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In the first part of my cloth diaper series, I taught you some basics and gave you an overview of the current complete systems. These included the AIO, AI2, AI3 and pocket diapers.
You can read the article again here: “Which cloth diaper system is the right one? Part 1 – Complete systems“.
In the second part, as an alternative to the complete systems, I want to show you which two-part cloth diaper systems are available.
Two-piece systems are cloth diapers that consist of two different components. The individual components can also be used alone and can be combined with each other as required.
This is also the difference to the complete systems,which always result in a complete diaper only from the combination of the clearly defined components. The components of a complete diaper must also usually be purchased within a brand, so that there is a brand dependency here.
Two-piece systems are slightly lighter, brand-independent and therefore more flexible.
The components are also here a sucking part,such as a suction insert, and a moisture-protecting partsuch as overpants.
Especially for newborns or premature babies, for whom there is not such a large selection of complete diapers due to the size, the two-piece diaper systems have proven themselves.
These systems also score with natural fabrics and durability.
Overpants are a purely moisture-protecting component of cloth diapers. They are available in a wide variety of forms and materials.
Overpants are usually inexpensive and have the advantage, similar to AI3, that they can be used more often and washed separately, as they are a single part.
Very often overpants are made of polyester,which is coated with PU (polyurethane) and thus water-repellent. So that the plastic does not get to baby’s skin, other protective materials are often used (mesh, cotton, …).
A more natural variant is the use of wool overpants. Wool overpants are made of rolled or knitted wool or fleece, often with knitted wool cuffs at the belly and leg end.
The use of wool is a bit more elaborate, since the wool must be greased before the first wear and after repeated washing. In addition, wool can only be washed in the wool program or cold, otherwise it will be absorbed.
It is possible to cook wool, but to do this it must lie motionless in a pot and be slowly heated and cooled again.
Wool overpants have other advantages:they are warming and temperature regulating like many natural materials.
Overpants come in different forms. There are overpants that can be closed with Velcro or snaps, similar to the complete diaper systems. These are also often adjustable in body height,so that they can grow with it. But they are also available as a multi-size diaper.
Alternatively, there are so-called slip overpants,which are made of one piece like underpants and do not require Velcros and snaps.
An extension of the slip overpants are longies. These are long overpants with legs,which are also completely moisture-repellent. Here, too, materials such as wool or PU are possible. (Storchenkinder, hu-da)
In addition, overpants can also have several functions and also take over the function of a panty diaper (e.g. TotsBots).
Overpants are available from numerous manufacturers, I have listed a list of manufacturers I know, but there are certainly more: TotsBots Strechy Wrap, Storchenkinder, BabyIdeas Longie, hu.da Longie, hu-da PUL Slip, hu-da Woll Schlupf, BumGenius Flip, Anavy Fleece. Wolwickel Amsterdam, Milova, Blueberry Capri, Rumparooz Newborn.
2 Panty diapers
Panty diapers are in principle the counterpart to the overpants. They differ from overpants in that they are not moisture-protective, but are made entirely of absorbent material.
Since they do not bring their own moisture protection, panty diapers always need overpants so that the moisture is not released into the clothes.
Compared to e.g. AIO, where only the suction core is sucking, panty diapers are completely made of sucking material,such as cotton, bamboo viscose, hemp or cotton velour.
The advantage is that there is more suction area and nothing can slip, as no separate insoles are necessary. Panty diapers are a good option, especially for babys that frequently pee or in general at night.
Due to the large suction surface, however, it can also happen that the moisture is distributed over a large area, which may be a problem for sensitive baby skin.
Panty diapers also make a fairly large baby bum and require a longer time to dry due to their high absorbency.
3 Contour diaper
Let’s now come to some now rather exotic in the world of cloth diapers. This includes the contour diaper. Contour diapers (e.g from Floral, Lulu nature or Haipa Daipa) were created from the simple diaper cloth and thus a further development of it.
They are no longer just a rectangular cloth, but have been tailored into a T-shape with quilted edges and therefore already have the coarse shape of common cloth diapers. However, you do not have a closure (neither Velcro nor Snaps), but are fixed by Snappys or overpants.
Since they are very simple, they are also quite low-wear,as they have no other components that can break or rub up the fabric.
A great advantage is the use of natural and above all highly absorbent materials,such as cotton (e.g. terry cotton), bamboo viscose or hemp-cotton mixtures.
Another further development are contour diapers, into which additional suction inserts have been sewn in, such as the contour diapers from Kissaluvs.
In addition, they are also available with rubber cuffs on the legs and back (e.g. Christine Bendel, Glückswindel) and with pocket function. However, all of them have in common the lack of closures. In addition to the pocket function, there can also be a firmly sewn suction insert. You guessed it, here almost every combination of the different diaper systems is conceivable.
