Today in this article we are going to discuss the different types of diapers that are available today. First I will give you some basic terminology that will be used by people so you will need to be familiar with these terms.
Next I will give you a description of the ready-made diaper that you can purchase at this time. We will discuss what you will need and what is provided.
In the third category, I will talk about the old fashion diapers that mama used and how they have advanced in modern days. We will discuss what you will need when you decide to use these.
In the last group I will tell you my personal recommendation of the best diaper for which situation. Because as you will see, there isn’t always just one diaper that is the best in all situation. I will go in to detail as to why in this group.
I have also written some other articles that I think would relate directly to this article and will list them as well.
This is going to be fun so come on with me as we begin to start this wonderful adventure. Now to jump into basic terminology!
When you decide or are even thinking about cloth diapering, you will hear lots of terms that are very confusing to you. My hope is to ease some of that confusion by explaining what the terms mean.
AO1 and AO2– Let me try to explain what those are. The only difference between the two is that AO2 the inserts will snap into place. They are all one piece, hence their name, with adjustable closures.
AP- stands for attachment parenting, which is a very common term used in the cloth diapering community.
BG- is an abbreviation for bumGenius which is a popular brand of diapers.
BF- is an abbreviation for breastfeeding.
Doubler- when a liner is added to the diaper that can then double the absorbency.
EBF- abbreviation used when poop is able to be simply wash away. This is mostly only produced from babies that are exclusively breastfed.
Fitted Diapers- These diapers are usually fit a baby well and form to the baby’s bottom.
Flat– What mama used, one large piece of cloth.
Hybrid- part cloth and part disposable, or all cloth.
Insert- a long strip of material that is inserted into the pocket or laid into the diaper for more absorbency.
One size- a term used to refer to a diaper that can grow with a child from birth into toddler size.
Pocket– a diaper that has a pocket that is “stuffed” with a liner for extra absorbency.
Pre-folds– These are rectangular pieces of cloth that seem to be more absorbent in the middle.
PUL- abbreviation for polyurethane laminate which is a waterproof material that is used to make the outer exterior of many diaper covers.
Reusable wipes- pieces cloth used to clean the baby’s bottom then the Mom will wash them along with the diapers.
Snappi– a type of fastener that is used on pre-folds and flat diapers in place of diaper pins.
Stash- having a group of cloth diapers.
Wet tote– a small waterproof bag that has a zippered top.
Wicking- when moisture is pulled away from baby’s skin and remains in the diaper that good.
This is only a few of the many terms you may hear, but this will get you started. For our next journey, we will be discussing the ready-made diapers. Elaine, what do you mean by ready-made? Well read below and I will try to explain that to you.
Here we will talk about the AO1, AO2, Pocket diapers, and the Hybrid Fitted diapers.
The only thing that you must do when changing baby with this diaper is wash off the poop if the baby is eating solid food! It can’t get any easier than!
So what is the cost? Most will run you about $20 since the insert is already there.
AO2– these are similar to the ones above except they have an extra layer added for more absorbency. This means you can get more uses out of the cover by simply changing the liner instead of the entire diaper.
So what is the cost? All you have to do is buy 1 outer shell and extra inserts, so $20 plus extra inserts.
Pockets– these are a two part system with a shell and an insert to tucked in the “pocket”. The benefits of the pocket diapers is a fast drying time that and you can “customize” the absorbency factor by the type of liner you add. Also, their clean-up time is easy and fast.
Once Mom has prepared the diaper then they are easy for day cares and Dads to use!
How much do they cost? They can range in price from $10-$20 which includes inserts, word of warning, some include these but some don’t.
Hybrid fitted diapers– These diapers are similar to the AO1 but they are made of polyester fleece to make them water resistant and helpful to baby’s sensitive skin.
These diapers can go for 3-6 hours before they will need to be changed.
How much do they cost? These are the most expensive diaper $25-$35 which does include the inserts.
Now we will travel further down the road to discuss the Old Fashioned Diapers.
So let’s talk about the pre-folds, flats, covers, and the different fasteners you would use to hold the diaper in place.
Pre-fold– these are reasonably priced, all natural, and very absorbent diapers. These are 3 layers of absorbent material sewn together in a rectangle shape. You will need a waterproof cover to complete this set.
These don’t come in one size fits all or adjustable size, you must buy a different size each time. But that is okay because they only cost between $2.50-$5.00. The sizes are newborn, infant, and toddler.
The benefits for using pre-fold is their price, how absorbent they are, their long life, the fact that they can be used as inserts for pocket diapers, and folding can be customized for your baby’s size and fit. But the cons are that they need folding, require some kind of fasteners, and Dad’s and others maybe uncomfortable using them.
Flats– a single sheet of 100% cotton or natural fiber, but some diaper stores are coming out with a new blend of 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton.
The benefits to flats is that they only cost $2, dry quickly, can be used from birth to toddler stage, can be customized, and are super easy. Their drawbacks are that they require folding, require fasteners and waterproof covers, and they make others uncomfortable using them.
Covers– These are waterproof shells that go over the cloth diaper which will give you a barrier against leaks. Some are available with snaps or Velcro closure. They are one size fit all or they can come in specific sizes, it just depends on the manufacturer. You can get them in solid colors or bright patterns!
We looked at 5 different diapers and compared them at cost, durability, what was needed and how they made others feel.
These are important factors to look at because when you are looking are what you are going to spend, I like to know if I have any hidden costs.
Also, if you are going to be cloth diapering you will need to take into consideration how others will feel. I know, you are probably saying that doesn’t matter because it is my baby. But I’m talking about your own immediate family, your husband, other children, grandparents, and future day care/child care. These are things you need to think about. I’m not trying to talk you out of cloth diapering in any means. I’m just saying you all need to be on the same page with this.
As promised, I will give you my recommendations and state why. The AO1 diaper has some nice features but if you have a heavy wetter then this diaper may not be a great choice.
The Hybrid fitter diaper is pricey but is a good diaper. I would consider getting a few to have in your stash.
AO2 are good diaper but not really adaptable for all stages.
Flats are not easy for all to use.
So my #1 pick would be the pocket diapers because they can be customized to anyone. Their absorbency is customizable with inserts. Plus they wick moisture away from baby’s skin which is very important.
Here are some other articles I have published that might be of interest.
Comparing Cloth vs. Disposable
If you have any questions or need a hand, feel free to leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the Best,