CLOTH DIAPER DICTIONARY

All-in-one Diapers (AIO)
All-in-ones are fitted diapers that have an outer waterproof layer built-in and don’t require a separate cover. AIOs are a convenient diaper for quick and easy changes for daycare or on outings. Sometimes they have fewer absorbent layers than fitted diapers (to speed drying time) and may require a doubler to be absorbent enough for older babies. A true AIO has the soaker pad permanently attached. AIOs are the most expensive cloth diaper option, ranging from $10-$30 each. They are the most similar to a disposable diaper.

All-in-two Diapers (AI2)
Many AIO diapers are actually AI2 diapers. These include AIOs with snap-in or lay-in soakers. While not quite as convenient as a true AIO, they have the added benefit that the waterproof outer layer and absorbent inner layer can be washed and dried separately. Ideally, you would hang dry the AI2 “shell” for a longer lifespan and machine dry the insert to save time. Sometimes the outer shell can be re-used if the wet soaker is removed and replaced promptly. AI2s do require some matching up of the components on laundry day or as you use them.

Aplix
Aplix® is a name brand of 2-part hook and look fasteners commonly used on cloth diapers. Other brands of hook and loop fasteners used on cloth diapers include Velcro® and Touch Tape®

Cloth Diaper (CD)
A cloth diaper is a washable, reusable diaper made of any one (or several) types of fabric. A cloth diaper usually requires a cloth diaper cover, unless it is an AIO.

Cloth Wipe
A fabric square or rectangle, often of flannel or terry, that is used instead of a disposable wipe. Many people use a special recipe of essential oils in their wipe water or plain water with a tiny amount of mild soap may be used to wet the wipes. If you store your wipes wet, change the water every other day to avoid bacteria growth.

Contour(ed) Diaper
A contour diaper does not usually have elastic at the legs or waist. The wings need to be fastened with pins or a Snappi or the diaper should be used in a snug fitting wrap diaper cover. Contoured diapers require a diaper cover of some type. Some contour diapers that have leg elastic are called “semi-fitted” diapers.

Deo-Disks / Pail Pals
Small deoderizing disks used in diaper pails to control odors.

Diaper Covers
Cloth diaper covers come in all shapes, colors, fabrics and sizes. They are used over a cloth diaper to keep baby's clothes dry. Diaper covers are shaped to fit over a fitter or prefold diaper and fasten with snaps or hook & loop or pull on without fasteners. Covers can be made of nylon, PUL, polyester, treated cotton, wool or fleece. Breathable covers like wool and fleece are best for overnight.

Diaper Service Quality (DSQ)
Diaper Service Quality refers to high quality pre-folds. These are generally 100% cotton twill or birdseye and are more absorbent and durable than non-DSQ diapers.

Diaper Wrap
Cloth diaper wraps are the same as diaper covers.

Doubler / Booster
Doublers are multi-layered pads that can be inserted between your baby's bottom and the diaper to “boost” absorbency. These are recommended for heavy wetters or for night-time use. Some doublers are topped with wicking fabrics for a stay-dry feeling.

Fitted Diapers
Fitted diapers have a contoured shape and have gathered edges around the legs and usually the waist. They are fastened with either hook & loop or snaps. Sometimes they have no fasteners and can be used with pins or a Snappi. A waterproof diaper cover is generally used over fitted diapers. Many people use fitted diapers around the house with no cover, changing promptly whenever they are wet or soiled. You can also use wool pants (longies) or fleece pants as a diaper cover over fitted diapers. Fitted diapers are more expensive than pre-folds ranging from $6 to $18 each. However, they are much easier to use since they don’t require folding. The absorbency of fitted cloth diapers varies based on the materials used in the construction of the diaper.

Flats
Flat diapers refer to the single-ply square shaped diapers that were the original cloth diapers. Any cotton fabric can be used for a flat diaper but the most common are birdseye and flannel. Common sizes are 27x27 and 30x30. Flats require folding which can be as simple as folding into a rectangular pad shape or as complex as the multi-step origami fold.

Hemp Hemp is a natural fiber made from the hemp plant. It is very popular for use in diapers because of its durability, absorbency and natural anti-microbial properties. Most hemp diaper fabrics are really a blend of 55% hemp and 45% cotton. It can be a woven or a knit fabric. Some common hemp fabrics are hemp fleece, French terry and jersey. Hyena / Hyena Diapers / Hyena Cart
A term for diaper-hungry moms who avidly search for the latest and greatest cloth diapers. Hyena diapers are generally hard to get, popular diapers that are stalked by hyena moms. Hyena Cart is a website that allows WAHMs to easily list and sell products. However, not all products on Hyena Cart are hyena diapers.

