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Cloth nappies

Updated: Jun 11, 2022

What are they, the different types, pros and cons and some brands!

What are they?

Cloth nappies are reusable nappies. You buy a set of these nappies made from various fabrics and wash them after they are used rather than throwing them away. The concept has been around for a long time and disposable nappies are a relatively recent development entering the baby market in the 60s.

What are the different types of cloth nappies?

All in one: the waterproof layer and the cloth layer are permanently attached.

All in two: the nappy inserts popper into the waterproof wrap.

Fitted nappy: the absorbent part is the shape of a nappy and uses aplix or poppers. It requires a separate waterproof wrap.

Pocket nappy: the nappy inserts slot inside a pocket in the fleece-lined waterproof wrap.

Flats: A square piece of fabric that is folded and held in place by a nappy nippa. It requires a separate waterproof wrap.


  • They are better for the environment as they are washed and reused as opposed to being thrown away

  • Fewer trips to the bin - it's thought using reusable nappies can half your household waste

  • Cloth nappies can be cheaper in the long run as babies are usually in nappies for around 2.5 years - they can also be used for future babies or sold onto other families

  • Cloth nappies are less likely to cause nappy rashes as they don't usually contain any harsh chemicals that could irritate your baby's skin


  • Additional laundry means extra time, effort and energy

  • You need to be careful when washing cloth nappies to make sure they are sanitary - it's advised been to wash them on a 60°C wash

  • Once your baby is eating solids, the 'remnants' need to be dealt with and flushed away

  • Cloth nappies are less absorbent than disposable nappies so they may need to be changed more frequently

  • Cloth nappies have a greater upfront cost than disposable nappies

  • Cloth nappies aren't so easy to use if you are travelling or staying somewhere that doesn't have access to washing facilities


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