Baby laying on bed holding feet wearing kookaburra cloth nappy

Learn everything about cloth nappies, from their humble beginnings to their modern reincarnations. Uncover why these eco-friendly, cost-effective baby care solutions are making a resurgence among today’s parents. 

Get to know the various types of cloth nappies, including traditional pre-folds and modern all-in-ones, and learn the technique of how to fold a cloth nappy efficiently. Explore the unique convenience of contemporary nappy designs. 

This all-encompassing guide equips you with everything you need to make a sustainable choice for your baby and the environment.

What are cloth nappies?

Brief overview of cloth nappies

Cloth nappies, an age-old solution for baby care, are making a grand comeback in parenting circles. These traditional cloth nappies embrace both practicality and sustainability, presenting an eco-friendly alternative to their disposable counterparts. 

Their reusability ensures they can be laundered and used repeatedly, adding to their long-term value. It’s this blend of tradition and sustainability that makes cloth nappies an appealing choice for many modern parents.

Cloth nappies and our planet

Our environment is crying out for help. With mountains of waste piling up in our landfills, every choice you make can make a difference. And that’s where cloth nappies step in. Because they are reusable nappies, they significantly cut down on the waste produced by disposable alternatives. Plus, cloth nappies don’t contain the harsh chemicals found in disposables, making them a healthier choice for the environment.

Benefits of using cloth nappies

The benefits of cloth nappies extend far beyond the environmental aspect. These sustainable nappies are often made from natural fabrics like bamboo, which is not only soft and comfy but also better for your baby’s skin, reducing the risk of rashes. And let’s talk about cost-effectiveness. Yes, the upfront cost might be a bit more, but in the long run, reusables are easier on your wallet. And once you’re done with them, they can be passed on to a younger sibling or sold second-hand.

💡KEY TAKEAWAY: Choosing cloth nappies for your baby is not just about savings or skin benefits. It’s about making a choice that respects the environment, reduces waste, and sets a precedent for future generations. Remember, every small change counts!

Understanding different types of cloth nappies

Prefolds and flats: the classics

You might have heard about pre-folds and flats, the traditional cloth nappies. These are simple rectangular pieces of fabric folded in specific ways to fit your little one. Your grandparents likely used them, and for good reasons! They’re economical, versatile, and oh-so-soft on a baby’s delicate skin. And hey, they’ve stood the test of time.

All-in-ones: convenient but harder to clean

These can be a good option for busy parents. All-in-one nappies have an absorbent layer and waterproof cover combined into one piece. Sounds convenient, right? Well, the only drawback is keeping it clean. If your wash routine goes amiss and you need to soak or perform a sanitise, it can be difficult to remove stains as the cover cannot be soaked for as long as the absorbent inserts. The water-resistant cover needs to be treated with more care than the inserts. Learn more about how to wash and clean modern cloth nappies correctly

All-in-twos: modern convenience in a cloth nappy

All-in-two cloth nappies, also known as Ai2, are exactly as they sound, the nappy is split into 2 parts that are separated for washing then re-assembled ready to use again. These nappies have all the convenient benefits of an all-in-one nappy but with the benefit of being able to sanitise the water-resistant outer cover separately to the cloth inserts. This way, the inserts can be soaked for longer and in a higher concentration of bleach if required. You get the benefits of cloth nappies and the ease of use similar to disposable ones. Truly the best of both worlds.

💡KEY TAKEAWAY: No matter the type of cloth nappy you lean towards, remember that each offers unique features designed for different lifestyle needs and preferences. It’s about understanding your options, being open to the choices available, and embracing the sustainable lifestyle that comes with using any form of cloth nappies.

Step-by-step guide on how to fold a traditional cloth nappy

Preparation of the nappy

Your expedition into the wonderful world of traditional cloth nappies begins here. First things first, you need a clean and dry cloth nappy. Prepare a safe and comfy area for your baby’s nappy change. Your adventure kit should contain a clean cloth nappy, a waterproof cover, and nappy fasteners if you’re using those.

Different folding methods

Welcome to the art of cloth nappy folding! There are several ways to fold a traditional cloth nappy, each providing its own unique benefits. Take, for instance, the ‘triangle fold’:

  1. Lay the nappy flat.
  2. Fold it in half to form a triangle.
  3. Fold the point of the triangle down to meet the base.

