time. Nappy boosters are helpful for those times when you need a bit of extra absorbency in your nappy.

Check out our range of inserts and boosters here.


A nappy liner is a thin piece of material that is placed inside the nappy before you put it on your baby. They allow liquid to pass through the nappy and keep the material next to your teeny one’s bum nice and soft and dry. They also help to keep your nappies cleaner by catching the poo before it comes into contact with the nappy.

Reusable liners can be rinsed and then washed along with the rest of your cloth nappies. We would always discourage flushing disposable liners down the loo as they can take some time to break down & can cause blockages. Instead, they can be placed in the bin or composted.

Find a selection of liners here.

Once you've found the right type of nappy for you & your teeny one it's simple! If you dont believe us check out our guide to looking after your cloth nappies here.

Still confused? Please get in touch & we'll be happy to help!

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