TGN's Cloth Diaper Dictionary

Cloth Diaper Dictionary

Confused by all the cloth diaper lingo? Does this new language make you feel like you’re in a different country? You are. You’re in Cloth Diaper Country. Welcome! Here’s a handy dandy list of commonly used cloth diaper terms to help you translate!



All-in-One- A complete cloth diaper consisting of a waterproof shell with the absorbent material sewn in. Since no stuffing or inserts are required, these diapers are great for daycare or anyone who may be resistant to using cloth. BumGenius Elemental and Freetime, Grovia AIO, Thirsties Duo All in One, and Tot Bots are All-in-One diapers.


All-in-Two-  A two-piece cloth diaper system, that consists of a waterproof cover and inserts that can either be snapped or laid into the cover. Grovia Hybrid Shells and Softbums are examples of All in Two diapers.


Aplix- A type of cloth diaper closure much like the tabs on disposable diapers or Velcro. Also known as Hook and Loop.


Bamboo- A soft, absorbent natural fiber made from the bamboo plant. It is a lot of times used in inserts, and is a good choice for overnight or heavy wetters.


Cloth Diapers- A washable, reusable diaper made of fabric and other materials.


Cloth Wipes- Reusable baby wipes as opposed to disposable wipes. These wipes can be washed with your cloth diapers.


Contour Diaper- These diapers are similar to prefolds, but cut in an hourglass shape. They do not have elastic around the waist or legs and are secured on baby with either pins or a snappi. A waterproof cover is required to contain wetness.


Cover- A waterproof shell used to contain wetness and mess.


Diaper Pail- A container, typically a trash can, that is used for storage of dirty cloth diapers.


Diaper Sprayer- A cloth diapering gadget that looks similar to a kitchen sprayer used for dishes. A diaper sprayer attaches to your toilet and is used to rinse dirty diapers.


Doubler- An extra insert that can be added to cloth diapers when more absorbency is needed.


Fitted- Fitted diapers are cut to the shape your baby and look like a complete diaper, but do not have a waterproof shell. They usually have elastic at the waist and legs to help hold in mess. The entire diaper is absorbent, and is great for nighttime or heavy wetters. These diapers require a waterproof cover to contain wetness. Sustainablebabyish Organic Bamboo Fleece and Snapless Multi Fitted, Sloomb Happy Little Cloud, Grovia Kiwi Pie, EcoPosh Fitted, and Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted are all fitted diapers.


Flats- Flats are single layer, large squares of fabric that are folded to fit baby. These diapers requires a waterproof cover.

Fleece- A fabric often used as the lining in cloth diapers. It allows the moisture to pass through and acts as a barrier, helping baby feel dry. You can also use fleece as a reusable liner sheet to allow them to have the “stay dry” feeling when laid on top of natural fibers, or to protect your diapers if you need to use a non-cloth diaper safe ointment. Fleece is also a material used to make water resistant diaper covers.  


Flour Sack Towels- Before the invention of disposables, everyone used cloth diapers. Some moms used the sacks that their flour came in as flat cloth diapers. Flour sack towels are now sold in stores to be used as dish towels, but are still used by moms as diapers for their babies.


Fluff- Cloth diapers and cloth diapering accessories


Fluff Mail- Receiving cloth diapers and cloth diaper accessories in the mail.


Hemp- A durable, absorbent natural fiber that comes from the inner bark of the hemp plant. It is used in inserts and is usually blended with cotton to help make the insert softer. It is a good choice for overnight or heavy-wetters. 


Hook & Loop- A cloth diaper closure similar to Velcro. Works like the tabs on a disposable.


Hybrid- With these diapers you have the option of using a reusable insert or a disposable insert. They consist of a waterproof shell that can be washed and reused. Some people like to use cloth at home, but have the option of using disposable inserts while traveling. Examples of Hybrid diapers are Grovia Hybrid shells and the Flip cloth diapering system.


Insert- An absorbent diaper liner that is stuffed into pockets or laid into a waterproof shell or cover.


Microfleece- A synthetic fabric commonly used to line cloth diapers. It does not absorb moisture, allowing the liquid to pass through. It acts as a barrier, giving baby a “stay dry” feeling.


Minky- A synthetic material used on the outside of cloth diaper to make them very soft (kind of fuzzy in a way) to the touch. It is also used for absorbent cloth diaper inserts.


Lanolin- a yellowish waxy substance naturally found on the wool of sheep to protect their wool and skin. It is used on wool covers to help make them water-resistant when properly lanolized.


Lanolized- Wool is lanoziled when it has been treated with lanolin to make it water resistant.


Longies- A wool soaker that covers babies legs, and can also be worn as a pair of pants. Sustainablebabyish makes Sloomb Longies.


Nappy- What they call diapers in Europe.


