Cloth Diaper Lingo: Everything You Need to Know (2023)

Baby bathing and cloth diaper changing products background, top view

You’re thinking about cloth diapering, but as you’ve begun your research, you’ve noticed the incredible amount of cloth diaper lingo that exists!

You are not alone if you feel a bit overwhelmed by how many terms and abbreviations there are to learn. 

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of all the top cloth diaper words, terms, and abbreviations you need to know. So make sure to bookmark this article as your go-to source for cloth diaper lingo!

Cloth Diaper Terms and Acronyms


Agitating is the process of mixing soap and water manually. You agitate the water and diapers when you wash them by hand.

All In One (AIO)

All in one diaper are one-piece cloth diapers that fit like disposables. The entire piece goes into the washer and does not come apart.

All In Two (AI2)

All in two cloth diapers are a two-piece cloth diapering system. The inner liner separates from the other waterproof shell. 

Ammonia burn

Ammonia burn happens when you do not use enough detergent when cleaning your diapers and can result in a diaper rash.

Attachment Parenting (AP)

AP is the abbreviation for attachment parenting. AP typically involves feeding on demand and allowing your children to sleep with you.


Aplix is a brand of fastener used in cloth diapering. They call themselves the hook and loop fastener experts.


B/S/T is a cloth diaper support group on Facebook. It has over 5,000 members, and you can buy, sell or trade your cloth diapers through the group.

Breast Feeding (BF)

BF stands for breastfeeding. It is an abbreviation commonly used on forums and in chat rooms to make communication simpler.

Blood Glucose (BG)

BG in parenting refers to blood glucose. Many pregnant women have to watch their blood glucose levels when pregnant. It is used in chat rooms and forums. 

Biodegradable Insert

Biodegradable inserts are an environmentally friendly way to dispose of poop inside a cloth diaper. They are like thick toilet paper and are placed inside the diaper.

Birdseye Cotton

Birdseye cotton is a type of fabric frequently used in cloth diapers. It is created by making a small, repetitive pattern on a loom that looks like diamonds. 

Burly Knit Terry (BKT)

BKT stands for Burly knit terry, a type of fabric commonly used in cloth diapers. It is very absorbent and stretchy. It is usually used for inserts and soakers.


A blowout is when your baby has a messy poop that escapes the diaper. It usually goes up their back and can sometimes come out the leg holes.

Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)

BLW is an abbreviation for baby-led weaning. BLW is when you follow your baby’s signals to wean them from breastfeeding.


Boingo is a brand of cloth diaper fastener. Boingo fasteners have hooks that latch into the fabric of the diaper to secure the cloth.


Boosters are extra layers or pads that you place into a cloth diaper to increase its absorbency. They can be washable or disposable.


Borax is a cleaning solution commonly used to wash cloth diapers. It can be used as a laundry booster or alone as a laundry detergent.

Bamboo Organic Velour (BOV)

BOV is an abbreviation for bamboo organic velour. BOV is a type of fabric people may use to make diaper covers.

Behavioral Skills Training (BST)

BST is an abbreviation for behavioral skills training. Some parents use BST to teach their children essential skills such as potty training.

Been There, Done That (BTDT)

BTDT means “been there, done that.” It is a common abbreviation found on parenting forums and chat rooms.

By The Way (BTW)

BTW means “by the way.” You will see this commonly used in online parenting forums and chat rooms.


Bummis is a brand of cloth diapers. They also have an entire line of cloth diapering products.


The term bump is used to refer to a pregnant woman’s belly. “My baby bump” is a common way to see the term used.

Bamboo Velour (BV)

Bamboo velour. Bamboo velour is a fabric used in cloth diapering. The fabric is frequently used to make reusable wipes and liners.


Calgon is a brand of beauty and health products. Calgon manufacturers a laundry detergent frequently used in cloth diapering.

Charcoal Bamboo Insert (CBI)

CBI stands for charcoal bamboo insert. CBI inserts are very absorbent and are often used overnight.

Cloth diaper (CD)

CD is the abbreviation for cloth diapers. You will see this shortened term used on parenting forums and in chat rooms.

Cloth Wipe Solution

A cloth wipe solution is used when you are using washable wipes in place of disposables. Many people make it themselves.

Cloth Wipes

Cloth wipes are washable wipes that you can use over and over again. They come in a variety of fabrics and can be washed with your cloth diapers.

