Diapers & Covers
Many - but not all - cloth diapers need a waterproof cover to keep your baby's pants dry. Today's diaper covers are made from breathable materials and are designed to hold the diaper in place without pins. Many come in fun, colorful prints. Polyurethane-laminate (PUL) covers are most common, though diaper covers can also be made with polyester fleece or wool. Diaper covers usually come in sizes ranging from newborn to toddler, but some new PUL styles are size-adjustable. One diaper cover can last through several changes. They can be air dried and re-used until they are soiled or smelly.
Under the diaper cover, parents can choose from prefold diapers, contoured diapers, or fitted diapers. Prefolds are soft cotton diapers that need to be folded in thirds to fit inside the cover. These traditional-style diapers are the most cost-effective way to cloth diaper your baby. When shopping for prefolds, you will notice you can choose from Chinese or Indian diapers. Although they are very similar in construction, Chinese diapers generally last through more wear-and-tear than Indian diapers. Look for the label "DSQ" which tells you the diapers are diaper service quality. Choose unbleached cotton to avoid associated dioxin production. You can read more about how to fold and use prefold diapers here.
Contoured diapers are hourglass shaped and therefore, do not need to be folded. They are made from several layers of absorbent material - usually cotton or hemp. They are quick and easy to place in a cover during a diaper change.
Fitted diapers have Velcro or snap closures on the front and elasticized leg openings. Though fitted diapers need a separate cover to be waterproof, babies can wear them alone around the house allowing for extra air flow. Using fitted diapers can also decrease the amount of diaper covers you will go through by containing messes within the diaper.