Complete Cloth Diapering Guide – Different Types of Diapers (part 2)

Welcome to part two of my five-part complete cloth diapering guide, where I explain the different types of diapers you can buy – prefolds, fitteds, pocket diapers, and all-in-ones.Now that you've decide to take the cloth plunge, here's a step-by-step guide to get started! (If you're not sure, go back and read my cloth diapering intro). For an overview of the entire series, click here.

Cloth Diapers
My pocket diapers from the Grape Apple store on E-Bay – shown using the adjustable snaps to adjust the girth and waist.

First, you need to decide what type of cloth diapers you want. I know, I hate making decisions, too, and this one can be frustrating. But, stick with me.

There are three kinds of cloth diapers – here's a great guide on the different types, or my short list below:

AIO – All in Ones

These diapers have everything you need in one. You don't have to buy the inserts or covers – it's all in one! They close by snaps or velcro, and many are one-size-fits-all – you adjust the size with the snaps or velcro. You would think these would be the most popular, but among my friends and the forums I'm on, they're not. They take a long time to dry (both in the dryer and line drying) and they aren't as absorbant. Now, I've never actually used one of these myself, but that's the word on the street.


These are the old-fashioned cloth inserts you have to secure with a cord or pins, and cover with a waterproof cover. I know some do like these, but I didn't want anything to do with pins.

Example of a Pocket Diaper
Example of a pocket diaper – a microfiber or fleece insert goes inside the pocket of the diaper.


This is what I bought. These diapers are the cover, that close by either snaps or velcro, and there is a fabric pocket where you insert a cloth insert. All the companies sell cloth inserts along with the diapers, so you don't have to make a separate purchase. These can also fully adjustable with snaps and velcro and can be bought as one size (but not all pocket diapers are, so look carefully before buying), so you never have to buy diapers again as they will grow with your child! These are great because you can also adjust the absorbency (if you're going to be out for a while) by putting in or taking out an insert.


I have a friend who has these because they are very economical. Fitted diapers indicate that the cloth part is fitted (so you won't need pins to snap it shut), and then you need to buy an outer waterproof cover separately. These were also popular on my forums, but I don't have personal experience with them.

Now head over to part 3! Part 3 – Choosing Cloth Brand and Quantity

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