One of the main turn off about Cloth diapering is the myriad of choices available. When I recently shamed myself by confessing my cloth diapering mistakes I got a picture of how many parents struggled to decipher the right absorbency for that would work for them. Having too many options can make decision-making groaningly painful. So I thought I would clear the air for you.
These are your Champion absorbency players. Inserts are the ones that determine the absorbency of your diaper. Inserts can be tucked inside a pocket diaper or laid outside to use it as a All in Two system. When you buy a cloth diaper it can come along with an tailor made inserts or you may have to buy them separately.
Inserts and Soakers are functionally the same, the difference comes from which diaper system you use them in. I have seen people use them interchangeably. I don’t think there is any hard or fast rule. Inserts are used with Pocket diapers (because you insert them into the pocket opening?!?!) and Soakers comes with All In One/Two’s. Some soakers comes with a water proof lining at the bottom like GroVia, Lil Helper.
Inserts/Soakers come in different style and are made from different materials.
Trifolds : These look just like your plain old prefold that can be trif-folded and stuffed inside a pocket or used with an water proof cover. These are my favourite type of inserts because they are highly customizable to offer maximum absorbency. Amp, Oko creations, AppleCheeks,Easy Peasies are my fav.
Rectangular/Hourglass: Two or more layer of absorbent fabric sewn into an rectangular/hourglass shaped inserts that fit into your diaper. The rectangular inserts are the most common type of inserts that comes with most of the diapers. Rectangular – Thirsties, Apple cheeks. Hourglass – Funky Fluff, Best Bottoms.
Tongue Style: These inserts are usually sewn or can be snapped together at one end and tapers towards the end. GroVia
Snake Style: Comes in a long rectangular shape that can be folded to fit inside your diaper. Smart bottoms, Blueberry.
OneSize: They come with a snap option that can be adjusted to newborn, small or large size. BumGenius
All these inserts can be made of variety of fabrics like microfiber,cotton, bamboo, hemp or an combination of these materials. Here are some quick notes to keep in mind while purchasing inserts.
- Microfiber should never be placed against the skin. It absorbs liquid very quick and when placed against skin it can absorb all the moisture from the skin leaving it dry. Microfibre is the cheap and as I said absorb liquid swiftly. In the long run Microfibre can hold on to stink and ammonia and is also more prone to compression leaks.
- Some inserts do come with a Microfleece lining on top and they are often called as ‘Stay Dry’ Inserts. These are safe to go against the skin.
- Bamboo/Hemp?Organic Cotton: All these are natural fibres that can go directly against the skin. If your kids are sensitive to wetness you might wanna use these inserts under a Stay dry micro fleece liner to keep them feel dry. Bamboo & Hemp are most absorbent and are advised for heavy wetters, or for nap/night time use.
- When choosing a Cloth diaper system be mindful of what kind of insert it comes with to evaluate the “actual” cost of the diaper. Initially I started with microfibre inserts but later switched to bamboo/hemp inserts which cost me extra. My recommendation would be buy shells/pockets separately and pair it with hemp/bamboo trifolds of your choice.
- Trifolds & Snake style inserts are relatively easier to wash and dry because their layers are not sewn in together.
These play the supporting role. Their job is to provide additional absorbency without adding too much bulk. Just like inserts, Boosters also come in different shapes like rectangular (AppleCheeks, Oko Creations),hourglass (Funky Fluff) or tongue style (GroVia). They also come in different variety of fabrics.Place boosters at the front for boys and at the back for girls for maximum absorbency boost.
As the name suggests these are used for lining your diapers, they do not have any absorbency power on their own. You simply lay them at the top of your diapers and these touch your baby’s skin.Why do you need a liner? Liners are used to catch poop and prevent your diapers from staining. You can also use liners while using diaper creams or simply as a stay dry lining. Liners can be either disposable or reusable.
Disposable liners: They look like thin sheets of paper.These can simply be tossed and flussed in the toilet (make sure it says flushable and bio degradable). AppleCheeks, Bummis, GroVia
Reusable liners : These are made of thin layer of fleece. You can either buy these or make these from old fleece balnkets or pyjamas. AppleCheeks
Hope this helps you understand the different absorbency options available. If you have any questions shoot me a message or contact the retailers before purchase. Most of them will be happy to help you out.
Where to Shop?
Baby FootPrint ,Alberta
Lagoon Baby/Cozy Bums, BC
Diaper Junction, USA