There are many abbreviations used within cloth diapering circles, abbreviations like AIO or WIO. For new cloth diapering parents, such abbreviations can seem confusing and strange. To help alleviate some of the unnecessary confusion, this article defines the most common abbreviations found in cloth diapering.
1). AI2– This stands for All-in-Two. AI2s are like AIOS, however, their absorbent soaker layer is not at all attached to the diaper. The soaker is usally a separate, second piece that should be used with the diaper.
2.) AIO – This stands for All-In-One. AIOs are fitted diapers with a waterproof outer layer. This outer layer is typically made of fabric that has a PUL (PolyUrethane Laminate) backing, polar fleece such as Windpro, or wool. AIOs are most similar to disposable diapers because they are a one-piece diapering system. The absorbent soaker material is usually sewn into the diaper, however, it may also be detachable.
3). DSQ– This stands for Diaper Servce Quality. Diaper services use only the highest quality materials due to the fact that their diapers must survive a lot of usage and laundering. DSQ is typically used when referring to high quality pre-fold diapers.
4).Contour Diapers – Contours are diapers that are shaped like an hourglass. Unlike AIOs or AI2s, these diapers have no elastic in the legs or back, rather, they are held together with a SNAPPI® Diaper Fastener, pins, or a diaper cover. These diapers need to be used with a cover because they are not waterproof.
5) Diaper Covers – Covers serve as a waterproof outer layer for non waterproof diapers, such as contour diapers. They are usually fitted with elastic, and fastened with snaps or Velcro, and come in many styles and shapes. Some covers pull-up, like underpants. Diaper covers are usually made from polyester, Polyurethane laminates (PUL), waterproof nylon, fleece or wool.
6). Doublers– Doublers can be added to a diaper to increase their absorbency. They are designed like a pad and are most useful at times when extra protection is needed, such as at night time.
7). Fitted Diapers- These diapers are fitted with elastic around the legs and back and are contoured. In this way, they resemble disposable diapers. These diapers fasten with Velcro or snaps, and are considered to be the “next step up” from pre-folds. Waterproof covers must be worn with these diapers as they are not waterproof.
8). Flats – These diapers are considered the “traditional” style of cloth diapers. They are typically made of 100% cotton gauze and have one-layer. They fit many sizes, require pinning and folding, and dry quickly compared to some of more recent styles of diapers.
9). Hook & Loop – These are Velcro-like closures. Because the Velcro brand is not very soft, many diaper manufacturers use Aplix or Touchtape brand hook and loop.
10). Liners – Liners are thin layers of paper or cloth placed in a diaper to help with the cleaning of solid waste. With paper liners, the solid waste is collected on the liner and 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.
11). Longies – (Also called soaker pants or sweater pants) Longies are wool soakers with longer legs to form pants. These are ideal in the winter when the weather is colder.
12). Pre-folds – Pre-fold diapers are rectangular shaped diapers that must be folded into the shape of a diaper. They are similar to flats, but have multiple layers with more layering in the middle. Pre-folds are usually the cheapest type of cloth diapers available. They must be used in conjunction with a cover.
13). Pocket Diapers – Pocket diapers are similar to AIOs or AI2s. They have an outer layer of a waterproof material and an inner layer of a stay dry material, like microfleece or suedecloth. They close with Velcro or snaps. They have a pocket opening that allows for the absorbent material to be stuffed in the pocket during use and then removed for laundering. The absorbent material for stuffing can be an insert that comes with the diaper or a pre-fold or doubler.
14). Snappi® – This is a plastic fastener that is used with cloth diapers instead of diaper pins.
15). Soakers – The term soaker can be applied two ways. It often refers to the absorbent middle part of the diaper that absorbs the moisture when a baby wets. Soakers may be sewn inside the diaper, partially sewn to form a flap, snapped in inside the diaper, or simply laid inside the diaper. The term soaker is also used in reference to wool diaper covers.
16). Wool In One (WIO) – This is an All-In-One (AIO) that is made with wool outer fabric.
Be sure to check back in on next Tuesday for the next installment in this “Cloth diapering 101” series.