Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 86

What is a Cloth Diaper

Welcome to a new series: Cloth 101 an introduction to cloth diapering for beginners. Every other week for the next few months we’ll go through the basics of cloth diapering via short podcast episodes to help you learn about cloth, see if it’s right for you, and find inspiration to switch to reusables.

The modern cloth diaper is not your grandma’s cloth diapers. It’s not even your parents’ cloth diaper. While traditional diaper styles are still available and loved by many, modern approaches to cloth diapering have tackled all the things that just didn’t work out.

Listen where you listen

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Show Transcription

Bailey Bouwman  00:00

Welcome to the cloth diaper podcast. On today’s episode we are going to answer the question, what is a cloth diaper?


Bailey Bouwman  00:06

Hello, my name is Bailey. I am the host of the Cloth Diaper Podcast. I’m a cloth, diaper educator, author podcaster author content well blah blah blah. I do all the things related to cloth diaper and really, I cloth diaper to babies a long time ago, and I continue to support brands and retailers in the cloth diaper space. The cloth diaper podcast is a regular podcast dedicated to sharing stories about cloth diapering.


Bailey Bouwman  00:32

Earlier this year, I noticed that some of my posts most popular episodes, were these introductory episodes, these simple FAQ shows and I have learned so much over the last four years that I felt the need to redo them.


Bailey Bouwman  00:48

The cloth diaper podcast now offers a membership program to support the ongoing work of the podcast. The membership program provides you with additional access to a cloth 102 series. So this cloth 101 series that you’re listening to today provides an introductory look at what is a cloth diaper. But the 102 is only available to membership subscribers. And we’re gonna kind of talk about the history of patents, we’re going to look at design and we’re kind of going to talk about a few other historical conversations around cloth diapering. This a 102 level content is not needed to start cloth diapering. It is just kind of an extra layer of research an extra layer of conversation that you can find at the cloth diaper and the membership platform portal. Membership rates vary and I really do want to try to make it accessible and easy. And when I’m finished recording this entire course, it will be available as a complete course for you to purchase but we are going to be releasing these episodes one at a time over the next year.


Bailey Bouwman  01:59

If you prefer to read or you find yourself to be a very tactile reader, I have written a book about cloth diapering you can purchase cloth diapers The Ultimate Guide to textiles washing and more on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or at your favorite book retailer. This book is available in black and white and color and provides you with everything you need to know to get started. I did make some updates in 2021 and I’m hoping to make some updates in 2022. The information about cloth diapering is always changing as we continue to come together as a community and learn from each other. You can purchase the book support the cloth diaper podcast and find more information at Yes, I totally stumbled over my words. It’s been three years and sometimes you still don’t have it quite right.


Bailey Bouwman  02:45

Anyways, let’s answer the question. What is a cloth diaper? Now if there’s one thing that is really hard to do it is to describe a cloth diaper to somebody over a podcast. Without any visual elements. I can imagine that you are sitting in your truck or you’re walking with your kid and you have an idea about what a cloth diaper is in your head but you’re not sure what it is and you have decided to listen to this episode. This probably was not the best idea and you probably should have gone to YouTube to be honest. Describing a cloth diaper with my words is hard. It is a lot like a disposable diaper is essentially the same shape and size we have this hourglass shape.


Bailey Bouwman  03:36

Most modern cloth diapers now are one size fits most. So they all kind of have this kind of standard. It’s like a size three or four disposable diaper shape. But with snaps to adjust and the modern cloth diaper is made with a variety of different textiles. A you may have noticed I’ve been using the word modern cloth diaper. That’s because cloth diapering has really evolved over the last few years. And we’re seeing more and more of the community kind of use this terminology modern cloth diapers to help distinguish the fact that cloth diapering is not like cloth diapering of yesterday, the cloth diapers of 2022 the cloth diapers are not the same as 2010 of 2000. I did a presentation the other day at a women’s shelter and the one woman had cloth diaper her first baby and I brought in all these new cloth diapers and she was like they have snaps and look at the shapes and they were completely different.


Bailey Bouwman  04:33

Modern cloth diapering is not your grandma’s diapers. It’s not even your parents diapers. It’s not even the diapers of your first children. Traditional diaper styles are still available and they are loved by many modern parents and they have a really important role to play in our community. Flat six flats especially I mean when I say traditional diapers I am I’m talking about flats and we don’t need to pin them. We don’t need to do fancy folds. We just need to fold that into a rectangle and put it in a pocket diaper and keep it easy. I think that this term modern cloth diaper is really about simplifying that story. The modern cloth diaper is not a rubber pant. It’s not pens, and it’s not difficult folds. The modern cloth diaper is something that easily fastens around baby’s waist is adjustable. It’s versatile. It’s leakproof. It’s breathable.


