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The Complete Guide of Cloth Diaper Terms, Phrases, and Acronyms

Updated on October 2, 2014
Jules bumGenius Diaper
Jules bumGenius Diaper

What Does that Mean?

Whether you are completely new to cloth diapering or a seasoned pro, there are many words, phrases, and acronyms used that can be confusing. This article is meant to help clear up some confusion and provide clarity to those terms.

Common Cloth Diaper Terms / Words

  • Aplix - This is a brand of Hook & Loop (or Velcro) closure.
  • Cloth Wipes - Cloth wipes are reusable baby wipes for cleaning wet or soiled bottoms. Cloth wipes can be purchased or easily made at home. They are typically made of terry, cotton, velour, hemp, or flannel. These wipes need to be washed to use again.
  • Contour Diapers - Contour diapers are hourglass-shaped diapers with no elastic in the legs or back. They must be held together with a fastener, pins, or a diaper cover. These diapers are not waterproof, so you must also use a diaper cover.
  • Cotton Velour - This diaper material is a cotton and polyester blend which is absorbent and soft.
  • Diaper Covers - These are a waterproof outer layer to use on top of non-waterproof diapers, inserts, or absorbent material. Some look like diapers, while others look like fabric or underpants. They can be made from polyester, polyurethane laminate, nylon, fleece, or wool.
  • Diaper Sprayer - There are several different models of diaper sprayers available. A sprayer is used to rinse a dirty diaper over a toilet or other water source.
  • Doublers - Pads or layers that can be used with a diaper to add absorbency.
  • Fitted Diapers - These diapers come in specific sizes (usually extra small, small, medium, large, and extra large) and are contoured and fitted with elastic around the legs and back. A waterproof cover must be worn fitted diapers, but they do not require pinning or fastening.
  • Flats - These are one-layer diapers and are the oldest style of cloth diapers. They are typically one long piece of fabric that you must fold and pin to keep on the baby.
  • Fluff/Fluff Mail/Fluffy - "Fluff" usually just means a cloth diaper or cloth product. So "fluff mail" would be your shipment of cloth diapers.
  • Gussets - Crescent-shaped inserts added to the leg openings of many cloth diapers for added performance, expansion, and leak control.
  • Hemp Jersey - A very absorbent material used for cloth diapers. Hemp Jersey absorbs a lot of moisture without adding bulk to your diapers.
  • Hook & Loop - This is referring to a velcro closure.
  • Hybrid - A Hybrid is a cloth diapering system that resembles a disposable diaper in use. It usually consists of a waterproof shell or cover and a disposable insert.
  • Insert - The absorbent part of a cloth diaper. Inserts are usually rectangular-shaped and fit inside a pocket diaper, cover, or shell.
  • Lanolize / Lanolized / Lanolizing - This is a process of applying Lanolin to wool diapers, soaker pants, or longies to make them waterproof.
  • Liners - Liners are thin layers of cloth or paper that are placed inside the diaper to aid in the cleaning of solid waste. In the case of paper liners, the solid waste collected on the liner can be removed from the soiled diaper and either thrown away or flushed. Cloth liners must be washed, but aid in laundering. They also help protect the actual diaper from staining.
  • Longies - Long pants or skirts worn over cloth inserts.
  • Microfiber Terry - This diaper material is synthetic, soft, quick-drying, and highly absorbent.
  • Microfleece - A type of fabric which allows moisture to pass right through, thus helping to reduce diaper rash when used next to a baby's skin. The material is wool-like and made from synthetic fibers.
  • Minkee/Minky - A popular synthetic material used for cloth diapers that is very soft. Minkee can refer to the soft feel of the outside of diapers or to the newer technology that is used to create inserts.
  • One-Size - Refers to a cloth diaper that fits most babies from birth through potty training. A one-size diaper can be adjusted to fit a size range of babies from 8lbs to 35lbs or more.
  • Pail Liner - A bag placed inside a diaper pail where you store dirty diapers.
  • Pocket - A type of cloth diaper that has a pocket opening between the outer shell layer and the inner layer. You can place an absorbent inside of the pocket opening.
  • Pre-fold - Budget-friendly diapers that have a thicker middle layer. These require a water-proof diaper cover to be used on the outside.
  • Prep / Prepped / Prepping - This term refers to getting a diaper or cover ready for use. This commonly requires washing the diaper multiple times and sometimes lanolizing the diaper.
  • Raw Silk Liners - Silk is a 100% natural wicking material which helps keep baby bottoms drier. Silk has natural anti-bacterial properties to yeast and diaper rash away.
  • Sized - Sized diapers come in several fixed sizes, such as XS, S, M, L, 1, 2, or 3. Sized diapers can fit babies better, but only work for a certain period of time before you need to switch to the next higher size.
  • Snap Closures - Used instead of Aplix/ Hook and Loop, snap closures fasten a diaper with the use of snaps. Snaps generally last for a long time which can prolong the use of your diaper.
  • Snappi - A popular brand of diaper fastener that can easily fasten a pre-fold or flat diaper without the use of pins.
  • Stash - This term refers to a person's collection of cloth diapers and accessories.
  • Wet Bag - A wet bag is a small reusable bag that generally stores 4-5 soiled diapers. They are washable bags, so they are great for use in a diaper bag or around the house for dirty diaper storage.
  • Wicking - Wicking refers to the transfer of moisture from one surface to another. For example, you would want moisture to wick away from your baby's skin through the use of materials to help keep your baby dry for longer.
  • Wool - A material sometimes used to make diaper covers, "shorties", or "longies". These covers are breathable and keep babies try for a very long time. Wool makes for great night diapers. In order for wool to be waterproof, it must be "Lanolized".
  • Shorties - Short pants or skirts worn over cloth inserts.
  • Soaker - This is an absorbent layer of material used inside of a cloth diaper.
  • Strip/Stripped/Stripping - Stripping a diaper means cleaning off any build up that has formed on the diaper. There are specialty products that can be used for stripping, or a common method is to use Dawn dish soap in place of detergent while washing.