The Flatwrap diaper by Glückswindel is a mixed form of contour diaper and prefold. The outer wings are folded out to dry. Inside the diaper is reinforced with suction material and for more comfort and leak protection there are also cuffs on the beimen.
Other manufacturers of contour diapers are: Haipa Daipa, Lulu nature, BabyIdeas, to name just a few.
4 Knitted diapers or binding diapers
Another relatively traditional and natural form of the cloth diaper is the knitted diaper (e.g. a very well-known knitted diaper is that of Disana). Knitted diapers are made of cotton, very elastically knitted and very robust.
Two ribbons are sewn onthe sides, which are tied around the child to fix the diaper. What seems complicated at first is easy to master with a little practice. There are good instruction videos on the Internet, one I have linked to you below.
Due to the long shape, the length of the diaper is very flexibly adjustable and therefore adaptable to the respective body height of the child. Of course, they are also growing with them.
It is important to know that the diaper itself is not sucking and thus additional suction material is required, such as gauze diaper or a prefold. With the additional inser, the child is wrapped wide,which is generally an advantage for hip development.
Knitted diapers are a simple and natural alternative to conventional cloth diapers and have the advantage that they leave no imprints. Especially for newborns a good choice. Wonderful to use together with a slip diaper made of wool, as the knitted diaper does not offer its own moisture protection.
The diaper is easy to wash because it is made of cotton, but should be put in a laundry net or in a pillow because of the straps when washing. The tapes can knot during washing.
A nice detailed wrapping instruction for knitted diaper can be found on YouTube:
5 Gauze diapers
The absolute simplest kind and at the same time the classic among the cloth diapers, with which my mother wrapped me in the absence of alternatives still in the 80s, is of course the gauze diaper.
Gauze diapers are versatile and can also be used outside the diaper world, for example, as a spitting cloth, sun protection, bridge reduction and neck support for carrying aids and cloths.
Gauze diapers are very inexpensive to buy and robust in handling and washing. They are traditionally made of 100% cotton and can be washed at 60 or 90 degrees in the washing machine.
After the first wash, gauze diapers can lose 5 to 10% in size,which should always be taken into account when buying. Shrinking increases the surface area of these diapers per square centimeter, which increases absorbency.
If gauze diapers have been washed frequently, they are well absorbent and can also be used as suction pads. Due to the fact that gauze diapers can be unfolded, they dry very quickly despite their absorbency.
Since gauze diapers are only sucking, not moisture-protective, gauze diapers always need overpants as moisture protection.
To use gauze diapers as a diaper, there are various folding techniques. Here you will find a selection of the most famous variants:
- The triangle with bridge
- The Dragon
- The Double Folded Triangle
A nice explanation for the first two techniques can be found in this YouTube video:
The disadvantage of gauze diapers is that they are not self-explanatory and require a certain amount of prior knowledge of folding techniques.
In addition, these diapers, especially agile children, can be difficult to put on, similar to knitted diapers. However, for quite small babies who do not yet have a large range of motion, these diapers are well suited.
Like the contour diaper, a gauze diaper needs an additional attachment, for example, in the form of a snappy,and of course an overpants, as they are completely absorbent and do not have their own moisture protection.
In addition to gauze diapers, you may have already come across the term “Molton”. Therefore, I would like to briefly explain the differences to you at the end of this chapter.
What is Molton? Molton, unlike gauze diapers, is fluffier and more densely woven. Molton diapers are slightly firmer and more opaque. Due to the roughened surface, they are more absorbentright from the start. Gauze, on the other hand, is lighter, semi-transparent and double-woven. Gauze only becomes more and more absorbent through frequent washing. (see also comparison and https://www.baby-walz.de/mullwindel-oder-moltontuch/ ).
If you are looking for a lighter and more flexible alternative to the complete diaper system, the two-part systems are well advised. Especially for newborns, these are well suited, as these systems are well adaptable and newborns usually do not excrete so much. Breast milkstool is well collected, for example, by gauze diapers.
Even if you often wrap or operate part-time diaper-free, these systems are especially recommended for newborns. In this case, sometimes you can even omit the overpants.
These systems also score points in terms of natural materials. With cotton gauze cloth and wool slip overpants you can wrap your child practically plastic-free. However, you should make sure that the cotton is at least organic. Because cotton is also not harmless in terms of sustainability. But I like to write a separate post about the materials.
I hope I was able to give you a good overview of the two-part cloth diaper systems with this post. Maybe you have even rediscovered a system for yourself 😉
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