I’ve been a fluff addict since I started cloth diapering my first baby five years ago. We’re on our second baby now, and I still love reading about and trying out new diapers. As part of my quest to spread the fluffy love, I’ve put together a list of some commonly used cloth diaper terms as well as a list of cloth diapering resources that I found useful back at the beginning of my cloth diapering journey and still use today. If you’re new to cloth or just wondering about this cloth diapering thing, I hope you’ll find this info helpful.
Wondering how a particular diaper performs? Find all my CLOTH DIAPER REVIEWS here.
Or if you’re curious about how long a diaper will last, check out my LONG-TERM DIAPER REVIEWS.
You might also find my 6 WAYS TO FOLD A PREFOLD tutorial useful.
Check out my list of 9 COMMON CLOTH DIAPERING MISTAKES and how to avoid them.
Overwhelmed with all the choices out there? Here’s some info to help you decide WHICH CLOTH DIAPER INSERTS, DOUBLERS, OR LINERS SHOULD YOU CHOOSE.
Check out my Cloth Diapering board on Pinterest for more helpful info!
Common Cloth Diapering Terms
AIO – All in One – A style of diaper that is just what it sounds like. The waterproof outside layer and absorbent inside layer are sewn together all in one piece. This style is most similar to a disposable diaper. (Examples: bumGenius Freetime AIO Diapers, Smart Bottoms 3.1 One Size Diapers)
AI2 – All in Two – A style of diaper where the waterproof outside layer and the absorbent inside layer are separate pieces. The absorbent layer may be snapped in or simply laid in the outside shell. (Examples: gDiapers, SoftBums Echo Diapers)
Aplix – A brand of hook and loop fastening tape.
Booster – A second insert added to a diaper to boost absorbency. Also called a doubler.
Cover – A waterproof layer wrapped over a fitted, prefold, or flat diaper, and usually fastened with snaps or hook and loop tape. (Examples: Flip Diaper Covers, Bummis Super Brite Wraps)
Doubler – A second insert added to a diaper to boost absorbency. Also called a booster.
DSQ – Diaper Service Quality – Term used for prefold diapers to denote high-quality, long-wearing prefolds, suitable to withstand the wear and tear of frequent use and washing as would be found in a diaper service company.
Flat Diaper – Large square of one layer of fabric, usually cotton, that must be folded for use. This is the traditional or “old-fashioned” cloth diaper. Requires a cover to be waterproof.
Fitted Diaper – A style of diaper that is contoured to fit baby like a disposable diaper with elastic around the legs and back. Usually made from cotton, hemp, or bamboo. Often secured with snaps or hook and loop, but some may require pins or another fastener. Requires a cover to be waterproof. (Examples: Mother-ease One Size Fitted Diapers, Omaïki Ö Sleep Fitted Diapers)
Hook and Loop – Generic name for Velcro or Aplix.
Hybrid – A type of AI2 diaper consisting of a waterproof outside layer and a disposable absorbent layer. (Example: Grovia shells with disposable Bio-Soaker Pads).
Hybrid Fitted – A fitted diaper made with a hidden layer of fleece inside to increase water-resistance. Requires a cover to be fully waterproof. (Example: Nic and Elli Hybrid Fitted Diapers, Sar n’dippa Dee Hybrid Fitted Diapers)
Insert – Absorbent cloth pad placed inside a diaper. Often made from microfiber, sometimes cotton, hemp, or bamboo. Learn more about inserts here.
Liner – Thin layer of cellulose or fabric used to protect the inside of a diaper from poop. Liners may be disposable or reusable. (Examples: Bummis Bio-Soft Flushable Diaper Liners, Bummis Reusable Fleece Liners)
Longies – A soaker with long legs like a pair of pants, worn over a fitted, prefold, or flat diaper to prevent leaking.
OS – One Size – A style of diaper made to fit a wide range of sizes, typically using snaps or adjustable elastic to adjust the size. (Examples: Funky Fluff 2.0 Bamboo Diapers, Nuggles Simplee Hybrid Diaper)
Pocket Diaper – A style of diaper consisting of a waterproof cover with an opening inside in which users can put inserts to customize absorbency. (Examples: Sunbaby 4.0 Pocket Diaper, Rumparooz One Size Pocket Diaper, Ella Bella Ella’ssential Pocket Diapers)
Prefold Diaper – A style of diaper consisting of multiple layers of cotton or hemp sewn into a rectangle with the most layers placed in the middle. Requires a cover to be waterproof. (Examples: Bummis Organic Cotton Prefolds, Geffen Baby Hemp Prefolds)
PUL – Polyurethane Laminate – A compound material made by laminating polyurethane film to cloth fabric using chemical solvents. This waterproof fabric is used in covers, AIOs, AI2s, AI3s, and pocket diapers.
Sized – A style of diaper made to fit a specific size (e.g., small, medium, large). Users will need more than one size as baby grows. (Examples: AppleCheeks Envelope Covers, FuzziBunz Perfect Size Diapers)
Snappi – An alternative to safety pins for fastening flat, prefold, and some fitted diapers.
Soaker – A type of diaper cover usually made from wool or fleece (both fabrics are water resistant) that pull up over a flat, prefold, or fitted diaper. Soakers with long legs are called longies, soakers with short legs are shorties. (Examples: Disana Organic Wool Diaper Cover, sustainablebabyish Knit Wool Longies)
Shorties – A soaker with short legs worn over a flat, prefold, or fitted diaper to prevent leaking.
TPU – Thermoplastic Polyurethane – Similar to PUL, this waterproof fabric is made by laminating polyurethane film to cloth fabric using a heat bonding process.
WAHM – Work at Home Mom – Term identifying a diaper as handmade by a mother sewing from her home. Not manufactured in a factory.
Wrap – Another term for a diaper cover.
Cloth Diaper Resources
Diaper Pin: Diaper Pin is one of the oldest cloth diaper sites out there. Launched in May 2000, this is my go to site for diaper reviews. They also have reviews for sellers, forums, and a large buy/sale/trade board.
Padded Tush Stats: Tara at Padded Tush Stats collects reader reviews of individual diapers and analyzes the data according to factors like fit and absorbency, and by user characteristics like chubby or skinny legs, rash-prone, or heavy wetter.
Dirty Diaper Laundry’s Cloth Diaper Finder: This is a new resource and still a work in progress. I like that you can filter diapers in this database by price, diaper type, closure type, country of origin, WAHM or manufacturer, and several additional factors.
Diaper Swappers: One of the best known forums for buying, selling, and trading used diapers.
If you have any other cloth diapering terms, abbreviations, or resources you’d like to see added, please leave me a note in the comments!