Review of locally available cloth nappies

So now you know what’s what with cloth nappies, let’s see how the nappies compare.

Bambino Mio

Bambino Mio sent me 2 nappies to try out. The first was a two piece nappy system consisting of the mionappy and the miosoft cover. This is basically a prefold system with a waterproof cover. The prefold is made of 100% cotton and is a really nice size. It is very absorbent without being too bulky. Compared with the OsoCosy prefolds I have from the US, I thought this was much better quality. I LOVE the cover! It has a really soft fabric on the outside and a water resistant wipe clean inside. The Velcro fasteners are good quality and give a good fit. What I love best is the elasticated leg cuffs and deep gussets which prevent leaks. It has other features like fold back laundry tabs to allow the covers to remain open in the wash for improved washing ability and an extended waist offering additional protection around the tummy. The cover looked comfy on my baby and didn’t leave red marks.

The second Bambino Mio nappy I tried was their miosolo nappy in peppermint green. It is basically a pocket nappy so it is really easy to use. It is a OSFA, so can go from birth to potty training. This was the thinnest and SOFTEST pocket nappy that I tried out. Don’t let its slim look deceive you though, it is very absorbent and we had no leaks.

Bambino Mio also makes several accessories, like nappy liners and wipes.

Mother Nature Nappies

Mother Nature sent me a Nature Nappy. Mother Nature nappies are 100% natural bamboo-cotton towelling. They are one size nappies with poppers down the front to adjust the size as your baby grows. The waist and legs are elasticated which means you get less leaks. These nappies are VERY absorbent but not bulky. I can also attest to them being fantastic quality. I have some nappies that a friend had used for two of her children and they are still going strong with my daughter. This is a lovely nappy to buy if you are thinking of having more babies and is well worth the investment.

A relatively new addition to the Mother Nature range is the AIO nappy. It is made with their wonderful bamboo-cotton towelling and is stretchy at the waist and legs. We had no leaks with this nappy. The inner pad of the nappy is removable so you can tumble dry it – this is a great feature because bamboo can take longer to dry than some of the other fabrics (because it is more absorbent).

Mother Nature also makes lovely compact boosters that can be added to any nappy for night-time or for heavy wetters, and their biodegradable liners are my favourite – they are strong but soft and very easy to use.


Earthbabies sent me a basic sized nappy and waterproof cover. The nappy is made of terry cloth with elasticated legs and Velcro fasteners. Although quite a basic design, this nappy is a workhorse that is very absorbent and easy to use. The terry cloth dries relatively quickly and is not bulky. They are very reasonably priced but you would have to buy different sizes as your baby grows. . My only criticism of this nappy system is that I find that the covers leak. Perhaps because they don’t have leg gussets?

Earthbabies also sent me one of their Happy Nappies. This is an AIO OSFA nappy.  The lining of this nappy is fleece which keeps the skin dry. I really like that, especially when baby has nappy rash. The legs and waist are elasticated. If this nappy is not put on quite snuggly it can leak out the sides, but we found that fastening it tighter helped.

We have one Earthbabies Happy Nappy to give away. To stand a chance to win this nappy, email Dr Mom at


Fancypants sent me their one size pocket nappy in ‘Cupcake’ (a lovely soft pink). The nappy is made with a soft stylish waterproof outer fabric, lined with a plush 70% bamboo / 30% organic cotton material. This choice of lining means that only natural fabrics are against baby’s skin. It also keeps the skin really nice and dry. I love that each nappy comes with two microfibre inserts so you can double up, making the nappy more absorbent. Microfibre inserts dry very quickly – fantastic when the weather is a bit wet. The snaps on this nappy are very good quality, and despite numerous uses and washes, they are still going strong and showing no signs of wear. As with all pocket nappies, this nappy is very easy to use and just as easy to wash.


Snugglybum sent me one of their minky cover pocket nappies. This is the first minky (velvety) nappy I have used and I am in love with the feel of this cover! The nappy is a OS pocket nappy with a PUL outer layer and a polyester lining. The polyester keeps baby’s skin very dry. The nappy comes with one microfiber insert. If you use just one insert, the nappy is very slim, but I didn’t find it absorbent enough for my daughter so I had to double up. These nappies come in a huge variety of colours and patterns and look extremely cute on baby’s bum! They also have a range of organic bamboo nappies.


