Cloth nappy jargon made simple - Baba+Boo

Cloth nappy jargon made simple

So you made the decision that you’d like to try reusable nappies, you hop on over to a website that’s been recommended and are met with all sorts of jargon and you have NO CLUE what this new language is. 


We don’t want anybody to feel alienated by all this new language and the acronyms associated with reusables so we have put together a glossary of terms so that you can have a quick scan and learn the lingo. This list is by no means exhausted and there will probably always be something new to add or something that we weren’t aware of ourselves so do feel free to comment below and we will add anything that you think is missing.


Aplix is another name for Velcro - they are both trade names

AIO – All in one, a nappy where the waterproof and the absorbent bits are all sewn together

Axel Fold - where you wrap one insert around another to create a triple layer of absorbency so that you can direct it to where you need it most - also called Boy Fold but not exclusively for boys


Bamboo - this is the textile used in many boosters, it is a very slim option and is very absorbent, great for a heavy wetter

BTP - birth to potty, which is a nappy which has a system that grows with your baby.

BNWT – brand new with tags

Booster - see also insert - a little extra absorbency to 'boost' your nappies with


Charcoal - also known as charcoal bamboo, charcoal is generally used to filter smells, it has anti bacterial properties and so can help when babies are teething.  You may also see the acronym CBI which is Charcoal Bamboo Insert

Coconut Oil - a great soother for nappy rash which is safe to use with reusables


Diaper - this is the American term for nappy, it's also widely used in Europe

DISO – acronym for Desperately in search of


Essential Oils - these should always be used with caution, their use with cloth nappies is quite popular.  Tea tree oil seems to be a popular one but can sometimes be a little too harsh for delicate skin, lavender oil is more suited for freshening up nappies

EUC – Acronym for Excellent used condition

EBF – Acronym for Exclusively breast fed


Fleece - this is a material often used as a liner for nappies, it ensures your baby's bottom is kept nice and dry


GUC – acronym for Good Used Condition


Hemp is used as a material to make boosters, hemp is a natural fibre and is extremely absorbent

Hook and Loop is another phrase to describe velcro or aplix

Heated Airers - we are often asked if heated airers are suitable for drying nappies on as it’s advised you don’t place on direct heat, however, these emit a really gentle heat and are fine for your nappies.


Insert - inserts are generally used for pocket nappies - they can be made of microfibre, bamboo, charcoal, hemp, cotton or zorb

ISO – acronym for in search of (when somebody is looking for a certain print),  see also DISO 


Liner - liners are used to keep nappies in great condition, you can get disposable or reusable, reusable are generally made of fleece but you can also get them made from other material such as silk which is especially good for babies with very sensitive skin

Libraries - nappy libraries are a great way to get started with cloth, they will loan kits containing several different types of nappies so that you can trial them and decide which suit you and your baby best


Microfibre - microfibre is a popular fabric for inserts as it is good at absorbing quickly.

Mesh Bag - a mesh bag is inserted into a nappy bucket to enable easy transfer of dirty nappies into the washing machine


Nappy cream - nappy creams are something that should be used with caution as many of the traditional nappy creams can coat nappies making them liquid repellent which is the last thing you want! 

NNR - Acronym for Not Nappy Related


OSFM - this is the acronym for one size fits most, this is an abbreviation that would also describe a nappy as being suitable from birth to potty

OTB – acronym for ‘on the bum’


Pocket - pocket nappies are nappies that have a pocket in them that you put inserts in for absorbency

PUL - the material that makes nappies waterproof is polyurethane laminate , 

Poppers - the fasteners on many nappies


RAOK – Random act of kindness

Rise - the rise of the nappy is how we would describe how high it comes up the belly

Rinse - it is important to rinse all the suds out of nappies to prevent a build up of detergent


Strip Wash - it can help to give your nappies a strip wash from time to time. 

Staining - sunshine is an awesome stain remover, not just for nappies either, it's extremely effective on curry and spaghetti bolognaise!

Stash - a "stash" is how people describe their collection of nappies. You will see people referring to "stash shots" where people will post photo's of their stash looking all neat and tidy!


Terry - terry nappies are the original cloth nappy and still widely used, they’re especially great for newborns, they are very absorbent and will need a separate waterproof wrap

TIA – acronym for Thanks in advance!


Wicking - wicking is a term used when describing the movement of liquid via material - in simple terms, it means a leak!

Wrap - a wrap is something that you need over a cloth nappy that doesn't already have a waterproof cover

Wet Bag - you will use a wet bag mostly when you’re out and about to store your dirty nappies in.  Lots of people use these permanently instead of a bucket to save space.  There are hundreds of uses for wet bags and are definitely not limited to nappies!


Z is just for the sleep that you need so badly!  So we're just giving you some Z’s because you’re probably short of them at the moment ;o)

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