Which style of reusable nappy is right for you?

So you’ve made the great decision of choosing reusable nappies on your precious baby and you go to research brands and the colour drains from your face because there are SO MANY options and you think you might just stick with the disposables that everyone knows about.

I know the feeling. There are so many types of nappies and they seem to run into each other. All in one? All in two? Pocket nappy? Sized? Organic? Bamboo or cotton? Which is cheapest? You can get an all in one organic bamboo one size nappy or an all in one sized microfibre nappy.

Whilst I am no expert hopefully this post will shed a little light and make the world of cloth nappies a little easier to navigate. Also note the terms “reusable”, “cloth”, and “real” are often interchanged.

Real nappies have these basic parts:

1. Waterproof outer, most often made of PUL (polyurethane laminate) but other materials also found. The outer usually has fun prints.

2. Inner absorbent “nappy” part, usually made from bamboo or cotton or microfibre. Mostly plain but some, such as Totsbots Bamboozle, may have prints.

3. Liner (optional), used to catch poo and may be flushable, disposable, or washed and reused. Fleece liners also help remove the feeling of wetness.

4. Booster/insert (optional). If you feel your nappy doesn’t provide enough containment you can add one or two (or more if you don’t mind a bulky bum?!) boosters for extra absorption. Can be made from bamboo, charcoal, hemp, cotton, or microfibre.

5. Velcro or poppers. Some nappies are made with Velcro tabs for an adaptable fit whilst some brands use poppers. It’s up to you which you prefer. Some “birth to potty” nappies have poppers to adjust the size from small to large but close at the waist with Velcro.

6. Wet bag (optional). You will need a wet bag if you plan to go out and about with cloth nappies. You’ll have to bring soiled nappies home so best to keep them in a special nappy bag! You could also use a wet bag at home instead of a nappy bucket to store used nappies until you wash them.

This is the easiest kind of nappy to use as it is just like a disposable. The inner absorbent nappy is sewn onto the waterproof outer and you put it on baby as you would a disposable. You can add a liner or booster if you wish. Since all the pieces are sewn together you may experience longer drying times.

Bambino Miosolo – prints
Tickle Tots – cute prints
Tots Bots Easyfit Star – plain or printed
Bum Genius elemental or freetime* – plain or printed
Grovia* – plain or printed
Sweet Pea all in one* – plain or printed

Pocket nappies look similar to all-in-ones but there is an opening at the back on the inside half of the nappy. You can stuff boosters into this pocket to adjust the absorption level to your own requirements. These are quite user friendly as well and dry fairly fast as the boosters can come out.

Baba + Boo – plain or printed
Little Lamb – one size or sized
Milovia – lots of prints
Wonderoos – plain or printed
Bum Genius original* – plain or printed
Sweet Pea pocket* – plain or printed

The absorbent part of the nappy can be attached and detached from the waterproof layer using poppers. The absorbent pads can be made from different materials to suit your absorbency needs. Once boosters are attached the nappy is as simple to put on as a disposable. Drying times are fairly fast since you can separate the two parts. These can be cost effective as sometimes you can reuse the outer and just replace the pad at changing time if the outer is not soiled.

Bambino Miosoft – prints
Close Pop In nappy – prints
Tickle Tots
– cute prints
Tots Bots Peenut system – plain or printed
Bambooty Basics* – mostly plain colours

This style is just like an all-in-two but the inserts are disposable so there is less washing to do.
Charlie Banana* – covers and reusable or disposable inserts
Flip by Bum Genius* – covers and various inserts
Grovia hybrid – covers and reuseable or disposable inserts

This is a two part nappy. You need to buy a waterproof wrap as well as the actual absorbent nappy part. The nappy can be made from bamboo, cotton, or microfibre. Bamboo is most absorbent but takes a long time to dry. Microfibre is least absorbent but dries quickest. Cotton sits in the middle but can feel crunchy in hard water areas.

Bambinex – bamboo or microfibre
Little Lamb – available in various materials
Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch – bamboo material in different prints

These are similar to Terry squares used by your grandmother. They are squares of material that are pinned together. You will require a waterproof wrap to go over the top. They are the cheapest cloth nappy option and dry easily but from what I have heard, are also the trickiest. I have never used prefolds so cannot really comment.

Just like they sound, sized nappies come in sizes for example 7-18lbs or 18-35lbs. One size or ‘birth to potty’ nappies come in one size and tend to have poppers to change the sizing. Sized nappies cost more as you will need to buy a new set of nappies when baby gets bigger but this can be useful if you have two young children close in age. One size nappies should last throughout the whole nappy period but some nappies may not fit well on younger babies and you may need to use disposables until baby is bigger. You can get sized and one size nappies as shaped, pocket, all in one, or all in two styles (ie nappy size then nappy type).

Baba + Boo – pocket nappy for 5-18lb
Close Pop-in newborn – 5-12lb
Tots Bots Teenyfit Star – all in one for 5-12lb

I hope this blog post has made things a bit clearer for you! Any links to brands are not sponsored or affiliated. I have tried to include mostly UK or EU based brands. Any links with an asterisk * are brands based outside UK/EU.

What is your favourite type of reusable nappy? Do you have a few different ones in your stash? If you have never used them has this post helped at all?


Review of Baba + Boo reusable minky nappy.

Baba + Boo are a small family owned business and from reading the blog they sound like they truly care about the environment and sustainability (check out Eve’s reasoning on not giving out Black Friday discounts). They are a brand I’m totally happy to get on board with.

