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Diaper Definitions

Helpful Cloth Diapering Terminology


Common Terms And Descriptions


Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers include the moisture-absorbent part of any diaper and with all-in-one or pocket diapers, the moisture resistant part (aka the cover) as well.

All in One Diapers

Just as the name implies, All-in-one Diapers (AIOs) are a diaper and cover sewn together in one piece. They are the most convenient cloth diaper available. They are as easy to use as disposable diapers but much more economical because they are reusable.

Fitted Diapers

Fitted diapers are also a convenient way to diaper your baby. They are very absorbent and most have elastic at the waist and legs with an adjustable snap or Velcro® (hook and loop) closure to fit your baby snugly and provide a customized, leak-proof fit. A diaper cover is needed when using fitted diapers.

Pocket Diapers

Pocket diapers are a two-piece, stay-dry diapering system usually made with a soft microfleece lining, that will wick moisture away from your child's skin and a waterproof outer shell. The pocket design works like an all in one with a removable absorbent core that allows for easier laundering and faster drying time.

Prefolds or Chinese Prefolds

If you are looking for the most economical way to diaper your baby (or if you just want the most time-tested method) consider prefolds.  Unlike the kind you will find at a discount store, the high-quality prefolds sold in natural baby boutiques are made to withstand hundreds of washings. They begin as rectangular-shaped diapers that are divided into three sections. The outer sections usually have a thickness of four layers. To provide absorbency where it is needed, the center section has six or eight layers. The layers are defined on the prefold packaging as 4-6-4 (four outer layers and six center layers) or 4-8-4 (four outer layers and eight center layers). To use prefolds, simply fold and secure with diaper fasteners or secure with a quality diaper cover. For step-by-step illustrations of folding techniques, go to www.tinytush.com/foldtechnique.htm.

Diaper Covers or Wraps

Diaper covers are used as the outer layer over absorbent cloth diapers. They are often made of a waterproof fabric to prevent wetness from seeping onto clothing, and are also available in wool and polar fleece for babies with sensitive skin.

Diaper Wrap

A diaper cover which is secured with some type of fastener such as hook & loop or snaps.

Pull-on Diaper Cover

Does not have fasteners and is used by pulling on and off over the legs.

Diaper Liners

Cloth Liners

Cloth diaper liners act as a barrier between the diaper and stool. They are made from a thin layer of cloth and are reusable. They do not increase diaper absorbency.

Disposable Liners

Disposable diaper liners are usually flushable and biodegradable. They do not increase absorbency but they make clean-up a breeze. Simply toss the disposable liner and stool into the toilet and flush.


Additional Helpful Supplies to Make Cloth Diapering Easy

Diaper Sprayer

A sprayer that attaches to toilet water supply line to spray solids off of the diaper into the toilet. This great tool makes cloth diapering clean-up a snap.


Doublers increase the absorbency of cloth diapers by adding more absorbent layers. They are often used for naps and night time diapering when babies are in their diapers for longer periods of time. To use, simply place the doubler inside the cloth diaper before placing the diaper on the baby.