The Guide to Cloth Diaper Lingo (Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Terms)


If things weren’t confusing enough, the cloth diaper community has developed a language of it’s own full of strange names and tons of acronyms. Below I’ve put together a list of things you might hear or read while looking into cloth diapers.

You can search for what you’re looking for by pushing CtrlF (Command-F for Mac users) and typing in the term you’re looking for, or by clicking the letter that term starts with here:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

AC = The acronym for the AppleCheeks cloth diaper brand. Click here to go to the AppleCheeks website.

Ai1 = The acronym/abbreviation for all-in-one (see below).

All-in-One = An all-in-one diaper is a diaper that is all one-piece. This means everything you need — the outer waterproof shell and the absorbent insert inside — is all sewn together into one piece. For more information on all-in-one diapers, click here.

Ai2 = The acronym/abbreviation for all-in-two (see below).

All-in-Two= Playing off of the name all-in-one (see above for more), an all-in-two diaper is a diaper that has two pieces — the outer waterproof shell and the absorbent insert inside. Click here for more info on all-in-two diapers.

Aplix – a specific brand name of hook and loop, much the same as Velcro. Hook and loop is sometimes used on pocket diapers and diaper covers in lieu of snaps. If you’re unsure if you want to choose Velcro or snaps, this article may help.

B

BG = The acronym for the bumGenius brand of diapers. Click here to go to their website.

BLW = Baby lead-weaning. A method of introducing solids to a baby that leaves out purees, and goes straight to soft, finger foods.

BN = Brand new. When buying or selling diapers (or other items), different acronyms are used as a shorthand for the condition of the diapers. BN means the item has never been used.

Boingo = a Boingo is a silicone and plastic diaper fastener that’s used in place of a safety pin to secure a diaper around baby. Much like a Snappi, but with two grips instead of one. Click here to see one on Amazon.

Booster = A booster is a cloth diaper insert that is meant to be paired with another liner (or multiple inserts). It often has fewer layers than something labeled a “liner” but is made of an absorbent natural material like cotton, hemp, or bamboo. Just like a “doubler” see below, it’s meant to add absorbency to the diaper without adding a ton of bulk.

BOV = The acronym/abbreviation for bamboo organic velour fabric/diapers. Bamboo Velour is most often made from a combination of about 65-70% bamboo, 30-25% cotton, and 5% polyester. The organic label refers to the cotton content.

BST = Buy, Sell, Trade. BST refers to different social media groups or forums where people buy, sell, and trade (or gift) different items, like cloth diapers.

Bump = Someone writing “bump” or using a Gif saying “bump” in the comments of a Facebook post is trying to raise that post to the top of the algorithm so that more people see it, like it, and/or comment on it.

BV = The acronym/abbreviation for bamboo velour fabric/diapers. Bamboo Velour is most often made from a combination of about 65-70% bamboo, 30-25% cotton, and 5% polyester.

C

CBI = The acronym/abbreviation for a charcoal-bamboo insert (see below).

CD = The acronym/abbreviation for a cloth diaper.

Charcoal-Bamboo Insert = a cloth diaper insert normally made of microfiber wrapped in grey fleece. Click here for more info on charcoal-bamboo vs. bamboo inserts.

Cloth Wipes = Wipes are used to wipe your baby clean during diaper changes. Just like diapers, baby wipes don’t have to be disposable. Cloth wipes or reusable wipes are an option. Cloth wipes are squares or rectangles of fabric, usually terry, flannel, or fleece, that are used as wipes and then washed to be reused.

Cloth Wipe Solution = The liquid you use along with cloth wipes. Just as with disposable wipes, cloth wipes usually work best when dampened. Cloth wipe solution can be as simple as water, or as complex as a purchased product with many ingredients.

Coconut Oil = The same coconut oil you find at the grocery store. Many cloth diaper users use coconut oil as a diaper cream as it’s safe for cloth diapers and natural.

Contour Diaper = Contour diapers are hourglass shaped inserts (see below for insert definition). This shape helps give them more coverage and surface area.

Cornstarch = The same cornstarch you find at the grocery store. Many cloth diaper users use cornstarch as they would baby powder as it’s safe for cloth diapers and natural. Click here to learn more about using cornstarch for diaper rash.

