Cloth Diaper Glossary
The many unfamiliar, funny-sounding terms and acronyms can be overwhelming if you're just starting out using reusable diapers. We've compiled a list of commonly used lingo in the cloth diapering world, many of which you will come across when searching for information about cloth diapers. Use the Ctrl + f function on your browser for a quick search. The terms below were collected and adapted from the wonderful cloth diaper word index created by Jennifer Brock of Fluff Love University.
An abbreviation for all-in-one diapers. AIO diapers is a reusable diaper that's one piece. The cover and insert are usually all sewn together.
AI2 stands for All-in-Twos. All in twos are a cover that allows you to snap in your insert. Making it an AIO, but also can be used as a plain cover as well.
Aplix is a name brand that uses a hook and loop closure technology. The other well known brand is Velcro. Both are similar in nature.
Baby lead-weaning. A form of introducing solids to a mature baby. This process typically surpasses purees, and goes straight to soft, finger foods.
Buy / Sell / Trade
A clip that closes prefolds. They are shorter than snappis, and you need two,instead of one usually. But you don’t have to worry about sizes.
Using cloth diapers? You might as well use cloth wipes. Usually a square of fabric (terry, flannel, or fleece are common) used to wipe your baby’s bum clean.
Cloth Wipe Solution
You can either make your own, or purchase some. Plainwater works fine. Or you can use water, baby wash, baby oil, and make your own!
Coconut Oil. Natural oil used for preventing diaper rash. It's considered cloth-diaper safe.
The American word for nappy.
The outer shell needed to make a cloth diaper water resistant.
An attachment for your toilet to spray off solid waste. If your shower head is near your toilet and has along enough hose, you can also use it in a similar way.
Double gussets. A second set of elastic slightly inside the leg elastic.
A doubler is another liner that can be added to the diaper and that can “double” the absorbency of the diaper.
Exclusively breastfed. When referring to poop, EBF poop is water-soluble and doesn’t necessarily need to be rinsed before placing in the washing machine since it will rinse clean.
Essential oil. Due to the lack of scientific research surrounding essential oils and children under the age of two, we do not recommend them and ask that you do in depth research on your own before using them.
A diaper made out of layers of fabric that's similar to an insert, but looks sewed to look like a diaper. A fitted diaper requires a cover. The absorbency of fitted cloth diapers varies based on the materials used in the construction of the diaper.
The old school type of cloth diaper. A giant square of fabric, typically cotton. You fold them up and fold them around your baby or you can pad fold them and stuff them.
Fleece is a common fabric used inside cloth diapers due to it's stay-dry property and the ability to be able to rinse solid poop easily. Also used as covers or liners.
Fluff and all things Fluffy
Refers to cloth diapers and the fluffy bum your baby has when using cloth diapers.
Flour Sack Towel. A cheap, 1-ply cotton flat fabric. You can usually purchase them at a household store in the kitchen towel section.
The Global Organic Textile Standard is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain
High efficiency. HE washing machines require HE compatible detergent.
Diapers in which the inner lining can be thrown away or reusable and the outer shell is washed between uses.
In search of / In (dire) search of.
An insert is a rectangular-shaped cloth that is inserted into the pocket opening of a pocket-style cloth diaper, or may be laid in a cover. The most common types of inserts are MF, bamboo, blends, CBI, hemp, and cotton.
A liner is a reusable cloth or disposable insert that is placed on top of the cover for easy clean up of solid waste. Also used for diaper protection when a non-safe cream is being used.
Little one (baby/toddler/young children)
Microfiber (typically referring to an insert). Microfiber should never be used directly against the baby's skin due to its desiccant property.
Mother in Law (a person who may have strong opinions about you cloth diapering)
A synthetic material that is often used on the outer or inner shell. Minky is stain resistant and very soft.
Nappy is the Queen's English for diaper.
Non-High Efficiency (a traditional top-loading washing machine, or detergent)
OEKO-TEX® Standard 100
A worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all processing levels, as well as accessory materials used. The OEKO-TEX® tests for harmful substances are fundamentally based on the respective purpose of the textiles and materials. The more intensive the skin contact of a product and the more sensitive the skin, the stricter the human-ecological requirements that need to be complied with.
A one-size cloth diaper, which typically has several snaps to adjust the rise and/or waist, thereby adjusting the size of the diaper. OS diapers usually fit babies 4.5 kg - 16 kg the best, although there are certainly some brands that go under or beyond that weight range.
Pail Liner or Diaper Pail
Diaper pail and pail liners are used to hold dirty diapers. Pail liners are made from PUL and water resistant. You use them and wash them with every load.
A flat that has been PREFOLDED and sewn together. It just cuts a few steps off for you.
A pocket diaper is a cover and a fleece/or suede lining that has an opening to stuff in an insert of your choice. Pockets allow you to choose and tailor the absorbency.
Polyurethane laminate. It’s a water-resistant material used to make outer shells of many popular brands of diapers and diaper covers. PUL was invented first for hospitals and mechanics. PUL is colorfast, so it won’t bleed, made to withstand high temperatures, and frequent washes and harsh chemicals. PUL is not a delicate fabric.
A brand of a special type of diaper clip that closes prefolds. It grabs on both side and in the middle to hold the prefold close and tight to the your LO.
Also called an insert.
Referring to one's collection of diapers.
IS NOT A NORMAL THING. Stripping is a treatment of your diapers to remove build-up. Be it petroleum-based creams, hard water, or an incorrect wash routine. With a proper wash routine and care you should NEVER have to strip your diapers. So keep that in mind if it becomes necessary.
Thermoplastic polyurethane, a laminate that makes fabrics waterproof. It's similar to PUL, but the process of laminating the polyurethane plastic is different. TPU fabrics are laminated without using chemicals solvents, and are instead attached to fabric using a heat-bonding process. The result is a waterproof, solvent-free, soft and breathable fabric that's also biodegradable, more thoughtful for your baby's health and the environment.
RLR is a laundry treatment. Used to remove minerals from hard water build up.
“Work At Home Mom”. Usually referring to WAHM’s that make diapers and diaper accessories.
A portable bag made from PUL or TPU to store dirty diapers and wet clothing.
Wicking keeps your baby’s bum dry. The process of wicking transfers the moisture from urine and sweat through one fabric and into another. The top of the fabric will be dry, while the bottom of it will be wet.
What she said