How to get the perfect fit with your OSFM cloth nappyHow to Get the Perfect Fit with Your One Size Fits Most Cloth Nappy

By Eva Van Strijp


One-size-fits-most (OSFM) nappies are designed to fit most babies most of the time, from birth right through to toilet training. There are a few tricks to know that can help you bridge any fitting gaps with your OSFM nappies.


NOTE: The ‘rise’ is the front part of your nappy.


NEWBORN: For a newborn baby, the nappy will be on the smallest rise setting, and will sit above the navel. Be sure to keep the umbilical notch clean and dry, and try to avoid covering it with the nappy until it has fallen away. OSFM nappies can seem very bulky at this time, but newborns don’t require all the absorbency that they’ll need later on, so you can remove some components of the boosting to give a more comfortable fit.


PRE-CRAWLER: During this stage, the nappy will be on one of the middle rise settings and will sit at or just below the navel. At this point, many parents worry that their baby appears to be outgrowing the OSFM nappies, but this is just a short phase and they will come out of it. The issue is usually the size of their thighs, which are as chubby as they’ll ever be! Once your baby starts to crawl off some of their baby weight, you’ll notice a lot more room for growth in the OSFM nappies again.


CRAWLER: During the crawling stage, the nappy will still be on one of the middle rise settings but will now sit below the belly button. You will notice a big difference in the way the nappy fits as your baby loses some of their tummy and thigh fat.


WALKER: Once babies begin to walk, they usually slim down very quickly, so you may find the nappy works best on the highest rise setting (completely open). The nappy will now seem somewhat like underwear, sitting on the hips and well below the navel.


Some tips for getting a great fit:


  1. After laying your baby on the nappy, pull the front of the nappy up as far as it will go before placing between the baby’s legs. There is a lot of elastic in the legs of your OSFM nappies and stretching all or only some of it out, can dramatically change the fit of the nappy.
  1. For newborns who are being changed frequently, remove some of the extra absorbency that you probably don’t need and you’ll notice a more snug fit with fewer gaps.
  1. If you’re using OSFM nappies at night and adding extra boosting to get them through, you can create a more comfortable fit by changing the rise setting to the setting just above what you would use during the day, to accommodate the extra boosting.

Eva Van Strijp is a mother of six, founding member of the Australian Nappy Association and creator of Seedling Baby. When Eva isn’t hanging out with her family or running a business, she’s eating chocolate, listening to podcasts or tending her veggie patch.