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Different Types of Cloth Diapers Explained

someecards.com - Here I will explain and compare the different types of cloth diapers as simple as possible. That way you can tell the difference and choose which will be best for you and your baby! This post includes the AIO, AI2, Pocket Diaper & Diaper Cover with some information on Fitted Diapers and Prefolds 


AIO - All In One Diaper
Below is the bumGenius Freetime AIO

The AIO is the easiest of diapers to use and the closest option to the disposable diaper but also the most expensive. The soaker or insert is sewn into the diaper either externally or internally. Some AIO diapers dry better then others but all of them take much longer then their alternatives that I cover below. The bumGenius Freetime dries much better due to the fact that the insert is sewn in but hangs loose. The Thirsties Duo AIO's soaker is sewn to the diaper on two sides so it creates a pocket that air can get through during the drying process. The addition of this pocket makes it a "Stuff-able AIO" This feature is great because I can add booster inserts in this pocket to get my little one through the night.
Click here to see more pictures of one of my favorite AIO diapers - The bumGenius Freetime
The picture below is the Thirsties Duo AIO with two boosters in the stuff-able pocket

PROS:
Easy to use
Cute colors and patterns
In stuff-able AIO diapers you can add soakers for more absorbency
Does not require diaper cover

CONS:
Expensive (15-22 dollars on average) 
Takes a while to dry
Only one use then needs to be washed

AI2 - All In Two Diapers
The main difference between the AIO and the AI2 diaper is that the AI2 diaper's insert or soaker snaps in or lays in. This way it can be taken out for faster drying. You can usually add extra booster soakers to these diapers as well. Whether you buy the specific boosters for that diaper or get creative and just use what you already have. I've been told originally this type of diaper was called an AI2 because you were supposed to be able to get two uses out of it. Ideally being able to remove the soiled insert and if the shell was clean reuse it and add new insert. The shells liner is usually made to repel water. Occasionally you may have to let the shell dry a little before you use it again. This is easier to do if you rotate two or more shells. Click here to see more pictures of one of my favorite AI2 diapers - The Peachy Green
Below is the Peachy Green AI2 without snap in soaker
Below is the Peachy Green AI2 with snap in soaker

AI2 Hybrid Diapers                                  
 A subcategory of AI2 diapers is the Hybrid option. Examples of this are the Perfect Bum diaper, gdiaper and Grovia Hybrid diaper. You may ask what is the difference between these AI2 diapers and for example the peachy green AI2? The difference is a hybrid has the option to use reusable cloth inserts or disposable inserts! If you are travelling this is a quicker, easier diaper option. Use your regular AI2 Hybrid diaper cover with the available disposable inserts! Just throw out the inserts when they get soiled and replace it with a new one!  Click here to see more pictures of one of my favorite AI2 Hybrids - The Perfect Bum Diaper. I just bought my first Grovia AI2 Hyrid a couple days ago and so far I am loving it. I think it may end up another favorite AI2 Hybrid for me : )
Below is the Perfect Bum AI2 Hybrid with a reusable insert inside

PROS for AI2:
Easy to Use
Cute colors and patterns
Can usually add booster inserts for more absorbency
Dries quickly
AI2 Hybrids have disposable inserts available
You reuse cover and just change out insert if cover isn't soiled

CONS for AI2:
Usually Costs (15-20 dollars on average )
Some AI2 diapers inserts are costly and sold separate
Can't reuse an AI2 diaper shell as often as a diaper cover (shown further below)

Pocket Diapers
Below is the opening on a KaWaii pocket diaper
Pocket cloth diapers are really nice. I LOVE THEM! They dry quicker then any of the other diapers listed and it is perfectly fine to use just about any insert or prefold you already have. The pockets are usually nice in size and suitable for large amounts of stuffing for personalized absorbency. This type of diaper is often offered with an outer shell in a material called Minky which is just crazy soft. Some of the inner materials that can be used are microfleece, suede, velour, minky, cotton or bamboo. The inner material is usually very thin and offers no real absorbency in itself. Click here to go to see more pictures of one of my favorite brand pocket diapers - The KaWaii. I also really like the bumGenius 4.0 pocket diaper and will hopefully have a review on it soon : )
above (only minimally more then the AI2). Most of them come with their own inserts and if they don't

PROS:
Usually very affordable (wide range of 5-20 dollars)
Easy to use if stuffed before hand
Cute patterns and colors 
Personalized absorbancy by adding desired amount of soakers, prefolds and inserts.
Very quick to dry once inserts have been pulled out
Does not require a diaper cover

CONS:
Only one use then needs to be washed
You have to remove soiled inserts from pocket before washing

Diaper Covers
Below is the Peachy Green Diaper Cover  Size 1

A diaper cover is just a cover as you can see in the picture to your right. There are numerous options on what you can use inside a diaper cover including fitted diapers, prefolds, inserts, soakers the list goes on and on. You can use just about anything in your diaper stash that holds liquid in a diaper cover.
Fitted Diapers
A fitted diaper is the only one I don't have a picture of but it looks just like the AIO except it does not have a waterproof outer shell so it needs a "diaper cover" so that it doesn't wick onto clothes. Fitted diapers often have sewn in soakers or snap in soakers and are easy to put on they just need a cover. These diapers are the easiest to make on your own because they don't require a waterproof layer and you can use any scrap materials around your house. You can use KAM pliers, snaps and an old sweatshirt and make a diaper! Instead of KAM pliers and snaps you can use plain old fashioned baby pins :)
Prefolds
 Prefolds are a rectangular piece of cloth divided in 3 sections. They can be folded twice to fit into a diaper as an insert or you can use snappi or pins to use it like a fitted. (This is closer to the ways the previous generation would have used cloth diapers) Some of my favorite prefolds have been the Econobum which are pictured to your right.




Below is the Econobum Prefold - Folded to work as an insert inside a diaper cover
Diaper Cover PROS:
Usually very affordable (wide range of 5-16 dollars)
Cover can usually be used a couple times before needing to be washed
Easy to use once you get the hang of (Not the favorite of my hubby)
Cute patterns and colors available in some brands
Personalized absorbancy by adding desired amount of soakers, prefolds and inserts.
Very quick to dry once inserts have been pulled out

Diaper Cover CONS:
Takes a couple extra steps to use, but nothing major
Usually a little bulkier then other diapers (Peachy Green is the trimmest I've found)


Below is the Peachy Green Cover with Econobum Prefold as an Insert
 Below is the Econobum Cover with the Econobum Prefold
 Below is the Econobum Diaper Cover ready for any insert, prefold or fitted diaper.

One Size Diaper
A OS (or Ones size) diaper is more of a sub category. You can have an AIO OS or an AI2 OS etc. One Size means it has snaps usually on the rise of the diaper so that you can change the size of the diaper to fit from usually 8-35 lbs. I no longer buy any diapers that are not one size it truly makes cloth diapering affordable. The only exception to that rule is newborns and babies under 10-12 lbs. If you want a cute, trim fit on them I suggest Perfect Bum size small diapers and other brands with newborn size diapers : )


To your left is the BabyLand OS Pocket Diaper at its largest setting and on your right is the same diaper at its smallest setting. 



As an add on thought... Velcro is a name brand but two products that are similiar are Aplex and Touchtape. Aplex is softer has a longer life and doesn't roll like touchtape sometimes does. Touchtape has a stronger stick and is available in a variety of colors.


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