Cloth diapering series: Types of cloth diapers | The Life of K: Cloth diapering series: Types of cloth diapers

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cloth diapering series: Types of cloth diapers

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Two years ago I started cloth diapering my little girl and to celebrate I have some posts about cloth diapering to share. And if you stick around, a sweet little giveaway at the end of the week. Fun, right?

Cloth Diapering Series - Types of Cloth Diapers

Today I wanted to do a quick overview of cloth diapers in case you're curious (if not, come back another day because I have another giveaway coming up that I'm sure you'll love). Cloth diapering can be so overwhelming that you don't even know where to begin. I hear you. There are different types and fits and things to consider and, as with most things, specific language to learn as well.

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Little K in a prefold and cheerful flowery cover, summer 2011.

It really isn't rocket science though. Diapers need to be absorbant and they need to keep the mess in. Some cloth diapers do this in one step, others have two or more pieces. Disposable diapers are made of paper and filled with gel that absorbs liquid. Cloth diapers are basically an absorbant layer covered with a plastic-y layer.

The most basic type of cloth diaper is, well, just cloth with a waterproof cover. You can use receiving blankets folded up with a cover. Most people I know use something a little more elaborate, more fun even. These are the four popular types:

Prefolds with covers. Prefolds are rectangular pieces of fabric that have more layers in the middle section. They get folded, wrapped around baby, fastened with pins or a fancy snappi, and covered.

Fitted diapers are similar to prefolds but look more diaper-like. They also need a cover and need to be fastened, whether with pins, snappis or velcro.

Pocket diapers are more elaborate cloth diapers. The absorbant fabric (the insert) is stuffed into a pocket in the cover before putting it on the baby. The diaper is fastened with snaps or velcro.

All-in-ones (AIOs) or All-in-twos (AI2s) are similar to pocket diapers but the absorbant layer lies inside the cover, which fastens with snaps or velcro.

The different types of diapers each have pros and cons and I don't think there's any way to know what you'd like until you get your hands on them or see them in action. And knowing that, if you are considering switching to cloth from disposables or starting with cloth on your newborn, I would recommend some internet research and then visiting a baby store to see the diapers in person.

You can also do a trial. The one I did was for two weeks and cost just $20. When I picked up my kit, I was shown how to use each diaper and told to throw everything in the bag and return it at the end of the trial.

In Ottawa there are a couple stores that have trial kits: Ottawa Cloth Diapers and Belly Laughs.

What I Do

I researched cloth diapers online and did a two week trial. I chose prefolds and covers. They are ones of the cheapest options, dry quickly, and still look cute. I was happy with my choice until Little K got so squirmy that I was afraid I was going to hurt her trying to fasten the diapers on her (the snappis are pretty sharp).

I switched over to pockets and haven't looked back. I have about 20 diapers and more inserts than that. I went with snaps instead of velcro and chose Hipkiddo brand. Hipkiddo is a Canadian company out of B.C. The diapers are cheaper than most but still good quality and after two years are holding up well.

I was able to sell the prefolds and covers.

Up Next

Tomorrow we'll talk about washing cloth diapers and why the sun is your best friend.

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