Thursday, December 2, 2010

Types of diaper systems

Even if you are a cloth diapering guru or newbie, there are so many cloth diapering items out there and it's fun to want to try them all. It may even be a little overwhelming. Here is a list of what cloth diapering has to offer now a day, the options, the pros and cons.

Pre-folds are rectangular pieces of fabric sewn together in layers, the middle usually has extra layers of fabric for more absorbency, it can be folded in a variety of ways and then covered with a water proof cover.
Prefold + Cover
(My prefolds were made with a print) Most pre folds are made bleached or unbleached)


  • Most economical system
  • Useful for other things such as burp clothes, changing pad, inserts for pocket diapers if folded in thirds.
  • Can use a waterproof cover more than once just get a new pre fold
  • Long lasting
  • Highly absorbant
Folding prefolds; The simplest way to use prefolds are folding it in thirds and laying it in a diaper cover. There are other varieties of folds that require a closure like pin or snappi.

  • May not be convenient running errands or on the go
  • DO not fit snuggly around legs or waist without security of a cover

Fitted diapers are diapers that are constructed with many absorbent layers sewn together fitting shape of a baby using elastic. They can be closed with snaps, hook and loop or be pin able.
  • Contain in messes with elastic around legs and waist
  • Every square inch is absorbent; highly absorbent
These diapers still need waterproof cover. The fitted diapers can be made with a closure built in (either snaps or hook and loop (Velcro)) or they can be with out closure for more adjusting fit.


  • Requires cover so man not be convenient
  • May take longer to dry than a prefold
  • Can leave red marks from elastic
  • If has serged may irritate babies skin.

Types of waterproof cover or soaker
The covers are usually a separate piece that goes over absorbent cloth made of a variety of fabrics.
  • Polyurethane Laminate (AKA PUL) The most common fabric used. This cover is usually wipe able and can be reused throughout the day. You will only need about 4-4 covers per dozen fitteds or prefolds. This usually partially breathable preventing diaper rash.
  • Fleece, are a great alternative to laminated covers but are just water resistant, as long as you have enough absorbency you probably won't have problem with leaking. Also a breathable fabric
  • Wool covers are made of natural fibers that absorb and repel moisture away from baby. This is a breathable cover to keep baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer and prevent diaper rash.

Pocket diapers Made to fit babies shape using elastic in leg and waist. The construction consists of a waterproof outer cover, sewn to a stay dry lining fabric. This lining fabric has an opening (or pocket) in back or front. You use this pocket to stuff an absorbent soaker pad into the diaper and you are ready to put on your baby. Closures are already sewn to diaper wither snaps, or hook and loop
These were custom pocket diapers with a fuzzy stay dry inside and hemp soakers

  • Can adjust absorbency with as much as you need
  • Usually lined with a stay dry fabric to keep babies bottom dry, great for long car rides.
  • Dries fast because of having separate pieces
  • Can get messy because you haveto unstuff absorvant inner for rinsing and washing out of pocket
  • Time consuming system. You have to stuff with each diaper change or remember to pre stuff.
  • 2 separate piece system
  • Needs new cover with each diaper change
  • May leave red marks caused by elastic
All in One or All in 2 (AIO/AI2)
Elasticized in leg and waist for great fit. Everything is sewn into the construction of an all in one. The outer water proof, the absorbent inner fabric with soaker built in. It is usually referred to as an AI2 if the soaker is detachable or sewn to one side to become fast drying! Closures are also made into the construction of this diaper using snaps or hook and loop.

  • Convenient on the go
  • Great for care givers like baby sitters, grandparents, day care
  • One Piece
  • AI2 are fast drying
  • Not fast drying, will take more than one cycle to dry
  • Must use a new diaper with every change unlike separate covers
  • Most expensive type but convenient
  • Can leave red marks from elastic

One size vs. Sized diapers
One size diapers commonly have rows of snap in front of diaper to adjust rise of diaper. Sometimes they have adjustable elastic too in waist and leg
  • Means less diapers
  • Will not fit a baby under 10lbs
  • Can leave snap marks on baby because the rise is usually made with rows of snaps
  • You can use for more than one child by adjusting size to desired rise and waist

Sized diapers come in variety of sizes
  • Ensures perfect fit for any size
  • Won't leave snap marks from adjusting snaps
  • Can fit smaller babies and bigger kids that go over or under weight limit of OS
Snaps -best for baby not being able to undo. may leave marks on skin, takes time to close

Hook and Loop (aka aplix or velcro) unless you launder with it closed or use laundry tabs, it can collect lint..great closure, fast, great for squirmy babies, and on the go.

Pins used for diapers with no closure, fitteds or prefolds..has safety so baby won't be able to open it, be careful of YOUR fingers though and baby!

Snappi is fastner that is stretchy,it has three sides, and on each side are claws or clips..they grab the fabric and secure it in place. Better than pins

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