This fold is super quick and perfect for newborns. For a highly absorbent fold, you might want to try the ‘origami fold’:

  1. Start with the nappy laid flat.
  2. Fold it in half and then in half again to create a long rectangle.
  3. Fold this into a square.
  4. Fold the corners of the top layer into the centre.

With time, you’ll discover which fold is most practical for you and your baby.

Securing the nappy on your baby

You’re now ready for the grand finale. Carefully place your baby on the folded nappy, aligning the back of the nappy with their waist. Bring the front of the nappy through your baby’s legs to their tummy. Make sure the nappy fits snugly but comfortably. Secure it with nappy fasteners, and voila! You’ve successfully conquered the art of traditional cloth nappy folding!

💡KEY TAKEAWAY: The road to mastering traditional cloth nappies can seem challenging at first, but with a bit of patience and a whole lot of practice, you’ll soon be folding like a pro. Take pride in each nappy change, knowing that every fold contributes to a more sustainable world for your baby to grow up in. And if folding a flat nappy just sounds too hard, then read on to learn more about modern cloth nappies.

Modern nappy designs: an alternative to flat nappies

The convenience of using modern cloth nappies

Here’s the thing about modern cloth nappies: they are just so darn convenient! You’re swapping endless trips to the store for a bit of laundry, and what could be easier than that? Plus, they’re designed with busy parents in mind. So yes, you do have time for cloth nappies, and you’ll find them just as straightforward to use as disposables.

Snap-in vs pocket nappies: key features and usage

Now, let’s explore the fascinating world of modern cloth nappy designs. Take snap-in nappies, for instance. These are water-resistant covers with snaps for attaching absorbent inserts. They’re brilliant because the covers can be used multiple times before washing if they’re not soiled, saving you some laundry time. 

Pocket nappies, on the other hand, have a built-in fabric pocket for stuffing the absorbent inserts. With pocket nappies, the inserts and the covers get washed after each use. The drawbacks of pocket nappies include the time required to stuff them, and the fiddly nature of squeezing the inserts into the pocket opening. Each design offers its own unique benefits; it’s just a matter of finding what fits best with your lifestyle.

Environmental and cost benefits of modern cloth nappies

Let’s not forget why we’re here: modern cloth nappies are champions of the environment. With each cloth nappy change, you’re preventing a disposable from ending up in a landfill. And let’s talk savings! Sure, you may invest some bucks, but once you’ve built your stash, you’re done spending money on nappies. The more you use them, the more you save. Now, that’s a win-win! Read more in our disposables vs cloth cost comparison.

💡KEY TAKEAWAY: Exploring modern cloth nappies can feel like an adventure, with so many designs and features to consider. But one thing’s for sure: they offer a convenience, environmental, and financial solution that’s hard to beat. 

Discover NappyLuxe, your caring ally in the beautiful journey of parenthood. As an Australian family-run business, we thoughtfully craft luxury, high-quality cloth nappies that effortlessly merge style, safety, and sustainability. Our products promise an elegant, environmentally friendly alternative to disposable nappies, designed with the utmost consideration for your baby’s comfort. 

At NappyLuxe, we’re passionate about supporting your parenting journey by offering premium baby products that epitomise sustainable luxury. Step into our world and experience the joy of nurturing your baby with products that marry the grandeur of luxury with the warmth of sustainability. NappyLuxe – for the love of your baby and our planet.

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Meet the Author

Natalie Lassen

Black and white photo of Natalie with her daughter cuddling

Natalie, Founder of NappyLuxe, is an eco-conscious mother and entrepreneur who discovered the benefits of cloth nappies for her family and the environment. With a mission to create the ultimate cloth nappy, she spent years researching and testing various designs before launching NappyLuxe - a range of high-quality, easy-to-use, and ultra-absorbent cloth nappies. Natalie is a member of the Australian Nappy Association, that aims to grow cloth nappy usage across Australia. She is passionate about sharing her experience and expertise, helping parents make informed decisions and embark on their own sustainable parenting journey.

July 27, 2023 — Natalie Lassen
Tags: Learn