How to Fold Terry Nappies

Newborn babies poop a lot, and breastfed babies have more frequent bowel movements than babies fed with formula, according to's article "The Truth About Baby Poop." Either way, securing a nappy around a baby's bottom decreases the risk of disease and infection, keeps clothes clean and blocks odour. Folding terrycloth nappies work as an alternative to disposable diapers and cut down on cost and waste. Use different folds to help absorb moisture and bowel movements for both male and female babies.

Place the terrycloth fabric square on a flat surface. Fold it at an angle so the cloth becomes a triangle.

Roll the widest end of the triangle down. The length of the fold varies on the size of the baby. Smaller babies will need a larger fold, while bigger babies need a smaller one.

Lay the baby on her back in the centre of the triangle, with the triangle's point and a few extra inches of cloth centred between her legs. Bring the end of the cloth on her left side over and across her waist, then pin it to the right side of the diaper with a nappy or large safety pin. Now take the end of the cloth on her right side and bring it up and over her waist to pin it to the left side.

Pull the narrow part of the terrycloth triangle up and tuck it over the wide band around the baby's waist. Pin this in place.

Fold the terrycloth or nappy fabric in half vertically. Fold down the top portion of the fabric. Experiment with the length of the top portion to adjust for the baby's size.

Pinch the centre of the fabric in the middle to create an hourglass shape. Place the baby in the centre of the shape, with the folded portion facing the front of the baby.

Bring the front portion of the fabric up around his waist to meet the back piece of cloth. Secure each side with a nappy pin.

Lay the terrycloth fabric flat and visualise a line running diagonally across the fabric. Fold the bottom left corner in, meeting the imaginary diagonal line, then fold the top right corner (opposite) to meet the same line.

Bring the top left triangular section down and over the first two folds.

Fold the narrowest point of the triangle on the bottom right toward the centre of the fabric triangle. Make the nappy smaller by folding this point closer to the centre. Make it larger by pulling it away from centre.

Place the baby in the centre of the nappy, so the widest portion is against her back. Pull up the narrowest portion between her legs up toward her waist. Bring the left and right back sides forward to wrap around this narrow portion in front.

Pin the left, centre and right areas where the cloth meets with a nappy pin. Turn the fabric inward once or twice to firmly secure the nappy around the baby.


Use hemp, bamboo or muslin as alternative cloth to diaper your baby. Wrap the nappy in a plastic covering for added protection. Put a fabric or disposable paper liner in the centre of the nappy for easy cleanup.


Avoid wrapping nappies too tightly around a baby, to avoid cutting off circulation and injuring your baby.

Things You'll Need

  • Nappy or large square of terrycloth
  • Nappy pins
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About the Author

Alyssa Ideboen has been writing professionally since 2005. She has contributed to several print and online publications, including "Lexington Woman" and "Global Business" magazines. Ideboen holds a Bachelor of Arts in business management and communication from Judson University.