Step-by-step guide to shaped reusable nappies

Thinking about switching to reusable nappies but baffled by which to type go for and how they work? Read our guide on how to use shaped reusable nappies, one of the four main types on the market.


Shaped nappies are handy as there’s no folding needed before use and they tend to fit slightly better than other types as they’re already shaped for the purpose. There’s absorbent, soft material already stitched into the core of the nappy, and before use, all you need to do is lay in an extra layer of fabric (if your brand requires – some don’t), that’s already sized to fit the nappy. On the down side, they do take the longest time to dry and all shaped nappies, like pre-folds, need a waterproof outer layer.


The shaped reusable nappies we used

Tots Bots FlexiTot nappy, £9.99 each.

Step 1: Lay flat

Lay out the nappy flat so it’s ready for use. You’ll see the nappy is ready for action with padding and material to absorb any waste already built in.

Depending on the brand you use, add extra material for more absorbency.

Step 2: Add if needed

If the brand you’re using provides it, place the extra material on the inside of the nappy. Shaped means exactly this, so the extra fabric will be cut to fit the length of the nappy. “The extra layer of material acts as an absorbent booster,” explains Tamara Rayment from the Women’s Environmental Network and Real Nappies for London. “This can be handy for heavy wetters and night-time nappies, and is very versatile.”

Fasten the nappy in place.

Step 3: Pull and fasten

Bring the nappy together around your baby and fasten it in place.

Put the outer cover on, to keep the nappy waterproof and secure.

Step 4: Outer layer

All shaped nappies require an outer cover to keep them waterproof and secure. Most brands provide these as part of the nappy’s price. “The outer wrap is needed to keep the body of the nappy dry. It keeps waste in and acts as a waterproof cover,” explains Tamara.

Why choose reusable nappies?

While we’re all keen to save money at the moment and watching our family budget with eagle-eyes, it’s a good time to think about trying reusable nappies as they may save you up to £500 per child, according to the Women’s Environmental Network and Real Nappies for London.

“They’re also a good option if you’re worried about the absorbency chemicals in disposables getting near your baby’s skin,” says Tamara Rayment from the Women’s Environmental Network and Real Nappies for London.

There are four main types of reuseable nappies you’ll come across:

  • Pocket
  • Pre-fold
  • Shaped
  • All-in-ones

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