This will be the first of many cloth diapering lessons here at Baby To Green. I understand how overwhelming it is the first time you look at a diaper shop online. The types of diapers, the materials of diapers, and no one diaper fits the same as another. It can be confusing, exhausting, and annoying at times. I will be taking questions in the comments or email them to me at email@example.com. I will try to answer what I know and if I don't know, I will find someone who does!
Today I will be focusing on the types of diapers and a breakdown of costs. As a general rule of thumb, man made materials are cheaper than natural materials. There are pros and cons to both. Make sure to read directions on every piece before you wash or dry it. No two diapers are cared for the same.
Covers go over certain types of diapers to give them a waterproof outer. Covers can range from $10 to $100+ depending on what material you choose. Covers come in PUL, fleece, or wool. They close with snaps, velcro, drawstrings, or even fit on like pants would.
Examples: Thisties covers, fleece or wool longies or shorties
Prefolds are the most basic of cloth diapers and the most affordable. Prefolds are rectangular shaped diapers that has 3 sections length-wise. The outer 2 sections usually have 4 layers of material and the middle absorbent section has up to 8 layers of material. Prefolds must be folded and secured with a Snappi or pins and require a diaper cover.
Flats are similar to prefolds, but have just one layer throughout. These work great as liners, doublers, burp rags, and even to put under baby during a diaper change.
Fitteds are diapers that are shaped like disposables. They close with snaps or velcro and, have elastic at the legs to contain messes. Fitteds require a cover. They can be inexpensive or very expensive depending on which material you choose.
All In Ones (AIO)
All in ones are the closest to disposables. They are fitted as a regular diaper, close with velcro or snaps. They have an inner layer of suede cloth or polar fleece to keep baby dry, an absorbent core, and a waterproof outer layer. AIOs are great for dads, grandparents, and babysitters because they are very easy to use. AIOs start at about $15 and go up to $30.
Examples: Kissaluvs Marvels AIO and BumGenius 3.0 AIO
Pocket diapers are the mash up of the diaper world. They are a contoured diaper much like an AIO or fitted. They have an outer PUL layer that makes the diaper waterproof and an inner layer of suede cloth or polar fleece that keeps the baby feeling dry. In the back or middle of the inner layer, there is a pocket where you stuff in your choice of absorbent material. You can find inserts made of microfiber, hemp, bamboo, Zorb, or cotton. You choose how much absorbency you need. Pocket diapers run from $15 to $25 and most come with an insert and a doubler or booster.
Examples: Happy Heiny Pocket Diapers, Apple Cheeks
Hybrids are the new kid on the block. They bring together disposables and reusable. There is a reusable outer PUL cover that contours a disposable (or washable) soaker pad. Some companies offer biodegradable diaper inserts, some offer cloth inserts.
Examples: Flip system, GroBaby System
Next up in Cloth Diapering 101 -- Materials used in cloth diapers. Remember to send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it in the comments section!