Insert / Stuffer
Inserts are absorbent rectangular or contour diapers that fits into a pocket diaper like the Fuzzi Bunz (FB). These can be made of hemp, microfiber or other absorbent materials. Sometimes they need to be folded, but often they are sewn as a multi-layer pad that can be inserted without folding.

Liners
Liners are thin material used between a baby's bottom and the diaper itself. Liners have two purposes: to keep poop away from diapers for easy clean up, and to provide a “stay-dry” layer against baby’s skin. Single use liners are available that are flushable and biodegradable. These include liners made from rice paper or other fibers. Reusable liners are made of fabric instead of paper. Polyester fabrics that provide a stay-dry effect include suedecloth, microfleece and power-dry. Natural fabrics that provide a similar effect include knitted silk, wool and cotton velour.

Longies
Longies are wool or acrylic pants that can be used instead of diaper covers over fitted diapers or securely fastened prefolds/flats. They may be sewn from wool yardage, knitted, crocheted or sewn from recycled sweaters. The fabric may be felted (shrunk before construction) for a tighter weave and less stretch. Some have an elastic waist while others have a drawstring. Longies have a huge price range; from free (homemade from recycled sweaters) to over $200 for custom crafted, embellished pairs.

Microfiber
Microfiber is a super-absorbent synthetic polyamide fiber that resembles a fluffy terry cloth with loops from 1/16”- 1/4” long. It can be purchased as yardage online or more commonly, found locally in the automotive and housewares sections of major retailers as 12x12, 14x14 or 16x16 squares. These squares make excellent pocket inserts when trifolded. Microfiber should not be used against baby’s skin as the tiny fibers can irritate delicate skin. Microfiber retains its absorbency better when it is line dried.

Nappy
Nappy is the European word for diaper.

Nylon Pants
Nylon pants are styled similar to the traditional plastic pants but are made of breathable nylon material. Nylon can be dyed with kool-aid or food coloring if you don’t like plain white.

One-Size Diapers (OS)
A one size diaper claims to fit a child from birth up until about 30 or 35 pounds. This sizing is usually achieved by special placement of fasteners on the front and back of the diaper that allows for the front of the diaper to be folded over and for the closures to be snapped on top of each other. As the baby grows, several snap settings allow for waist and leg growth. These frequently fit best between 15-25 pounds, with a variable fit at either end of the size range.

Organic
Fabric derived from plant material that is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides is considered organic. Organic fabrics come in both knit and woven styles and many different kinds including birdseye, flannel, terry, jersey, cotton fleece and velour. Some are only available in natural color, but others are available dyed or printed with lowimpact dyes. Organic fabrics are more expensive than regular fabrics in almost every case.

Pill
Pills form when fabric fibers twist around each other and form small balls on the surface. Pills on natural fibers such as flannel and birdseye will generally wear away with continued washing. Synthetic pills can be removed with a sweater shaver.

Plastic Pants Plastic pants were commonly used in the 50s – 70s and are still available from Gerber. They are made of vinyl, a material that releases dioxins when warmed and can crack and degrade with regular washing/drying. They are not the best choice, but are economical and waterproof. Vinyl does not allow air circulation so rashes can be a problem if vinyl covers are used exclusively. Polar Fleece / Alpine Fleece
Polar and alpine fleece are brand names for a synthetic polyester fabric that is fluffy, breathable and does not hold moisture. The best quality fleece comes from Malden Mills (MM) and was originally designed for outerwear garments. It comes in many styles, sometimes referred to by weight. 200 & 300 weight are good for covers and the outside of AIOs/AI2s. Windpro & windbloc are especially water-resistant due to the way they are manufactured. Fleece frequently has a durable water repellent (DWR) chemical applied to it. Microfleece is a thinner version that allows moisture to pass through it to the absorbent layers below, providing a “stay-dry” effect. Microfleece is used to top doublers, as single-layer liners, or as a full inner layer. Some babies are sensitive to fleece, especially if it pills up and loses its softness.

