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March 19, 2018 4 min read

Finding the perfect newborn cloth nappies can feel like an intimidating process, especially if you don’t live near a retailer and can’t actually experience the nappies before you start using them.

Today, we’re taking a look at each of the different options available in newborn cloth nappies.


Flat cloth nappies are without a doubt the most versatile nappies you could choose for a newborn. They can be folded in a variety of ways to suit any sized baby and any wetting patterns. They are easy to wash, fast to dry and long-lasting.

You will need a snappi or pins, and nappy covers. As a general rule, you will need four nappies for every cover.


Prefold cloth nappies are another incredibly versatile option for newborns. Prefolds offer simpler folding styles than flats, but they take a little longer to dry due to being thicker, either through a centre panel or all over. For example, our Diversifolds are 2 layers all over which means they take twice as long to dry as a flat nappy would, but are also twice as absorbent.

The prefold can be folded as shown in this diagram and fastened with a snappi or pins or they can simply be folded in thirds and placed inside a pocket opening or laid inside a cover.

Prefold, folded in the “angel wing” fold.

It can also be folded in thirds or fourths and placed inside a pocket nappy or laid in a cover.

You will need a snappi or pins, and nappy covers. As a general rule, you will need four nappies for every cover.

Diversifold (prefold style cloth nappy) on a newborn, with Snappi closure.


Newborn fitted nappies are a great option if you prefer not to have to do any folding, however they take much longer to dry than a flat or prefold. Newborn fitted nappies are usually sized specifically for use between approximately 2 and 6 kg.

A fitted newborn nappy is generally made up of a shaped outer with a lay-in or snap-in booster.

You will need a snappi or pins, and nappy covers. As a general rule, you will need four nappies for every cover.


All of these above options require a nappy cover.

If you choose a newborn nappy option that requires a cover (flats, prefolds or the fitted variety), you will need to invest in waterproof covers also. As a general rule, you will need one cover for every four nappies. There are three types of nappy covers available: wool, fleece and polyurethane laminate (PUL).

Wool has been used as a nappy covering for over a century. It can absorb up to 30% of its weight and is ideal as a night nappy covering because it is highly breathable and thermo-regulating (cool in summer, warm in winter). When lanolised, wool is waterproof. Wool covers require airing between uses and should be lanolised regularly to maintain water resistance.

Fleece covers are designed to mimic the way a wool cover works, but without the need to lanolise and without quite the same level of functionality.

Polyurethane is a synthetic resin that is applied by either a chemical (PUL) or heat (thermopolyurethane – TPU) process to the back of cotton or polyester fabrics to provide a waterproof layer to the material. PUL or TPU nappy covers are an excellent option for day-to-day use as they can be wiped clean between uses and washed every few days.

Cómodo Wrap – one-size-fits-most PUL nappy cover on a newborn baby

PUL nappy covers are available in sized or multi-fit options and it’s really a matter of personal preference as to which you go with. Our Cómodo Wraps are a beautifully flexible one-size-fits-most option that is used extensively by newborns right through to toddlers, but if you want something teeny tiny, we also have the gorgeous Cómodo Wrap Mini.


Newborn sized all-in-one nappies are a simple option. They go on baby in one piece like a disposable and there is no cover or pins/snappi required.  They do, however, take a while to dry.

A good alternative to the newborn sized all-in-one is the newborn sized all-in-two nappy. Although more fiddling than the all-in-one, in that it has to be disassembled for washing and reassembled for use, it dries much faster. The newborn sized all-in-two can be more economical as many brands offer multiple inserts to one waterproof outer, so the soiled inners can be switched out if the shell is still clean.


A newborn pocket nappy is a great option if you like something that can be made up and ready to go on quickly and easily, without having to get all the pieces aligned and smoothed out (as sometimes happened with an all-in-two).

A benefit of pocket nappies is that they incorporate a stay-dry liner (simply because the fabric used for the inside of the pocket shell is usually suedecloth or fleece) and so you won’t need an extra liner for stay-dry purposes.

You can also use the inserts well beyond the newborn stage as boosters for your larger nappies.


One-size-fits-most nappies are a great option if you want a nappy that can be used across the stages from birth right through to toilet training. One-size nappies usually come as an all-in-two or pocket design.

Pros: Quick and easy to use, perfect fit around the waist.
Cons: Deteriorates over time, no snap-down notch for umbilical stump.

Pros: Durable, most have a snap-down notch for umbilical stump.
Cons: Generally not as adjustable as Velcro and more fiddling for quick changes.

Here’s a handy chart that covers the different types of newborn nappies available. If the text is viewing a bit small, you can download the full-sized chart HERE.

Newborn nappy chart - how to choose the right cloth nappy for your new baby


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