Cloth Nappy Lingo

Cloth Nappy Lingo

Posted by Brittany Forrest on


AIO, AI2, SIDE SNAP... It all can be all over whelming and confusing when you don't speak the lingo every day like us.  Here's a brief A to Z guide of what it all means....

AIO - Simply just means 'All in one', this is referring to a nappy where the water resistant shell and absorbency are all a part of one nappy.

AI2 - 'All in 2' meaning that the nappy is split into two parts, insert (absorbency) and shell. Generally snapped in with a single or double clip.

Booster - An additional insert added to the nappy to increase absorbency for night times or heavy wetters. 

CCN - Clean cloth nappies. An online guide to keeping your nappies clean.

Cover - A water resistant cover placed over fitted or traditional nappies creating a barrier to the clothes.

Delaminating - The term used when the PUL coating separates from the outer polyester fabric.

Fitted - These nappies are shaped and fitted like a disposable nappy.  The entire nappy is absorbent and will require a waterproof cover.  These are very absorbent nappies and are very popular as a night nappy solution.

Flats - A traditional square shaped piece of organic material which can be folded an fastened as a nappy, these will need a waterproof cover.

Front snaps - The press studs found at the front of

Insert - The absorbency which is added to the cloth nappy.

Snake Insert - A long insert which is folded in preference of the babies 'wet area', these can be folded over two or three times depending on the insert.

Tri-fold Insert - A wide insert that can be folded in three, these are absorbent but also fast drying as they can be unfolded for washing and drying.

Anchor Insert - Similar to the snake insert these anchor inserts are long and can be folded to preference of the used, they have a triangle shaped top with a long body.


Hook & Loop - In simple terms.... velcro.

Liner - Available as either a disposable or reusable option. These are optional and are used

MCN - Modern cloth nappy

Minky - A soft and fluffy material with PUL lining to the underneath making it water resistant.

Microfibre - A synthetic material commonly used in more cost effective inserts, these are fast absorbers but with limited capacity. 

Microfleece - A synthetic material which is often used as reusable liners, this material is not absorbent but it will wick moisture quickly away from the skin. 

OSFM - One size fits most

OTB - On the bum

Pail - A bucket or basket used in the laundry to contain soiled nappies.  We suggest a 'dry pail' which is open aired and allows airflow, shutting it up with a lid can cause bacteria and smells to form.  The more airflow the better.

Prefold - A traditional nappy that has been PREFOLDED and sewn together. It just cuts a few steps off for you.

Pocket - A type of nappy which has an opening to insert absorbent materials.

Pre-wash - Completed between 1-2 days generally in the morning.  This is a shorter machine cycle (generally at 40 to 60 degrees) completed prior to the main wash.

PUL - PUL stands for polyurethane laminate – it’s a water-resistant material used to make outer shells of many popular brands of nappies and nappy covers. PUL is colourfast, so it won’t bleed, made to withstand high temperatures, and frequent washes and harsh chemicals. PUL is not a delicate fabric.

S&S - Strip & sanitise

Side snapping - A style of nappy that fastens at the sides rather than the front, these are less common.

Shell - The outer fabric of a cloth nappy, this is the water resistant component of the nappy.  Keep in mind that this fabric is water resistant not water proof so it is breathable but also if a nappy is beyond wet the shell will feel damp.

Snappi - A brand of nappy fastener. It grabs on both side and in the middle to hold the prefold close and tight to the your babe.

Snaps - The press studs used to fasten the outer of the nappy or 'clip in' inserts inside the nappy. 

Suedecloth - A polyester 'stay dry' lining generally used on the inside of cloth nappies. This does not retain liquid, it's main purpose is to draw moisture away from the skin.

Stash - A collection of beautiful cloth nappies.

WAHM - “Work At Home Mum”. Usually referring to WAHM’s that make cloth nappies and nappy accessories.

Wet bag - A water resistant bag to keep clean and/or soiled nappies in.  These are great for so many things, out and about, day care, swimming lessons, soiled clothes... the list goes on.

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