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The different nappy types

 

Two Part Nappy Systems

These comprise an absorbent NAPPY for use with a separate waterproof WRAP.

Nappy components

There are several types of these:

Flat Nappies (terries and prefolds) The most economical variant, and the quickest to dry, these do require some (simple) folding. Full instructions are given with every purchase. Terries can be fastened with a Nappy Nippa, however prefolds can be especially difficult with a wriggly baby as it is the wrap that holds the nappy in place. If at all possible, especially with newborn breastfed poo which can be notoriously runny, we recommend securing with a Nappi Nippa purely for the superior containment. The loop pile of terries gives these nappies the greatest surface area, and thus they are very absorbent and yet very quick to dry. Prefolds are made of woven cotton or flannelette, stitched into a rectangle with 3 panels, the centre panel being thicker than the outer 2 'wings' and so are not as bulky as terries. Whilst called prefolds they do require a very basic fold to fit the wraps. Both terries and prefolds are the most versatile of nappies as they can be used for a variety of other things such as mopping up spills, and make good cleaning rags in years to come!

Shaped Nappies Easier to use than flat nappies, these are shaped to fit around the baby. Some have hook and loop fastenings (Velcro or Aplix are brand names of these fastenings) such as Essentials nappy, and are fitted in that they have elastic around the legs and often the waist too - good for containment, others such as the Imse Vimse Organic Terry or the non-Aplix versions of nappies such as Tots Bots or Nappy Nation have no fastenings and rely on the wrap to hold them in place and their shape for containment (Imse Vimse though you may choose to pin or use a Nappi Nippa), or are specifically designed for use with a Nappi Nippa (examples include Tots Bots, Bimble & Bumble). Others such as the Sandys or Kissaluvs have popper fastenings. Many nappies now come with a choice of fastening, You will usually find that a Nappi Nippa fastened nappy will provide best containment as you can secure it as you need to to obtain best fit, and the Nippa holds it snugly in place. Especially with younger babies, Velcro (or Aplix) are easier to manage, sicne you have more adjustment than with poppers. For older babies particularly those that undo Aplix (and like the sound of it undoing!), poppers are more secure. However in the dead of night and for arthritic people they may be more of a challenge.

Whilst sized nappies usually have 2 sizes to fit from birth to potty (some have a third size for more versatility in the newborn stages or later on for toddlers), they may seem initially more expensive overall, however they generally fit better at all stages and the largest size tends not to get outgrown. Particularly a good buy if you are intending to use for more than one child, as overall wear and tear will be less than a one-size.

One-Size Fits All or Birth to Potty Nappies Very easy to use with hook and loop fastenings or poppers, or securing with a Nappi Nippa. Although initially may be more expensive then the previous options, these nappies are very economical to use. By re-arranging a system of poppers, or by simply folding the front over, the nappy can be adjusted to fit most babies from birth to potty, especially cost efficient where families have different aged babies in nappies. Quicker drying than All-In-one too. The downside of a one-sized nappy is that it can be bulky on a newborn, especially where it is folded to fit a small baby and it can get outgrown at the other end of the scale. Suitable where you may have two different sized babies in nappies at the same time, as it reduces the overall number of nappies needed.

 

Wraps

So far all the nappy types above that I've mentioned need WRAPS

You will expect to need about 4 wraps per size, possibly more with a breastfed newborn as even with being very careful when taking nappies off it can be quite easy to get poo on a wrap despite your best intentions! This allows you to use a wrap for three or four nappy changes before washing. Always wash if soiled, and in the interests of longevity of the waterproof properties I recommend washing if the wrap becomes very wet with urine.

Different manufacturers wraps come in different sizes, and consequently have varying amounts of adjustment. Some wraps have gussetted legs, which can mean a better fit on some babies, particularly if slim. Generally there are 3 ways of fastening: pull-ons, which do literally that. Velcro, which will provide the most adjustable and snuggest fit. Thirdly, the looser fitting popper fastening which allows ventilation between the poppers, is hard for toddlers to undo, and can also be used as a pulll on. You can wash all wraps at 40ºC other than a wool wrap which requires a 30ºC (COLD!) wash. However some, as indicated, can be washed at 60ºC with your nappies, which may be of benefit to you, and can be tumble dried.

Wraps are made from a variety of fabrics. Waterproof non-breathable ones are made from PVC or nylon, generally these need to be washed at a lower temperature, and especially the PVC are not hard wearing. Breathable wraps are made from a polyurethane laminate, usually laminated to polyester which is nice and soft as well as hard wearing compared to PVC. Some wraps have an outer layer of cotton, which is softer still to touch, and can be nicely patterned. However, with some babies especially, and particularly if the nappy is left on too long or as the wrap is beginning to be outgrown these cotton wraps can allow wicking (movement of moisture from inside onto the outer cover of the wrap). Wool and fleece wraps are also available, and provide a totally breathable cover, definitely cooling the nappy area by allowing a lot of moisture loss by evaporation. However care should be taken with fleece as particularly with a single layer moisture can be pushed through. Also with these wraps if your baby is sat in a (plastic) car seat for any length of time, they can allow moisture ito collect on the outside.

 

One Piece to put on

ALL-IN-ONE, ONE PART NAPPIES These are shaped to fit, like a disposable, and usually fasten with Velcro or Aplix (eg Tots Bots) and a few with poppers (eg Motherease). They are very easy to put on and take off. They comprise an absorbent layer with an integral waterproof wrap. However they are often the slowest nappies to dry because the waterproof layer on one side limits the speed of drying, and thus have largely been superceeded by the pocket nappies (below). They are also generally the most expensive, and where the waterproof layer is washed with the nappy are likely to wear out the soonest - particularly the one-sized versions. Furthermore, as there is effectively only one leg and waist barrier unless the nappy is a good fit this type of nappy may leak. This tends to happen especially with newborn babies and often it's worth waiting a few weeks till the legs have filled out and are less scrawny.

To get round the drying issue of All in Ones, and also

Pouched Nappy Covers -Quicker Drying All In One Style systems -

There are also a couple of All In One type nappy systems which get around the drying time problems by being styled as a one-piece affair but having a detachable nappy part from the cover. These are the Snugglenaps Easy Gro (and All In One) and the Hempresto system - neither of which we currently stock, but we can obtain these, and also the Fuzzi Bunz, Happy Heiny's, Minkis and Nature Babies Stuffables which consist of a wrap with a fleece inner layer forming a pouch into which is stuffed the absorbent nappy. This means the 2 bits can be separated for washing and drying. Cost savings may also be made with these systems as less nappy covers may be needed because the drying time is considerably reduced.

So in which order do I put everything together? It's usually easiest to lay the wrap out first and put everything on top:

Wrap, nappy, fleece or flushable liner, baby - see picture above

or All In One, fleece or flushable liner, baby

Boosters: Some babies need extra absorbency, this is added by placing a BOOSTER (sometimes called booster liner) - a pad of cotton (or hemp, bamboo or microfibre) which can be folded and strategically placed depending where your baby wees most. For a better fit, you may also place the booster between the nappy and the wrap rather than inside the nappy. This is particularly relevant with an older baby or toddler where they wee a lot in one go, if the nappy is pushed closer to the baby by the booster being under the nappy then the wee will tend to soak up rather than try to run down the leg and out

Click Here for tips on how to choose your nappies

Visit our sister site Chooseanappy.co.uk for help with choosing nappies

Click Here for 'How to Nappy' our booklet detailing how to use cloth nappies

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