Modern Cloth Nappy Glossary

If you are new to the world of Modern Cloth Nappies, you are probably feeling overwhelmed by the jargon and acronyms that you are hearing and reading about!  Following is an A-Z glossary which will help you as you navigate through our website! 

- The absorbency of a nappy relates to how much wee it will hold before it becomes wet enough to leak through the water-resistant fabrics

Adjustability - The adjustability of a nappy refers to how many options there are in fitting the nappy to your baby, both one-size and sized nappies can have different levels of adjustability.  Adjustability in a cloth nappy is usually achieved through the use of snaps or velcro.

AI2, All-In-Two, All-In-2 - A two piece nappy which usually consists of a water resistant shell and an absorbent layer. When wet, the absorbent booster can be replaced, while the shell or cover can be reused.  The Baby BeeHinds Petite nappy is an example of an AI2 nappy.

Aplix - The brand name of the velcro or hook and loop style fastening used on Baby BeeHinds Nappies and PUL Covers

Baby BeeHinds - A company founded in 2004 which manufactures and sells modern cloth nappies and accessories as well as reusable breast pads and washable menstrual pads.

Bamboo - A highly absorbent and very soft fabric made from Bamboo.  This fabric is used in Nappies and other hygene products due to its comfort, absorbency and anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.  The Bamboo crop is eco-friendly, requiring less land, water and no fertilisers/pesticides.

BBH - an abbreviation of Baby BeeHinds (see above)

Boosters - Also known as doublers or inserts, are made from absorbent fabric and are added to a nappy to provide and/or increase absorbency.  Boosters are often pad-shaped, but can also be a large square which is folded up.  Boosters provide the only absorbency in a pocket nappy, or can increase absorbency in a AIO or Fitted nappy and are especially useful for heavy-wetters, or for times when extra absorbency is needed such as when traveling or at night.

Breast Pads - Also known as nursing pads.  Reusable disk-shaped pads of absorbent material used by breastfeeding mothers.

Cloth diaper - See cloth nappy

Cloth nappy - also known as a cotton nappy, real nappy, or reusable nappy.  Cloth nappies are a washable, reusable baby nappy.  Cloth nappies come in many forms including Flats, prefolds, fitted nappies, AIO, AI2, Pocket, and night nappies.  They are considered to be better for the environment, better for the health of a baby, less expensive and more visually appealing than disposable nappies.

Cloth pads - usually refer to washable, reusable women's menstrual pads.  Made from similar fabrics to cloth nappies, they are usually held in place by resin snaps.  Cloth pads have the same environmental, health and financial benefits as cloth nappies.

Cover - Made from water-resistant fabrics such as PUL, wool or fleece, covers are used over the top of flats, prefolds and fitted nappies.

Delaminating - refers to the degradation of PUL fabric when the laminated water-resistant layer detaches from the polyester fabric.  This is often caused by too much heat being applied to the PUL fabric either through washing in hot water or drying regularly in a hot tumble dryer.

Diaper - The American word for nappy.  Diaper and nappy are interchangeable.

Doubler - Also known as boosters or inserts, are made from absorbent fabric and are added to a nappy to provide and/or increase absorbency.  Doublers are often pad-shaped, but can also be a large square which is folded up.  Doublers provide the only absorbency in a pocket nappy, or can increase absorbency in a AIO or Fitted nappy and are especially useful for heavy-wetters, or for times when extra absorbency is needed such as when traveling or at night.

Dry Pail - the process of storing used nappies before washing.  Modern cloth nappies do not need to be soaked in chemicals before washing, and so are stored in a dry pail or bucket. 

EcoPad - Baby BeeHinds brand of reusable, washable cloth menstrual pads

Fitted nappy - a nappy which is shaped like a disposable nappy with elasticated legs and waist.  Fitted nappies fasten using resin snaps, velcro or a snappi.  Fitted nappies are generally made from hemp, bamboo or cotton, or blends of these fabrics.  Fitted nappies are made from absorbent material and require a water-resistant cover to go over them to prevent clothing, bedding etc from getting wet.

Fitteds - see fitted nappy above.

Flannel - a brushed cotton fabric which is sometimes used as a liner inside nappies or a square of flannel can be folded into a flat nappy.  Flannel also works well as a cloth baby wipe.

