Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cloth Diapering Dictionary

This dictionary was created for those of you who are new to cloth diapering. In the beginning it was a bit overwhelming for me trying to figure out all the new vocabulary and diaper terms. This is a great resource of some basic terms that will make your cloth diaper shopping experience much less confusing.

AIO ~ All-in-one Diapers – these diapers are fitted diapers that have an outer waterproof layer and the absorbent material all in one piece. These diapers are ideal for babysitters, grandma’s, daycare, and for people who want the ease of a one-piece diapering system.

Thirsties AIO

Contour diapers – Contour diapers are shaped like a diaper but have no elastic in the legs, or attached closures. Contour diapers usually need to be fastened with a pin or Snappi and require a cover.

Diapers – Diapers come in a few different styles: Flat Diapers, Prefolds, Contour or shaped diapers, fitted diapers, pockets and All in ones. For more info. on each diaper please see respective description.

Diaper Covers – Covers are used on pretty much every diaper with the exception of AIO and Pocket diapers. Covers come in several styles. They are usually contoured and fasten with snaps or Velcro. Very few covers pull-up, like underwear. Covers are made from many different materials such as: polyester, PUL, vinyl, fleece or wool. Fleece and wool are both breathable materials that require a little extra care but provide the most natural protection.

Thirsties PUL Diaper Cover

DSQ ~ Diaper Service Quality – DSQ is an industry standard term for the highest quality in prefolds. Prefolds that are DSQ are durable and absorbent enough to last for more than one child.

Doublers – Doublers may be added to any diaper system to increase absorbency. They are made of little pads that fit easily into a diaper, and are made of many different materials. Doublers are great for at nighttime, car rides or trips to the mall to help prevent leaks.

Fitted Diapers - Fitted diapers have a contoured shape and elastic around the legs. Instead of tape, they fasten with Touch Tape (Velcro) or snaps. A waterproof diaper cover is necessary when using a fitted diaper. Velcro fitteds are much easier to use especially if you have a wiggly infant. Make sure to always use the laundry tabs to secure touch tape before washing.

Happy Heiny Fitted (Heiny Huggers)

Flat Diapers -Flats refer to the single-ply square shaped diapers that our mothers and grandmothers used (these are your mothers cloth diapers ; D). The flat diapers that you find in a store, such as Target or Walmart, are not effective for use as cloth diapers, but do make excellent burp rags!

Hemp - Hemp is a course fiber made from the inner bark of the hemp plant. Hemp is considered a renewable resource and is becoming increasingly popular for use in diapers because of its durability, absorbency, softness and natural anti-microbial properties. It is also grown without the use of chemicals and can absorb up to 80 times as much as cotton.

Inserts – Inserts are the absorbent materials used in pocket diapers. Insert can made of Hemp, Bamboo, Microfiber, ZORB and a few other materials. Inserts come either shaped to fit in the diaper or in a square that can be folded to fit in the diaper. Generally the Microfiber are pre-shaped and the Hemp or Bamboo come in easy to fold squares.

Apple Cheeks Hemp Insert

One Size Diapers- OS diapers are usually a pocket diaper that is adjustable for use from newborn to potty training, Although they usually don’t fit properly until about 8-10 lbs. OS diapers sizes are adjusted with snaps on the outside front of the diaper or the newer version which adjust with elastic in the same way that children’s waist bands adjust in their pants. These diapers are great for a family that has more than one child in diapers at a time and also save a few bucks because you only have to buy the one diaper, not size up each time they grow.

Rocky Mountain OS Pocket Diaper (Internal Adjustment System)
bumGenius! OS Pocket Diaper

Pre-folds - Pre-fold diapers are rectangular shaped diapers that are thicker in the middle. The sides usually have a thickness of 4 layers. The middle section can have 6 or 8 layers. This gives pre-folds greater absorbency in the middle. You will often see prefolds defined as 4-6-4, 4-8-4 or more rarely 2-4-2. These numbers will tell you how many layers of cloth in each section from left to right. Pre-folds are the cheapest alternative in diapers. They can be enclosed in a Velcro or snap fastened cover or they can be pinned with diaper pins or snappi fasteners.

Pocket Diapers - Pocket diapers are the most customizable in their absorbency. They usually have an outer layer of a waterproof material and an inner layer of a stay dry material, such as microfleece, or suedecloth. Pocket diapers have an opening between the 2 layers to form a pocket. In the pocket you put an absorbent material called an insert. Many pocket diapers are sold with an insert, or you can buy them separately to meet your individual needs . Pocket diapers are great for nighttime use, because you can customize the absorbent material. During the day you might use 1 insert, while at night you might use 2 or more. Pocket diapers also conveniently close with snaps or Velcro.

PUL ~ Polyurethane Laminate – Polyurethane Laminate is a fabric which has had a waterproof laminate applied the back. This makes for an extremely thin, soft fabric that is also waterproof and easy to care for.

Quick-dry – Quick-dry products open up or come apart in the dryer so that they dry quickly. For example, a quick-dry diaper might have a snap in soaker that you can take off for washing and drying. A quick drying insert may be sewn in a loop so that air can get through it and cut your drying time in half.

Soakers - The term soaker has two different meanings in the cloth diapering world. The term can refer to the middle part of the diaper, which is made from an absorbent material such as cotton, and is anywhere from 2-6 layers thick. Soakers can be sewn into the diaper, snapped onto the inside of the diaper, or laid inside the diaper. Sometimes snap in and lay in soakers are referred to as “quick-dry”. The term soaker can also be used to describe the knit wool diaper covers.

Wet Bags- Usually made with a cute outer print and an inner layer of PUL waterproof fabric. The bag closes with a zipper or velcro to keep smells and wetness where they belong. Wet Bags are great for trips to the mall or to Grandmas house. They also work great for toting wet swimming suits from the pool.

Wool - Wool is a fabric made from the fleece of sheep or lamb. It is water repelling, and has natural antibacterial properties and breath ability. These 2 features are what make it popular for use as a diaper cover. Wool covers are generally washed every 2 -3 weeks or sooner if they get stool on them. Regular lanolizing is also necessary for them to be water repellant.

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