Canadian Cloth Diaper Stores

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Prefold, Pocket, All-in-One…Huh?! Decoding Diaper Systems

To function effectively, a diapering system needs to have an absorbent layer and a waterproof layer. Some diapers add to this a wicking or stay dry layer through which urine passes to get to the absorbent layer. The absorbent layer can be a material such as cotton, hemp, bamboo or microfiber and the water proof layer may be polyurethane laminate (PUL), wool or polar fleece. Wicking layers are generally made from a synthetic fabric such as microfleece or suede cloth.

The most basic diapering systems available are flats and prefolds. Flats are squares or rectangles of fabric, usually made from a single layer of fabric which is either folded and tucked in a cover or folded to fit around the baby like a “diaper.” Prefolds are rectangular in shape and are divided into thirds with more layers of fabric in the inner third than the outer. This makes them thicker in the middle. Flats and prefolds tend to be the least expensive of diapering methods. Tiny prefolds and covers are an ideal way to fit a newborn until they grow in to larger diapers. A newborn can be outfitted with prefolds and covers for approximately $85 for 24 diaper changes worth or diapers. At Huckleberry Baby Shop, for the perfect newborn fit, we love the Bummis Organic Prefolds in the preemie size, tucked into a newborn sized Bummis Super Brite.


Fitted diapers are shaped to fit around an infant or toddler. They usually have elastic gatherings around the legs and waist and may have Velcro or snap closure. Made from cotton, flannel, cotton sherpa, hemp, bamboo, or other fabrics, they are not waterproof and require a waterproof cover. Sometimes they come without fasteners and you can use a Snappi fastener to do them up. Fitted diapers come in both sized and one-size varieties. At our store, Mother-ease Sandy’s Bamboo Fitteds under a fleece cover or a Bramble Bean wool soaker are a popular overnight option.Pocket diapers are also shaped to fit around a baby. They are made of two layers of material sewn together to form a pocket. The outside part is usually made of waterproof PUL (polyurethane laminate). The inner layer that touches baby’s skin is made of a stay-dry fabric which wicks moisture away from baby’s skin. Pocket diapers fasten with Velcro, snaps, or hooks. Inside the pocket, you need to stuff an insert to provide absorbency. This insert can be made of cotton, hemp, bamboo, microfiber, etc. After laundering them, you can stuff the inserts in so that they are ready to go when you need them…as easy as a disposable! You can adjust the number or thickness of the inserts you use depending on the amount of absorbency you need. Pocket Diapers come in either sized versions (i.e.: small, medium, large) or one-size versions which “grow” with your baby by adjusting the rise snap setting on the front of the diaper. The inserts made for pocket diapers may be hemp, bamboo, cotton flannel, terry, velour, or microfiber. The inserts are the absorbent part of the diaper. Without them, there is nothing to soak up the urine. Some of Huckleberry Baby Shop's favourite Canadian made pocket diapers include the AMP One Size Duo Pockets and Baby Kangas.

An all-in-one diaper or AIO, is the absolute easiest diaper to use. No folding, stuffing, or covers are required. An AIO has a waterproof outer cover and a sewn-in absorbent inner. They usually have a stay dry layer that sits against baby’s skin. All of this is sewn together in one piece. The diaper goes on and off just like a disposable. Most AIO’s, such as those made by AMP (which we LOVE!), are sized (i.e.: small, med, large), but there are a few “one size” AIO`s out there which will “grow” with your baby via adjustments to the rise snaps on the front. The main drawback to AIO’s is that because of all of the sewn together layers, they often take longer to dry. Several manufacturers have attempted to solve this problem by creating an attached “flap” which folds out for quicker washing and drying. This feature is evident in the Tots Bots Easy Fit diapers and the Bamboo Baby One Size All in One.

An All in Two or AI2 diaper is a two-part diaper system made up of an absorbent part and a waterproof part. An AI2 is usually created with an absorbent soaker or insert which is laid into, attached to, tucked into or snapped to a waterproof outer cover. An example of AI2’s is the Tuck and Go (TAG) system from Monkey Doodlez. With the TAG system, an organic cotton/ bamboo rayon velour pad is tucked into a PUL cover.
Thanks for reading! ~Cristi from Huckleberry Baby Shop

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