In the previous article, you read why cloth diapers are a great idea, and if you’re ready to learn more, let’s take a look at the different types available. Are you thinking how many types can there possibly be – it’s either cloth or disposable – you’d be surprised to know there are several types of cloth diapers.
Flat diapers are essentially large squares of cloth – often several layers of thin cotton or muslin cloth stitched together to make it thick and absorbent. These can be folded in many ways to fit the baby and fastened with a diaper pin. Since these are purely made of cloth, it means that these diapers are not waterproof, and they will need a waterproof cover over them to keep the sheets dry. The covers are called diaper covers and widely available. Flat diapers are very easy to maintain and they dry quickly since they are made of made of natural fabric.
Pocket diapers have two parts to it – the diaper itself and the insert. They come with buttons or Velcro for easy fastening. The diaper has a waterproof outer layer so the pee doesn’t seep through, and the inner layer that touches your baby’s skin is usually made from a stay-dry material like suede or fleece. This means that a pocket diaper can stay on for 2-3 hours depending on how heavy the wetting is, and your baby will remain dry. Pocket diapers get the name because they have a pocket like space into which the absorbent insert goes. These are easy to wash and dry with a regular washing machine.
All-in-one diapers, often abbreviated at AIOs are cloth diapers with built-in absorbency. Sort of like a pocket diaper, but with the insert sewn into the diaper. Or think of it like a disposable diaper – only it can be washed and reused. These are the most convenient to use, because you don’t need to wash the insert and diaper separately and then stuff the insert into the diaper. The only downside is that they take longer to dry because the insert is sewn in, making the diaper quite thick.
Fitted diapers are usually similar in shape to a disposable diaper, but are made entirely of a natural fabric such as cotton, bamboo or hemp, so the entire diaper is absorbent. These are not waterproof so they will need a waterproof diaper cover. Wash and care for fitted diapers is again easy because they can be washed in a washing machine.
Note: Most pocket diapers, all-in-ones, fitted diapers and diaper covers usually are adjustable for sizes from 3 months up to to 3 years. For newborn babies, you might need to use a special newborn-sized cloth diaper.
In the next part, we’ll delve into the wash and care routine of cloth diapers – and perhaps address the elephant in the room – how do you handle a poop-filled diaper? If you’re thinking, ‘Aha, this is the ugly part, you can’t throw that into a washing machine for sure,’ you’re right, but we promise you it can still be washed without umm, getting your hands dirty, thanks to one simple trick. It’s easy and doable, and totally worth the teeny amount of work involved.