There can be a lot to learn when you are first starting out with cloth. We have decoded a few acronyms, abbreviations and phrases which you may come across on your cloth journey.
BTP - Birth to potty. Also called ‘one size’ or ‘one size fits most’. These nappies fit from around 8lbs-35lbs. As every baby is different, the age this nappy fits will depend on the shape and size of your baby.
AIO - All In One. In these nappies, the inserts are sewn to the shell so they are all one piece. These can sometimes be put straight on the baby, and sometimes the absorbent part has to be folded first. The advantages of these nappies are that they are the most similar to disposables and are usually quick and easy to fit. The disadvantage is that they take longer to dry because they are all one piece.
AI2 - All in 2. These nappies are made of an outer shell and an absorbent inner that usually pops to the shell with poppers. This means that, unless your baby has pooed, the shell can be wiped down and reused.
Pocket - Pocket nappies are made of a shell with a stay dry lining, usually fleece or athletic wicking jersey, with a pocket. They need absorbent inserts stuffed into the pocket. The advantages to these nappies are that they are very customisable, you can use as many inserts or boosters as you need, and that they dry very quickly. The disadvantage is that they do take a bit of time to prepare as they will need to be stuffed before use.
2 part - Two part nappies are made of a waterproof shell and an absorbent nappy. The absorbent part could be a folded flat or prefold, or a shaped nappy. These nappies are great for heavy wetters or for night time as the absorbent part can usually hold a lot of liquid. They also usually dry very quickly, and, unless your baby has pooed, the shell can be wiped down and reused. A disadvantage is that folding flats or prefolds can be time consuming.
Insert - This is the absorbent part of a pocket nappy. Inserts are put inside the pocket.
Booster - These add extra absorbency to nappies. They can be used in most nappy types.
Liner - A liner goes on top of the nappy, closest to baby’s skin. They can be disposable or reusable. Their job is to wick liquid away from baby, to keep them feeling dry. They are also good for catching any solids. Not every nappy needs a liner - pocket nappies usually have a lining made of a wicking fabric. Natural materials like cotton and bamboo are safe to be used against baby’s skin without a liner, however you may prefer to use one to keep baby dry. Microfibre should never be used against baby’s skin so always use a liner with microfibre.
Flat - A flat piece of material which must be folded to fit on baby. These can also be folded and used inside of a pocket nappy.
Prefold - Prefolds are similar to flats but are sewn in a way that they require less folding.
Preflat - A preflat is halfway between a flat and a fitted nappy. They are often easier to fit than a flat, and can be customised easily.
PUL - Polyurethane laminate. This is the waterproof part of the nappy.
AWJ - Athletic wicking jersey. A wicking material used for inside nappies.
Cotton - An absorbent material used in cloth nappies. Cotton absorbs very quickly but does not hold as much liquid as bamboo or hemp. Cotton is best used closest to baby to help prevent flooding.
Bamboo - An absorbent material used in cloth nappies. Bamboo does not absorb as quickly cotton but will hold more liquid.
Hemp - An absorbent material used in cloth nappies. Hemp is the slowest material to absorb but it holds the most liquid. It should be paired with a material that absorbs more quickly.
Microfibre - An absorbent material used in cloth nappies. Microfibre absorbs the most quickly but it is prone to compression leaks. This means that liquid will leak out when it is squeezed (like in a car seat, baby carrier or under a tight vest). Pair microfibre with a slower, heavy capacity insert or booster like bamboo or hemp.
Tencel - Tencel is a relatively new material. It is a form of rayon and is made from dissolved wood pulp. It is breathable, soft and absorbent, and does not suffer from compression leaks.
Rise - These are the poppers on the front of the nappy. They can be popped together to fit most babies.
EBF - Exclusively breastfed.
OTB - On the bum.
Flooding - When babies get older, they start to hold their wee for longer periods. This leads to larger volumes of liquid at one time. This is called flooding.