May 23, 2011

Back to the beginning...

I thought it was time to take some photos of the different types of diapers, so that those of you who haven't come across modern cloth diapers before, would have more of an idea what the heck I'm talking about!  In amongst all the AIO, AI2, OSFA, OSFM, FB, BG, PF abbreviations & associated cloth diapering jargon, are the 4 (well, 4 of the 5) basic types of modern cloth diaper - the AIO & AI2 (all in one & all in two), the fitted, the pocket & the prefold.

We will start with the pocket diaper.  This diaper consists of a waterproof cover, which has a stay-dry layer on the inside - and in between the waterproof cover & stay dry inner, are insert - which provide the absorbent layer/s for the diaper.  They do up with either snaps or velcro/aplix, and come either sized (small, medium, large, x-large) OR in a OSFA (one size fits all) style.

the waterproof outer
the stay-dry inner (microfleece)
the cover and an insert
the insert slides in between the two inner & outer layers
Next, we have the fitted diaper.  The fitted diaper has all it's absorbency sewn in, and often will come with an optional soaker which can be snapped in, OR is sewn in as a flap.  Fitteds are NOT waterproof and require a waterproof cover.  As with pockets, these can be fastened with either snaps, or velcro/aplix

fitted, fastened with snaps
inside the fitted, you can see a detachable soaker pad
Now we get on to the AIO & AI2.  They are a combination of the fitted and the pocket, in the way that the absorbent layers are sewn into the diaper, and again there can be the snap in, or sewn in soaker flap, but unlike the fitted - and like the pocket, the outer material of the AIO is waterproof.  There is a distinction between the AIO & AI2 however.  The AIO - as said above, has all the absorbency sewn into it, whereas the AI2 has the cover - referred to as the 'shell', however all the absorbency needs to be added to it - generally with snaps.  The AI2 is sometimes referred to as a 'snap in' or 'snap in one'.

the AIO & AI2 are the same on the outside
the AI2 has a shell - with all the absorbency separate & to be snapped in for use
all the absorbency that can be snapped in (you can customise to suit your child)
the AIO however, has all of its absorbency sewn in, with or without an extra soaker flap
And last but not least, we have the prefold.  The prefold is the closest thing to the old school flats that were used 'back in the day'.  The diaper is essential sewn in thirds, with absorbency on the inside.  The two outer sections with less absorbency, the inside with more (usually 4x6x4 layers), and they can either be folded into a pad shape (trifolded), or they can be folded & fastened as with flat diapers.  As with the fitted diaper, prefolds do require a waterproof layer over top of the diaper.

a prefold in its flat state - you can see it is sewn in thirds, lengthways
a prefold in its trifolded state
Another option for cloth diapering - as I mentioned with the prefolds, is using flats.  I haven't added them as I don't have any personal experience using them, however I do plan on purchasing some & giving it a go - so stay tuned for my flats experiment! 


  1. Flats are quite easy. I was scared them at first, but once you give them a go, you'd be surprised. Even now that my daughter only needs nappies at night, so I have plenty to choose from, I sometimes use them.

    By the way, come and check out the giveaway at my blog. Even if you don't need any more nappies, the nappy I am giving away is an eyeful!

  2. :D I have some flats on the way next week! I have ONE at the moment, and love using it for extra night time absorption.