Dont know your EHBH from your HLBB+ that’s in EUC, or are you IDSO an IB SIO? Here’s some help! If I’ve missed anything then leave a comment and I’ll add it on, please dont copy/steal this without permission as it was hard work to compile! Thanks!
Basics: Different nappy types, parts to a cloth nappy and accessories
AIO (All In One) – No extra cover is needed as the absorbent part and waterproof part are all sewn together and do not come apart. The easiest of cloth nappies to use and it’s ready to go when dry. Downsides are they arent always great for heavy wetters and take a long time to dry.
AI2 (All In Two) or SIO (Snap In One) – They are basically the same thing, the waterproof part and the absorbent part come apart for washing (usually they ‘snap’ together). This makes drying much faster and with most AI2/SIO’s you can snap out a wet absorbent insert and replace it with a clean one, meaning you can resuse the waterproof shell, saving money and the size of your laundry load. Downsides are that you do have to essemble/snap them together after drying, ready for use.
Pocket (sometimes called a sleeve) - These are similar to the AI2’s in that the absorbent part and the waterproof part are separate so again great for faster drying. Rather then being snapped in the absorbent part is stuffed into a pocket (the opening can be at the front/middle/back of the nappy), some ‘sleeve’ design nappies are open at both ends so it’s easier to stuff and the insert comes out on it’s own in the wash. Pockets can be stuffed with different inserts to suit your little ones needs, the downside is that you need to tug out the insert from the pocket before you wash them (unless it’s a sleeve design) and of course you will need to assemble them before use, ie stuff the pockets.
Fitteds – These nappies have no water proof layer and are only made of absorbent material so need a cover or wrap to use with them. These can be slow drying nappies but generally they are really good for night times and heavy wetters.
Prefold, Terry Square or Flat Nappy – A piece of absorbent fabric that requires folding before use, a cover is needed over the top.
Wrap – The waterproof bit that goes over a prefold or fitted nappy.
BTP (Birth To Potty), OS (One Size) and OSFM (One Size Fits Most) – The nappy can be adjusted (via snaps or elastic) so that it fits from around birth to potty training. These nappies are economical as they grow with your baby so you wont need to buy different sizes but they can give a poor fit on smaller babies (below 8lbs ish) and seem bulky.
Sized or Duo size – You will need to buy small/medium/large sizes as your baby grows. Can also come in a ‘duo/2 sized option’, i.e. size 1 goes from birth to 20lbs and size 2 from 20lb to 35lb/potty training.
NN (Night Nappies) – A nappy that is designed for night times so will be extra absorbent and sometimes cost more then a normal/day nappy. Some little ones will be fine without night nappies and can just use a normal nappy with an extra insert in, others will soak through that and so need a dedicated night nappy. The most popular kinds of night nappies are a fitted nappy with a cover over the top as these are generally very absorbent.
Aplix, Velcro or Hook and loop – All mean the same thing and are the sticky strip fastening for nappies, they are easy to use and can give a snug fit. Downsides are you have to fasten the sticky part up when you take them off and put in the wash or they will ‘stick’ to other nappies in the wash and might damage them. Also they tend to loose there stickyness after a while and can look grey and collect fluff in them making the nappies look aged. It can be replaced but can be a fiddly process. Also older babies can easily learn to undo them.
Poppers or Snaps – The nappy fastens with plastic press studs, they are durable and are harder for little hands to undo.
FS (Front Snap) – the nappy fastens at the front, across the tummy.
SS (Side Snap) – These nappies have the snaps/poppers at the side to do the nappy up, they can give a better fit then front snap nappies as the leg and waist snaps on each side can be set differently. It also makes the front of the nappy smooth over the tummy.
PUL (Polyurethane laminate) – Basically the waterproof layer used in AIOs, pockets etc and in wraps and wetbags.
Insert or Soaker – The absorbant bit you stuff inside a pocket nappy or snap into an AI2. Soaker is mostly an American term.
Booster or Doubler – Usually smaller than inserts and can be added to any nappy to increase absorbancy in nappies (overnight or for heavy wetters). Generally hemp, bamboo, zorb materials are the preferred choices as they are very absorbent. Doubler is mostly an American term.
Liner – An optional extra that is put between baby’s skin and the nappy and catches any solids. These can be disposable or reusable (and washed with the nappies) but is not absorbent. Reuseable liners are also good for making the baby feel drier when the nappy is wet and for stopping stains getting onto the inside of the nappy.
Bamboo, Hemp and Cotton – Natural fibres with good absorbency (better than MF) so great for inserts and boosters but they dont have a stay dry layer so can feel wet against the skin after a while if no liner is used. Also they can feel a little hard/rough after a time, you can give them a quick tumble dry to soften if you think it’s an issue.
BOV (Bamboo Velour) – A lovely soft natural fabric that is absorbent and used to make nappies and insets with. Downside is it can be expensive and doesnt have a stay dry layer so can feel wet against the skin after while if no liner is used.
MF (Microfibre) – A fast absorbing man-made fabric that holds the liquid between the fibres rather than absorbing it into them. Generally isnt great for heavy wetters and does tend to go grey/off colour after awhile, can also retain smells and will start to loose absorbency after a few years. Microfibre should not be placed directly next to baby’s skin, a liner or stuffed into a pocket is fine, otherwise it can cause irritation.
Suedecloth, minky, microfleece and fleece - These are generally used to line nappies, pockets especially but can also be used as the top layer on some inserts as they are stay dry so they allow wetness to pass through them and keep the baby feeling dry. They can also be used as separate liners or on the outside of nappies in pretty colours. There is also a different type of minky material that is used just like a normal insert and is absorbent.
