Different Types of Diapers

I thought today I could write about different types of diapers there are to use. 

To use cloth diapers full time you will need 16-36 diapers. If you were to have 16 you would have to do laundry everyday and if you had up to 36 you could do laundry every other day or every 2 days.  A diapering system could consist of one type of diaper or a combination of several types.

To some people the convenience of a disposable diaper is hard to beat.  If you are looking for conveniece in diaper changes, look no further than the All In One or AIO.  This type of cloth diaper has everything you need, the absorbent soaker attached to the waterproof outer shell.  They usually have hook and loop or snap fasteners.  When putting the diaper on, it’s a one step process, no folding or stuffing.  When taking the soiled diaper off, it’s also a one step process, just toss it in the pail, no separating or removing of an insert.  Now most AIO’s have a pocket so you can stuff a doubler in for a heavy wetter.  These are the most expensive of the cloth diapering systems, running anywhere from $17-$35 per diaper.  A few drawbacks to AIO’s is that 1) they don’t come out as clean and 2) they take more than one cycle to dry in the dryer and 3) the waterproof outer layer can break down with repeated washings in the washing machine.

A pocket diaper is slightly less convenient.  They are very similar to an AIO except you have to stuff the outer waterproof shell with an absorbent insert.  Really it only adds another few seconds to the diaper change and you can do this as you are putting the laundry away.  A huge advantage to pockets is that they come a lot cleaner and they dry in one cycle.  We use about 4 pockets in our diaper system for times when we need a convenient quick change.  I.e. anytime we leave the house.  Pockets are similarly priced to the AIO.

Another type of system is one that uses a waterproof outer layer that is completely seperate from the absorbent layer.  How this works is you put the actual diaper on the baby, then another layer is put on top to keep messes and wetness contained.  This can be a waterproof PUL cover or a wool soaker.  A waterproof outer layer runs about $10-30.  For full time cloth diapering with these 4 would be sufficient.  A wool soaker runs $30-$60 or more.  Or you can knit your own for a couple bucks a pair.

For diapers the easiest to use is a fitted diaper.  This looks similar to a disposable in shape.  The legs are elasticized and there is very little to no folding.  A downside to this is you have to buy several different sizes during a child’s diapering lifetime.  The elastics can get worn out and they also are harder to get completely clean.  These run from $7-$20.

Another option for using this type of system is the prefold diaper.  This is the least convenient of all the different types of diapers.  It’s a flat piece of fabric divided into thirds.  The middle of the diaper is thick and absorbent.  I say it’s inconvenient because you have to learn to fold the diaper around the baby and secure it either with a snappy, pins or a waterproof cover.  It’s not difficult by any means, but there is a learning curve with it.  The advantages are very wonderful in my opinion.  1) these come the cleanest by far.  Stains are removed easily.  2) They are also by far the least expensive.  The costliest of all the prefolds out there will run about $5 at the most.  Mine cost $2 for one infant and $3 for a standard sized.  I bought diaper service quality.  I have 3 dozen prefolds, 3 PUL covers, and 5 wool soakers.  I have come to realize this is quite excessive, but it’s better to have too much than not enough.

I have a lot more information that I would like to share, but this post is long enough as it is.  At least now you know the basics of the types of diapers  you can buy.


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