Nappy Terminology | Happy Nappy


Across our website you will find some technical terms or abbreviations. To help you understand these words we’ve included their meaning on this page. Let’s have a closer look on the nappy terminology. 

AIO (All-In-One): This is a nappy that has the absorbent part of the nappy attached to the waterproof part and they don’t come apart. AIO nappies are the easiest to use as they don’t need any prepping, folding or stuffing. They are ready to use when they are dry.

Aplix: The aplix is the sticky strip fastening for nappies. This what you find on most disposable nappies. Although it gives a snug fit it is not as durable as poppers and can easily be pulled off by toddlers.

BTP (Birth-To-Potty): These are nappies that come in one size and grow with the baby from birth up to when they are fully potty trained. These BTP nappies are easy to adjust in size and are the most economical cloth nappies as you only need to buy them once. When cared for properly they should last up to the point you no longer need to use the nappy anymore.

Bamboo: Bamboo is a natural fibre that is about 40% more absorbent than cotton. Bamboo has antifungal and antibacterial properties and feel incredibly soft to the skin. Bamboo is a popular choice for inserts because they are so soft and asorbent. Bamboo is an eco-friendly crop that requires less land, water and no pesticides.

Elskbar Reusable nappies

Booster: A booster is an absorbent insert that you can lay on top of a nappy, snap-on with a popper or stuff inside a pocket nappy to increase the absorbency of the nappy.

Comodo: Comodo wrap is the cover that you need for a fitted nappy. 

Cotton: Cotton is a natural fibre with a good absorbency level to soak up fluids. A lot of cloth nappy inserts are made of cotton mixed with bamboo.

Cover: A cover is the water-resistant part of the nappy that normally goes over a prefold or fitted nappy. The cover is mostly made out of TPU of PUL, wool or fleece.

Crossover Poppers: Poppers place on the securing tabs of a cloth nappy that cross-over to make the nappy smaller around the waist.

Dry Pail: The pail of dirty nappies before washing. Modern cloth nappies do not need to be soaked (in chemicals or liquids) before washing. You simply store them in a large wet bag, dry bag, a laundry bin or bucket.

Fitted: Fitted nappies have no water-resistant cover and are only made of absorbent material so you will need a cover or (comodo) wrap to use them. 

Flat nappy: A flat piece of fabric that requires folding to use as a nappy. You will need a cover or comodo wrap as a water-resistant layer around the flat nappy. 

Hemp: Hemp is a natural fibre that is the most durable and is about four times more absorbent than cotton. Hemp is a popular material for inserts and boosters due to it’s high absorbency level and its natural antimicrobal properties. This natural fibre is   an eco-friendly fast growing crop and requires less water, fertilisers and pesticides than cotton crops. 

Hip Poppers: Poppers that are placed on the securing tabs near the hips to prevent wing-droop.

Hook and loop: see “aplix” above.

Insert: This is the absorbent part of the diaper, usually made from either microfibre, bamboo, hemp, or cotton. Either pad shaped or a folded square.

Liner: An optional extra that is put between baby’s skin and the nappy and catches any solids. These can be disposable or reusable (and washed with the nappies) but is not absorbent. Common types are Fleece reusables or Bamboo disposables.

Microfibre: A fast absorbing man-made fabric that holds the liquid between the fibres rather than absorbing it into them. It dries super fast although not as absorbent as other other fabrics. Microfibre should not be placed directly next to baby’s skin; stay-dry lined, a liner or stuffed into a pocket is fine, otherwise it can cause irritation as it pulls moisture from baby’s skin.

Minky/Minkee: a velvety, fluffy fabric commonly used as an outer in modern cloth nappies or as an absorbent core. It’s extremely soft but it does not hold a lot of liquid. 

Multifit: See “birth-to-potty” above

Nappy bucket: Traditionally nappies were soaked in a chemical solution in a nappy bucket.  Modern cloth nappies do not need to be soaked, wet\dry-bags are an alternative.  Nappy bucket can also be known as a nappy pail.

One-Size (OS): see “birth-to-potty” above

OSFM: An abbreviation of One Size Fits Most (see “birth-to-potty” above)

Plus Size: A roomier nappy for chubby babies and/or for heavier wetters.

Pocket Nappy: A two-piece system; one being your water-resistant pocket, the other an insert you stuff into the pocket for absorbency. Pockets can be stuffed with different inserts (Bamboo, Hemp, Microfbre etc) to suit your little ones needs. The pockets need to be stuffed before use and inserts removed to wash.

Popper and Pocket: A two-piece system (Water resistant cover and absorbent insert) that can be used in two different ways. It can either be used as a Pocket Nappy by stuffing the outer water-resistant shell with an insert of your choice or the insert can be laid in and popped/snapped on.

Poppers: Plastic press studs that fasten and adjust the nappy, known for their durability and resistance to nappy curious toddlers. Also known as snaps.

Prefold: see “flat nappy” above

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: see “cover” above.

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.

Snaps: See ‘‘poppers” above.

Snap-in: A nappy that requires snap-in inserts. Snap-ins have poppers inside the nappy to attach the inserts that poppers on the back. 

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 and therefore provide a dry feeling against baby’s skin.

Suede Cloth: Suede Cloth fabric wicks moisture away from baby’s skin and give the inside of a cloth nappy a stay-dry feel. It remains smooth after many washes.

Terry Square: see “flat nappy” above.

TPU/PUL: TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane. It’s the water-resistant coating bonded to the fabric. This does break down over time.

Trifold: A piece of absorbent fabric that requires folding before use, a cover is needed over the top. It can often snap into the nappy and sometimes has a stay-dry liner.

Velcro: see “aplix” above.

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

Wet-bag: Used to store clean and dirty nappies in when you are out and about. They are water-resistant. Large wet/dry bags can hang and be used instead of a bucket for storing dirty nappies till wash day.

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.  The inserts can wick through the TPU/PUL cover, or through the 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.

Wing-droop: Wing droop is when the front panel of the nappy works its way loose and slips down underneath the securing side tabs. This can cause the leg gussets and tummy panel to gape which usually leads to nappy leaks.

Wrap: see “cover” above.

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