Friday, January 6, 2012

Cloth Talk: Types of Diapers

Usually with cloth diapers you have two parts: The waterproof cover and the absorbent diaper. There are several different types of diapers to choose from:

All In One (AIO)

All in one diapers are the most similar to disposable diapers, since there is no prepping involved. You simply put it on the baby and go. The waterproof shell and the absorbent diaper is all one piece and they fasten with snaps or velcro. I have used the bumGenius Elemental AIO and I love it.
Advantages: Easy to use, best for dads and daycare
Disadvantages: Longer drying time, more expensive than other types of diapers

All In Two (AI2)

All in two diapers have a waterproof cover and either a snap-in or lay-in soaker (the absorbent layer). You can continue to reuse the cover and just change out the soaker with each diaper change as long as it does not get dirty. I have used the Flip system, gDiapers, and the Grovia system and loved them all. You use lay-in inserts in the Flip and gDiaper covers, and snap-in soakers in the Grovia covers.
Advantages: Quick drying time, Easy to prepare and put on, Reusable cover
Disadvantages: Not the most cost efficient compared to others

 Pocket diapers have a waterproof cover with thin liner sewn in which either has one or two openings to make a pocket. You then stuff absorbent liner(s) in the pocket and place the diaper on the baby. They fasten with snaps or velcro. My favorite pockets are AppleCheeks, bumGenius 4.0, and GoGreen Champs.
Advantages: Adjustable absorbency, easy for dads and daycare (after you do the work of stuffing)
Disadvantages: Requires stuffing, some brands require you to "un-stuff" before washing


Fitted diapers are made up of multiple layers of absorbent fabric and look similar to a disposable, but these diapers alone are not waterproof. They require an additional waterproof cover. You reuse the cover and change the fitted diaper with each use until the cover gets dirty. They have either a velcro or snap closure. I have only used a fitted once and didn't like it, so I have no recommendations for any favorites.
Advantages: Very absorbent, perfect for nighttime since it offers great leak protection
Disadvantages: Two step process which can be exhausting if you are diapering a wiggly baby, long drying time

Flat or Prefold

Flat diapers are a rectangular piece of absorbent material. A prefold diaper is a flat with an extra layer of absorbent material in the middle. You fold these diapers so that you can either lay them inside a cover or fasten them on the baby using pins or a snappi. They require an additional waterproof cover. I have never used these, so I don't have any brand recommendations.
Advantages: Most cost efficient, Fast drying time
Disadvantages: Not as convenient as modern diapers, takes time to learn the folds

This is part of a series of cloth diapering basics from my perspective. Follow my blog or check back for more of this series in the future!


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