Flat nappy - a square of absorbent fabric, traditionally cotton terry, but also flannel, muslin, hemp or bamboo fabrics, which is folded into a nappy shape then fastened using pins or a snappy.  A flat nappy requires a cover to go over the top to prevent clothing, bedding etc from getting wet.

Flats - see flat nappy above.

Fleece - a  water resistant fabric which is used either as a cover, or as a stay-dry lining inside a nappy.

FOE - Fold Over Elastic, a type of elastic as used on the Baby BeeHinds PUL cover.

Fold-up - A style of booster or doubler, usually a square of absorbent fabric which can be folded in half or thirds and used as an insert in a pocket nappy, or to boost the absorbency of AIO or fitted cloth nappies.

Hemp - Hemp is an eco-friendly crop which is fast growing and requires less water, fertilisers and pesticides than cotton crops.  Hemp fabric is extremely hard-wearing and improves with wear.  The fabric is more absorbent than cotton.  It is a porous fabric which leads to fantastic breathability, it is also naturally anti-fungal and resistant to UV light.

Hook and Loop - also known as Aplix or velcro.  Used as a fastener in Modern cloth nappies and covers.

Inner - Refers to the inside of the nappy, the inner is either made from the absorbent material or a stay-dry "liner" of suedecloth or microfleece.

Inserts -  Also known as boosters or doublers, are made from absorbent fabric and are added to a nappy to provide and/or increase absorbency.  Inserts are often pad-shaped, but can also be a large square which is folded up.  Inserts provide the only absorbency in a pocket nappy, or can increase absorbency in a AIO or Fitted nappy and are especially useful for heavy-wetters, or for times when extra absorbency is needed such as when traveling or at night.

MCN - the abbreviation for Modern Cloth Nappies which refers to nappies which are shaped and made from modern fabrics.

Microfiber - a highly absorbent polyester fabric used in modern cloth nappies.

Microfleece - has similar properties to fleece with a lower pile.  Often used as a liner on the inner of a cloth nappy to provide a stay-dry layer against baby's skin.

Minkee/Minky - a velvety, fluffy fabric commonly used as an outer in modern cloth nappies.  Minkee looks and feels great.  Often Minkee is backed with PUL to increase its water-resistant properties.

Multi-fit - a word which describes a one-size cloth nappy that has different fits, usually achieved through the use of resin snaps.

Nappy - The Australian and European word for diaper.

Nappy bucket - traditionally nappies were soaked in a chemical solution in a nappy bucket.  Modern cloth nappies do not need to be soaked, yet many parents still prefer to place used nappies in a bucket.  Wetbags are an alternative.  Nappy bucket can also be known as a nappy pail.

One Size - A modern cloth nappy which is adjustable to fit from birth to toilet training, also known as multi-fit, OSFA or OSFM (see below)

Organic - refers to fabrics which are grown without the use of fertilisers or pesticides.  Baby BeeHinds nappies use organic cotton in the blends with either hemp or bamboo, both of which are naturally organic.

OSFM - an abbreviation of One Size Fits Most (see "one size" above)

Outer - refers to the external layer in a modern cloth nappy, usually made from a water resistant fabric such as PUL or PUL-backed Minkee.

Pocket (pocket nappy) - A pocket nappy consists of a water-resistant outer (usually made from PUL or PUL lined Minkee) and a stay-dry inner (usually made from microfleece or suedecloth) with a pocket opening at the back.  The nappy's absorbency comes from putting absorbent inserts (boosters/doublers) into the pocket.  A pocket nappy is completely customisable because the absorbency can be tailored to the baby based on the number of inserts used and the fabric they are made from.  Pocket nappies also dry fast as the inserts can be hung out separately, and the nappy part will dry very quickly.  Baby BeeHinds sell a one-size pocket nappy called the Magic-Alls Multi-Fit, click herefor more information.

Pre-fold - a pre-fold nappy is similar to a flat nappy with an extra layer of more absorbent material (such as hemp, bamboo or microfiber) or just extra layers of the main material sewn in to the middle.  Prefold nappies are not shaped and are fastened using either a snappi or pins, they require a cover, such as the Baby BeeHinds PUL cover to go over the top of them.

