Pockets, Inserts, Prefolds OH MY!


I have to admit the many types of diapers available today can be quite overwhelming. I actually had to do some research just to write this post. Hopefully this post will explain the most popular options when cloth diapering, and help you decide what is best for your family.

Pocket Diapers are what I am most familiar with. These are what I started using from the beginning. They are just what they sound like, a diaper with a pocket. You stuff the pocket with inserts to get the absorbancy level your baby needs.  There are many types of inserts, but the most common are made of these materials:
  • Microfiber is one of the most common inserts for those new to cloth, as they often come stock with a new diaper. They are made of a synthetic material, absorb liquid very quickly, and are one of the cheapest insert options you can find. These inserts should never touch babies skin as the material can dry it out and cause irritation. Although these inserts are a cheaper option, they are bulkier and less effective then alternatives.
  • Bamboo inserts are one of my favorite. I find I don't have to worry about how often Lilly is changed when one of these is in her diaper. They are safe to touch baby skin and wick away moisture unlike microfiber. Although these inserts absorb more liquid they absorb slowly, which is why they are often combined with something else
  • Charcoal Bamboo Blend inserts give you the absorbancy of Bamboo inserts but a quicker absorbancy speed so they don't leak before the liquid absorbs..

Covers are also exactly what they sound like. They typically go over either a prefold or fitted. 
  • Prefolds is the original cloth diaper. It is a rectangle with a thicker middle. There are certain folds that can be secured with safety pins or a item called snappis, or folded into thirds and used like an insert, or as a lay in.
  • Fitteds are diapers that do not have a waterproof layer, meaning they need a cover. They are one of the most absorbent diapers though, as the whole diaper is made of absorbing material. They are often used as a nighttime solution for heavy wetters.

AIO stands for All in One. This is a diaper that has the absorbency sewn right into the middle where it is needed. There is no stuffing, so it is "ready to use" like a disposable. They do however take the longest to dry.

AI2 stands for All in Two. These are similar to AIO except the absorbent part either snaps in or can be laid in the diaper.

Hybrids are similar to fitters except they have a hidden layer of fleece between the outer print and the inner absorbent material. The fleece repels liquid and the inner material is able to absorb more rather than just soaking the middle and needing to change. Hybrids are more breathable than an AIO or AI2 but are not waterproof. They are often used with out a cover around the house to allow baby to "air out" a little with out worrying about messes!

Thank you for joining me for week two of my cloth diaper series. This was the hardest week to write and I want to thank my friend Miranda for helping me write it. Without her it would have been a jumbled mess. I look forward to next Fridays post about all those terms and abbreviations you see when researching cloth diapers.

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