Organic- Referring to natural fibers made without chemicals


One Size Diaper- A size adjustable diaper that can fit from birth to potty-training.


Pail Liner- A waterproof, washable liner used to line your diaper pail.


Pocket Diaper- Pocket diapers have a waterproof shell lined with a non-absorbing microfleece or similar fabric lining sewn in. There is an opening, usually in the back of the diaper where you stuff an absorbent insert to make this a complete diapering system. BumGenius 4.0, Fuzzibunz, Softbums Omni, Rumparooz G2, Tot Bots, and AppleCheeks are pocket diapers.  

Polyurethane Laminate- A fabric used in cloth diapers, wetbags, and pail liners. Urethane is chemically bonded to the fabric making it waterproof.


Prefold- Prefolds are squares of fabric with multiple layers sewn together. Typically more layers are in the middle, or wetzone, of the diaper. They too require a waterproof cover.

Shorties- A wool diaper cover that doubles as an article of clothing (shorts). Sustainablebabyish makes Sloomb Shorties.


Sized Diaper- A diaper that comes in different sizes for different weight ranges.


Soaker- The middle section off the diaper that absorbs. It can be sewn in or an insert that is snapped or laid into the diaper. Sometimes wool diaper covers are referred to as soakers.


Snappi- A stretchy cloth diaper closure device. The Snappi is “T” shaped, and has three tabs with tines to help grab onto the fabric. Each tab attaches to both sides of the diaper and in the lower middle securing it on baby.


Sposie- A nickname for disposable diapers


Stash- A collection of cloth diapers


Stash Shot- Displaying all your cloth diapers and taking a picture of them to share what you have with whoever would be interested.


Stripping-  The process of removing detergent, hard water, or any other type of buildup from cloth diapers.


Suedecloth-  A synthetic fabric often used as a lining inside of cloth diapers. This lining does not absorb moisture. It allows it to pass through to the insert and gives baby a “stay dry” feeling.


Thermoplastic Polyurethane-  A fabric used in cloth diapers. Urethane is bonded to the fabric by heat making it waterproof.


Wetbag- A waterproof bag used for cloth diaper storage. It can also be used for storage of other wet items such as bathing suits, etc.


Wicking-  When moisture transfers from one place to another. Wicking can be good and bad. An example of good wicking is when your baby pees and the lining of the diaper draws the moisture away from baby’s skin. An example of bad wicking is if a bit of the absorbent fabric of the diaper is sticking out and touching baby’s clothes. The moister will transfer, or wick, from the diaper to the baby’s clothing.   


Wool Cover- A diaper cover made of wool. Wool is a natural fiber and is very breathable. It is water resistant when properly lanolized. Sustainablebabyish makes wool covers, Underwoolies, Sloomb longies and shorties. Other examples of wool covers are EcoPosh wool cover and Grovia Kiwi Pie wool cover.


Wool Soaker- Another name for a wool diaper cover.


Wrap- A waterproof diaper cover that wraps snugly around a fitted, prefold, or flat diaper.


ABBREVIATIONS- Cloth Diaper Shorthand


AC- AppleCheeks, a brand of cloth diapers


Ai2- All in Two diaper


AiO- All in One diaper


BF- Breastfeeding, Breastfed


BG- bumGenius, a brand of cloth diapers


CD- Cloth diaper


DD- dear daughter, as in “I just got my dd a new bg in Mathai!”


DH- dear husband, as in “my dh prefers h&l closures on cloth diapers.”


DS- dear son, as in “I am loving bg Irwin on my ds!”


DW- dear wife, as in “My dw loves fluff mail!”


EBF- Exclusively breastfed


FB- Fuzzibunz, a brand of cloth diapers


FF- Formula Fed


FST- Flour Sack Towel


FT- Freetime, a type of cloth diaper by bumGenius


FTM- first time mom


GC- gift card


GN- gender neutral


HB- Hemp Babies, a brand of cloth diaper inserts


H&L- Hook and Loop closure  


IB- Itti Bitti, a brand of cloth diapers


ISO- in search of


MF- Microfiber


MSF- Multi Snapless Fitted, a fitted diaper from Sustainablebabyish


OBF- Organic Bamboo Fleece, a fitted diaper from Sustainablebabyish


OS- one size


PF- Prefold


PUL- Polyurethane Laminate


RAR- Rumparooz, a brand of cloth diapers


RNG- Rockin Green, a brand of cloth diaper safe detergent


TPU- Thermoplastic Polyurethane


SAHD- stay at home dad


SAHM- stay at home mom


SB- Softbums, a brand of cloth diapers


Sbish- Sustainablebabyish, a brand of cloth diapers


WAHD- work at home dad


WAHM- work at home mom, also a name for diapers made by moms who make and sell cloth diapers from home.