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Different Types of Real Nappies

Nappy Flower

Flat nappies (Terry and Pre-folds)

These are the cheapest option and have the added benefit of drying quickly. Terry nappies are simply a square of cotton whilst Pre-folds are normally made of cotton or flannelette and stitched into three sections. Both types need to be folded to fit the baby and require a waterproof wrap/cover. Terry nappies can be fastened securely using modern grips called "nappy nippas"   Manufacturers offer a range of sizes suitable for birth onwards. Cost from around £2 each.

Advantages  Disadvantages
Cheap Can look bulky
Can purchase one standard size May require a more secure nappy when your baby starts crawling
Can be folded in many ways to suit the infant
Fast drying
Very absorbent
Can reuse as bibs etc multi-functional

Shaped nappies

These nappies are designed to give a better fit, with elasticated fitting around the legs and waist. In built padding absorbs moisture.  The majority of brands use poppers or velcro fastenings. They usually come in two sizes and require a waterproof cover. Cost around £8.00 each.


Advantages Disadvantages
Easier to use   Slower drying than terry nappies
Elasticated legs and waist provide a better fit May require more than one size
Durable as cover is separate.       More expensive than pre-folds

Pocket Nappy

As the name suggests, these nappies have a pocket into which you can place a pre-fold or nappy insert to soak up all the moisture. They have a waterproof outer and a stay dry lining. The nappy and insert are separate for quick drying. Cost from around £12 each.


Advantages Disadvantages
One size tends to fit most infants due to good adjustability and fit. This makes it an economical choice. More expensive than Terry nappies 
They are lightweight and quick drying. 

All -in - one

This nappy is a shaped nappy with a waterproof wrap attached. No need to buy any thing else.  Cost around £13 each.


Advantages Disadvantages
Very easy to use and has the convenience of a disposable but with the benefits of a real nappy! Slower drying as all in one design
Less durable that a two part system

Birth- to - potty

One size birth to potty nappies are designed to fit all size babies. They are shaped and fastened with poppers, velcro or nappy nippas. By simply folding the front over and/or adjusting the poppers the nappy can be adjusted to a suitable size and fit. Cost from around £13.00 each.


Advantages Disadvantages
Easy to use     Can be bulky on newborns
Economical in the long term Initial cost is more expensive


Swim Nappies

These are very useful for trips to the local swimming pool or seaside. They consist of a fabric outer with a waterproof inner. Elasticated waist and leg cuffs provide comfort and security. Cost around £8

ID: 17810 Revised: 25/4/2017