There can be a lot to keep track of when you begin cloth diapering. From inserts, to wipes, to diaper doublers, what does each component do? Are inserts the same as doublers? What are each of these items used for? By examining each part of your diapering system, you can become familiar with the nuances, details and proper usage for each component.
Inserts vs. Diaper Doublers
At first glance, both cloth diaper inserts and diaper doublers look quite similar. Both are generally made in a long rectangular shape and are comprised of absorbent materials to hold your baby's waste. These two items do, however, have slightly different uses. Inserts are designed to fit inside of a pocket diaper to provide the sole absorbency for the entire diapering system. They may be shaped to fit a particular brand or style of diaper so that all parts of the diaper shell have absorbent capabilities. Inserts may also look similar to a prefold diaper so that they may be folded for customized absorption in your cloth diapers. Inserts are made with extremely absorbent natural or high-tech fabrics, such as microfiber. Cloth diaper designers often try to make inserts as trim as possible so that the diaper performs well, while still maintaining a trim profile on your baby.
Diaper doublers have a slightly different function. They are used as an extra layer of protection in another diaper. Unlike inserts, they are not intended to be the sole absorbent part of a diapering system. Instead, they add absorbency for times when you might need a bit more performance. Parents often use doublers for nighttime wear, sitters and when they are spending the day outside the home. Because diaper doublers often lay next to the skin, they may have special liners built in to protect your baby's skin.
Using Diaper Doublers
How you intend to use your doublers will determine what design and features are best for your cloth diapers. If you use an all-in-one prefold or fitted diaper you will be using a doubler that will sit next to your baby's skin. Many parents using this system favor doublers that have a wicking top layer. Popular wicking fabrics include lightweight polar fleece and suede cloth. This wicking material will sit on top of the absorbent layers and pull wetness to the inner layers of your cloth diapers.
For those that use a pocket style diaper system, diaper doublers can be placed inside the diaper shell, along with the absorbent insert. This allows you to customize your cloth diapers according to your immediate needs. If you do plan on using your doublers in a pocket diaper, you will not need to invest in a doubler with a wicking layer. However, you may want to have a few on hand just in case you want to add absorbency after your cloth diapers are already stuffed.
Purchasing Diaper Doublers
Most parents prefer to have at least two dozen cloth diapers in rotation at any given time. It's a good idea to have at least one diaper doubler available for each cloth diaper that you regularly use. If you start using cloth diapers on your newborn, purchase a set of smaller doublers to reduce bulk. At Kelly's Closet, diaper doublers are very affordable, ranging from $3-6 each.