Which Nappies to choose
There are four types of Real Nappy; all-in-ones, pocket nappies, shaped nappies and flat nappies.
The waterproof cover is attached to the nappy which is fitted with Velcro or popper fastenings. It is the nearest thing to a disposable except you don't throw them away.
Positives - Easy to use and useful when out and about or for nursery.
Negatives - Most expensive system; not as durable as two part system and takes longer to dry.
These are waterproof wraps with a pouch into which pads are inserted (e.g. folded terries, shaped inserts or pre-folds). No need for separate covering wrap as this is integral to the design.
Positives - Easy to put on, wash and dry; useful when out and about or for nursery as they can be prepared in advance and versatile as extra padding can easily be added.
Negatives - More expensive than two part systems, and less durable than two part systems
Shaped Nappy and Wrap
No folding needed. These are shaped and fitted, with soft, elasticated legs and waist. They fasten with Velcro or poppers and require a separate waterproof wrap.
Positives - Easy to use; good at keeping explosions in and very durable as cover is separate
Negatives - Drying times vary due to material and more expensive than pre-folds
Flat Nappies and Wrap
These include traditional terries, pre-folds and tie-ons. All require some folding and a separate waterproof wrap. Prefolds are the type used by laundry services.
Positives - Cheapest option; very durable; versatile, they fold in different ways to suit individual baby's needs.
Negatives - Folding can be fiddly, particularly with a wriggly baby and they can look bulky
Waterproof Outer Covers
A wrap is worn over flat or shaped nappies. Modern wraps may be pull-on, poppered or fastened with Velcro. The fabrics are waterproof and breathable, with soft edges where the wrap touches the skin of the legs and waist. It is important that the covers fit properly in order to avoid leakage. Each wrap lasts on average about three changes so you don't need to buy as many. Usually you need 4-5 wraps in each size - small, medium and large.
Biodegradable (flushable) paper liners or washable (cotton, silk and fleece) liners can be placed inside nappies to catch the poo. After changing the nappy simply remove and flush the contents down the toilet. If only wet and not soiled, some biodegradable liners can even be washed for reuse.
Booster pads are a useful addition to the nappy at night or at times of heavy wetting (e.g. teething). They can be washed along with your nappies