Getting to know cloth diapers

The first thing we need to know is that cloth diapers are made up of different parts which are all necessary for optimal results.

2.1 What are the parts of a diaper?

The parts of a diaper are determined by the kind you choose. When considering the different kinds of diapers, keep in mind these different parts:

1) Cover:

Covers, as their name implies, cover the absorbent material of the cloth diaper. They are made of breathable fabrics, similar to those of waterproof jackets, and don't build up wetness. Their function is to keep the inner part of the cloth diaper isolated from the baby's clothes.

Additional note:

The cover makes the diaper stay in the right place, be well-fitted, and prevents the diaper from falling off. It has some inner elastic that allows a better fit. Your baby won't have any leaking problems and will be able to play comfortably.

Besides, covers have fun designs and colors!

2) Absorbent Layer:

The absorbent layer is the inner part of the diaper that absorbs and gathers the waste. It can be attached to the cover or it can be a removable layer which you can wash.

Absorbent layer

3) Fasteners or snappi

These are special fasteners that hold the diaper's absorbent layer. They are popular with "prefold diapers" and some kinds of "fitted diapers".

Fasteners or snappi

4) Inserts

Inserts are pieces of cloth made of cotton, bamboo or hemp added as an additional layer to the cloth diapers, and they are useful to improve absorption of liquids, especially during the night. They are also popular for diapers known as "pocket diapers".

Inserts for cloth diapers

2.2 Kinds of Cloth diapers:

There are different kinds of diapers. The most common ones are: all-in-one, all-in-two and prefold. The three of them have different systems. Allow us to explain:

Kinds of Cloth diapers

2.2.1 All-in-one:

They are called all-in-one diapers because the outer water-proof part is attached to the absorbent layer.

All-in-one diapers are easy and fast to use. You put them on and take them off similar to disposable diapers. They have cute designs and are comfortable, but it is important to mention their disadvantages:

All-in-one disadvantages:

This kind of diaper takes a long time to dry since the waterproof part is attached to the absorbent material and cannot be taken apart. This causes moisture to concentrate in the creases of seams and some bacteria, mineral residue, or detergent could accumulate there if not properly washed.

In addition, if we compare them with other cloth diaper systems, it is the most expensive one because you have to wash everything together after every use, and covers, which are the most expensive part of the diaper, can't be reused like with prefold diapers and other diaper systems. They take significantly longer to dry so you will need to buy more of them.

2.2.2 All-in-two:

All-in-twos, also known as hybrids, are diapers that have a waterproof cover where the reusable absorbent cloth layer is fastened, which is usually made of bamboo or cotton. You can also add a disposable absorbent material like a bamboo filter. The absorbent layer catches waste and it is interchangeable for a clean one. "Pocket diapers" are diapers that have a kind of pocket where the absorbent layer is introduced. With this kind of diaper, both parts should be washed after their use.

2.2.3 Prefold:

They’re the kind of cloth diaper that will be used with a waterproof cover and a fastener like a Snappi. The fastener is optional.

The cloth that catches waste is made of cotton or other natural fibers and can be folded and secured with a fastener, and it is covered by a waterproof cover that you can choose with the color and pattern you wish.

How prefold works:

Video how easy is cloth diapering

2.3 Advantages of using prefold

1) Being a natural fiber diaper, the possibility of your baby getting skin irritation is reduced. The cotton layer absorbs all waste with no problem, but you will have to change it as soon as it gets wet or soiled. This is different from a disposable which, thanks to the super absorbent polymer, allows hours to pass before having to change it. A baby using a prefold diaper will be prevented from getting skin irritation caused by contact with waste because they’ll get their diaper changed more often.

2) Being a cotton material, Prefold diapers can be washed more easily than an all-in-one diaper, since those diapers tend to be thicker and have more seams where residue may stay due to the creases in the fabric, which may cause infections and bad odor.

3) Absorption problems at night? You can add a second diaper or an additional insert to help wick away the moisture. That way your baby will be able to spend a peaceful night not bothered by a soaked diaper.

4) Children potty train earlier when they use cloth diapers because they can tell when they are wet, unlike using disposable diapers that, due to the chemicals, makes the baby feel dry; therefore, babies don't notice when they need to be changed.

5) The cost of an "all in one" diaper is higher. For example, a prefold costs around $3.00 dollars each, and a good quality all-in-one diaper is around $25.

Advantages of using prefold

2.4 Inserts and other accessories

There are different kinds of inserts that go with cloth diapers that help with absorption. These are small cloth pieces made of cotton, bamboo, or hemp that improve the diaper's performance while making it easier to handle waste.

Cotton, bamboo, or hemp inserts are long pieces of cloth that absorb a greater amount of liquids and are ideal for use during nighttime because they absorb urine better.

You also can find in the market “flushable liners”. These can be put on the cloth diapers and can be thrown into the toilet after use. This makes washing easier since they catch most of the solid waste.

Both inserts and filters are placed vertically between the diaper's absorbent layer and the baby's skin.