Are there multiple kinds of cloth diapers?
Yes. There are multiple kinds of cloth diapers which can confuse those who are new to cloth diapering. Here at KerrBear Kids, we focus on Pocket Diapers. As parents who have tried many different kinds, we've found that these types are the easiest to use and fit most babies better than other types. Using multiple snaps around the waist and legs, they are one size fits all and can be quickly changed. They come in a variety of patterns so that they are both functional and fashionable.
Cloth Diaper Types
- Terry Toweling Diapers - Terry diapers are large, flat square sheets of absorbent cotton material, which have to be folded and fasten together with safety pins. The towel like fabric is usually white in color.
- Flannelette or Muslin Square Diapers - Flat square sheets of absorbent cotton material, which have to be folded and fastened together with safety pins.
- Shaped Diapers - Flat Triangle, T-shaped, X-shaped, Y-shaped cloth diapers made out of toweling flannelette or muslin cotton material, fasten together with safety pins, Velcro of poppers, designed to fit a baby without folding the diaper.
- Flats – Flat diapers are a large, single layer, square or rectangle of absorbent cloth. Birdseye cotton or muslin are the most common materials used, but any absorbent material may be considered a "flat" if it is composed of one single layer. Flats may or may not be hemmed or otherwise finished at the edges. Flats must be folded into the desired shape before they are usable as a diaper.
- Prefolds – Prefolds are a rectangular piece of absorbent fabric that has been folded, layered, and then sewn so that the center strip of the diaper has more layers of absorbent material than the sides. This reduces bulk while still providing enough absorbency where it is needed. Prefolds get their name because before their invention, flats were the common diaper type available. Flats require folding in order to obtain the appropriate number of layers of absorbent material in the wet zone. A "prefold" is pre-folded and sewn down so that less folding is required at the time of the diaper change. Prefolds typically have 4 to 6 layers of material in the center and 2 to 4 layers on the edges.
- Contours - Contoured diapers are made of multiple layers of absorbent fabric and are cut and sewn into an general hourglass shape. This is done so that no folding is required before they are ready to be used as a diaper and also to reduce bulkiness.
- Fitteds – Fitted diapers are hourglass shaped absorbent diapers that have elastic at the legs in order to better contain feces and urine. They usually also have a built in closure such as velcro or snaps that is used to secure the diaper onto the baby. There are several sub-types of fitted diapers including closureless fitteds (those that lack velcro or snaps), prefitteds (fitteds made from prefold diapers), and pocket fitteds (pocket diapers that use absorbent materials for all the layers instead of wicking or waterproof materials).
- Pocket diapers – Pocket diapers are hourglass shaped and have closures to secure them onto the baby (generally snaps or velcro). They consist of a waterproof outer layer and an inner layer that are sewn together on three sides to create a pocket. The inner layer may be made of a moisture wicking material or an absorbent material. The pocket is then stuffed with absorbent material to customize the absorbency level for each baby. One sub-type of pocket diapers is the sleeve diaper, which is sewn only on two sides instead of three so that the pocket may be accessed from both the front and back of the diaper.
- All-in-one diaper – An all in one (AIO) diaper consists of a waterproof outer layer sewn together with absorbent material on the inside. There may also be an additional inner layer of moisture-wicking material. All-in-ones are hourglass shaped and have a velcro, snap, or other closure to secure them on the baby.
- All-in-two diaper – An all-in-two- diaper (AI2) is a diaper with two parts. An all-in-two diaper consists of a waterproof diaper cover with fasteners and an absorbent insert. The insert is a rectangle or hourglass pad of absorbent material, that may or may not have a moisture wicking material as its top layer. The insert snaps or lays into the cover and may be removed when soiled or wet. The cover may be reused throughout the day by replacing the insert at each change.