Bailey Bouwman  05:26

The modern classic we’re typically relies on Poly urethane laminate or P U L. Paul, people will say a different I think it’s Paul. I like to say P UL. Anyways, this is a breathable laminate application that’s applied to cotton or polyester, and it creates this waterproof barrier on the diaper. And it tends to be the most common way that we see. diapering made water resistant or waterproof. There are other options I mean, some families will use wool and some families will use fleece somewhere seeing lots of modern takes on these textiles. This just the exterior though, the interior of the diaper is now made with a variety of different textiles. For some diapers, they offer a stay dry lining. This is done by using microfleece I thought like waking jersey or suede. The stay dry experience provides baby with a comfortable fit. Not all diapers have stayed dry, but some of them do. This layer is usually closest to the skin. So between the between the stay dry layer if it exists, and the exterior layer is a layer of absorbent material that captures all the poo and liquid poop.


Bailey Bouwman  06:43

This layer of absorbent material can be essentially anything. It can be an old t shirt that absorbs it can be an insert a flat, a pre fold a fitted diaper, a booster a pre flat, and there’s so many words I could probably go on and on. But it’s essentially layers of absorbent textile made from cotton, hemp, bamboo, microfiber or other blends that can absorb the pee. It can be fancy, it can be simple or it can be repurposed. This absorbent material is the most important part of the diaper, reducing the leaks and improving our performance. It shapes how the shape of the diaper is the fit of the diaper and the functionality of a diaper. Today more than ever cloth diaper brands are shifting away from synthetic materials and shifting into natural fibers. This means that we have more absorbent diapers than ever before, better performing diapers, and trimmer diapers.


Bailey Bouwman  07:51

The modern cloth diaper is very similar to a disposable diaper, and arguably offers all the same benefits. But with ease of use and accessibility in mind. What we love most about modern cloth diapers is that they’re easy to wash. They’re easy to care for, and they’re always available to us. There are many different types of modern cloth diapers.


Bailey Bouwman  08:14

This is an industry dominated by men and women who have come to the table with new ideas and new innovations. Every day someone has a new idea, a better way to do something. And with that new idea comes a new style a new take on something old. And we now have many different styles. I tend to think that there are three broad categories of types of diapers we’ve got pockets, all ones and covers.


Bailey Bouwman  08:42

 We’ll go into all the details of every different type of diaper in a future episode to help you understand what the pros are the cons are the benefits and why these diapers exists.


Bailey Bouwman  08:54

But what I want you to know today and most important is that the modern cloth diaper it’s not your grandma’s diaper. It’s not your mom’s diaper. It features modern textiles. It’s got snaps, a trim slim design, and it’s designed for you to be successful. Modern styles of cloth diapering seek to give you the best possible cloth diaper experience.


Bailey Bouwman  09:15

The disposable diaper has challenged this industry to create a better product and parents around the world are continuing to be impressed and excited to use cloth diapers. To learn more about the evolution of the modern cloth diaper and the kind of the story of patent wars and design disputes and the shift in textiles.


Bailey Bouwman  09:36

Check out the cloth diaper podcast membership where you can get exclusive access to the cloth a 102 series. This series brings to you an extra level of research into cloth diapering and the information you need to know beyond.


Bailey Bouwman  09:52

If you’re interested to start cloth diapering today check out cloth diapers The Ultimate Guide to textiles washing and more now available on Amazon or visit W W dot cloth diaper to find pretty much anything you need to know about cloth diapers find me on Instagram Facebook and your favorite social media platform

Professional Cloth Diaper Educator

Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.

Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.

Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.

Stay in the know

Subscribe to get updates on the next podcast release, latest giveaways, book sales, and other amazing cloth diaper related content some-what regularly direct to your email
    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Cloth Diaper Membership

    Coming Soon, membership programs to support you with cloth diapering.

    Cloth Diaper Book

    Learn to cloth diaper with the ultimate guide to diapering, available on Amazon or your fav online book shop.

    Previous Epidsodes

    About the Cloth Diaper Podcast

    The Cloth Diaper Podcast is a regular podcast sharing stories from cloth diaper parents, brands and retailers from around the world. 

    The Cloth Diaper Podcast is not affiliated with any school of thought of diaper laundry but instead focus on the power of peer-to-peer story telling to empower you to make your own cloth diaper journey. 

    Cloth Diapering is not this or that, but rather many different experiences. 

    Contact Us

    Cloth Diaper Podcast is located in Northern BC, Canada on the traditional territories of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nations. Black Lives Matter. Every Child Matters. & We are strong advocates for radical change as requested by those who experience social injustice. Listen first. 


    The Cloth Diaper Podcast participates in affiliate programs with different brands and businesses. Links clicked may result in earned comission to Bailey Bouwman as a result of purchases made. If you have questions about affiliate links and sales please contact Bailey.

    Cloth Diaper Podcast (SimplyMomBailey) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.