Baba + Boo do a smaller newborn sized nappy as well as a “birth to potty” size. I really love their “elf town” print but it’s always out of stock so I nabbed one from their “hygge” winter collection. It has a minky fabric outer which is a bit like velour to the touch. The inside has a layer of microfibre and a big pocket on the inside for the boosters. Each nappy comes with two bamboo boosters so you can use one or two depending on how much your baby wets.

This it the first reusable nappy I have used that doesn’t fasten with Velcro. There are several sets of poppers on the front to adjust the fit so it is possible to still get a snug fit. I didn’t find the poppers as quick as Velcro tabs but you get used to it. My baby is pretty wriggly and hates having his nappy changed so Velcro is definitely faster. I was surprised that the fit was pretty good as poppers mean there is a ‘set’ size. Furthermore the poppers mean the nappies don’t get stuck together in the washing machine if you forget to fold the tabs. I found the front part of the nappy sat a bit low but did not experience any leakage.

Baba + Boo nappies are a pocket style nappy which means there is an opening at the back of the nappy where you can stuff inserts which absorb the urine. You get two bamboo inserts with each nappy but you can purchase more (or use some from another brand if you already have some). I’m sure I could get away with just one insert sometimes but I’m too afraid to try!

As with all cloth nappies, you should wash these on a low temperature without too much detergent and air dry. Now and again you may need to do a hot rinse but that is true of all reusables. Since you can take the inserts out, these nappies dry extremely quickly. The inserts actually take a bit longer to dry since they are made of bamboo.

Baba + Boo nappies come at an excellent price point for reusables. One standard sized nappy is £12.95 (some seasonal prints will go on sale) or you can buy starter kits which work out better if you want several nappies to start off your stash. The newborn size starts at £10.95 but they obviously will not last you as long. Baba + Boo have some of the cutest prints I’ve seen (moonshine, toadstool). I also think they discontinue some prints each season so best get the one you like before it’s gone!

As a family we are also trying to get into the habit of using reusable wet wipes (when at home at least), not only for money saving reasons but also because they go into landfills (and sewers?!) as much as disposable nappies, so I added a pack of their bamboo wipes to my basket. They are lovely and soft and we just chuck them into the nappy wash or the regular wash. When they come out we keep them in a tub with a homemade solution and they are ready to go. We also use them in the bath or as wipes during a meal. I’ve enjoyed them so much I am planning to get more. They cost £5.95 for a pack of five, which is not the cheapest out there but they are great quality.

Although you can find Baba + Boo on various cloth nappy websites, I ordered directly from the Baba + Boo website. For orders over £40 you get free delivery, otherwise it is £3.95 for standard delivery. I paid for delivery and my order came in less than 48 hours! It came in a sturdy paper bag so could be recycled and there was no nasty plastic in sight. Their commitment to being earth friendly is 100%. I also got a lovely email from the owner Eve thanking me for my order. Now, do you want to hear the best thing?

My friend lives near their listed company address so I figured I could place an order and pick it up from them when I visited her. I emailed Baba + Boo asking if I could do this (I wanted to avoid a delivery charge) however they said it wasn’t possible but they would refund the delivery charge to me after placing the order. How great is that? It gets better though… So I really took my time placing the order. Like four months and they STILL refunded the delivery charge. Such *excellent* customer service. Please support this company if you’re thinking about starting a cloth nappy stash!

In conclusion, these are a great cloth nappy for first time users. They have adorable prints, are a good price point, are easy to use, dry fairly quickly, and the customer experience is wonderful.

Have you tried Baba + Boo nappies? Do you like their prints?

Review of Tickle Tots reusable cloth nappies.


Hands down, Tickle Tots have the CUTEST nappy prints ever. The original design (pictured here) can be used as an all-in-one nappy or a pocket nappy.

The nappy has a PUL waterproof lining with the mega cute print. There are three sets of poppers along the front so you can adjust the size which makes it a birth to potty nappy. There are velcro tabs to fasten the nappy so this adjustment also helps with the fit. A double layered gusset at the top of the legs prevents leaks. At its core are four layers of absorbent bamboo fabric. If this isn’t enough, there is also a pocket to stuff in some boosters for extra absorbency. One pocket nappy retails for £16.99 but you may be able to get a multi buy deal.

In terms of style these nappies are definitely 10/10. Not only are the designs adorable, but the nappy itself is fairly slim for a cloth nappy (unless you require lots of boosters). I can put these on without worrying about the bodysuit not fastening. Even the velcro crossings seem trendier on these than on other nappies.

Most importantly did they contain the wee? Yes and no. When Emery was smaller I would find that urine would leak out even with the double layer leg gusset. However, as he got older and his thighs became chunkier, the gusset fit around his leg more securely. I would advise waiting until baby weighs 10lbs before using these.

Washing these nappies is the same as for any other cloth (don’t forget to wash them once before first use) but I have to say that they dry awfully slowly. I think it is because of the bamboo inner and even if you turn them inside out to dry, they can take a while.

I’m not sure if there is enough absorbency in these to use during the night, even with an added booster. I suppose it would depend on how much your little one wees at night. I haven’t tried using more than one booster in the pocket so there may be the possibility of using them over night. For daytime use I would suggest getting about fifteen nappies assuming you do a nappy wash every other day.

Overall the Tickle Tots are not my ‘go to’ reusable nappy simply due to the drying time. I like that they are a birth to potty nappy which can save you money but will not be suitable for smaller babies straight away. With the booster insert you get pretty good absorbency and leaks are mostly contained. If you only have bamboo nappies in your stash and have enough nappies to use whilst waiting for a load to dry then these would be a cute addition to your collection.

The Tickle Tots 2’s look like an interesting concept. You clip the nappy part into the outer layer and changed as necessary so I’d be interested to try this style out. Has anyone tried them both? What did you think?