PUL - The abbreviation for Polyurethane laminate, a compound fabric made by laminating a cloth fabric to a thin film of polyurethane. Most PUL fabric is made by laminating lightweight polyester interlock knit fabric to a 1 mil thick film of polyurethane.  Baby BeeHinds uses PUL in many of our products (either alone, or as a backing to our Minkee fabric) including our PUL covers, Magic-Alls Multi-Fits, Magic-Alls AIOs, and Petites, our wetbags and cloth menstrual pads (EcoPads).

Real Nappies
- cloth nappies, people refer to cloth nappies as "real nappies" in comparison to disposable nappies.

Reusable - something that can be used more than once.  Reusable products generally have a lesser impact on the environment, and are considerably cheaper than single-use/disposable products.

Rise - the rise of a nappy refers to the measurement from the waist at the front, to the waist at the back of the nappy.  Different sized nappies have different rise measurements

Shell - Usually this term is used when talking about Pocket or AI2 nappies, the shell is essentially the outer of the nappy, the water resistant  part that the absorbent inserts are snapped into, or inserted into.

Sized Nappy - a nappy which has more than one size, generally Newborn, Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large.  AIO, Petites and Night nappies are all sized nappies.

Snappi - An alternative to nappy pins, used to fasten flat and prefold nappies and some brands of fitted nappies which do not have snap/velcro closures.  It is made of stretchy rubber and has three prongs with teeth that grab into the fabric of the nappy.

Snaps - Resin press-studs used on nappies to attach boosters or to close the nappy around the waist.  Also used to fasten cloth menstrual pads.

Soakers - Soakers can refer to inserts/boosters or it can refer to wool pants that are worn over the top of a fitted cloth nappy or a night nappy.  Soakers work the same as any nappy cover in that they keep bedding and clothing dry when worn over the top of a fitted nappy.

Soap Nuts - SoapNuts, also known as wash nuts or soap berries, grow on the Sapindus mukorossi tree and are the outer shell of the SoapNut which is rich in saponins - Natures Soap - which acts as a natural surfactant, reducing surface tension of your water to free dirt, grime and oils from the fabric. They are an eco friendly alternative to washing powders and liquids.

Stay-dry - usually used in reference to the inner of the nappy, the "stay-dry" layer is made of suede cloth or microfleece which are fabrics that allow moisture to pass through them without feeling wet.  Therefore they provide a dry feeling against baby's skin.

Strip Wash - also known as a deep clean, a strip wash removes all product residue and build-up from a nappy's fibres.  This build-up can cause smells, leaks and stiff fabric.  Product build-up can occur when too much product is used, or when using a laundry detergent which contains fillers, perfumes and optical brighteners.  Strip washing is also required if a nappy becomes stained and water-repellent through the use of nappy rash creams.  To see how to strip wash, click here.

Suedecloth - Suedecloth is a synthetic fabric which is used as a stay-dry layer on the inner of a modern cloth nappy. Because it is not a natural fabric, suedecloth does not absorb moisture meaning that the moisture passes straight through into the absorbent part of the nappy, and away from baby's bottom.

Terry - a fabric with a fluffy pile of loops of the fabric thread, helps to make the fabric more absorbent (usually made into bath towels and robes).  Usually made from cotton, but also made from other natural fibres and microfibers.

Terry square - another name for a flat nappy, or traditional square nappy, generally made from terry cotton.

Velcro - A hook and loop style closure used in modern cloth nappies and cloth nappy PUL covers to fasten the nappy around the baby's waist. 

Velour - a plush knitted fabric with a soft, velvet-like feel, can be made from natural or synthetic fabrics. 

Wetbag - A bag made from water-resistant fabric such as PUL or Minkee.  Wetbags are used to store used nappies in while out, or between washes.

Wicking - the process where moisture passes from a very wet fabric onto a dry fabric.  Often if the inner of a wet nappy touches bedding or clothing the wetness will wick onto the dry fabric.  PUL fabric can also sometimes wick through the fabric, or through stitching, this often happens if the nappy has been left on for too long, or the absorbent parts of the nappy beneath the PUL are too wet.

Wool - Wool is a natural fabric which makes an ideal nappy cover. Wool is highly absorbent, breathable and keeps temperatures fairly consistent.  Wool can absorb liquid up to 40% of its weight without feeling wet and is breathable even when damp, allowing air to circulate.

Wrap - another name for a PUL cover is a PUL wrap, essentially because the way the cover is designed, it "wraps" around the nappy rather than pulling up like a pair of pants.

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