Pocket Diapers
Pocket diapers are a wonderful innovation added to the diapering world by Tereson (Dupuy) Thomas in 1998 with the FuzziBunz (FB) brand. Pocket diapers are two part diapering system with a piece of microfleece or suedecloth that makes up the inner portion of fabric and a waterproof layer outside. An absorbent insert or “stuffer” is placed inside of the two pieces, creating an AIO when assembled. Inserts can be made of microfiber terrycloth, hemp or prefolds. Pocket diapers are also available without the waterproof layer, as fitted pockets which need a separate cover. Pocket diapers are excellent choices for overnight and any time you want to customize the absorbency of a diaper. They are considered a quick dry system but do require assembly of the pieces before use. The entire concept of pocket diapers (regardless of pattern or fabrics) is patented and a license is needed for sales.

Prefolds (PF, CPF, UBCPF, IPF, UBIPF etc.)
Prefold diapers are rectangular shaped diapers that are divided lengthwise in 3 sections by stitching. They are the most economical diapers, averaging about $2 each. Most diaper services offer prefolds. The outer sections usually have fewer layers than the middle section. This gives prefolds greater absorbency where it is needed most. Prefolds are designated as 4-6-4, 4-8-4 or more rarely 2-4-2. These numbers refer to the layers of cloth in each section from left to right. Prefolds require a cover unless you are at home and changing frequently. They can be trifolded into a snug cover, or fastened with safety pins or a Snappi. There are many creative ways to fold prefolds, including the newspaper fold, modified angel fold, the bikini twist and the jelly roll. Prefolds are available in white and unbleached. Unbleached diapers have not gone through a whitening process and retain some of the original cotton oils. Unbleached fabrics require more washing to reach full absorbency, but generally are softer than bleached eventually.

PUL
Polyurethane laminate, a material applied to fabric to make it water resistant for diaper covers/wraps and AIOs/AI2s. Fuzzibunz and Proraps are two common brands that use PUL in the coated polyester knit variety. PUL is also applied to other fabrics such as woven or knit cottons or blends. Pull On Snap Off Covers (POSO) A trim-fitting style of cover than can be pulled on but also has side-snaps for removal if you prefer. This style is generally less “poofy” than a regular pull on pant.

Quick Dry (QD)
Quick dry refers to a common construction style of fitted diapers and AIOs/AI2s. Because lengthy drying time can be a drawback with thick diapers, a style with an exposed soaker pad has evolved. The soaker pad may be sewn in on top of the inner fabric layer, snap into place or just be laid inside. It may be a single multi-layer pad or it may fold in half or into thirds. Sometimes quick dry soakers shift around and move out of position. They may also require additional assembly if the soaker is a separate piece.

Repelling
Repelling of diaper fabric can be good or bad. You want the outside, water resistant layers of AIOs/AI2s and covers to repel moisture. You don’t want the inner layer of a diaper or AIO/AI2 to repel, because then the urine can’t get through to the absorbent layers underneath and might just run off the fabric without soaking in. This problem generally occurs when a synthetic fiber is used as the inner layer, although natural fibers that still contain residual plant oils can also repel. Detergent build-up or even the pH of your water can cause repelling. The best remedy is additional washing and rinsing. Adding 1 or 2 drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid to the load can help “strip” the diapers but some may need to have the inner layer scrubbed with an old toothbrush and more Dawn. To prevent unwanted repelling, use only a small amount of laundry detergent and add an extra warm rinse to the end of each cycle if possible. Never use fabric softener on diapers as it will coat the fibers and cause the bad kind of repelling. Drying fleece covers with a fabric softener sheet can aid in water resistance, the good kind of repelling.

SAHM, SAHD, SAHP
Stay At Home Mom, Dad, or Parent. A parent who stays at home with their children most or all of the time, acting as the primary caregiver.

Serger / Serged
A serger is a type of sewing machine that trims off the fabric as it sews over the edges. Clothing is typically manufactured with a serger for the inside seams. Serged diapers/AIOs/AI2s/covers have exposed thread wrapping over the outer edges. The leg & waist elastic on serged diapers is usually set in from the edge, giving a ruffled effect. Serged diapers dry a little more quickly, but the edges can wear faster than T&T diapers. Most doublers and inserts are serged, to reduce bulk on the edges.

Sherpa
Sherpa is an absorbent terry knit fabric that has been brushed to raise the fibers and give a fluffy soft feel. Most sherpa used for diapers has a high cotton content, and a small polyester content such as 75/25 or 80/20. The cotton content is found in the loops of the fabric, while the polyester content is found in the backing and lends durability to the finished product.