CPF = Chinese prefolds. Chinese prefolds are prefolds that are made in China. For the most part they are the same as other prefolds (which are most often made in Pakistan). More information on prefolds can be found here.

D

DC# = Delivery confirmation number

DD = Dear Daughter. Commonly used in the diaper and parenting forums in the 2010’s this term was used as shorthand for one’s daughter.

DG = The acronym/abbreviation for double gussets (see below).

DH = Dear Husband. Commonly used in the diaper and parenting forums in the 2010’s this term was used as shorthand for one’s husband.

Diaper Cover = A diaper cover is the outer shell you place over the absorbent inserts, prefold, or flat (see below for definitions). It’s the water-resistant portion of a diaper. Diaper covers can be made from PUL (see below for definition), wool, or heavy fleece. Usually “diaper cover” refers to a cover without a lining, which is called a pocket diaper cover. To read about the differences between a diaper cover and a pocket cover, click here. Alternately, to read more about wool diaper covers click here.

Diaper Pail = A diaper pail is used to hold dirty diapers in between washes. It can be a simple trash can or laundry basket, or a fancy pail like a Diaper Dekor pail (pic above). Often they are used with a pail liner to keep it clean (see definition below).

Diaper Sprayer = A spray attachment for your toilet or sink to spray solid waste off your diaper before washing. Click here for more information about diaper sprayers.

Double Gussets = The gusset, refers to the elastic around the leg openings in a PUL diaper cover (see above for definition of a diaper cover). Double gussets, refer to a diaper cover (or pocket diaper) with two sets of elastics at the leg. This second elastic can be in the PUL, or in the lining of a pocket diaper cover (an internal gusset).

Doubler = A doubler is a cloth diaper liner that is meant to be paired with another liner (or multiple liners). It often has fewer layers than a strict “liner” but is made of an absorbent natural material like cotton, hemp, or bamboo. Just like a “booster” see above, it’s meant to boost the absorbency of the diaper without adding a ton of bulk.

DS= Dear Son. Commonly used in the diaper and parenting forums in the 2010’s this term was used as shorthand for one’s son.

DSQ = Diaper service quality. Usually used in referring to prefold diapers (see below), which are the diaper of choice for diaper services, diaper service quality diapers is a term to describe high-quality, durable diapers.

E

EBF = Exclusively Breast Fed. When a baby is exclusively breastfed (meaning they don’t drink any formula or solids) their poop is of a special consistency and so the cloth community refers to this as “EBF poop.” EBF poop is water-soluble and doesn’t need to be rinsed off the diaper before placing it in the washing machine since it will rinse clean.

EC = The acronym/abbreviation for elimination communication (see below).

Elimination Communication = Elimination communication is a practice in which you try to use timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address a baby’s need to eliminate waste. The goal is to try to recognize and respond to babies’ bodily needs and enable them to urinate and defecate in a toilet or potty so that it’s natural for them from the start. Click here for more info about elimination communication.

EO = Essential Oil. Though I do not recommend using essential oils on infants without the approval of a pediatrician, many parents do use essential oils in their cloth wipe solutions (see above).

ETA = Edited to add. If someone makes a Facebook post and is asked the same question or gets the same comment, they may edit their original post, and use this to let everyone know it’s been edited.

EUC = Excellent Used Condition. When buying or selling diapers (or other items), different acronyms are used as a shorthand for the condition of the diapers. EUC means they are in excellent used condition. This is generally the best description you can use if the diapers are used; the only thing better would be NIP (New in Package). One level below EUC would be GUC (Good Used Condition).

F

F&C = Free & Clear. Several brands of detergents make a free and clear version, which is free from perfumes and dyes. In general, Free and clear detergents are fine to use, however you’ll want to make sure it also follows the detergent guidelines here.

Fitted Diaper = A fitted diaper is actually an insert, in that it’s made of absorbent material and not wrapped in PUL (see below for definition of PUL). It does have elastic around the legs, and can even have snaps or velcro making it like a full diaper, but a fitted diaper requires a diaper cover. For more information on fitted diapers click here.

Flat Diaper = A flat diaper is your great-great-grandmother’s diaper. It is a single layer, large piece of fabric, usually made from cotton that’s either folded around baby and pinned in place or folded up into a rectangle and used as an insert. No matter which way you use it, it requires a diaper cover as it is not waterproof on its own.

