Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cloth Diapering: Different Types of Diapers

I am going to break down the different types of diapers that are available. There are many different varieties of brands and styles. I have tried all of these types, so if you want to see my opinion on my favorite or least favorite, just let me know. Here's a breakdown of which each kind are and how they work. 

Flats - These are one-layer diapers, generally made out of cotton and are the most “old-fashioned” choice. The advantages are that they dry extremely quickly and fit a large range of size. The disadvantages are the folding and pinning that are required.

Prefolds - They are similar to flats, but have multiple layers with more layering in the middle. The Gerber diapers you see at Target and Walmart are prefolds, but they aren’t nearly as absorbent as the Chinese prefolds (CPF's) you can buy on-line. Prefolds come in bleached or unbleached. Prefolds need to be pinned, snappi’ed, or folded into a trim fitting wrap-style cover. Hemp prefolds are another variation and are more absorbent but much more expensive than cotton prefolds, but can be a good option for nighttime diapering.

Fitted - Fitted diapers have elastic at the legs and back and basically look like a disposable diaper (only much cuter, of course). They can have velcro or snap fasteners, plain or printed outers, and can be made from a variety of materials like organic cotton or hemp.

Covers - there are several different styles of covers: 1) wrap – this refers to covers, which can be velcro or snap closing, that fasten in front, like disposable diapers. 2) side closing – these are usually snap closing covers, but there are some side-aplix covers out there. They can be used with fitteds or pinned prefolds. 3) Pull on. 

All-in-One - All-in-ones are the absorbent part of the diaper and the cover combined into a single diaper, just like disposables. They come in snap or velcro closures, as well.

Pockets - These have a layer of fleece sewn to a cover (either fleece or PUL) with an opening in the back so that the inside of the diaper can be stuffed with any absorbant layer from CPF’s, to specially made stuffers, hemp prefolds, or even hand towels.

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