Sunday, January 8, 2012

Diapers Galore!!! What do all these different types mean? Part 1

There are a TON of different types of cloth diapers out there. It can become overwhelming if you don't understand what any of them are. I will try my best to describe in simple terms what the different types are, what I think of them, if I have tried them, price ranges, and (my personal opinion) ease. We will take a look at (Part 1) Flats, Pre-Folds, Fitteds, (Part 2) Diaper covers (what you use them with), Pockets, (Part 3) AIO, AI2, SIO. If I have missed a type I am so sorry and please either leave a comment or email me and I will make sure to add it in. Let's start :)


Flats are the diapers of older days.  I'm by no means putting them down but the are the diapers that were probably used on your grandparents.  Compared to everything that is out there now they are know as the "old fashion" diapers.  They are either a square or a rectangle piece of fabric that can be folded in ton of different ways.  Flats either need to be pinned closed or you need to use a snapi.  

Personally flats SCARE the heck out of me.  They seem extremely confusing and it seems like it would take a lot more time than I have the patience for to change a diaper.  I have never tried them but I would not be opposed to it.  I just don't feel that flats make a good option in my household.  Also with flats you need to use a waterproof cover.

The benefits of flats (according to
  • The absolute most economical cloth diaper available
  • Can easily be hand-washed and dries very quickly (excellent for camping)
  • Multi-purpose uses; due to the softness and texture these make wonderful cloths for facials
Flats are still popular among some because of the price.  They are extremely cheap since you don't need as much stuff.  All you need is a couple of covers (because the can be wiped down and reused unless they get poop on them) and then your flats.  I checked out 2 of my favorite cloth diaper stores, and  Kelly's Closet has a dozen Birdseye Cotton Flat Cloth Diapers for $23.97.  Abby's Lane has a dozen Osocozy Birdseye Flat Diapers for $19.99.  A dozen "diapers" would get you through probably almost 2 days.  And then you would just need some covers also.  With flats you could probably 100% cloth diaper for around $100 or LESS.


Pre-Folds are a more popular option than flats. They are along the same lines as flats as they need to be folded and either pinned or used with a snapi or sometimes they are just layed inside of a cover. Pre-folds however look different than flats. They are divided up into 3 sections and labeled #x#x# (ex. 4x6x4). This means that the outside sections are # layers thick and the inside layer is # thick ( so 4 layers on the outside and 6 layers in the middle). A cover also has to be used with pre-folds.

Once again I have never used pre-folds before. They are much like flats except that they are divided up into sections with a certain number of layers. I do have friends that just lay their pre-folds inside of a Flip cover and LOVE them. In my own opinion I don't see how they don't leak. I feel that Baby K would pee in it once and then it would be all over :) This could make a great new born option though since they don't pee as much and you are always changing them anyways.

The benefits of pre-folds (according to Kelly's closet)
  • The most economical cloth diaper option! You can truly diaper on a dime!
  • $200 or less, from birth to potty training, with pre-folds and covers
  • Lasts for years (and through multiple children) when well cared for
  • Allows you the flexibility to decide between wool, fleece or PUL waterproof covers
  • Also make excellent inexpensive and absorbent inserts for pocket diapers too!
  • Can be recycled and used as household cleaning cloths or polishing rags!

Pre-folds are still a pretty cheap option.  Depending on where and what brand/type there are 5 different sizes and range in price from $22.50-48.99 per dozen depending on the size.  Kelly's Closet has a couple different options for prefolds.  They have 3 different awesome priced deals on the Econobum (brand) pre-fold system.  They have 1 cover and 1 pre-fold for $9.95, 1 cover and 3 pre-folds for $11.95, or a full kit (3 covers and 12 pre-folds, which would probably last close to 2 days) for $48.97.  And they also sell 6 pre-fold packs that range from $18-$21 along with various other covers ONLY that range in price from $8.95-$27.80 (depending on the cover you chose).

Abby's lane also has 3 Econobum options, 1 cover and 1 pre-fold $9.95, extra cover ONLY $8.95, and the full kit $49.95.  They also have 5 different size options pre-folds (preemie, infant, regular, premium, premium short and toddler) that range in price from $22.50-$49.99 per dozen.  They also sell a wide array of covers that range in price from $6.95-$21.95.

As with flats you could probably 100% cloth diaper your baby for under $100.  A lot of people still use pre-folds as a diapering system but in my house it just doesn't make sense.  If you would like to learn all the different types of folds you can use, I recommend search on youtube.  Watching a video for me makes learning something like that a lot easier.  I think next time I visit Abby's lane I will pick up a pre-fold or 2 and try them out!  I will get back to you in a later post about how they worked out for me.    

Comments on Pre-folds:
  • I am a big fan of pre-folds and covers.  With 2 in cloth its almost necessary as it is the easiest system for us.  The cost efficiency of this system is unbeatable and with minimal sorting and maximum reliability it is really the way to go! - Brittany Stilwell (Facebook)

Fitteds are still a 2 part diapering system, meaning you need to use a cover along with the fitted.  Fitteds have elastic around the legs and at the back and look pretty much like a disposable.  They can either have aplix or snaps for closings and are made in a variety of different fabrics.
I use a type of fitted diaper for nighttime with Baby K.  I personally use the itti bitti Boo with 1 extra booster and a Thirsties Duo Wrap cover.  I only use this for overnight and it has worked GREAT!!!  The big thing about Fitted diapers is that the whole thing is absorbent, so it makes a great nighttime option since it can hold more liquid.  I have not tried fitteds for during the day because personally it is a lot of work to get her into her nighttime diaper since it is a 2 piece system that I don't want to do that for EVERY diaper change.
The benefits of Fitteds (according to Kelly's closet)
  • Most absorbent and leak-proof diapering option
  • With Velcro and snap closures there's no need for diaper pins or fasteners
  • Ideal fit for newborns, especially in the early weeks
  • Excellent solution for a heavy-wetter (particularly when combined with a wool cover)
  • Available in a variety of fabrics, colors, and prints too!
The prices vary greatly with fitteds.  There are some as cheap as 12.45 and then as expensive as 34.97.  The price depends greatly on the type of fabric that is used.  I personally think that if you are going to go with fitteds and covers, unless you have a good reason why, you should just go for a pocket diaper.  They are around the same price (depending on the diaper) and I think they are easier than the 2 piece systems.  

It is recommended to have at least 3-4 covers per dozen fitteds.  The cheapest fitteds I found were at  They are the Mother-ease One Size Fitteds and they run $12.45 each.  I would recommend at least a dozen if not a couple more.  So for a dozen that would be about $150 plus covers still.  If you were to get the most expensive (I found them at and for the same price) it would be  $34.95 each.  If you got a dozen that would be about $419 plus the cost of covers.  I spent about half of that on my entire stash!!!  Personally I'm not sure if fitteds really have any benefit over other types of diapers, but that is just my opinion.

Next Time

Part 2 in this 3 part series will be all about my FAVORITE type of diapers....POCKETS!!!  Along with some info on the different types of diaper covers there are and a brief repeat of what you use them with.  Just in case someone missed part 1 :)

1 comment:

  1. I tried the flats because they were cheap... I could never get them on right and it always took me so long that she would pee before I finished!!! Turned into a massive fail for me with the flats! =_