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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cloth Diaper Glossary

There are so many different terms in cloth diapering that can sound foreign if you are new to the whole idea.
So, I decided to post all of the common abbreviations and types as a glossary of sorts. Hope it helps!

All-in-one Diapers
Also known as AIO's, all-in-ones are fitted diapers that have an outer waterproof layer. Often they have fewer absorbent layers than their counterparts. These diapers are ideal for out of home use. They are not practical for daily use since frequent washing and drying reduces the effectiveness of the waterproof outer layer.

Diaper Covers
Like diapers, covers come in many forms. Like fitted diapers they may be contoured shaped and can fasten with snaps or velcro. Some covers resemble underwear. Either are made of polyester or vinyl to prevent wetness from getting on baby's clothing. These are ideal for covering your child's diaper during the daytime.
There are also wool and polar fleece diaper covers. These too may be contoured shaped with snap or velcro fasteners. Others come in "boxer-like" shape. Some prefer these covers for night-time use because they breathe.

This term is often used interchangeably with liners perhaps because they do overlap from time to time. Doublers are thick rectangular pads that can be inserted between your baby's bottom and the diaper to provide extra absorbency. These are great for heavy wetters or for night-time use.

Fitted Diapers
Fitted diapers resemble disposable diapers. They have a contoured shape and have gathered edges around the legs. Instead of tape, they are fastened with either velcro or snaps. A waterproof diaper cover is necessary when using a fitted.

Flat or Square Diapers
Flat diapers refer to the single-ply square shaped diapers that resemble the diapers our mothers and grandmothers used.

Hemp is a course fiber made from the inner bark of the hemp plant. It is becoming increasingly popular for use in diapers because of its durability, absorbency and natural anti-microbial properties.

Liners are thin material used between a baby's bottom and the diaper itself. Most liners are used to keep stool away from diapers for easy clean up. Most are flushable.

Polar Fleece
Fleece's ability to wick moisture away from the skin makes it a great fabric for covers. Also, since fleece has the ability to allow liquid (such as pee) to shoot through it and not penetrate back, it works as a wonderful stay dry liner.

Pre-fold diapers are rectangular shaped diapers that are divided lengthwise in 3 sections. The outer sections usually have a thickness of 4 layers. The middle section can have 6 or 8 layers. This gives pre-folds absorbency where it is needed most, in the middle. You will often see prefolds defined as 4-6-4, 4-8-4 or more rarely 2-4-2. These numbers refer to the layers of cloth in each section from left to right. Pre-folds are the cheapest alternative in diapers. They can be enclosed in a velcro or snap fastened diaper or they can be pinned with safety pins or snappi fasteners.

Pocket Diapers
Pocket diapers are the newest type of diapers to hit the cloth diapering world. Pocket diapers are two piece diapering system typically with a piece of fleece that makes up the inner portion of fabric and a waterproof layer that makes up the outermost portion. An absorbent insert is placed inside of the two pieces making the whole system act as an all in one system that keeps babies dry.

The term soaker is used for two different things. First, this word refers to the middle layer of the diaper. Often this layer is made of a different fabric than the rest of the diaper, one that is more absorbent. The term soaker is also use in reference to wool or polar fleece diaper covers. Unlike other diaper covers, wool and polar fleece are water resistant, rather than waterproof. They do allow some wetness to wick through from the diaper but still manage to keep babies' clothes dry.

Wool is a fabric made of fleece of sheep or lamb. Its water repelling properties and breathability are what make it popular for use as a diaper cover. Most cloth diaperers save their wool covers for night-time use since it is bulkier than their vinyl or polyester counterparts. Many choose wool because it is natural. You have to take special care when washing and drying your wool products or they will dry out and become stiff.

One-Size Diapers

One size diapers are diapers that fit a wide range of sizes. Each one size diaper is different in some way, but they all give an average range of weights that their diapers fit. The most common range is 7 to 35 lbs, but some even average around 10 to 40 lbs.

Hybrid Diapers
Hybrid Diapers are diapers with cloth diaper covers that use either cloth or environmentally-friendly disposable inserts. g-diapers are a popular hybrid diaper.

Inserts are most popularly used with Pocket Diapers. They are comprised of a couple of layers of extremely absorbent fabric such as cotton, microfiber, hemp, etc…that is stuffed into the sleeve or pocket of the diaper to give it absorbency. The great thing about inserts is you can customize your diaper’s absorbency depending upon which insert you use. In addition, you can lay them inside an AIO if you feel it needs more absorbency, you can use AIOs within some covers as a diapering system, or you can lay them in AI2s.

Wet Bag
Wet Bags are waterproof bags used to hold soiled cloth diapers and/or other wet things (such as bathing suits and towels). A small wet bag can be placed in your diaper bag for short trips, and a larger one can be used instead of, or inside of, a diaper pail. The great thing about wet bags is you can throw them in the wash with whatever cargo they carry. Also, any bad smells stay inside the bag. They are a great, and necessary, cloth diapering accessory to have.

Any other terms you want defined? Just let me know!

1 comment:

daniii♥ said...

Thanks for the glossary!