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Diaper Definitions

For a glossary of diapering and parenting terms and abbreviations, click HERE!

All-In-One Diaper (AIO)

Cloth diaper that has an inner absorbent layer attached to an outer waterproof layer with adjustable closures (either Velcro or snaps). All In One Diapers are just like disposable diapers except you wash them!


  • Most convenient
  • Easiest to use
  • Most like disposable diapers


  • Most expensive
  • Usually takes longest to dry

All-In-Two Diaper/Hybrid (AI2)

Two part diaper consisting of a waterproof cover and an absorbent insert that either lays or snaps in.


  • Easy to use
  • Trim fitting
  • Economical - buy fewer covers, more inserts


  • Requires insert and cover

Fitted Diaper

Tailored fitted diaper with Velcro or snap closures so cloth diaper fits closely to baby. Requires no folding and requires a waterproof cloth diaper cover.


  • Still convenient yet less expensive than other systems
  • Easy to use
  • Very absorbent - great when used as a nighttime cloth diaper


Prefold Diaper

Rectangular shaped flat cloth diaper with an absorbent pad already sewn in. Comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Prefold diapers need to be folded to fit in a waterproof diaper cover.


  • Least expensive diapering option
  • Fast drying
  • No need for as many different sizes
  • Versatile - can be used for other functions such as inserts & Doublers, burp clothes, rags, etc.


Frugal Diapering Tip: Use your prefold or flat diapers to stuff your pockets if you run out of inserts or need a boost of absorbency.

Pocket Diaper

A diaper cover that has an opening for a folded cloth prefold diaper or specially designed inserts to be "stuffed" into. This is a two part cloth diapering system.


  • Fast drying
  • Can adjust level of absorbency by adding or subtracting inserts
  • When used, it is just like a disposable - very convenient


  • Cloth diaper outer with pocket needs to be washed after every use
  • Can be expensive
  • Need to "stuff" each diaper with insert before use and remove inserts before washing

Diaper Cover / Diaper Wrap

Used over prefold diapers and fitted diapers to make them waterproof. Diaper covers wrap around baby and secure with Velcro or snaps for easy use (no more pins!). Each diaper cover can be used several times without washing if allowed to air dry between uses. Diaper covers usually can be washed along with diapers (depends on brand and manufacturer suggestions).

Diaper Insert / Diaper Doubler

Both diaper inserts and diaper doublers add extra absorbency to any type of cloth diaper. Often an insert is specially designed for a certain diaper and is meant to go inside a pocket diaper or All-in-Two and a doubler can typically be laid on top of any diaper as a little extra absorbent 'boost'. *Remember, never put microfiber directly against baby's skin as it can be too drying!

Frugal Diapering Tip: Reuse your small inserts as doublers when you baby outgrows them!

Diaper Liner

Liners are used to either create a wicking layer (fleece or other material) or to make clean up easier (disposable diaper liners). They do not add absorbency but can be a great barrier between diapers and creams that could coat them.

Frugal Diapering Tip: Fleece liners can be cut from any fleece! Trace your insert or diaper on the fleece and cut. No need to sew the edges!