This post took some time to compose, but I decided at this stage it was necessary to get deeper into the whole nappy 101. So for those of you curious folks who are wondering what’s the deal with cloth these days, here’s a mini guide to the four basic types of cloth nappy systems available today…
First, the Rolls Royce of modern cloth nappy systems today: The All-In-One
Baby Beehinds Magic-Alls AIO and Petite All-In-II
These nappies basically function pretty much exactly the same way as your typical disposable. All the absorbent layers are sewn-in or attached together with a waterproof later outside. So at nappy change time, it’s just a matter of grabbing one of these and velcro-ing or snapping them on baby – totally idiot proof.
There are myriads of material choices from cotton to bamboo and hemp. The nappy inserts typically have a stay-dry layer which helps to ‘pull’ moisture away from baby’s bum to keep the area comfy and dry. Sounds exactly like features of a ‘sposie doesn’t it? With such features in MCNs these days, there’s hardly any excuse not to switch across.
The variation to the AIO is commonly referred to as All-In-Twos (AI2s) which have removable the inserts that either snap/stuff/flip-in and out for faster drying time after washing or for versatility in adding additional absorbent layers as needed.
Next, a key favourite among modern cloth diaperers today is: The Pocket Nappy
Baby Beehinds Multi-Fit Pocket
As per the name, these nappies are designed with an opening to stuff in the absorbent inserts. As with the AIOs, inserts come in all sorts of material and design choices. The pocket nappy itself would have a stay-dry lining inside with a water-proof layer on the outside.
MCN users commonly like pockets for the great versatility with adding absorbency as needed, and the ability to completely remove the inserts for quicker drying time after washing.
Then we have: The Fitted Nappy + Nappy Cover
Baby Beehinds bamboo fitted and PUL cover
The fitted nappy looks pretty much like an AIO except that it does not have a water-proof layer – the whole nappy is one big absorbent piece. As with all MCN options, there are different materials available to choose from like cotton, bamboo, hemp etc.
Fitted nappies would need to be used in tandem with a waterproof nappy cover. There are circumstances where some people might choose to use the fitted nappy just on its own, but that’s another story for next time.
And finally the classic: Flats and Prefolds
(which need a nappy cover too)
These have stood the test of time through the ages. Granted they take a little practice at first to learn how to use but they work just as well.
So there you have it, the four basic cloth nappy systems. Next time I’ll delve deeper into the pros and cons of the different systems and why some people might choose one over another.
*MCN pictures kindly provided by Baby Beehinds
To read more on my cloth nappy journey, you can also check out my posts on cloth diapers