Flats = A shortened way of saying “flat diaper” (See above).

Fleece = Fleece is a synthetic fabric often used in cloth diapers. Microfleece is often used for the lining of pocket diapers, or cut into reusable cloth diaper liners (you can learn how to DIY your own fleece liners here). Thicker fleeces like polar fleece can be used as water-resistant diaper covers.

Fluff = a fun term for cloth diapers. “Look at that fluff bum!” is a common thing to hear in cloth diaper groups.

FSO = For sale only. When buying or selling cloth diapers, this term is used to tell buyers the diapers (or other items) are not for trade. Often this is unnecessary unless trade is common on the marketplace the item is posted. on.

FSOT = For Sale or Trade. When buying or selling cloth diapers, this term is used to tell buyers that the diapers (or other items) can be bought with money, or through the trade of other goods.

FST = Flour Sack Towel. A flour sack towel is a type of dishcloth you can often find in the home section of most big box stores like Walmart and Target. These cloths are a single layer of very absorbent cloth. They are also nice and big. This makes them great as inexpensive flat diapers (see “flats” above).

FTM = First time mom. A mom that’s expecting or raising her first child.

FUC = Fair used condition. When buying or selling diapers (or other items), different acronyms are used as a shorthand for the condition of the diapers. FUC means they are in fair used condition.

G

GN = Gender neutral. Often parents will be in search of diaper prints or other items that are nether traditionally girly or boyish, but instead gender neutral.

H

HE = High Efficiency. Washing machines that use less water and energy are labeled as high efficiency. HE washing machines require HE laundry detergent as it’s designed to be used with less water. To know if your washing machine or detergent is HE look for the logo above on the labeling.

Hybrid = Hybrid diapers combine cloth diaper covers with disposable diaper inserts. For more information on hybrid diapers, click here.

I

Insert = Inserts are the main absorbent layers that are stuffed into pocket diapers, snapped into all-in-two diapers, or laid in diaper covers (see above for definitions).

IPF = Indian Prefold. Indian prefolds are prefolds that are made in India, usually, Pakistan. Most prefolds you’ll find are Indian Prefolds, but Chinese prefolds are also available widely, and can differ slightly. More information on prefolds can be found here.

ISO = In Search Of. This term is used on the Facebook marketplace and other online buy and sell forums when someone is looking for a specific item.

J

K

L

Liner = A liner is a cloth or disposable sheet that’s placed on top of the diaper so that it’s between the baby and the diaper. Liners are used to make clean up easier and to protect the diaper from creams. Fleece reusable liners also provide a stay-dry feeling for baby. To learn more about cloth diaper liners, click here.

LO = Little one. A cute term to refer to your baby/child without giving specific details away.

M

MF = Microfiber. Microfiber is a fabric used in cloth diaper inserts (including most charcoal-bamboo inserts). It’s important to note that microfiber is drying to the skin to the point of causing rashes in most infants. To learn more about microfiber, you can click here.

MIL = An acronym for Mother in Law.

Minky = Minky is a synthetic material often used in cloth pads (like TreeHugger Cloth Pads), but sometimes in cloth diapers. Minky is stain resistant and very soft.

N

Nappy = Nappy is another word for diaper used in the UK and Australia. Most sources believe it’s a diminutive form of the word napkin, which itself was originally a diminutive (source).

NB = Newborn.

NCDR = Not cloth diaper related. This is an acronym used in cloth diaper forums and Facebook groups to indicate when the post or comment is not about cloth diapers. Note that many groups (like the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook group) don’t allow NCDR posts.

NIP = New in package. This term is used on t online buy and sell forums to describe the condition of the item.

NOOP = New out of package. This term is used on t online buy and sell forums to describe the condition of the item.

NWT = New with tags. This term is used on t online buy and sell forums to describe the condition of the item.

NWOT = New without tags. This term is used on online buy and sell forums to describe the condition of the item.

O

OS = One-size. A one- size cloth diaper is a diaper that’s adjustable to fit baby through most of their time in diapers. Most one-size diapers will fit from 8 lbs to about 35 lbs, but it varies by brand.

OT = Off-topic. This is a term used in cloth diaper forums and Facebook groups to indicate when the post or comment is not about cloth diapers or the topic being discussed. Note that many groups (like the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook group) don’t allow OT posts.

