Modern Cloth Nappies (MCNs)

Why Use Cloth?

  • Reduce Waste - Use 24 cloth nappies vs 6500 disposable*
  • Save Money - Spend $2500 on average on disposables* vs $500 on average for MCN’s
  • Conserve our Resources - It takes twice the amount of water to produce one disposable than is used to wash one cloth nappy for a year**
  • Keep it simple - Cloth Nappies are easier to use than ever before
  • Style it up  - Cloth Nappies look adorable and feel lovely!
  • Buy Local - Support Australian owned businesses

* Choice Magazine ‘Cloth Nappy Use” 01DEC2012, **,

What do you need?

  • Cloth nappies - a minimum of 24 nappies for full time use or around 12 for part time.
  • A washing machine & clothes line, clothes rack or dryer
  • A nappy bucket, basket or tub for the bathroom or laundry
  • Extra boosters for nights, or night nappies
  • Wetbags for being out and about
  • Cloth wipes
  • Liners are optional - you can get fabric or flushable


What does it all mean?

OSFM, Ai1, Ai2....What does it all mean? If you are confused about what the different styles of nappies are, check out this blog post.I

Below are some easy definitions to help you make sense of the jargon and many, many abbreviations.

"Oh God another abbreviation...I can't take it any more!"

"Oh God another abbreviation...I can't take it any more!"

PUL - Polyurethane Laminate is the thin, waterproof cloth that makes up the outer layer of many nappies, covers, change mats and wetbags.

Minky/Minkee - Soft and fluffy fabric often used as an outer on nappies and in covers, wetbags and changemats. MInky can be backed with PUL to make it waterproof.

Bamboo - A highly absorbent, soft and natural fabric made from Bamboo. Bamboo is an ecologically friendly crop and the fabric has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

Hemp - A natural fabric often blended with cotton. Hemp is ecologically friendly and extremely hard wearing.

Micro-fibre - An absorbent polyester fabric. Very quick drying.

Flats - The nappies of old. Traditional Terry Squares are still available and you can also get flats made from Bamboo. These nappies require folding and a water proof cover.

Prefolds - Is a flat nappy with extra layers of absorbent fabric sewn into the middle section of the square. They can be folded, fastened and used with a water proof cover or as a booster for a pocket nappy

Fitted - A fitted nappy is shaped like a disposable and often made out of Bamboo or Hemp. They are fastened with snaps or Velcro and need a waterproof cover. Fitteds can be sized or OSFM.

Snappi - An alternative to pins used to fasten flats and prefolds. They are made of plastic or stretchy rubber and have three prongs with little claws to attach to the fabric.

Pocket Nappies - Have a waterproof outer layer (usually PUL or Minky) and a stay dry inner layer with an opening in the back that can be stuffed with absorbent boosters/inserts. Both inserts and covers need to be washed. 

Sized Nappies - These MCNs often come in 3 or 4 sizings  (eg Newborn, Small, Medium, Large)  and need to be replaced as baby grows. They have the benefit of looking and fitting trim.

All-in-Ones (AIO)- Are a complete nappy. A waterproof cover has absorbent material attached so they don't require assembly and can be put on like a disposable. 

All-in-Twos (AI2)-  Have a waterproof cover that absorbent boosters or inserts can be snapped into. This can make them faster to dry and you can often reuse the cover with fresh inserts reducing laundry.

One-Size-Fits-Most (OSFM) - Are a nappy that fits from birth to toilet training. The size of the nappy is adjustable with snaps making them a very cost effective option. They can look bulky in the early stages but as babies grow so quickly it is not for long!

Snaps - Press stud like fasteners that pop open and closed 

Covers - A waterproof outer layer for Flats, Fitteds and Prefolds. Like the pilchers in ye olde times. Covers are fastened with velcro or snaps and can be OSFM or sized.

Shell- The outer waterproof part of a nappy that absorbent boosters are snapped or stuffed into.

Boosters/Inserts - Made up of layers of absorbent fabric, boosters or inserts are added to nappies to provide or increase absorbency. Pocket nappies and AI2s need inserts and these can be increased for night times or as baby gets older. Inserts can also be added to AIO or fitted nappies. 

Trifold/Fold-up - A square booster/insert that needs to be folded into thirds to fit into a pocket nappy

Liners - An optional thin layer of fabric (washable) or paper (flushable) that can be laid on the nappy. LIners protect the nappy from any creams used (can affect absorbency) and can be handy for disposing of any solids.