Types of Cloth Nappies
A nappy with a that has a pocket in the back that can be stuffed with absorbent pads/inserts (including prefolds). These can come with adjustable front snaps that you can use as your baby grows (called “one size”).
Pros: You can stuff them with a variety of inserts/pads/prefolds (of varying absorbecy and size) to meet your requirements and the nappy's themselves can dry very quick so can go back on the bum quickly if you have spare inserts
Cons: You have to stuff them yourself
Examples: Alva Baby, Little Lamb, Totsbots, Mama Koala, Fluffy ducks
All in One (AiO)
Probably the easiest to convert disposable owners over - these require little faffing about with to prep for putting on the baby. They come with the absorbent pads sewn in. Some can have their absorbent tongue unfolded ( Totsbots) or can be turned inside out (Little Love Bum) to help them to dry quicker. They can most often be boosted to increase absorbency.
Pros: very easy to convert from disposables, very little prep required, very little faffing about and thus can be great for those providing childcare
Cons: Tend to be slow to dry. Some boosters may not work with some nappies. These nappies can be more expensive.
Examples: Totsbots Easy Fit Star, Bumgenius Elementals, Thirsties All In One, Smart Bottoms, Wizard Uno Staydry, Bambino Miosolo All in One
All in Two
These are sort of in between a pocket and an all in one nappy. The inner absorbent parts snap onto the nappy and can be removed for quicker drying. They usually have expansion snaps for as your baby grows. In the case of a 'true' all in two where the nappy shell isnt absorbent (like Tickletots, and unlike the close pop-in) you can reuse the nappy shell by taking out the used inserts and wiping down the wrap and clicking in new inserts. This means you can reuse one nappy multiple times as long as the shell itself isnt soiled.
Pros: quicker drying than an all in one
Cons: If you want them to snap in then you are most often locked into boosters that fit the nappy
Examples: Totsbots Peenut, Bare & Boho, Tickletots, Close Pop-In
Fitted nappies are shaped to fit around the baby, like a disposable. They are generally just made of absorbent material (sometimes with a sewn or snap in booster) with no waterproof covering as a result you need to cover them with a separate wrap. .They usually have expansion snaps for as your baby grows
Pros: really absorbent, can last for ages
Cons: take a while to dry as the whole nappy is absorbent and can be bulky (though this doesn’t seem to bother the babies).
Examples: Totsbots Bamboozle, Little Lamb Bamboo
These are nappies made of flat materials such as terry nappies, muslins, or newer style cotton and bamboo flats. If fitting over baby you need a “Snappi” or “Nappy Nippa” to keep it together or you can simply fold them in to a rectangle and lay them in the wrap. These nappies need a cover/wrap, but the wraps can be reused multiple times with a quick wipe between uses.
Pros: very cheap, quick to dry, very versatile
Cons: Can be bit of a faff. Can be a bit overwhelming with all the types of folds if not simply pad folding and you might have trouble convincing child-carers to use them.
Examples: Bright Bots and the infamous Buttons flats
Wraps are needed for flats, prefolds, and fitted nappies. You may see some advertised as double gusset - these have two gussets around the thighs that theoretically do a better job of preventing leaks, particularly in wriggly babies (note: other nappy styles often have double gussets which many parents love). But most wraps do the job, as long as you don’t have any absorbent materials poking out! You can reuse these multiple times if they don’t have poo on them, just wipe them down if they get wet and put them on again. These come in sizes as well as one size options with rise settings to adjust for a good fit
Pros: You are very unlikely to get poo explosions with a nappy on plus a wrap (having said that all cloth nappies contain explosions brilliantly), you can reuse multiple times and they work very well overnight
Cons: If you have a particularly wriggly baby you might not want to essentially have to fit two items on to them (a nappy and then a wrap) so a two part system might not be for everyone all the time
Examples: Motherease Airflow, Buttons Covers, Seedling Comado wrap, Little Lambs Wrap, Bambino Mio, etc.