Cloth Diapers 101

Do you have a new baby on the way? Or maybe your family has already grown, and you've been thinking about reusable diapers for awhile, but haven't taken the plunge yet. There are about a dozen different styles of cloth diapers, and hundreds of cloth diaper brands available for sale. Let's learn about cloth diaper types

1. Pocket 

Pocket diapers are a two-part system, with a shell (pocket) and an insert that is tucked inside the pocket. The Pocket is made up of a waterproof layer and stay-dry (baby feels dry even when wet) fabric

2. All In Two

Waterproof layer shell and separate absorbent insert that you either lay in the cover or snap in. Once the insert is wet simply remove and replace with a new insert. You can use the same shell until wet or soiled

3. All In One

All-in-ones, also known as AIO cloth diapers, are the ultimate in convenience. Waterproof layer and absorbency layers are all combined to make a cloth diaper that is all in one. Similar in form and ease to a disposable diaper. Because they are so easy to use, many parents buy a few all-in-ones to have on hand for babysitters and grandparents. AIOs are great daycare diapers, too. 

4. Fitted

Usually made of absorbent cotton, bamboo, or hemp, fitted cloth baby diapers have a contour shape similar to a disposable diaper, with elastic or gathered edges at the legs and back to contain messes. They are fastened with snaps or Velcro (or "aplix"). Used alone, fitted cloth diapers are not water-proof, so they must be combined with a waterproof cover. 



5. Cover

Diaper covers is made of waterproof material. They are used with flat, prefold, and fitted diapers that are not waterproof on their own. Since pockets and all-in-ones are already waterproof, a cover is not necessary for these styles! Prefolds or fitted diapers, combined with a baby diaper cover of your choice, are a flexible and economical diapering system.



Absorbency for Pocket Diapers

Inserts are designed to be stuffed into pocket diapers. Cloth diaper inserts are often made of

1. Cotton - This natural fabric is affordable, absorbent, and available everywhere! Fitted diapers and some all-in-ones use knit cotton, but prefolds and many other inserts are made of woven fabric. Infant prefolds can be folded into thirds to make good cloth diaper inserts for your pocket diapers, too.

2. Bamboo - Bamboo fleece is a popular option for cloth diapers. It is super soft, wicks moisture away quickly, and can keep your baby comfortable even when wet.

3. Hemp - Hemp inserts are a real work-horse in the cloth diapering world - they are durable and super thirsty!Hemp does come off the clothes line quite stiff, though, so you may want to soften it up in the dryer!

4. Microfiber - Microfiber is a man-made, absorbent material. Made of a polyester/polyamide blend, they are light and fast-drying. You should use a barrier, such as fleece liners, between a microfiber insert and your baby's skin, because microfiber can dry out and irritate their sensitive skin.

5. Zorb - Zorb is a blend of bamboo, cotton, viscose and microfiber. Each layer of Zorb replaces 2-3 layers of cotton, bamboo, or hemp terry, or microfiber. It absorbs moisture 20x faster than other fabrics, and will hold more moisture.