Types of Cloth Diapers (that I know of)

Posted on Friday, December 25, 2009 in Cloth Diaper

Diaper Types & Sizing

One Sized vs Sized Diapers

Sized diapers can come in either Sizes XS (premature babies), S (New Borns), M, L and XL

Cons: They fit babies better, less bulky so it hides better under clothes.

Pros: You spend money because you need to change sizes in line with the growth of baby.

As for One Sized, you can adjust the size of the diapers as your baby grows, usually fits between 3.5 to 16kg.

Pros: Spends lesser because diapers would fit any size

Cons: Some mothers find the fitting to be awkward, it is not as snuggle fitting as Sized diapers. Diapers may wear out faster as they are used for 2-3 yrs consecutively unless Mothers buy a bigger stash allowing smaller frequency of use for each diaper.

Types of Diapers

AIO (All-In-One)

This diaper has the soaker and the waterproof layer sewn together. They can come in Sized or One Size Diapers. Mothers usually like to bring their kids out with this because of the waterproof layer.

Waterproof layer: PUL (PolyUrethane Laminate) or Polar Fleece

Pros: Convenient and easy to use

Cons: Mostly cannot adjust the layers of soakers to cater to different absorbency need. Takes a longer time to dry because the soakers cannot be removed to dry separately. Not as beathable as Fitted Diapers because of the waterproof layer

Covers: does not require

Sized or One Size: Either

Fasteners: Velcro or Snaps

Al2 (All-In-2)

These are the same as AIO except the soaker can be removed from the diaper before washing. Soakers usually comes with a snap in button to secure the soaker onto the diaper which are unique to each brands. Diapers shell if isn’t soiled can be reused when additional soaker is purchased.

Waterproof layer: PUL (PolyUrethane Laminate)

Pros: Does not require a lot of diaper shells as they can be reused if not soil hence becomes more economical.

Cons: Is not versatile, usually very little types of soakers of other brands will fit well, so you can only use the soaker from the same brand of diaper.

Cover: No needed

Sized or One Size: Either

Fasterners: Velcro or Snaps

Fitted Diapers

They are made entirely from absorbent/soaker material. They are the most breathable as there is no waterproof layer. They are considered expensive for a non waterproof diaper because soaker materials are expensive. Although fitted are not waterproof, they normally do not leak out enough to wet your furniture as the dampness will show on the outer layer before it gets too wet.

Pros: You can adjust the absorbency based on the amount of soaker you put in the diaper. More breathable as there is no waterproof layer. Usually absorbs more urine than other types of diapering system. Best choice for night diapering.

Cons: It isnt waterproof

Cover: Needed

Sized or One Size: Either

Fasteners: Velcro or Snaps

Pockets Diapers

This diaper has a pocket which allows you to stuff as many inserts/soakers as you like based on your child’s need. The inner layer that touches the baby’s skin, microfleece/suedecloth, remains dry and soft. The outer layer is water proof. When your baby urinates, the mositure is absorbed into the soaker, the wicking process will leave the microfleece/suedecloth dry hence keeping baby’s bum dry and comfy. This diaper system has recently became very popular because of its flexibility and convenience of waterproofing.

Waterproof layer: PUL (PolyUrethane Laminate) or Polar Fleece

Pros: You can use as many soaker/insert as you like to cater to your child’s needs

Cons: Depending on the pockets might be small and can only accommodate a certain amount of insert/soakers. It can be a little bulky because of the pocket.

Cover: Not needed

Sized or One Size: Either

Fasteners: Velcro or Snaps


These are the white gauze muslin cloth your grandmother use to use on us babies. Folding, Pinning and cover is required.

Pros: When not folded, they are a thin layer of gauze and dries very quickly. Cheap.Can be used as burp cloth when not as diaper. Very breathable.

Cons: Does not absorb a lot of urine, usually only 1 pee. This will need constant changing and can be very tiring. You also need at least 20 pieces for one day if your baby pees often. Is not waterproof and usually the pee leaks and wets the furniture.

Cover: Required but usually not used

Sized or One Size: Not applicable

Fasterners: Snappi or Safety Pin


They are exactly like Flats but has more layers in the middle for better absorbency. Folding, Pinning and cover is required. Sometimes you even find them in other material like Bamboo.

Pros: Dries quickly and cheap. Can be used as burp cloth when not as diaper. Very breathable.

Cons: Does not absorb a lot of urine, but better than Flats. Is not waterproof and can wet your furniture

Cover: Required but usually not used

Sized or One Size: Not applicable

Fasterners: Snappi or Safety Pin

PUL (PolyUrethane Laminate) Diaper Covers

Usually lined with a layer of Pul and a printed layer. Used together with fitteds to provide the waterproof layer. You usually use the cover over the Fitted diaper and fasten. Mothers usually only use a diaper cover when she gets busy and does not have time to monitor the baby when on fitted fear of wetting the baby’s clothes and furniture.

Sized or One Size: Either

Fasterners: Velcro or Snaps


Fabric made from Sheep. lamb or LLama. Extremely popular to be used as a cover with fitted diapers because it can absorb liquid up to 40% of it own weight. Due to its bulkiness, this is usually only used at night. It has water repelling properties hence your fitted diaper is considered waterproof when used. Extremely breathable. Keeps baby cool when its warm and keeps warm when its very cold. Only need to wash once every 2 weeks.

Pros: Breathable and keeps mositure away. Last a very long time because it is stretchable thus it can grow with baby. Does not require washing often

Cons: Needs lanolizing every now and then to maintain water repelling properties

Sized or One Size: Usually sized but fits a wider range

Fasterners: Not applicable as it is like a pair of shorts.

Wool Longies

These are the same as Wool Soaker/Shorts but they are long. Mothers usually use this for night time wear to cover baby’s legs and also provide the waterproof protection for fitted diapers and aid in absorption.

Fleece Cover

These are as breathable as wool except they need to be washed more frequently and does not absorb liquid, only repels. Great with Fitted diapers. Very light weight too.

Types of Fabric

Microfiber – Synthetic material used as Soaker

Hemp – Antibacterial and highly absorbant used as a soaker

Bamboo – Antibacterial and highly absorbent and soft used as a soaker. Organic.

Velour – Feels luxurious on skin hence this is normally used on surfaces which is in direct contact with the baby’s skin eg. inner layer of diaper or on top of soakers

Microfleece – Used mainly in the inner layer of pocket diapers as it can wick moisture away from skin into the soaker keeping baby’s skin dry

Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) – The waterproof material used on diapers.


Doublers – They are inserts which are smaller in size and usually used to provide that extra absorbency needed for a slightly prolong period, usually for night time use or heavy wetters. Are not recommended to be used on it own, usually accompanied by an insert or soaker

Soakers – Are also inserts used to absorb urine of baby. Some also refer wool as soakers as wool can absorb urine on its own.

Snappi®  - A Cloth diaper fasteners, used in replace of safety pins. Safety pins are not preferred as they can sometimes accidently opened up and poke on baby.

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