Common Cloth Diaper Acronyms

  • AC - "AppleCheeks". A cloth diaper brand.
  • AIO - "All in One" fitted diapers that have a waterproof outer layer. This layer usually consists of fabric that has a polyurethane laminate backing and fleece. These are the closest in similarity to disposable diapers since they are a one-piece diapering system. The absorbent material is often sewn into the diaper and may also be detachable.
  • AI2 - "All In Two" These are very similar to AIOs, but the absorbent material is not attached to the diaper. The "soaker" (absorbent material) is usually a second, separate piece that must be used along with the diaper.
  • AP - "Attachment Parenting"
  • BB - "Best Bottoms". A cloth diaper brand.
  • BF - "Breast Feeding"
  • BG - "bumGenius" One of the most popular cloth diaper brands.
  • BK - "BabyKicks". A cloth diaper brand.
  • CD - "Cloth Diaper"
  • CDing "Cloth Diapering"
  • DD, DH, DS: These abbreviations are commonly used in cloth diaper groups and boards to refer to family members. DD can mean dear daughter, darling daughter, or darn daughter depending on the circumstance. DH can mean dear husband, darling husband, darn huband, etc, and DS usually means dear son, darling son, or darn son.
  • DSQ - "Diaper Service Quality" This term refers to diapers that are of the highest quality and materials that they could be used by a diaper service and stand up to a lot of use.
  • EBF: "Exclusively breastfed"
  • FB - FuzziBunz". A cloth diaper brand.
  • GV - "GroVia". A cloth diaper brand known for sized diapers with inserts.
  • HB - "Hemp Babies". A cloth diaper brand.
  • HH - "Happy Heiny". A cloth diaper brand.
  • HTF - "Hard to Find" This generally refers to diapers that are no longer being sold for retail. The diaper may have been out of print for a while or there may have only been a couple of them made originally.
  • IB - "itti bitti". A cloth diaper brand.
  • NIP - "New in package" When trading or selling diapers, the diapers with the most value are the unused diapers that are still in the package.
  • NOOP - "New out of package" The diaper has been removed from the original packaging, but has still not been used or washed.
  • NWT - "New with tags" This basically means the same thing as NIP, but is a different way to phrase it.
  • PUL - "Polyurethane Laminate" A laminated fabric that is waterproof. This is generally used for diaper covers and on the outside of pocket diapers, AIOs, and AI2s
  • RAR - "Rumparooz". A cloth diaper brand.
  • RNG - "Rockin’ Green". A popular cloth diaper detergent.
  • SAHM/SAHD - SAHM means "Stay At Home Mom" and SAHD means "Stay At Home Dad"
  • SB - "SoftBums". A cloth diaper brand.
  • Sbish - "Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb". A cloth diaper brand known for wool covers, longies, and shorties.
  • TB - "Tots Bots" Another popular cloth diaper brand.
  • TPU - "Thermoplastic polyurethane". This can be used instead of PUL to make waterproof outer shells for cloth diapers.
  • WAHM/WAHD - WAHM means "Work At Home Mom" and WAHD means "Work At Home Dad"

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    • novator profile image

      novator 3 years ago from Denver

      I'm totally infatuated with the hemp cloth diaper info., thank you so much for that spark. Looking into it now