Flats are what some people consider the original cloth diapers. However, they are extremely popular still today, and for good reason! They are basically a large square piece of material generally made out of birdseye cotton (although they do come in bamboo and hemp as well) that can either be folded using various folds, wrapped and secured around a baby with pins, a Snappi or Boingos, or they can be padfolded and laid in a diaper cover or stuffed in a pocket diaper. Flat diapers dry very, very quickly and wash up well. They are also super durable and cheap (bamboo and hemp flats can run a little higher, but cotton flats are very inexpensive). They do require a little work though, as they will need to be folded in some fashion and a waterproof diaper cover is also required.
Prefolds are similar to flats, however they have an extra layer of protection in the center. Similar to flats, they either will need to be wrapped around the baby and secured using Pins, a Snappi, or Boingos, or trifolded and laid in a cover or stuffed in a pocket. The do take a little longer to dry than flats because they are thicker. Prefolds are very popular to use during the newborn stage because they are very inexpensive and newborns require so many diaper changes. There are three basic sizes of prefolds; newborn/infant, premium (medium) and toddler. Prefolds are not waterproof, so they do require a cover. Prefolds are primarily made of cotton, but also bamboo and hemp. Bamboo and Hemp are great for night time and naps because of the increased absorbency these fabrics provide.
Diaper Covers are what go over a prefold or flat to keep wetness off the baby’s clothing or off your furniture! Diaper covers are mainly made from Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) or another type of PUL commonly just referred to as TPU. Covers can also be made from several different types of wool as well as fleece. Most diaper covers fasten with snaps or Hook and Loop or Aplix (commonly known as Velcro). Wool and fleece covers usually just pull on and do not require any fastener.
Flats and Prefolds that we carry can be found HERE.
Diaper Covers can be found HERE.
Diaper Fasteners can be found HERE.