There are so many different terms when it comes to cloth diapering that it can be overwhelming, like learning a new language. Here I will explain some of these terms and the accessories that go with cloth diapering.
Pocket Diaper- This is a style of diaper that has a waterproof outside shell, then a pocket into which you stuff inserts, then a stay dry layer which will be against baby’s skin. Example- Happy Heinys
Inserts- are added to pocket diapers for absorbency but they can be added to any diaper system. Inserts are most often made from microfiber, hemp, or bamboo. Microfiber should not be placed against baby’s skin especially when new as it can adhere to wet flesh.
Prefolds- These are the diapers your grandmamma used. They are a flat chunk of cotton that has 2 seams down the side to make them easier to fold around baby’s legs. They require a closure and a cover.
Flats- These are like prefolds but without the seams. Both can be added into other diapering systems to increase absorption which is a great way to cut down on cost.
Cover- This is a waterproof cover for use with prefolds, flats, and fitteds. They do not have to be changed with each diaper change or washed as frequently. If they do get a bit wet, you can air dry them and reuse them the same day. Wash when smelly or poopy. Example- Gen-Y
Snappi- This is a wonderful closure for flats and prefolds. It is like the little metal things used to close an Ace bandage. Snappi has 3 sides, left, right, and down. The down bit is great because it helps to get a better fit. Forget the diaper pins if you want to go with prefolds, the Snappi is quicker and easier and will never poke the baby.
Fitteds- This is a diaper that only needs a cover. It is usually made of natural material and is completely absorbent. Example- Mother-ease
Aplix- This is a strong Velcro closure and sometimes is referred to as hook and loop. This can make for a really great fit on baby. Be sure to close you Aplix/Velcro prior to washing or it will catch on everything and cause damage.
Snaps- This is a closure made from snaps and can work really well but may not give you the kind of fit you can get from Aplix. The issue can be when baby is in-between snap sizes but I personally have never had this issue.
All-in-Ones- This is a diaper that is very much like a disposable, it is ready to go. The insert is sewn into the diaper so there is nothing to stuff. They are trim but have less absorbency so they need to be changed more often. Example- Thirsties
All-in-Twos- This is a diaper system similar to using prefolds and covers. The outer shell does not need to be changed with each diaper change; you just add a new insert. Many in this style have special inserts that snap in place. Sometimes this diaper system is called hybrid. Example- GroVia
Wool covers- These covers are made form 100% wool, are very breathable and cool and are anti-fungal as well as anti-bacterial. They only need to be washed when poopy, stinky, or every two weeks. What turns people off from these diaper covers are the hand washing/lanolizing and the idea that their baby will be hot or that these covers are scratchy. The care for these covers really is easy once you know how to do it. They do need to be air dried so have a backup waiting in the wings. These are great for night time and can even replace pants in a pinch. Example- Disana
Wet Bag- This is a waterproof bag into which you put your dirty diapers then empty its contents into your laundry machine and wash and dry with the rest of your diapers. Most diaper pails will not work with these types of bags as the pail often requires its own special bag. But don’t fret, you can get a large sized pail liner and line a 13 gallon trash pail.
Wet/Dry Bag- You can get one bag that has both a wet bag and a dry pocket. These are great to use when you are out and about, clean diapers in the dry side and dirty diapers in the wet side. These are also great to fill up with ready to use cloth diapers and hand off to your child care provider.
Diaper sprayer- This wonderful device hooks up to your toilet and uses clean water from your tank. It is high powered and works great for spraying out poopy messes. I have also used this to spray a mess down my toilet.
Liner- You can use a liner with any diaper system; just lay on top of diaper and place baby on top. They can be made from hemp, silk, fleece, or a flushable skin safe material. These are great to aid in the cleanup of a poopy diaper especially if they are flushable. They are a must when using any diaper cream as the cream can affect the absorbency of the diaper. You can also easily make your own fleece liners with no sewing needed.
Cloth wipes- These are basically baby wash cloths and can be made from cotton, flannel, or terry. You can also easily make your own. You can use dry, with a spray bottle of water to aid in clean up, or make your own special solution. If you are using any diaper cream you should put your liner and wipes in a separate bag until they are washed but everything can be washed together.
Visit the Cloth 101 section on Abby's Lane to learn more and be sure to check out the section about how to care for your wool diapers. And no, no one paid me to write this post or gave me free stuff, I am not that fancy. I just really love Abby's lane!