Snappi Snappi fasteners are another innovation in modern cloth diapering, from South Africa. A Snappi fastens the wings of a folded prefold, contour or fitted diaper (without pre-attached fasteners). It is a T-shaped stretchy plastic piece with hook “grabbers” on each stem. When stretched out and gripping the diaper fabric, it provides a snugly fastened fit. Snappis work best on fabrics like terrycloth, sherpa, birdseye, cotton or hemp fleece, and French terry. They don’t work well on tightly woven fabrics like flannel, plush fabrics like velour or delicate knits like jersey. Soakers
Soaker means two different things in the diaper world. The absorbent layers of a diaper are called the soaker. A knitted/crocheted wool/acrylic cover is also referred to as a soaker. Sometimes pull on covers of fleece are called soakers too.

Turned & Topstitched (T&T)
This is a sewing style for diapers/AIOs/AI2s/covers where the layers are sewn right sides together, then turned right side out and topstitched to hold the layers in place. T&T diapers don’t have exposed edges, all the rough edges are inside. The elastic can be right on the edges in a casing or set in from the edge leaving a ruffle. T&T diapers take more time to sew, so sometimes they are more expensive.

Trainer
Trainers are training pants, a thicker, more absorbent style of underwear that can be used to transition from diapers during potty training.

Tri-fold Soaker / Insert
Tri-fold soakers or inserts are rectangular or square fabric pieces that need to be folded into thirds before use. A common style is 2 layers that folds into 6 layers. These dry more quickly than a no-fold insert or soaker.

Unbleached
No chemical bleaching processes have been used on unbleached cotton fabrics. Unbleached fabrics contain more waxy/oily plant residues so they need 3-5 hot washes to reach full absorbency.

Velour
Velour is a soft, plush fabric that has been knitted and then sheared at a uniform level. Diaper velour is usually 100% cotton or an 80/20 blend. It remains soft and resists pilling.

Wicking
Wicking can be good or bad. When a diaper/cover/AIO/AI2 is over-saturated, moisture can wick from the edges onto baby’s clothes. This happens more readily when a child is wearing snug cotton clothing. Changing frequently (many people change every time their baby wets) and dressing your baby in loose fitting clothes can help prevent the bad kind of wicking. The good kind of wicking is what happens when a stay-dry fabric such as microfleece or suedecloth is working properly. When a baby wets onto a wicking fabric like these, the moisture is pulled quickly through that layer into the absorbent layers below, leaving a drier surface behind. A limited wicking effect is obtained anytime you have more absorbent layers underneath the surface fabric. So a smooth cotton jersey will also have a wicking effect, because it is thin and can’t physically hold as much liquid as the thicker soaker layers below. A napped fabric like velour will also have a wicking effect, because the moisture is pulled downward, away from the tips of each fiber.

WAHM, WAHD, WAHP
Work At Home Mom, Dad or Parent. Refers to a parent who is able to stay home with their children and earn an income from various business activities.

WOHM, WOHD, WOHP
Work Out of the Home Mom, Dad or Parent. A parent who leaves home to work at a job.

Wool
Wool refers to fabric woven or knitted from the shorn hairs of sheep (merino, lambswool, etc.), goats (cashmere), or llamas/alpacas. Diaper covers or longies made from wool are naturally durable, breathable and water resistant. They are excellent for night time or any time. Sheep’s wool naturally contain lanolin and it can be added to the other types of wool during washing. Lanolin has a chemical reaction with urine that keeps the wool clean so wool covers only need to be washed every few weeks or when soiled. Air out wool covers between uses. Wash with a gentle baby shampoo or special wool wash such as Eucalan. Do not use Woolite! Treat wool with extra lanolin every few washes by melting a small amount of pure lanolin in hot water and adding it to the wash water. Soak for 1-4 hours, squeeze out extra water and line dry. Some brands of wool covers can be machine washed. Wool repels moisture back into the absorbent diaper until it is saturated, then the wool can continue to absorb up to 30% of its weight.

Wool In One (WIO, WI2)
Some wool covers have snaps added to them to attach an absorbent soaker pad. These are generally known as wool in ones (WIOs) although technically they are two separate pieces (WI2s). Because wool and absorbent fabrics need different laundry care, a true WIO with a sewn in soaker is not a practical idea. Please feel free to share this information with others who may be interested. You may copy, edit or add it to websites, as long as others may also freely distribute it.

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