Terry nappies and flat nappies are the most traditional and economical way to cloth nappy your baby. Easier to master than you may first think, these nappies can easily be adjusted to suit your baby's individual needs meaning any fit issues can quickly be fixed at no extra cost to you.
Here we have put together a list of our favorite folds as well as their strengths and weaknesses, helping you to make the right choice for your baby. All folds can be adjusted to suit your baby's size, and can be done on any terry towel, a 60cm terry towel will fit most ages well.
We recommend a high quality terry towel or flat nappy designed for nappy use, such as the Bright Bots Terry Towel or Birdseye Flats, or the MuslinZ Bamboo Terry Squares as these will be very absorbent and hard-wearing for long term use. These folds can also be used on newborns using a good-quality large muslin cloth (the type that doesn't wrinkle when washed) such as the MuslinZ 70cm Muslin Squares.
Terry Nappy Jo Fold
Probably the most popular fold due to its simplicity, poo containment and front absorbency. When starting out with terry towels this is a great starting point.
- Fold all four corners into the centre so that they meet.
- Fold your new square into thirds by bringing either side in.
- Take the top corner of the top layer and pull it out to form a triangle wing.
- Repeat on the next layer down, to form a wing on the opposite side
- Nappy is ready for baby! You may add an optional booster and/or liner at this stage, then secure with a nappy fastener and cover with a wrap.
For larger babies: Don't bring the corners as far into the centre, leaving a bigger 'square' (don't worry that the edges aren't sharp corners) at step 2.
For smaller babies: Bring the corners in beyond the centre so that they overlap, giving a smaller square.
Terry Nappy Kite Fold
A larger fold with less layers meaning less absorbency, but ideal for holding a few boosters on a larger baby. Once on you can roll the terry in at the legs for better containment and fit under a wrap.
- With your terry placed as shown, fold opposite corners in at an angle to create a kite shape, with bottom edges meeting in a centre line.
- Fold the top corner down to create a triangle.
- Fold the bottom point up roughly half way.
- Nappy is ready for baby! Roll in around legs for better containment and fit. You may add an optional booster and/or liner at this stage, then secure with a nipper and cover with a wrap.
For larger babies: For a longer nappy, fold the top and bottom points in less far in steps 2 and 3. For a wider nappy (longer wings/tabs) fold the corners in less at step 1, so that they are still parallel but not touching.
For smaller babies: The opposite of a larger baby! Fold each corner/point in more so that it is overlapping.
Terry Nappy V Fold
A very easy fold with absorption focussed at the front for boys, may need to tuck legs in for better containment and fit under a wrap.
- Fold three corners in to meet at a centre point.
- Fold the fourth corner over along the line shown, so that it overlaps the centre point. This will determine the length of the nappy.
- Fold the bottom corners of your new rectangle in at an angle as shown.
- Nappy is ready for baby! Push the legs in if needed. You may add an optional booster and/or liner at this stage, then secure with a nipper and cover with a wrap.
For larger babies: You can lengthen the nappy in step 2 by folding the top corner in less. For a wider nappy/longer tabs fold the left and right corners in less so that they aren't touching the centre point.
For smaller babies: You can shorten the nappy in step 2 by folding the top corner in more. For a thinner nappy/shorter tabs fold the left and right corners in more so that they are overlapping at the centre point.
Terry Nappy Bat Fold
My personal favorite, but takes a bit of practice, great for boys and girls with most of the material being focused where baby wees for greatest absorbency. Fits nicely under a wrap without much adjustment too!
- Fold your terry square up in half as shown to create a rectangle.
- Fold in half again the opposite way to create a smaller square.
- Pull the top corner layer out to the point shown and flatten to create a triangle on top. (This should be the top right corner if folded as shown by arrows, if not turn it for ease following instructions).
- Flip the towel over so that the triangle is now on the bottom layer, with the square on top.
- Fold the square into thirds, to create a thick pad in the centre of the triangle.
- Nappy is ready for baby! You may add an optional booster and/or liner at this stage, then secure with a nipper and cover with a wrap.
For larger babies: Holding the bottom edges of the wings with one hand, pull the rectangle down to lengthen the overall nappy.
For smaller babies: You can fold the wings inwards to shorten them, or twist the wings down for a shorter nappy. A smaller terry (or muslin) is the best option for smaller babies with this fold.
Terry Nappy Pad Fold
Great as a mega booster in a pocket nappy or on its own inside a gusseted wrap instead of a prefold. Full control over pad size, and good if you're lacking a nipper to secure. Also a great fold for muslin cloths to create cheap newborn inserts - perfect for pairing with a few Newborn Snap & Wraps for full time use!
- Fold the bottom edge over to the length required.
- Fold in thirds/quarters to create your preferred width.
- Ready to go in your nappy! Either place inside a pocket or lay in a nappy wrap with flaps at the front/back to hold the pad in place.
For larger babies: Fold in less in step 1 for more length, or into thirds in step 2 for more width.
For smaller babies: Fold in more at step 1 for a shorter pad, and fold in quarters (or even fifths) at step 2 for less width. Beware this will add bulk to the thickness, if this is the case try using a muslin cloth.