Cloth Diaper Q&A #2 - What diapers do you like the best?
Personally, I prefer prefolds with covers and pocket diapers.
Let me explain....
L to R:
infant size bleached Chinese prefold
toddler size unbleached Indian prefold
Prefolds are the original cloth diaper and the style of diaper my grandmother boiled in a big pot on her stovetop. They are exactly what they look like: super absorbent natural fiber towels. They earned the clever name 'prefold' because it must be folded before you put in a cover. While there are several different folding styles, I use the beyond-simple "trifold".
fitted diaper with snaps
In essence, a fitted diaper is like a prefold that snaps or velcros directly onto baby. They are not covered in waterproof material and must be used with a cover.
cover with velcro
If Liza is wearing a prefold, this is usually the cover she has on top. I fold the prefold, lay it in the cover and then put it on like any normal diaper. This is a super cute girly cover made of PUL, a waterproof material. You do not need a new cover with every diaper change, unless it gets poop on it.
L to R:
one size wool diaper cover with snaps
Wool also makes great covers, as it naturally absorbs up to 30% it's weight in liquid. My friend, Mandi, is going to explain the 'ins and outs' of wool in Cloth Diaper Q&A # 7 .
pocket diaper with snaps
L to R:
unstuffed pocket diaper
pocket diaper stuffed with microfiber insert
The outer layer of a pocket diaper is waterproof PUL and the inside layer that touches baby is fleece. The fleece wicks away moisture from baby's skin keeping her dry. See the 'pocket' cut into the fleece? Hence, the name "pocket diaper". I really like the versatility the pocket provides: microfiber insert, prefold, hemp, double stuffed for nighttime, etc.
L to R:
all-in-one diaper with velcro
all-in-one with a stuffable pocket
While the prefold and cover might be the "classic" cloth diaper, the all-in-one (AIO) is usually considered the easiest to use. As the name explains, this diaper contains everything you need in one little package. The outer shell is waterproof and you can see the absorbent liner built right into the inner-fleece lining in the 2nd photo. Some AIOs, like the BumGenius pictured, feature a pocket for double stuffing making it friendly for superwetters and nighttime use. This style is super easy to use but takes a long time to dry, which is a major con in my book.
I didn't include any hybrid styles with flushable liners because I don't really get those kinds of diapers. The covers are going to get pooped on because that's what happens with covers, especially if you feed your kids a high-fiber diet. So, if you are going to wash the covers, why not wash the inserts too? It really seems like quite the money making racket they've created for themselves.....
If you use cloth diapers:
What is your favorite style?
Do you have lots of different styles or just one?
If you are considering cloth:
What style is the most appealing to you and why?