Types of Cloth Nappies
Flat nappies are just that, a flat square of material, usually terry toweling (cotton or bamboo), flannelette or muslin. These flat squares can be folded in many different ways and secured with a safety pin, but more likely a "Snappi". This type of nappy requires a waterproof cover to be used over the top of the flat.
This style of nappy is similar to flats. It consists of a square of material which has been sewn into three equal sections, the middle of which contains more than one layer of absorbent material. As with flats, these nappies can be folded in many different ways, secured with a safety pin or "Snappi", and require a waterproof cover.
MODERN CLOTH NAPPIES
All modern cloth nappies are shaped like disposables, so there is no folding required as with traditional cloth nappies.
Here at River & Bee this is the type of nappy we offer. These nappies consist of a water-resistant outer layer (usually PUL) and an inner soft layer of a material like micro-fleece, micro-suede, bamboo, or athletic wicking jersey (AWJ) which is what our nappies are lined with. There is an opening at the back of the nappy (the pocket), and sometimes also the front, whereby absorbent inserts and/or boosters can be inserted to achieve your required absorbency. The nappy is not absorbent without these inserts.
This type of nappy is probably the most similar to disposables. It contains all the absorbent layers already sewn into the nappy (no pocket for stuffing inserts). As with the pocket nappies the outer layer of the nappy is made of a waterproof material. Additional boosters can be placed directly onto the nappy if a boost in absorbency is required.
This type of nappy has an outer water-resistant shell and allows for special snap-in inserts to be...well, snapped in! If the cover is not wet or soiled it can be used multiple times by just snapping in another insert. The River & Bee nappies are a hybrid between pocket nappies and AI2 as the inserts can be snapped into the shells, as well as stuffed into the pocket.
Fitted nappies are shaped like all the other cloth nappies, however are made entirely of absorbent material. For that reason, a separate waterproof cover is required to avoid leaks. These nappies are great as night nappies due to their high absorbency.
SIZING OF MODERN CLOTH NAPPIES
ONE SIZE FITS MOST (OSFM)
This style of nappy has what are called "rise snaps" which can be adjusted to fit tiny bubs, at their smallest setting, to toddlers, at their largest setting. Generally these will fit anywhere from 4kg - 18kg (depending on the brand). This style of nappy usually does not fit newborns, unless you've got a big bub.
This style of nappy does not have the rise snaps of the OSFM. Instead, the nappies come in various sizes to suit the size of your bub (newborn, small, medium and large), with some overlap between sizes.