Modern cloth diapers are the type of cloth diapers that combine the ease of use of a disposable diaper and the re-usability of cloth diapers.
They are what I call the perfect marriage between cloth and disposables.
When you first delve into the world of diapers you might be overwhelmed with the sheer number of types of diapers and the jargon used. In this post below I am listing the types of cloth diapers available in India and a brief description about them. If you have attended my online sessions on cloth diapers you should be able to understand better.
I will be dividing the cloth diapers into parts, namely the shell and the absorbents (soakers/inserts). Let us talk about the different kinds of shells first.
These are the diaper shells that can be used over anything to make it waterproof or leak-proof. You can use this in combination with flats and prefolds. Covers are versatile and have a very less drying time, making them excellent options for rainy days and for during travel. Yes, you can successfully cloth diaper when on vacation too!
These are diaper shells with a stay dry layer on top, forming a pocket through which you can insert soakers/inserts. Pockets are versatile and can be customized in for various levels of absorbency and they dry quickly too. Pockets are budget friendly too.
3. All In One
All in one or AIO is the closest possible alternative to the disposable in terms of ease of use. There are two types of AIOs with the soakers stitched in (soaker is attached to the shell) and flap style. Flap style dries faster than the ones with stitched in soakers. AIOs generally have more layers of absorbents.
4. All in Two
An Ai2 is the upgraded version of the AIO. The difference being, option to change the absorbency, removing the soakers from the shells to wash and dry, hence bringing the drying time down. These are also usually designed to have many layers of absorbency.
These are the kinds of diapers where the shell itself is absorbent, meaning there is not leak-proof layer. If you have to make it leak proof, you should add a cover with this diaper. These are softer than the other kinds and come either handmade or mass produced.
Now let’s get started on the soakers/inserts. Here I will be talking about the types and also the different materials used.
Flats are easily the most economical soakers you can ever get your hands on, because you can easily make them at home. Just cut up squares of size 60cm x 60cm to 100cm x 100cm of your old cotton sarees or dhotis. There are so many ways of folding flats. Plenty of resources available online to learn about the different folds. But the basic ones being pad fold and angel fold. To fasten the material together, you will use diaper pins or boingos or a snappi.
Prefolds are more of a subtype of flats. These usually come as a rectangular piece of cloth with three sections, with the middle section having more layers than the rest. These can be used in a pad fold along with covers, or on their own in an angel fold for newborn babies.
Inserts are usually a rectangular piece of absorbent with many layers stitched together. Typically minimum 3 layers of absorbents. These are used in pockets, aio, ai2, and fitteds.
I will now list down the different kinds of materials used to make the above mentioned soakers.
|Cotton||Prefolds, flats, as insert might not be durable||Natural fibers|
|Terry cotton||prefolds, flats, has more absorbency||Natural fiber|
|Microfiber||Inserts, quick absorption, not to be used on skin directly||Synthetic fiber|
|Charcoal bamboo||Inserts, quick absorption, has more absorbency||Synthetic fiber|
|Bamboo cotton||inserts, flats, prefolds, needs prepping||Natural fiber|
|Hemp cotton||inserts, flats, prefolds, needs prepping||Natural fiber|
There are so many other cloth diapering terms that you need to be familiar with in order to understand the world of cloth diapers. I will now list down those words:
|Minky||A really soft diaper shell material|
|Prepping||The process of getting full absorbency in materials|
|Snappi, Boingos||Accessory for holding flat folds together|
|Liner||Something you use between absorbent layers and baby’s skin|
|Wet Bag||A bag made of diaper material to carry diapers|
|One Size||New born to toddlerhood size|
|Build-up||Chemical deposits from detergents hindering with absorption|
|wash routine||a series of steps to be followed for the maintenance of the diapers|
|Stripping||process involving the removal of all deposits on the diapers|
|Hook and Loop||type of fastener in diapers, similar to velcro|
|Gusset||the gathered stitches near the crotch area|
|Stash||collection of cloth diapers and related stuff one owns|
|Fleece/Suede||types of stay dry layers used in diapers|
|doubler/booster||a smaller insert provided to use optionally in case extra absorption is needed.|