Common Cloth Diaper Terms
Cloth diapes have come a long way from the big piece of fabric and a safety pin that you might picture if you’re not familiar with modern cloth diapers. Those cloth and pin options are still out there, but there are many, much easier options available! Here are a few of the common terms you’ll find when you start looking into cloth diapering.
What it is: This is basically a big piece of very absorbent fabric that’s stitched in three horizontal and three vertical rows. The stitching helps guide you as you fold this big piece of very absorbent fabric to stick it into your diaper cover.
How you use it: There are two ways to fold your prefold. If you look at the stitching, you’ll see that all of those lines form rectangles. You fold the diaper in thirds along those guidelines. For a small baby, you fold along the shorter lines, and for a larger baby, you fold along the longer lines. You want the folded cloth to be long enough to cover the baby from front to back inside the diaper without sticking out.
What it is: Some cloth diapering systems, like Grovia, have custom-made liners that fit in the covers perfectly. This replaces the prefold.
How you use it: Your liner will either snap into the diaper or you’ll be nestling either end into pockets built into the front and back of the inside of the liner. You can also buy disposable liners, which are handy to have when you’re traveling. Some of the disposable liners are flushable!
What it is: Some diaper systems have fitted liners. These are shaped a lot like paper diapers but made from cloth. They are by far the easiest liners out there, and in my experience they leak the least. The downside is that I haven’t seen fitted liners that adjust to grow with your baby from year-to-year.
How you use it: Just like little pants. There is a row of snaps or a strip of Velcro on the waist, so you can adjust some for your baby’s size. Usually, they’ll be for a weight range, like 7-14 pounds, and you’d need to replace them when your baby outgrows them.
What it is: The cover is a water-resistant shell that goes on over the liner. Check out my son’s super cute Grovia liner above!
How you use it: The liners can be a little bit tricky. Some are very simple and go on just like paper diapers, and some are a little bit more complicated. If you have an adjustable liner, the front it most likely covered in snaps, so that you can size the cover to fit your baby. Here is how you use those snaps to size your diaper cover:
The Grovia isn’t the only adjustable cover that uses this snap system to resize – we have a pack of Econobum diapers that work the same way.
Next: Making cloth diapering work for you!
Image Credit: photo by Becky Striepe