Biobaba sent me one of their OSFA AIO nappies. This AIO has quite a unique design. It has a flip out flap so you can hold the nappy and flip any solid waste into the loo. The insert of this nappy is made of hemp. Hemp is recognized as one of the world’s strongest natural fibres – the more you wash it – the more absorbent it becomes! It also has anti-bacterial qualities and uses no pesticides in its growth. The nappy is quite bulky but it is super-absorbent so you don’t have to change it as often as some of the slimmer nappies.  There were no leaks in this nappy. The sizing is very generous and it would easily fit a toddler. The nappy is also very versatile and can even be used as a swim nappy. I loved this company’s eco-friendly ethics too.


Bam+Boo sent me two of their nappies in Pumpkin and Lavender.  Bam+Boo nappies are OSFA hybrid nappies, consisting of an outer ‘shell’, a soaker that clips in and a booster that can also be clipped in. The outer shell is made of waterproof, brushed polyester and is very soft. The inner parts are 70% bamboo 30% cotton so the nappy is not bulky but is super absorbent. One of the things that makes this nappy unique is the night-time booster. When the nappy is used with the booster it is quite bulky but it is SO absorbent. This nappy has become our night nappy of choice. When I put it on my daughter she can go from 7pm to 6am without a change and she stays dry all night! The nappies are very stylish and come in a lovely range of colours.


What’s What with Cloth Nappies

When I first began researching cloth diapering (and yes, I’m going to say ‘diapering’ because nappying just sounds weird!), I was really overwhelmed! It was like learning another language with its own abbreviations and lingo. I had no idea which system would work out best and most economical, and almost none of my friends had used cloth nappies so I was solely reliant on the internet for info. Most of that information was found on US sites and most of the products were not available here. To help take the stress out of cloth nappies, I have collated all your options. (For a review of SA brands click here)


Prefolds are your traditional flat nappies.  They usually have a thick strip down the middle. These are worn with a nappy cover and are one of the least expensive options for cloth diapering.  They come in various sizes and you need to buy bigger ones as your baby grows.

There are different types of prefolds out there and many abbreviations for them. Basically you get Chinese Prefolds (CPF) and Indian Prefolds (IPF). The Indian ones are more absorbent but tend to wear through quicker than the Chinese ones.

When your child outgrows the Infant size nappies, you can use them as a nappy stuffer or to double up your stuffing at night-time.

Bambino Mio prefolds are available in SA. I have also used OsoCosy prefolds from the US.

Nappy Covers

If you are interested in using the prefolds and fitted nappies, you will want to purchase waterproof nappy covers too.  A prefold can be folded inside of the nappy cover and the nappy cover simply covers the prefold and acts as a waterproof barrier.

Fitted Nappies

Fitted nappies can also be used with Nappy Covers. With fitted nappies, there is no folding or shaping of the nappy. It goes on in the same way as a disposable. They can have elastic gathering around the legs and usually have snaps or a Velcro closure to keep the nappy together.  Place the nappy cover over the fitted nappy, and you are ready to go. These types of nappies are less expensive than other options, however, they are more expensive than using prefolds. Despite the cost, these get the thumbs up from husbands who find them to be much easier to use than the prefolds (particularly in the middle of the night).

Brands of fitted in nappies in SA are Mother Nature nappies and Earthbabies.

Pocket Nappies

Pocket nappies are usually made with two layers of fabric sewn together to form a pocket for an absorbent insert (see below). This type of nappy just fastens on and does not need a nappy cover over it because the outer layer is made of waterproof fabric (usually PUL). They are usually quite slim and are very easy to use.

Bambino Mio, Snugglybum, Bam+Boo, Earthbabies and Fancypants are all available in SA


Inserts are used for pocket nappies. They can be made of a variety of materials- micro-terrycloth, regular terry cloth, hemp, bamboo or you can just use prefolds as inserts. “Doubling up” just means using more than one insert, which you could do if you were away for an extended amount of time or at night-time, to discourage leaking.

All In Ones

You will often see this term abbreviated to AIO. An All In One is a cloth nappy that has a waterproof cover and an absorbent inner liner that is all in one piece, thus the name. These nappies fasten usually with a hook/loop or snap fasteners. These nappies are really easy to use, not at all fiddly but can be a more expensive system to buy

Mother Nature, Biobaba and Bam+Boo are locally available examples.

One Size Nappies

You will often see this term abbreviated to OS or OSFA. A one size nappy usually fits the child from the day they are born until they are toddlers. These nappies usually have snaps that go across the nappy and they can be folded over to create smaller sizes. Many OS’s are a bit big on newborns and they do tend to be a bit bulky, but they are quite affordable, because if you buy good quality, you can get away with one nappy purchase until your baby is potty trained.

Mother Nature, Earthbabies (pockets), Snugglybum, Fancypants, Bam+Boo and Biobaba are all one size nappies