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Cloth Diaper Accessories - What They Are and Why You’ll Want Them

February 15, 2011

Diaper Accessories (What They Are and Why You’ll Want them)

Inserts, woolies and doublers... oh my! With so much information out there, figuring out the world of cloth diapers can be a bit overwhelming. Here we’ll tell you what it all means and what really matters?
*See also Cloth Diapering Essentials (What You’ll REALLY Need to Cloth Diaper)

Diaper Covers

Pre-fold, contour and fitted cloth diapers are just that - cloth. This means that when baby pees they get wet. To keep baby’s clothes dry, you’ll need to wrap that cloth diaper in a waterproof cover. Diaper covers can be made from Polyurethane laminate (PUL), nylon, fleece or wool and are designed to fit around your cloth diaper to keep moisture in. They are often fitted with elastic around the legs and waist to ensure a snug, leak-proof fit and they fasten with either snaps or Velcro.

Money Saving Tip: Search our Clearance section for gently-used diapers and diaper covers. Swapmamas.com and diaperswappers.com are also great sites for finding gently-used cloth diapers and accessories.

Diaper Pail

A diaper pail is 13 gallon (54 quart) plastic container with lid designed for storing your dirty diapers.

Money Saving Tip: Instead of buying an actual "diaper pail" you can save money by buying a standard 54 quart / 13 gallon trash can with lid.

Diaper Pail Liner

This is a waterproof bag that fits inside of your diaper pail. Most are made of PUL (polyurethane laminate) and are designed to fit perfectly inside a 54 quart / 13 gallon diaper pail. The bag will keep odors in but will also ‘breathe’ a little bit so odors don’t build up.

Money Saving Tip: This is something you won't want to skimp on. A generic plastic bag or trash bag will not work the same. You can however save a few dollars by purchasing a waterproof tote bag from your local sporting goods store. Be sure to also search our Clearance section for gently-used items. Swapmamas.com and diaperswappers.com are also great sites for finding gently-used cloth diaper accessories.

Diaper Sprayer

This is a small pump like sprayer (similar to the sprayer found on kitchen sinks) that attaches to the water line of your toilet. This little pump works great for rinsing poo off diapers without having to touch the poo itself.

Money Saving Tip: Make your own diaper sprayer from parts from your local hardware store (approximate cost $10). You'll need a hose attachment for the water line to your toilet, a short hose, and a sprayer. You can also scrape poop off with an old spatula.

Doublers

Also referred to as inserts. These are pad-like absorbent pieces of cloth that can be added to a diaper to increase absorbency. You either lay it inside of the diaper next to baby's bottom, or if it's a pocket diaper - stuff it inside the pocket.

Money Saving Tip: Doublers are available in microfiber, hemp and bamboo. Microfiber absorbs quickly but tends to make baby's diaper bulky. Hemp and bamboo absorb more slowly than microfiber but are at least 3 times more absorbent. If baby is a heavy wetter, buy a hemp or bamboo doubler instead of purchasing several microfiber inserts. Not only will it absorb more, it will also make for a very trim fitting diaper.

Nighttime Cover

A nighttime cover is a cover that keeps baby from leaking through her diaper at nighttime when she begins to sleep for longer periods (i.e. 5+ hours). This type of cover is designed to go over a pre-fold, contour or fitted diaper only.

Money Saving Tip: Nighttime covers are typically made of fleece or wool - mainly because they breathe well and won't trap heat like covers made with PUL can. If heat builds up in baby's diaper, it can lead to a diaper rash. Both materials work well but fleece is definitely the more affordable of the two. It is easy to care for, soft to the touch and dries in a flash!

Liners (or Diaper Liners)

Liners are thin pieces of material (cloth or biodegradable paper) that can be placed inside a diaper to create a barrier between baby's bottom and the diaper. Cloth liners are typically used to prevent non-cloth diaper friendly rash creams from getting into the diaper fibers. Disposable liners can be used for the same thing, but can also be used to catch baby’s solid waste. When baby is changed, the liner – along with the solid waste - is removed and tossed in the toilet, trash or compost.

Money Saving Tip: Fleece cloth can create a great barrier for your cloth diapers. Buy thin fleece material from your local fabric store and cut it into rectangles. If you're using a non-cloth diaper friendly rash cream, place the rectangle inside of each diaper to prevent the cream from getting into the fibers. If the inside of your diapers is anything other than fleece, place the rectangle inside to wick away moisture from baby's bottom and to help poop fall off easier.

Longies

Also called soaker pants or sweater pants, longies are pants sized for babies made out of soft, breatheable, non-scratchy wool. Wool is a natural fiber that absorbs 30% of the moisture that comes in contact with it and slowly lets it evaporate out in the air. Wool allows air to circulate freely to prevent diaper rash. Longies work the same as nighttime covers (see above) and should be worn over prefold, contour or fitted diapers only.

Money Saving Tip: Most longies are made out of recycled wool sweaters. If you know how to sew, make a quick trip to your local goodwill to find a 100% merino wool sweater and find a free diaper cover pattern on the internet. Use both to sew your own wool longies and save.

Wet Bag

This is a bag for storing dirty diapers when you’re away from home. It’s typically made with a PUL waterproof inner layer, a designer cotton fabric layer outside, and a zipper closure. These bags keep odors and moisture in but also allow the diapers to breathe so the odors don't build up.

Money Saving Tip: If you’re only away from home for a short amount of time (e.g. <24 hours="" you="" could="" substitute="" this="" for="" a="" gallon-sized="" plastic="" bag="" however="" if="" re="" away="" from="" home="" longer="" periods="" of="" time="" i="" recommend="" using="" wet="" -="" ll="" want="" to="" control="" the="" odor="" bit="" better="" p="">

Woolies

Woolie is just another name for a diaper cover made out of wool. These are also called soakers. Wool is a natural fiber that absorbs 30% of the moisture that comes in contact with it and slowly lets it evaporate out in the air. Wool lets air circulate freely to prevent diaper rash. Woolies work the same as a diaper cover and should be worn over prefold, contour and fitted diapers only.

 

Money Saving Tip: Most woolies are made out of recycled wool sweaters. If you know how to sew, make a quick trip to your local goodwill to find a 100% merino wool sweater and find a free diaper cover pattern on the internet. Use both to sew your own woolies and save.



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