Okay, I’ll be honest. When I first heard that people were still cloth diapering about 3 years ago, I thought “Wow, that has got to suck. That is what old grandmas used to cloth diaper their babies like 100 years ago.” And this is exactly what I pictured:
I thought cloth diapering had been phased out and disposables were the new “in” thing. Why would anyone use old icky cloth diapers? Disposables are the updated, BETTER version of diapering, right!? Um….NO. I admit, I was wrong. Cloth diapers have come such a LONG way since good ol grandmas flat and safety pins. And I’m going to do my best to describe which different styles there are in the BIG world of cloth diapers.
Before cloth diapers were updated, you had ONE choice. Flats, and pins. (Or maybe you would use an old towel or something similar.) The choices were very limited. As of right now, the choices are quite tremendous and for a new time cloth diapering mom, dad, and/or family, it can become quite overwhelming.
So, lets name the different styles of cloth diapers…
You have flats–yes, those are still around. Some people like them– prefolds, fitteds, hybrid fitteds, AIO’s, Ai2’s, pockets, and some of these will require a waterproof cover.
Hopefully at this point I haven’t lost you yet. It’s a lot to learn about, but it’s doable. Just takes a little time.
Okay, let’s break down what each style is.
Well, that pretty much explains itself. It’s a flat piece of absorbent fabric that you fold and pin to your baby. A flat will require a cover in order to be waterproof.
This is essentially a flat already folded for you, or prefolded. It’s usually folded in 3 parts with the middle being thickest and most absorbent. This can be laid into a cover or pinned on. These will require a cover to be waterproof.
This is the next step up. This is an absorbent diaper, in the shape of a diaper and with elastic and (usually) a closure system made up of either Velcro OR snaps. This diaper will require a cover to be waterproof.
And yet another step up. This is basically a fitted diaper BUT with a hidden layer of poly fleece built inside it. Since polyester fleece is NOT absorbent, this acts as a sort of barrier to keep the wetness focused on the inside absorbent areas. This diaper is not 100% waterproof BUT your baby can go longer without a cover before feeling wet.
This stands for All In One. This diaper would work most like a disposable. It is All In One piece, you put it on your baby and take it off, just as you would a disposable. It has sewn in absorbancy, a waterproof outer and either Veclro or snaps for closure.
This stands for All In Two. This means the diaper comes in 2 separate parts. The “shell”, which is the waterproof portion and the insert/soaker. The absorbent soaker/insert either lays or snaps into place. This diaper will be waterproof, so no additional cover is needed.
A pocket diaper actually has a pocket inside. This is where you would stuff the absorbent inserts. Pocket diapers are waterproof so they will not need an additional cover.
This pretty much explains most of the styles of cloth diapers there currently are available at the moment. Just be sure to do as much research as possible. And be aware that some WAHM’s who make cloth diapers may make a combination diaper, such as an AI2 fitted hybrid.
Essentially this doesn’t really make sense since an AI2 is suppose to be waterproof and a fitted is NOT.
When in doubt, ask!
It’s hard to say which diapers are right for you and your family. Some prefer flats and covers, while others prefer pockets. The only way to really find out is to test them and see!
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