Cloth Diapering 101–Learning the Lingo

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Cloth diaper terminology

I’ve got some Cloth Diapering reviews and giveaways coming up soon so I thought this would be a great time to revisit some cloth diapering info.  For those who are curious about cloth diapering this post is sure to answer some questions.

When my moms find out I cloth diaper the most the most common response is “I don’t think I could ever do that.”  This usually means one of two things: 1) I never want to do that, or 2) It just looks too hard and I don’t think I have the time.  To both of these responses I would reply, “Yes, you can do it!” Cloth diapering is great for the environment, your wallet, and your baby’s bum.

There are certain situations were it really may be difficult to cloth diaper; if you use a laundromat or share laundry facilities (I share with just one other family and it is totally doable) or if both spouses work full-time (plenty do it though).  I’m not sure I’d be stalwart enough to cloth diaper if I had to use a laundromat, but I have heard from people who do it.

One of the things that turns off new and prospective parents who are looking into cloth diapering is the overwhelmingness of it all.  For many new parents who are trying to get ready for a baby, the last thing they want to do is hours of research on the various types and brands of diapers, detergents, wash routines, etc.  I thought I’d make it a little easier for those who are in the curiosity and research stages of cloth diapering.

Cloth Diapering 101

Lets learn the lingo:

CD= Cloth Diaper

(You’ll see these a lot on CDing and parenting forums)
LO=Little One

DH= Darling Husband

DS= Darling Son

DD= Darling Daughter

PUL= Polyurethane Laminate.  This fabric is often used for the outer layer of cloth diapers (not fitteds).  It provides a waterproof barrier that is durable and breathable.  *PUL looks like cloth on the outside (I wondered about this before I had any diapers with PUL).

Stash=Collection of cloth diapers

Types of cloth diapers:

AIO= All in One: typically all in one diapers are the most like a disposable diaper as far as the design goes.  The absorbent insert is sewn into the diaper; you don’t have to stuff an insert into a pocket.  You simply put the diaper on and go.  Some AIOs have a pocket for an insert so you can increase the absorbency.



AI2= All in Two: similar to AIO but the insert is detachable and can be laid in the cover of the diaper as opposed to being stuffed in the pocket.  However, many AI2s also have a pocket option.

Peachy Green AI2


OS= One Size: a one size diaper is designed to fit from (about) birth to potty training.  These diapers have snaps down the front of the diaper which can be snapped down to make the diaper smaller or unsnapped to make the diaper larger.

Peachy Green All in 2 - One Size cloth diaper


Pocket Diaper= Pocket diapers have pocket opening in the front back or both where you put the insert.  Pocket diapers make it easy to choose your own insert or to add multiple inserts for increased absorbency.  Pocket diapers usually have a layer of stay dry material on top to keep baby’s bum drier.

Oh Katy pocket diaper

Insert= Flat and comprised of multiple layers, these can be stuffed into a pocket diaper or laid on top of an AI2 or Hybrid diaper. A doubler is similar to an insert, just a little smaller, and used to increase absorbency.



Fitted= Fitted diapers are usually made of all natural materials.  Fitted diapers do not have PUL waterproof outer.  It is recommended to use a diaper cover or wool cover with fitteds.

fitted diaper - cloth diaper

Prefold= Depending on how they are used prefolds can be the most economical way to diaper your baby.  Prefolds themselves can be fashioned into a diaper and attached using a “snappi”.  You can fold prefolds differently depending on where baby needs absorbency.  You can also tri-fold a prefold and use it in a pocket diaper, AI2, or hybrid.

Prefold with Boingo

Hybrid= A hybrid diaper is a diaper that accommodate a washable cloth insert or a disposable insert.

Inside a gDaiper

Yep, that’s a lot! And I’ve only covered the most common types of cloth diapers.

Do you have to be a pro at every kind of diaper to be a successful cloth diaperer?  No.  It was years before I even tried some of these diapers.    But once I knew the lingo, saw how the diapers worked and the different varieties that were offered, and saw how cute they were I knew that cloth diapering was something I could do.

If you cloth diaper, what is your favorite system or type of diaper?  If you don’t cloth diaper, what are your thoughts on cloth diapering?


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.