Saturday, June 11, 2011

How To Decipher The Meanings of Cloth Diapering Terms

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Ok; so as you know I'm trying to learn all about the new generation of cloth diapers. LOTS has changed since my oldest girl was in cloth dipes 10 years ago! As promised, I'm taking you along on my journey. I thought I'd spend some time trying to explain everything as I learn it myself. Here are common abbreviations & terms.

Cloth Diaper(ing) (CD)

Can be used as a noun or verb.

All In One Diaper (AIO)

All in one diapers are exactly as they sound. Rather than having to use a separate diaper cover & diaper, it's all in one! :o) They have an inner absorbent layer attached to an outer waterproof layer with adjustable snap or hook & loop closures. Out of all of the cloth dipes, they are most like disposable diapers. They are the most convenient, but also among the most expensive (but not really when you consider you don't have to buy 2 separate things!). They're easy to use & very Dad & babysitter friendly. They can take longer to dry depending on the type of AIO you buy. More on that later....

All In Twos (AI2)

Also known as Hybrid Diapers. Some people like the idea of an AIO but don't like the the longer drying and cleaning times they may encounter. An AI2 is like an AIO that lets you remove the inner soaker material in some way. Sometimes the soaker snaps to the cover, sometimes it's sewn as a flap that will free float in the wash & allow for faster drying time, & sometimes you're using inserts or pockets. This makes cleaning and drying much faster. This is definitely an expensive route to go, but some swear by it!

Fitted Diapers

I used fitted diapers with my oldest & they're still available. You can get fitted diapers by themselves, which require a diaper cover. You can also get fitted AIO's. Fitted Diapers are sized to fit babies within a certain size range, & have adjustable snaps or hook & loop closures to adjust the size better. They fit baby closely without a lot of extra bulk. The disadvantage of them is that you have to move up to the next size when baby outgrows the current size. It seems less expensive if you're getting just the diaper, but remember that you'll still need a diaper cover - unless you get an AIO.  Some people argue that these are more absorbent, but I'm not convinced.

Contour Diapers

They're designed with an hourglass shape, so that there's no folding required, as with prefolds or flats. Contours sometimes come with gathers at the legs or waist for a better fit, but this isn't common. They're secured with diaper pins or Snappi Cloth Diaper Fasteners. They can also be placed inside of diaper cover wrap without pins or Snappis, allowing the wrap to hold them in place.

Prefolds/ Flats

These are the traditional cloth diapers that most people are familiar with. They're rectangular shaped cloth diapers. They come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Prefolds need to be folded, & you must use diaper pins or a Snappi, as well as a diaper cover. You can also use them with wrap style diaper covers without pins or Snappis. They're inexpensive, & dry the fastest, but most people find the prospect of folding diapers intimidating. You don't need to buy different sizes because a simple adjustment in folding will carry your baby all the way through to potty training. You can also use them as diaper doublers or inserts for pocket diapers! I like to use them as burp cloths as well. When you're done with diapering, you can use them as dust rags. :o)

Pocket Diapers

These are really just a variation on AIO's or AI2's. I've heard them referred to either way. The cover/inside lining of the diaper has an opening or "pocket" where you stuff the absorbent material. This cuts down on washing/drying time tremendously! Some ladies use the diaper a few times before washing it, but re-stuffing it with clean inserts.

One Size (OS) Diapers

These are typically made in AIO's or AI2's. They have a series of snaps that allow you to adjust the size on your baby. They're expensive at the start, but pay for themselves in the long run because you'll theoretically never need another diaper. They should carry you all the way from newborn to potty training! The down side of these is that when they're snapped to there smallest size they're incredibly bulky & look like they're swallowing your baby up. However, most Moms seem to prefer them because they're the only investment they'll need to make in diapers.

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