Cloth diapers have come a long way from a square piece of cloth. There are now five major types of cloth diaper and numerous options.
All In One (AIO) – All in ones are most similar to disposable diapers. The absorbent material is sewn onto the outer cover. If you wash them every other day, you will need 24-36 all in ones.
- Easy to use – you do not have to stuff them, use pins or add an extra outer cover
- Can be purchased as a one size fits all diaper or in multiple sizes
- Easy on/easy off
- Take a long time to dry – because it is all one piece, the inner absorbent layers take longer to dry
- Not as easy to clean all of the layers
- More difficult to adjust absorbency
- Most expensive cloth diaper system option
All in Two (AI2)- Also known as hybrid diapers and flip diapers, all in twos have a removable soaker. To cloth diaper using AI2’s you will need 24-36 soakers as well as 6-10 outer covers.
- Take less time to dry because the pieces can be taken apart
- Can be used with various inserts to adjust absorbency or material preference
- Have a disposable option for easier travel
- No need to touch a soiled diaper – just flip it into the storage bin and wash
- Outer cover can be reused more than once before needing to be changed
- The inserts can move around in the diaper if they aren’t secured with a snap
- Slightly more time consuming as you have to stuff the diaper before you put it on
- Cover can get wet and leak
- Examples: Grovia, Flip Diaper, gDiaper
Pocket Diapers – These are most like the AIO diapers discussed above, but have a small opening in the back in which you can change the soaker for absorbency. To launder every other day you would need 24-36 covers as well as 24-36 soakers. You cannot reuse the outer shell after baby has soiled the diaper.
- quicker drying time than AIO
- Easier to tailor absorbency
- No pins or extra outer shell needed
- Easy to use
- Entire diaper needs to be changed after each use
- Stuffing takes time
- Unstuffing insert can be messy
- Less options for inserts
- Examples: Bumgenious 4.0, Charlie Banana, Fuzzi Buns
Fitted Diapers – Fitted diapers are a contoured cloth diaper with elastic around the waist and legs. They have the same shape and easy of use that a disposable diaper does, but require the addition of a waterproof outer cover. To launder every other day, you would need 24-36 fitted diapers as well as 6-10 outer covers.
- contain leaks
- easy to put on and take off
- less messy than pocket diaper to clean
- Needs and outer cover
- take longer to dry than an insert
- Examples: Osocozy, Bummies
Prefolds and Flats – Flats and prefolds are a rectangular diaper that are folded and wrapped around baby. Prefolds have an extra absorbent later sewn in to the middle of the diaper. This is a two step system, so you will need an extra outer cover. You will need 24-36 diapers and 6-10 covers.
- Most inexpensive option for cloth diapering
- Dry fast and easy to wash
- One size fits all
- Can be used for other things
- Folding can be complicated
- Require use of pins and an additional cover
What kind of cloth diaper style do you prefer?
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