Disposable diapers were invented to convenience parents, so the idea of using old school cloth diapers can be perplexing to some. They are definitely more troublesome than diapers that you can chuck in the bin, but with the various benefits being raved about, they’re definitely worth a try!
Unlike disposables, there are many components to a cloth diaper that you need.
Parts of a Cloth Diaper
Photo credit: @snappi_baby
Modern day cloth diaper parents have worked their way around the dangers of a wriggling baby and a diaper pin. Snappis are safer and a lot simpler to use. Some folding methods don’t require a snappi, but until you’re accustomed to the techniques, this external mechanism that holds your diapers together is a life saver.
Fabrics easily soak through, hence, waterproof covers are a natural counterpart. Pull up covers may be more convenient to put on but wraps provide more security with built-in Velcro straps or buttons. Nylon is commonly used for its waterproof properties. Polyester fleece or wool diaper covers are a better option for babies vulnerable to rashes – they’re only water resistant but are more breathable. Whichever material you pick, they come in a variety of colours and prints!
Inserts and Soakers
Both terms refer to the absorbent fabric that is removable or permanently attached to the cloth diaper.
Double the absorption for heavy duty days! This extra layer of cloth come in varying materials with different absorptions rates to accommodate high-energy activities and longer hours through the night.
For the squirmy new parents who are put off by touching poo and pee, these were invented for you! The semi-permeable liners trap solid waste while urine passes through so your baby’s bum stays dry. Simply dispose or flush soiled liners and toss the cloth diaper straight into the washing machine.
Cloth diapers also restrict your choice of rash creams to ‘cloth safe’ options. Thick and oily ointment can spoil the diaper’s absorbency unless you’re using a diaper liner.
Types of Cloth Diapers
Photo credit: www.greenmountaindiapers.com
The traditional diapers that your grandparents used are still sold today! Made of absorbent fabric, this cloth diaper is only a single square layer, making it the cheapest and easiest to launder.
These are rectangular cloths that are segmented into three parts where it’s thicker down the middle. There are different folding techniques recommended for boys and girls that have been catered to different ways urine normally flows in the diaper.
Similar to pre folds, they require snappis and diaper covers. However, shaped like an hourglass, the baby’s legs have already been accommodated for, so the folding methods are a lot simpler.
These have a steeper price range because they are already in the shape of an actual diaper and come with built in Velcro or hook & loop mechanisms so you can save on the snappis.
Finally, a design that incorporates the ‘snappi’ and waterproof cover with the actual cloth diaper! The modernised cloth diaper come with detachable inserts, without it, pocket diapers become useless. Although many parents swear by it, handling a wet insert can be gross for some and the additional inserts and diapers might be too bulky for a mum on the move.
Hybrids / All-In-Twos (AI2)
The AI2 is essentially a waterproof diaper cover with soakers. They are laid into the cover and come in direct contact with your baby. Once soiled, only the soakers have to be washed while the cover can be reused multiple times as long as there wasn’t any leakages!
The most expensive cloth diapers closely resemble disposable ones – there is no need for additional parts because everything has been integrated into one piece. The wear once and wash once approach is extremely convenient even if it might take a while longer to dry!
Are you team disposable or team cloth diapers? Share with us in the comments below!