Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cloth Diaper 101

Trying to navigate the world of cloth diapers?  It's easy, just takes a little getting used to!  Here are some descriptions and terminology to help.  If you're in the area, stop by our store where you can see and feel the diapers as well as take a diaper 101 class! We also offer a fantastic DIAPER TRIAL where you can try all the different types of diapers out there before you buy!!

Itti Bitti D'lish AIO
All-In-One Cloth Diapers (AIO's)
Looking for easy? The AIO is the cloth diaper for you!  These diapers are truly just as easy as disposables, except instead of tossing them in the trash, you toss them in the wash!  All-in-one cloth diapers are easy to use, trim fitting, and have a waterproof cover built right into the diaper.  There is no folding or stuffing needed and they are often referred to as  "the daddy diaper".  AIO's are very popular for first time users and for babies that are cared for by others like grandparents, daycares, or babysitters.  If your baby is away from home, just take off the AIO and toss it in a wet-bag (waterproof diaper bag for soiled diapers) then you can wash it later!

All-In-Two (AI2's):  All-in-twos are just like an All-in-one, except the absorbent soaker pad is not attached to the diaper. It is completely separate and must either be set inside the diaper cover or snapped in place. This allows for a faster drying time than an All-In-One diaper.

Thirsties Fab Fitted
Fitted Diapers
Fitted diapers are similar to a prefold or flat diaper.  The difference is that instead of having to fold a prefold diaper, a fitted diaper is shaped to fit snugly around your baby.  Fitted diapers are soft and squishy and are available in cotton, microfleece, and bamboo.  They also come in many adorable colors and prints. Fitted diapers are extremely easy to use and come with either snaps or hook and loop (just like Velcro) closures.  The fitted diaper is the absorbent part of the diaper, so a cover  is required.(Although many moms skip the cover unless they are leaving the house) Fitteds are a great choice for newborns too, as their snug fit contains messes easily and they are a very popular choice for night time and naps.

One size diapers (OS) One Size Diapers were designed to simplify the cloth diapering process.  OS's are designed to go from approximately 8-35 lbs and allow for maximum adjustability as your child grows.  Most come with 3 rows of snaps allowing you to choose the right size to fit your child.  These diapers are a great choice if you have more than one child in diapers allowing you to use them on all your kids- no matter their size!  One size diapers are available in most cloth diaper styles.

Charlie Banana Pocket Diaper
Pocket Diapers Pocket diapers are similar to All-In-Ones, but they have a waterproof outer layer that is sewn together with either a microfleece or microsuede inner layer that creates a “pocket” to stuff.  You then stuff the pocket with an insert or prefold.  What is wonderful about pocket diapers is you can choose the amount of absorbency your child needs and stuff accordingly.  So if you have a heavy wetter or it is night time, you can use a super-soaker, or double up on the inserts. Another advantage to the pocket diaper is that the fleece layer is next to baby's skin gently wicking away the moisture and keeping your baby feeling dry for hours. Pocket diapers typically come with an absorbent insert.  

Prefolds These are by far the most economical way to cloth diaper your baby!  Prefolds are very absorbent rectangular pieces of fabric that you can fold in different ways to fit your baby.  They are then fastened with a snappi, or simply used with a diaper cover to keep the diaper in place.  There are different types of prefolds available including Chinese prefolds and Indian prefolds.  The Indian prefolds are a bit heavier and more absorbent and durable than Chinese prefolds because of the twill weave used.  It is important to know that all prefolds will shrink when washed (usually up to 10%) and require several washes in hot water to become softer, fluffier, and more absorbent prior to use.  Prefolds are the diapers you must use if you would like to use a diaper cleaning service.  When your baby grows to the next size prefold, you can use the smaller ones for rags, burp cloths, towels, or as inserts for pocket diapers since they are so absorbent.

Thirsties Covers
Diaper Covers or Wraps: These are used over prefolds  and fitted diapers  by wrapping securely around your baby with either snaps or Velcro-style closure.  They come in tons of different styles and colors.  These are a great choice, as they are very economical and can be used for several different diaper changes.  You just toss the prefold or fitted diaper in your diaper pail, and you can air-dry the wrap if needed, and then use it again for another changing.  This system requires you to buy less quantity.

Diaper Inserts:  Most inserts are made of micro-fiber terry, bamboo, or hemp. Diaper inserts are used to put into pocket diapers for the absorbent part of a diaper.

Diaper Liners
Diaper Liners: This wonderful eco-friendly invention makes cloth diapers even easier!!!! Bottom Liners are a flushable liner making clean-up a breeze!  No rinsing of poopy diapers in the toilet, instead, these liners absorb the solid waste and you just discard the soiled liner in the toilet and flush or toss in the garbage.  These liners can be used with any cloth diaper system.

GroVia Hybrid in Vanilla
Hybrid Diapers: These diapers are the newest addition to the world of cloth and are a wonderful compromise between cloth diapering for the environment and using disposable for ease of cleaning.  With Hybrid diapers, you can use an inner reusable nylon snap-in liner that you will wash after changing, or a disposable insert that can be tossed in the trash or composted reducing the need for poopy clean-up!  Hybrid diapers allow you to re-use the waterproof shell for several changes before washing.

DSQ: This stands for Diaper Service Quality. This is is high quality materials to withstand lots of use and a lot of laundering. DSQ is typically used when describing high quality pre-fold diapers.

Understanding the terminology is half the battle when it comes to cloth diapers!!  Enter to win a $20 gift card to our store!

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