If you are new to the world of cloth diapers, I have one thing to tell you: “These are not your grandma’s cloth diapers!”.

I’ve been changing my own 6 children’s diapers for 16 years now, and even in this time span, I have seen huge changes in cloth diapering.

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Today’s cloth diapers are affordable, easy to use, and kinder to your child and the environment.

If you are just getting started with cloth, let me share some quick cloth diapering lingo!


Stash refers to the number of cloth diapers and covers in your collection.


AIO stands for “All in One” diaper, which means that the absorbent part (the diaper) is permanently attached to the waterproof outer cover. This is the easiest type of diaper to use, but is the most expensive, and is often harder to clean.

Pocket Diapers 

These are often referred to as AIOs, but they are actually a pocket of the waterproof outer cover and soft fleecy material. The actual liner or stuffer or diaper insert is “stuffed” into the pocket and then the diaper can be easily changed, much like an AIO.

This is a cheaper option than an AIO, and they tend to launder better and dry quicker. However, the lining material sometimes causes an allergic reaction.

Also, the act of stuffing the diaper can get tedious, and painful for someone suffering from carpal tunnel or tendonitis.

Hybrid Systems 

Like Flips and gDiapers, these are reusable, waterproof covers combined with disposable or cloth liners. You have many options of what to stuff these diapers with, either folded pre-fold diapers, a disposable liner or a special, multi-layer cloth liner.


These are the diapers that you might remember from the “old days” of cloth diapering. They can be folded a variety of ways, and used to be fastened with pins and covered with “plastic pants”.

Now fasteners such as snappish make changing prefolds quicker and safer and a variety of covers allow you to fully customize your diapering system.


Flat diapers or single-layer Birdseye or flannel diapers are coming back into popularity. They are the least expensive option, can be folded in a way that offers the best absorbency for your baby, and pair well with a variety of covers.


Covers are the waterproof outer layer. Some are secured with snaps, Applix (hook and loop fastener like velcro), or are pull-on style. The covers are where your diapering individuality shines. They are available in every color of the rainbow, plus prints, ruffles, embroidery, and more!


These are diapers that are shaped and fitted much like a disposable cover. They fasten with snaps or aplix and still require a diaper cover. They are easy to use, and cute, but suffer from some of the laundry difficulties that the AIOS has.

Wet Bag

A system for storing soiled cloth diapers. These bags are treated with a waterproof material and can often be laundered along with the diapers.

Diaper Pail

where you store your dirty cloth diapers until laundering them.


Sometimes diapers have a build-up of laundry detergent, This causes stink issues when soiled (this is mostly a problem with synthetic materials, fitted diapers and AIOs). Stripping is the laundry process of removing the excess buildup. This usually requires a squirt of Dawn Dish soap and a lot of hot water.


Some cloth diapers use disposable wipes, others make their own, and wipe solutions can be as simple as water or serve a more dual purpose.

Cloth diapering can save you thousands of dollars in your mothering career and is something that you should certainly look into, even for part-time use.

Some simple systems have an initial investment equal or less to what you would pay for a case of disposable diapers..

Chime in! What are your favorite cloth diapers and accessories?