If you have a baby, or are soon to have a baby, you will no doubt be considering nappy/diaper options. (Nappy is the term used in Australia and the UK; diaper is the US equivalent; for the purposes of this article I will use the term “nappy”.) Even if you plan to use disposables, it is still worth considering getting some cloth nappies to use as backup. As many people find, disposables are sometimes not enough absorbency during the night, or are they the best for “blowout poos” that newborns are known to do!
Cloth nappies come in two kinds; flats, and Modern Cloth Nappies or MCN’s. In the US flats are called prefolds, in Australia and the UK a terry towelling flat is used called a terry nappy or terry towelling nappy. MCN’s are shaped like disposables, but have pull-apart-for-washing-and-drying absorbency pads that are laid or stuffed into the middle. Whereas terry nappies are a large flat square which is folded to fit your baby. Because of the adjustable nature of terry nappies, they are often better than disposables or MCN’s in terms of containment and avoiding leakage. The terry towelling is just like a towel thus it absorbs a whole lot of liquid. The folds are easy to do and will ensure that your baby’s nappy always fits to perfection, rather than like with disposables and MCN’s there will always be awkward stages where the baby is in between sizes.
Because terry nappies are a natural cloth fibre (usually cotton, bamboo or hemp or a blend of these) your baby will feel when he/she has wetted the nappy, therefore they will not lose the awareness of elimination. Even though we are led to believe that babies should always feel dry, this has a lot to do with the marketing of disposable nappies that wants you to be buying and using disposables for as long as possible. But ask any parent who has used terry nappies on their child and they will be likely to tell you that their baby toilet trained quite early. Ultimately this is better than having your baby feeling “dry” yet still wearing a nappy at 3 or 4 years of age, which is quite possible with disposables.
Possibly best of all, terry nappies are really cheap to buy thus making them an ideal frugal option for the parent who would rather spend their money on attractive and comfortable baby clothes, a nice baby sling or two, a safety accredited car seat, and other nice baby items – rather than spending a whole heap of money on baby’s rear end, in the case of disposables only to eventually end up in landfill!
There we have it, that’s terry nappies in a nutshell. I highly recommend them. We use them with our babies and found them practical in every way. You can order them online from many online cloth nappy shops, so be sure to try out a few – again, they are really affordable.