This Cloth Diaper (CD) Glossary is here to demystify the secret language of flats, pre-folds, pockets, and all-in-ones.
When making the decision to cloth diaper, you are met with facts and a world of unfamiliar vocabulary and products. All-in-ones, pockets, diaper sprayers, flats, pre-folds, oh my. It helps if you speak the language and are able to decode this new foreign territory. Like any new venture once you have your road map and foreign language dictionary you are set and ready to discover uncharted waters. Let this glossary help you decipher the fun and rewarding world of cloth diapers.
Diaper Cover– Fabric diaper with waterproof backing. Needs to be paired with an insert. This is a nice diaper for a budget or when traveling. You can make it with just a few covers and select your favorite insert for a variety of absorbency levels.
Prefolds & Flats– An economical selection when paired with a diaper cover. Available in a variety of sizes and customizable to fit your baby. Requires a diaper pin or snappy. Can also be used tri-folded. This is what most people think of when they hear the word cloth diaper.
Contours- Cloth diaper insert shaped to fit your baby. Diaper pins or snappy can be used to keep it closed. Similar to a pre-fold, requires a cover for waterproofing.
Fitted– Similar to a contour with the fasteners built in.
All-in-Ones (AIO)– Most similar to a disposable diaper. Complete diaper system. Most expensive cloth diapering option.
Pockets– Similar to an all-in-one with a removable insert. These are best for naps and bedtime. Wonderful option for daycares, daddies, and grandmas.
All-in-Twos (AI2)- Offers the convenience of a Pocket and AIO. Consists of a cover and insert that can be layer or snapped in. Popular AI2 brand is GroVia.
Hybrids- Diaper system with diaper cover and disposable insert. (g-diapers)
Swim Diapers- Diaper Cover with mesh lining. Trim diaper fits easily under a regular swimsuit.
Sized– Usually comes in 3-4 sizes: newborn/x-small, small, medium and large.
One Size– Fits most babies 7.5-35 pounds. Sizing is adjusted by multi-rise snaps or adjustable elastic.
Wipes– That’s right cloth wipes. If your jumping on the bandwagon you might as well go all in. Cloth wipes come in a variety of materials and are soft on your babies bum. To save even more you can use scraps of old flannel shirts and t-shirts to create wipes.
Wipe Solution– You’ll need something to clean your babies bum. You can find commercial products such as California Baby’s Diaper Area Wash or you can make your own with a recipe found online.
Wet Bag- Small lined bag for on the go diaper changes. Zippered bags help to keep any stink in.
Snappis– Modern day diaper pin. Safer alternative with no pins. Similar to an ace bandage closure.
Diaper Pail– Any lidded pail will work. If your making the switch from sposies to cloth just line your old diaper pail.
Pail Liner– Large wet bag to line your diaper pail at home with.
Diaper Sprayer- A handy attachment for your toilet. Eliminates the need to dip and swish.
Diaper Detergent– Your average detergent is not necessarily safe for cloth. Detergents with additives cause build-up and will make your diapers stinky. Look for a detergent that is free of fragrances, dyes, bleach, and softeners. All of these can add to detergent buildup and the breakdown of your diapers. This doesn’t mean you have to buy a separate expensive detergent for laundering your cloth. Many brands like All, Tide, and Arm & Hammer make cloth diaper safe detergents. Use this handy chart for making a decision.
Diaper Rash Cream- Most standard diaper rash creams (Triple Paste, Desitin, Balmex, etc.) are not safe for cloth. They leave residue on the diapers that repel liquids and create leaks. If you must use a certain brand of cream make sure to put down a protective layer such as a liner or old t-shirt scrap.