In order to prepare for the upcoming blog posts from our guest blogger, Libby, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the basic cloth diapering information that can also be found on our website first. We have some great information available there, but thought it would be a good idea to focus on just the basics here as well. Let’s talk about the kinds of cloth diapers you have to choose from.
- Prefolds: Prefolds are a wonderfully durable and relatively inexpensive option. They are often described as 4x6x4 or 4x8x4. This refers to the number of layers in the prefold, meaning that the outer 2 sections have 4 layers and the inner has either 6 or 8. More layers do not always mean more absorbency though, this can also be affected by the weight of the fabric used. Most prefolds are made from either bleached or unbleached cotton, but some may also contain hemp or bamboo for extra absorbency. Prefolds can be folded into thirds and laid in a cover, or they can be closed with either pins or a snappi. Generally only 2 sizes of prefolds are required for the entire time from birth to potty learning, those are infant (newborn-15lbs) and premium (15-30lbs). Prefolds do require an additional cover to be waterproof.
- Fitted Cloth Diapers: These are diapers that are made of many layers of absorbent material. These diapers still require you to use a cover for for them to be waterproof as they do not have a waterproof shell on the outside. They are typically made out of cotton, velour, bamboo or hemp. Many parents who use fitted diapers enjoy allowing baby to go without a cover while at home. If you aren’t using a cover you can tell when your child has wet as the outside of the diaper will be damp and you can change them right away which will help to reduce diaper rash and irritation. Some fitted diapers may have a snap closure and others require the use of a pin or a snappi.
- All in One (AIO): AIO diapers consist of a waterproof outer shell and an attached inner layer for absorbency. These tend to be very easy diapers to use as you do not need to stuff them or add an outer cover and they are very trim. The soaker will either be sewn right into the diaper or attached with a snap. AIO diapers may also have a pocket, allowing additional doublers to be added for extra absorbency. AIO diapers fasten with either snaps or velcro otherwise know as a hook and loop closure.
- All in Two (AI2): The AI2 diaper consists of a waterproof shell and a soaker or insert which is either placed in the shell or snapped in. Typically when doing a diaper change with an AI2, you only need to change the soaker and you can reuse the shell unless is dirty. These diapers typically dry faster, as the soaker is completely detached during drying. These are generally a one size diaper.
- Pocket Cloth Diapers: These are diapers that have an outer water proof layer and an inner layer which is typically made out of fleece or suede material to wick away moisture. There is a pocket in either the front or the back in which you stuff them with an insert for absorption. Most pocket diapers come with 1-2 inserts but additional inserts can be added for extra absorbency. Pocket diapers do not require an additional cover.
- Hybrid Cloth Diapers: These diapers offer a very flexible option for parents, as they consist of a waterproof cover and either a reusable cloth insert or a biodegradable disposable insert. Hybrids are generally one size, and do not require an additional cover. They are similar to an AI2 in that when you do a diaper change you can typically reuse the shell.