What are the different styles of modern cloth nappies?

When deciding which cloth nappies to invest in, there are generally two main types of nappies to select from: Newborn and One-Size-Fits-Most (OSFM) nappies.   

Newborn cloth nappies will fit babies from birth up to around 5.5/6kg (Up to approx 3 months)  

A One-Size-Fits-Most nappy will fit from 3.5/4kg to 13-16kg depending on the brand and fit of nappy.  

Every brand of modern cloth nappy will have a different recommended weight range fit and the shape of the baby causes variations to the weight recommendations of a nappy fit.  

When you’ve decided on which type of nappy we are going for, you can now decide on a style.

Modern Cloth Nappy Styles

Prefold nappy 

A prefold is a flat piece of cloth, normally sewn in thirds.  The middle third has a greater absorbency. When fitted on a baby, these will need a nappy cover for waterproofing and a snappi (a three pronged stretchy rubber clip in lieu of nappy pins!) to secure  There are a range of ways to fold and use a prefold. The most common and straight forward fold is the butterfly or winged fold shown.   



Butterfly nappy fold using a prefold

 Fitted nappy 

This style of nappies requires no folding and will fit to baby’s shape.  They will require a snappi to secure and a nappy cover. Fitted nappies are great for quick fitting and will adapt to the shape of the baby.  You can even get creative added extra boosting (when baby’s wetting habits increase) before you put on the cover.   



Bubblebubs Bam Bam fitted nappy secured with a snappi. This nappy will require a cover

Pocket nappy  

A pocket nappy holds all of the absorbency within a sewn in pocket which makes up the waterproof shell of the nappy.  A complete nappy will come with either a piece of folded material or inserts which are washed and dried outside of the pocket. You can use anything to tailor the absorbency of a pocket nappy, for example, adding more boosting towards the front of the nappy for a boy or tummy sleeper.   Pocket nappies are lined on the inside with microfleece or suede cloth which pulls moisture away from the baby’s bottom through to the absorbent insert in the pocket while keeping babies bottom dry. 


Seedling Baby pocket nappy shown with a folded diversifold in the pocket


An all-in-one nappy does not require any folding or covers, everything is built into one piece and the whole nappy is washed after every change. All-in-one nappies are sized (NB, S, M, L, XL) so you will need to purchase more sizes as baby grows. They may take longer to dry than other selections.  When secured with Velcro, this nappy can be a very straight forward option for cloth users.  


Baby Beehinds All-In-One nappy with a booster


An All-in-two nappy is a two-piece system. The outer waterproof cover (shell) and the absorbent insert which is snapped into the cover. The insert can be removed after use and the shell used again with a new clean insert. These nappies can work out to be more economical than some of the other styles and they can dry faster because the insert and shell are washed and dried separately 


Baby Beehinds All-in-Two nappy

Night Nappy
Night nappies are approached differently as you may not be changing your baby as frequently as during the day.  During the first six months, you will most likely be able to get away with boosting your current nappies. As your baby gets older and may wet more frequently, it is a good idea to invest in a dedicated night nappy to ensure a good fit and no leaks.  

Night Nappies are more bulky and generally require a waterproof cover.  It is important to ensure that the cover fits over enough to get a seal against the skin to prevent leaks.  Covers that can be use are PUL waterproof covers or wool covers. Wool is a breathable and leak resistant fabric and when lanolised.  


Baby Beehinds night nappy. This nappy will require a cover


If you would like to see these nappies demonstrated or ask questions about them, please feel free to book in a 1:1 video call with cloth nappy expert Emma

Or if you have chosen your style and want to learn the next step, download our free 5 step washing guide on how to wash cloth nappies

Happy Cloth Nappy-ing!

Stack of three modern cloth nappies – Baby Beehinds All-in-one + All-in-two