OTB = On the bum. Often in cloth diaper forums or Facebook groups, parents will share what diaper their baby is wearing right now, or what diaper is “on the bum.”

P

Pail Liner = A pail liner is used to line a diaper pail (see definition above). with to keep it clean while holding dirty diapers. Pail liners are made from water-resistant PUL and are washed with every load.

Pocket Diaper = Pocket diapers are diapers with a cover that has a “pocket” built into the inside. This pocket is made from the gap between the outer, waterproof shell and an inner “stay dry” polyester lining. Inserts or prefolds are placed inside the pocket to hold them in place and make the diaper easier to put on. For more information about pocket diapers and how to use them, click here.

PPD = Postage paid. This term is used on online buy and sell forums when postage is paid.

Prefold = A prefold get’s it’s name because it’s basically a flat diaper (see above) that has been pre-folded and sewn together for you. The end product is a  a rectangular piece of layered fabric. It’s usually sewn into three sections lengthwise, with more layers of fabric in the center third than the outer two thirds. For more information about prefold diapers and how to use them, click here.

PSA = Public service announcement. When put in cloth diaper community posts, this usually indicates a hot tip of some kind.

PUL Polyurethane laminate. Polyurethane laminate (PUL) is a water-resistant material used to make cloth diaper covers, pocket covers, wet bags and pail liners. PUL is colorfast, so it won’t bleed, or get damaged by bleach in moderate diluted amounts. While PUL is durable, puncturing the laminated (shiny) side will create leaks.

Q

R

RLR = RLR is a laundry treatment product that is sodium carbonate based. RLR is used to “strip” diapers (see the definition of stripping below), which means to remove minerals or product buildup that is keeping your diapers from getting clean.

S

SAHD = Stay-At-Home Dad.

SAHM = Stay-At-Home Mom.

Snappi = A cloth diaper fastener that can be used in place of diaper pins. It comes in a variety of colors and is made from a stretchable non-toxic material, which is T-shaped with ‘teeth’ on each end.

Soaker = A soaker (or soaker pad) is a less common word for cloth diaper inserts. Inserts and soakers are the main absorbent layers stuffed into pocket diapers, snapped into all-in-two diapers, or laid in diaper covers (see above for definitions).

‘Sposies = Slang for disposable diapers.

Stash = Your collection of diapers.

Stripping = Stripping is a troubleshooting technique to remove product or mineral build-up from poor cloth diaper care. With a Measure Method wash routine, stripping should not be needed but can help reset diapers in some circumstances, including when purchasing used cloth diapers. Stripping is done with a sodium carbonate product like RLR or GroVia Mighty Bubbles. No dish soaps, water softeners (like Borax or Calgon) or other household items can strip cloth diapers. For more information on when and how to strip cloth diapers, click here.

T

TPU = Thermoplastic polyurethane. TPU is actually part of PUL fabric (see above). TPU is a thin stretchy plastic film, that’s bonded with polyester using a combination of heat, pressure, and adhesive to make PUL.

Some diaper brands say their diaper cover or shell is made from TPU fabric. TPU is actually not a different fabric, but if you read this in a description it’s still useful because it specifies what type of laminating was used to make the PUL. If the fabric is described as TPU you know it was made using thermal bonding rather than chemical bonding. 

U

V

VGUC = Very good used condition. When buying or selling diapers (or other items), different acronyms are used as a shorthand for the condition of the diapers. VGUC means they are in very good used condition.

W

WAHM = Work At Home Mom. The cloth diaper community supports many WAHM’s like the one running this website, and many that make diapers and cloth diaper accessories.

Wet Bag = A wet bag is a bag made from Polyurethane laminate (PUL) (see above for information) that is water-resistant and therefore ideal for storing soiled diapers before washing. For more information on wet bags as well as some buying tips, click here.

Wicking = Wicking is when moisture is pulled away by one of the fabrics of a cloth diaper. Wicking can be positive, as in the case of fleece diaper liners that wick moisture away from your baby to keep them feeling dry. It can also be negative, for example when a part of the lining of a pocket diaper is sticking out and laying against baby’s clothes, wicking wetness onto the clothing.

Wool Soaker = A wool soaker is not an insert but a type of diaper cover made of natural wool instead of a cover made of PUL or TPU. For more information about wool covers click here.

X

Y

Z

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