Nippa or Nappy nippa – a type of “y” shaped rubber nappy fastener that grips with little teeth, it replaces the nappy pin that was used on flat/prefold nappies.
Longies – Full length trousers made from wool that can be used as a waterproof cover instead of a wrap for fitted nappies and prefolds.
Shorties, Skirties and Soakers – Same as longies but as shorts, a skirt or small ‘soakers’ that just covers the nappy underneath (like a wrap).
Pail or bucket – Used with a lid to store dirty nappies in till washing.
Wetbag – Can be used instead of a bucket to store dirty nappies in. They are waterproof and generally zip close. They come in a verity of sizes, small – so you can take them out in the change bag, medium/large – if you stay overnight somewhere or an extra large size to use at home instead of a bucket.
Cloth nappy selling terms and forum speak
Fluff and Fluffy Mail – Meaning cloth nappies and post (delivered from either the postman or via courier) that contains cloth nappies.
Stash – This is your collection of ‘fluff’ or cloth nappies, taking pictures (stash shot) of them or listing them to compare/share/ask for advice.
Preloved - This is a nappy which has been used by another (or more) child and is being sold on to someone else. Some people are fine with this, others are horrified at the idea but it is a great way to make money selling on your unwanted or grown out of nappies or to try a nappy you havent used before at a good price.
PP – Paypal, the easiest way to pay for cloth nappies, most cloth nappy shops use this and is the preferred way most preloved nappies are sold.
EUC – Excellent used condition, the nappy has been lightly used but is in excellent condition, I wouldnt expect any stains or the nappy to look particularly aged/well used.
GUC or VGUC – Good used condition or very good used condition, I would expect maybe the odd stain, grey looking inserts or velcro, maybe the velcro is worn/aged looking or the nappy may be bobbly/pilly from use.
FFP (Free for postage) – These nappies are being sold for the cost of posting them, they might be old and well used, outdated, the owner got them for free or they just want to share the fluffy love and make someone happy.
ISO/IDSO – In search of/in desperate search of a certain nappy or accessory, same thing as placing a ‘wanted’ ad.
Cloth nappy issues and washing terms
Sunning – Hanging nappies out in the sunshine to bleach out stains.
Wicking and Leaking – Wetness leaks onto clothing, usually caused by compression of the nappy/wrap (a vest, tights or trousers being done up too tight), as a result of the combination of fabrics used in the nappy and wrap (cotton outer nappies can sometimes wick). Or due to the nappy not being absorbent enough, so you may need to boost it or change the inserts to more absorbent ones.
Dry Pailing – putting used nappies in a bucket without water until washing, generally the more modern way as soaking modern cloth nappies for long periods of time can damage them.
Wet Pailing – putting used nappies into a bucket with water until washing, this was generally the old way of doing it when flat/prefold nappies were used.
Prewashing – when you get new nappies it is advised to give them a prewash before using, to get rid of any manufacturing reside and also to help abosrbency. Man made fabrics like microfibre will only need one wash to be at full absorbency but natural matrerials like bamboo, hemp and cotton will need many more washes to open up the fibres and remove the natural oils so they absorb the maximum they can hold (this can take about 8 washes). Some people tend to just wash new nappies once regardless of the material and then use but they keep in mind to change it sooner then normal if its a natural material as it wont yet be fully absorbent for a few more washes.
Rinsing – Generally a cold rinse at the start of a wash is recommended and many people do an extra rinse at the end of the nappy wash cycle to make sure any detergent is washed out.
Stripping – Nappies can get a build up of detergent, either from too much being used to start with or they are well used nappies and it has just built up over time. This build up can cause rashes, smelly or leaking nappies, the solution is to strip the nappies, removing any excess build up. There are many different ways to do this and I will discuss as many as I know in another post, but doing an extra rinse at the end of your normal nappy wash cycle can help to rinse out any excess detergent and is a good preventative measure.
Cloth nappy brand abbreviations
BBH – Baby beehinds
BL – Babyland
BB – Blueberry
- BBOS – blueberry one size pocket
- BBSS – blueberry side snap pocket
BG – BumGenius (US brand)
BSB – Bright Star Baby (Now called Peachy Green)
CB – Charlie Banana
CT – Cushie Tushie (AUS brand)
DNF – Dunk and Fluff (US brand)
EH – Ella’s House
- EHBH – Ella’s House Bumhuggers
FB – FuzziBunz (US brand)
FNS – Fluff and Stuff (US brand)
GCL – Green Carbon Living
GM – Goodmama (US brand)
GF – Guerilla Fluff (US brand)
GV – GroVia (US brand)
HH – Happy Heinys
HL – Holden’s Landing (US brand)
- HLBB/HLBB+ – holdens landing bed bug or bed bug + which are the newer type (they are fitted night nappies)
IB – Issy Bear nappies or Itti Bitti nappies
LG – Little Gumnut
LL – Little lambs
LLS – Luscious little somethings
MF – Monkey foot wet bags (US brand)
MS – Monkey Snuggles
NB – naughty baby
OWW – Owe Whoa When (US brand)
PG – Peachy Green (US brand)
PK – Puddlekins (now called Little Gumnut)
RaR – Rumparooz (US brand)
SP – Smartipants
TB – Tots Bots
WAHM – Work at home mum
WN – Wee Notions
- WNAI2 – Wee Notion All in Two
- WNNN – Wee Notions night notions nappies
- WNNL – wee notions northern lights nappies
- WNOS – wee notions one size pocket nappies
- WNSS – wee notions side snap pocket nappies