There are more types of cloth diapers out there than you could possibly imagine. Seriously. When you think of cloth diapers I’m sure you imagine a huge flat fold bunched and pinned around your little one’s crotch, like our parents and grandparents used to use. Well, my friends, times have changed. There are, of course, still flat folds and many parents choose to use them but there are many other types for you to choose from if flat folds and covers aren’t your thing.
The first thing to know is that you need covers and diapers when cloth diapering. The diaper itself is the absorbent part, and the cover is the waterproof part. I’m sure you can figure out what would happen if you don’t use a waterproof cover…
The types of covers are as follows:
Cover or Wrap: Water proof cover that wraps around diaper and secures in front. Examples can be found here.
Pull on Cover: Water proof cover that pulls up over diaper. Examples found here.
All-In-One (AIO): The absorbent diaper is attached to the waterproof cover (hence the title- it is all in one!). Examples found here.
All-In-Two (AI2) : Waterproof cover that has a snap, velcro or flap at the back that allows you to secure the insert to the diaper cover, keeping it in place. Examples found here.
Pocket: Waterproof cover that has a liner made out of a wicking fabric with an opening at the back, allowing you to stuff the absorbent insert between the liner and the waterproof cover. Examples found here.
Hybrid: A combination of more than one type of cover, i.e. a pocket design with a snap at the back to allow you the choice of snapping or stuffing. Examples found here.
Diapers/Inserts are a whole other story. There are a ton of different types of inserts and they all have different degrees of absorbency, wicking abilities, etc, depending on the size, shape, and material.
The types of inserts & diapers are as follows:
Prefolds and Flatfolds: what you think of when you think cloth diapers. A rectangular piece of absorbent cloth that can be folded in a number of different ways around your babe’s crotch and secured with a snappi or safety pins. They can be made out of any type of material (even old towels) and are the most affordable of all cloth diapers. Examples found here.
Contours: An hourglass shaped piece of absorbent material without any closures. They were designed to replace prefolds and flat folds and they fit inside a diaper cover easily.
Fitteds: A full absorbent diaper with or without closures but with no waterproof layer. Very absorbent and they leak infrequently making them great night time diapers. They do require a cover. Examples found here.
Inserts/Pods/Mini-Pods: These are multiple layers of absorbent material that are made to go inside an AI2 or Pocket diaper. They can be different shapes and sizes, have snaps or not, and allow for a lot of absorbency flexibility since different materials and fabrics all behave differently. Examples found here.
If you are interested in giving cloth diapers a try, I would suggest finding a retailer near you and trying a few different brands/types. Don’t shy away! You can always ask me ANY questions you may have. 🙂