Cloth Talk: The Language of Cloth Diapering

Cloth Diaper Lingo
By Jennifer Brock

Finding it a little overwhelming coming into the cloth diapering community?
Sometimes it can feel like people are speaking a different language.
To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the words/phrases/and abbreviations that you’ll see floating around. (In alphabetical order):

An abbreviation for all-in-one diapers.

All In One
A cloth diaper is one piece. The cover and insert are all sewn together.

AI2 stands for All-in-Twos. All in twos are a cover that allows you to snap in your insert. Making it an AIO, but also can be used as a plain cover as well.

Aplix is another word for Velcro. The form of diaper closure. Also called hook and loop.

Baby lead-weaning. A form of introducing solids to a mature baby. This process typically surpasses purees, and goes straight to soft, finger foods.

Buy / Sell / Trade

A clip that closes prefolds. They are shorter than snappis, and you need two,instead of one usually. But you don’t have to worry about sizes.

Charcoal Bamboo Insert

A cloth diaper

Cloth Wipes
Using cloth diapers? You might as well use cloth wipes. Usually an 8×8 square of fabric (terry, flannel, or fleece are common) used to wipe your baby’s bum clean.

Cloth Wipe Solution
You can either make your own, or purchase some. Plain water works fine. Or you can use water, baby wash, baby oil, and make your own!

Coconut oil.  Used for preventing diaper rash. Is cloth safe.

Dear Husband

The American word for nappy.

Disposable Diapers

Diaper Cover
Cover is the outer shell needed to make a cloth diaper water resistant.

Diaper Sprayer
An attachment for your toilet to spray off solid waste.

Double Gussets. A second set of elastic slightly inside the leg elastic.

A doubler is another liner that can be added to the diaper and that can “double” the absorbency of the diaper.

Exclusively breastfed.  EBF poop is water-soluble and doesn’t need to be rinsed before placing in the washing machine since it will rinse clean.

Essential Oil


Excellent Used Condition. Like new but can't be sold as such (used once, washed, removed from original packaging and/or otherwise handled).

Fitted Diaper
A diaper made out of layers of fabric. Much like an insert, but looks like a diaper. A fitted diaper requires a cover. The absorbency of fitted cloth diapers varies based on the materials used in the construction of the diaper.

The old school type of cloth diaper. A giant square of fabric. Typically cotton. You fold them up and fold them around your baby or you can pad fold them and stuff them!

Fleece is a common fabric used inside cloth diapers.  Also used as covers or liners.

Fluff and all things Fluffy
Referring to cloth diapers.

Flour Sack Towel. A cheap, 1 ply cotton flat. You can purchase them at any Walmart/Target in the kitchen towel aisle.

For sale only.

For sale or trade.


Good Used Condition. Signs of wear, but not stinky or stained. 

High Efficiency (HE washing machines require HE compatible detergent)

Diapers in which the inner lining can be thrown away or reused and the outer shell is washed between uses.

In search of / In (dire) search of.

An insert is a rectangular-shaped cloth that is inserted into the pocket opening of a pocket-style cloth diaper, or may be laid in a cover. The most common types of inserts are MF, bamboo, blends, CBI, Hemp, and cotton.

A liner is a cloth or disposable insert that is placed on top of the cover for easy clean up of solid waste. Also used for diaper protection when a non-safe cream is being used.

Little one (baby)

Microfiber (typically referring to an insert)

Mother in Law (a person who may have strong opinions about you cloth diapering)

A synthetic material that is often used on the outer or inner shell. Minky is stain resistant and very soft.

Nappy is the European word for diaper.

Non-High Efficiency (a traditional top-loading washing machine, or detergent)

New with tags

New without tags

New in Package

New out of package

A one size cloth diaper


Pail Liner or Diaper Pail
Diaper pail and pail liners are used to hold dirty diapers. Pail liners are made from PUL and water resistant. You use them and wash them with every load.

A flat that has been PREFOLDED and sewn together. It just cuts a few steps off for you.

Pocket Diaper
The most common cloth diaper. A pocket diaper is a cover and a fleece/or suede lining that has an opening to stuff in an insert of your choice. Pockets allow you to chose the absorbency.

PUL stands for polyurethane laminate – it’s a water-resistant material used to make outer shells of many popular brands of diapers and diaper covers. PUL was invented first for hospitals and mechanics. PUL is colorfast, so it won’t bleed, made to withstand high temperatures, and frequent washes and harsh chemicals. PUL is not a delicate fabric.

Postage paid

Another clip that closes prefolds. It grabs on both side and in the middle to hold the prefold close and tight to the your babe.

Also called an insert.

Referring to ones collection of diapers.

IS NOT A NORMAL THING. Stripping is a treatment of your diapers to remove build-up. Be it petroleum-based creams, hard water, or an incorrect wash routine. With a proper wash routine and care you should NEVER have to strip your diapers. So keep that in mind if it becomes necessary.

RLR is a laundry treatment. Used to remove minerals from hard water build up.


Used Condition. Fully intact and functional with minor defects (such as a fresh smelling, small stain on the inside or outside).


Very Good Used Condition. Very minor wear.

“Work At Home Mom”. Usually referring to WAHM’s that make diapers and diaper accessories.

Wet Bag
A portable bag made from PUL to store dirty diapers and wet clothing.

Wicking keeps your baby’s bum dry. The process of wicking transfers the moisture from urine and sweat through one fabric and into another. The top of the fabric will be dry, while the bottom of it will be wet.

What she said