Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Demystifying The Different Types Of Cloth Diapers

This post is part of the Real Diaper Facts carnival hosted by Real Diaper Events, the official blog of the Real Diaper Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to cloth diaper education. Participants were asked to write about diaper lies and real diaper facts. See the list at the bottom of this post to read the rest of the carnival entries.

It has been brought to my attention that the myriad of cloth diaper styles and brands can be confusing. I will break it down for you.

Ali's Cloth Diaper Dictionary

- A rectangular diaper usually made from cotton with three score marks. These are fastened with diaper pins or Snappis and can be folded in several different ways.

Plastic Pants
- These were also called rubber pants. I haven't seen these since the 70's but they were basically plastic underwear used over pre-fold diapers to keep the moisture in.

Diaper Covers - an updated version of the old plastic pants. They have built in closures, usually velcro or snaps. Modern diaper covers are available in various fabrics and styles. LolliDoo(TM) are a one-size diaper cover that is made from recycled fleece. Other common fabrics are PUL (Polyurethane) and wool.

Fitted Diapers
- a modern version of pre-fold diapers. Fitted diapers require a diaper cover. They are self closing typically with velcro or snaps. No diaper pins required. Below is an example of a LolliDoo(TM) Fitted Innie(TM). Other companies have varing styles, closure systems. Some fitted diapers are one-size and some are sized. Popular fabrics are cotton, hemp and bamboo.

Flat Diapers - Large square diapers similar to a pre-fold but without the scoring. The benefit of flat diapers is that they can be used in so many different ways. They can be folded any way the caregiver chooses. They offer additional absorbency protection when used inside of pocket diapers. Flat diapers are secured with diaper pins, a Snappi (pictured) or just folded without a fastener. Flat diapers need a cover in order to contain leaks.

Contour Diapers
- These also need diaper covers. Contour diapers are similar to flat diapers but they are cut to lay inside a diaper cover without needing outside fastening agents. Sometimes extra absorbency layers are sewn in as you can see in the diaper pictured.

Pocket Diapers - A diaper cover and skin layer are sewn together on three sides which leaves a "pocket" opening. The pocket opening is so that caregivers can customize the absorbency inserts that they prefer. Some caregivers use several inserts, some use flat or pre-fold diapers, you can even use a Sham-Wow. Pocket diapers are available in one-size as well as sized. The water resistant layer is usually PUL, unless you have a LolliDoo(TM) which uses fleece spun from recycled water bottles and the likes.

All-In-One Diapers - These are diapers where the outer water resistant layer is sewn directly to the inner absorbency and skin layer. All-in-one diapers most closely resemble disposable diapers in look. They can be fastened with velcro or snaps.

All-In-Two Diapers
- A cross between a pocket with an all-in-one diaper. Typically, an all-in-two diaper is a pocket diaper with the absorbency layer either sewn or snapped in. These are fairly new on the market and I haven't seen one up close and personal. Below is a all-in-two from Bum-Ware.

Hybrid Diapers - The best known hybrid diapers are gDiapers. Typically hybrids marry cloth and disposable diapers by offering a re-usable outer water resistant layer with a disposable inner and/or skin layer. The level of sustainability varies from company to company. I believe that one company offers a disposable insert that is made from rice paper. gDiapers claim to be compost able and flushable.

If you have requests for future blogs, let me know. Alison@ggsillc.com


shortcake said...

Thanks for breaking it down in an easy to understand why plus the photo examples. Best overview I've seen so far!

shortcake said...

*way* not why