Terry squares and flat nappies

Terry squares might sound old fashioned and complicated but they really are an excellent nappy choice. Affordable, hard-wearing, easy to care for, with high absorbency. There’s nothing to really damage with a Terry so you can wash cotton terries up to 90c if you need to (although I wouldn’t recommend this regularly due to the environmental impact), you can tumble dry them or place them on the radiator*.

Terry square in Jo fold.

Because they are just a single layer they dry very quickly and yet offer excellent levels of absorbency. There are lots of different fold options which can make them seem daunting, but you only need to learn one to get started. Once you’ve done a fold a few times it just becomes second nature. It is also hugely satisfying to take a simple square of fabric and quickly turn it into a nappy. The advantages of all the fold options means you can create something to perfectly suit your baby’s size and output (including the location – i.e. tummy sleeper, side sleeper etc.). And when your baby inevitably changes size, shape, or output you can do something different without having to buy anything extra.

Terry square.

Terries are available in a few different sizes, with 60x60cm being the most common. This should last the vast majority of babies from birth until potty training. If you’re finding the Terry is getting a bit small there are ways to tweak the fold to give a bit more fabric for the waist and/or length. For larger/older children there is a 70x70cm option. Or for newborns you can get a 50x50cm if you really want to avoid the bulk. Although personally I’d opt for a Muslinz muslin squares for a newborn rather than a smaller terry.

Petite Crown cotton flat (a larger version of a Muslinz muslin square).

Gone are the days of nappy pins as well. Nowadays you can get Nappy nippas which are three sets of grippy teeth on a T-shaped piece of stretchy rubber. Speaking from personal experience it is definitely worth buying brands versions (look for Snappi or Little Lambs). Whilst they might seem more expensive than cheaper versions you can find online, the cheaper versions are very poorly made and you’ll find the grippy teeth part constantly comes out of the T-shaped holder – basically they just don’t work. Having used both Snappis and Little Lambs I’d say there is no difference in the quality or performance between them, so just go for whichever is more easily available to you.

Little Lambs nappy nippa.

.*Check the label of your terries first, if they are a bamboo blend then you will need to wash at 60c maximum, tumble dry on low, and never place on a direct heat source. This is due to the more delicate nature of bamboo fibres.