Different Kinds of Cloth Diapers for the Modern Family
If you’re considering using cloth diapers for your little one, it’s possible you already know the pros and cons of using cloth diapers over disposables. Modern cloth diapers come in a variety of materials and features. Once you learn about different kinds of cloth diapers – and maybe try a few – you can make a choice about which is the best fit for you and your baby.
- Flats and Prefolds – Just like in grandma’s day, flats and prefolds are square or rectangular pieces of cotton that you fold or wrap around your baby. They are fastened with pins or snaps. Since these are the most basic type of cloth diapers, they cost the least. You will need a waterproof cover with flat or prefold diapers.
- Contoured – Similar to flats and prefolds, contoured diapers must be fastened with pins or snaps. Instead of a square shape, however, they have an hourglass shape to better fit your baby. A waterproof cover must still be used.
- Fitted – Picture a disposable diaper with built-in sticky fasteners but made of cloth and you have a fitted cloth diaper. These have snaps, hooks, or Velcro fasteners as well as elastic around baby’s waist and legs, so there is less chance of having a blow-out. Still need a waterproof cover, though.
- All-in-one – The best feature about all-in-one diapers is that no waterproof cover is needed; the cloth diaper and waterproof layer are sewn together along with all the convenient features of a fitted diaper. These are very easy for babysitters and daddies to handle. All-in-one diapers can be more time-consuming to wash because of the inner and outer linings.
- Pocket – Like all-in-one diapers, the pocket diaper has an inner cloth lining sewn to an outer waterproof lining. The difference is that between these two layers is a pocket in which you can place a piece of ultra-absorbent material (called a pocket diaper insert or you can fold a prefold diaper into thirds and use as an insert) to help your baby stay dry.
- All-in-twos (AI2) – Also called hybrids, all-in-two diapers bring the best of both diapering worlds in one system. They consist of an outer shell and disposable inserts. It makes cloth diaper-changing a bit faster as you simply replace the liner and the cover is reused.
Cloth diaper Accessories
Unlike disposable diapers, cloth diapers do require some accessories (depending on the different kinds of cloth diapers you prefer to use for your baby). Some of the more common tools include:
- Diaper pins/snaps – It can be tricky to use those large safety pins to hold the diaper onto a wiggly baby!
- Doubler – With any type of cloth diaper, you can use a thick fabric insert at night time to “double” up the layers for maximum absorbency.
- Liners – Two options here. You can line the inside of cloth diapers with disposable, biodegradable liners that are used once, or you can try reusable fabric liners.
- Diaper sprayer – Cloth diapers must be cleaned by hand, though some prefer to purchase a diaper sprayer to do the job. Most diaper sprayers consist of a hose with a high-pressure nozzle that attaches to the toilet pump, so you just spray the poop right into the toilet and flush.
- Wet bag – It’s just not practical to wash cloth diapers as fast as a baby uses them! Consider hanging a wet bag near your laundry space to put soiled diapers in until you are ready to wash a load. You can even take a small wet bag on the go to hold those dirty diapers.
- Cloth wipes – Nothing goes better with cloth diapers than cloth wipes. They are reusable, can be made from fabric scraps, keep chemicals off baby’s skin, and seem to do a better job of cleaning messy bottoms. By using cloth wipes, you’ll be saving money, too, since it can cost up to $0.05 per disposable wipe!
Again, you may want to try a few different kinds of cloth diapers to find what truly works best for you and your baby. Even though it seems like a lot to learn, the world of cloth diapers can be very satisfying for parents who prefer a more natural approach to raising children.
Which type of cloth diaper is your favorite? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
PHOTO CREDIT: Brittany