Coconut Oil (CO)

CO is the abbreviation for coconut oil. Many people use coconut oil to create a DIY cloth wipe solution.

Compression leaks

Compression leaks occur when there is pressure from various places or issues with your baby’s diaper that cause a leak.

Contour Diaper

A contour diaper is a prefold that is cut to fit a baby’s legs and waist. It is contoured to be similar in shape to a disposable diaper.


Cornstarch is a common household product that people use in place of baby powder when using cloth diapers.

Chinese Pre-folded Diapers (CPF)

Chinese pre-folded diapers are a specific style and cut of cloth diapers. They are made from 100% cotton.


Crunchy is a term that is used to describe people who are politically and environmentally liberal. For example, often, people who cloth diapers are referred to as crunchy. 

Dawn Strip

Dawn strip refers to the process of using Dawn dish detergent to strip your cloth diapers.

Dear Child (DC)

DC is an abbreviation used online to refer to your child. People write DC as an anonymous way to discuss what is going on with their child.

Dear Daughter (DD)

DD is the abbreviation for dear daughter, commonly used on parenting forums and in chat rooms. 


Delaminating means that your cloth diapers are separating into layers, primarily that the waterproof or PUL layer is separating from the fabric. 

Dear Husband (DH)

DH signifies one’s husband when talking in chat rooms or online forums; it stands for dear husband.


A diaper is a cloth or disposable piece of clothing your baby wears to catch waste.

Diaper Cover

A diaper cover is used with some styles of cloth diapers such as prefolds and flats. Diaper covers are waterproof to prevent leaks.

Diaper Pail

A diaper pail is where you place used cloth diapers until you can wash them.

Diaper rash

Diaper rash occurs on a baby’s skin when it becomes irritated from wetness or allergic reactions from diapers or ointments.

Diaper service

A diaper service will provide you with clean cloth diapers and pick up your dirty ones and wash them.

Diaper Sprayer

A diaper sprayer is an attachment you add to your toilet to spray and clean poop out of cloth diapers.

Disposable diaper

A disposable diaper is a diaper that is worn one time and then thrown away.

Double gussets

A double gusset is a cloth diaper with an extra layer of elastic sewn in it, usually around the legs.


A doubler is an extra layer you add to a cloth diaper to increase absorbency. 

Dry pail

A dry pail is a method of storing your cloth diapers once they are soiled until you are ready to wash them. Dry typically uses a laundry hamper and cloth diaper bag liner.

Dryer balls

Dryer balls are an alternative to fabric softeners which can leave residue on cloth diapers. 

Dear Spouse (DS)

DS is the abbreviation for dear spouse, commonly used in parenting chat rooms and forums.

Diaper Service Quality Prefolds (DSQ)

DSQ is the shortened way to write diaper service quality prefolds. DSQ is considered the toughest and most durable of the prefold style.

Dunk and swish

Dunk and swish is a method to clean poop of a soiled cloth diaper. You dunk the diaper in the toilet and swish it around a few times to loosen up poop.

Dear Wife (DW)

DW stands for Dear Wife and us used in parenting chat rooms and forums.

Exclusively Breastfed (EBF)

EBF stands for exclusively breastfed. EBF means babies who do not receive any supplemental feedings from formula. Being EBF may change how you wash your cloth diapers.

Elimination Communication (EC)

EC is for elimination communication which is a style of potty training infants without using diapers.

Encased elastic

Encased elastic is a method of sewing the elastic bands into the legs holes of cloth diapers. Encased elastic means that the elastic is sewn inside the fabric as opposed to being exposed.

Essential Oil (EO)

EO stands for essential oil. Many people use essential oils to clean or disinfect their cloth diapers.

Edited to Add (ETA)

ETA is used on baby and parenting forums when people go back and add to their original post. In this context, ETA means edited to add.

Excellent Used Condition (EUC)

EUC is a shortened way to write excellent used condition and is used on diapering forums where you can buy or sell used cloth diapers or other baby goods.

Fitted Diaper

A fitted diaper is a style of cloth diaper that fits your baby just like a disposable diaper.


A flat is a shortened way to discuss flat cloth diapers.

Flat Diaper

A flat diaper is a cloth diaper that is rectangular in shape, and you must fit and form around your baby.


Fleece is a soft, absorbent fabric commonly used for cloth diaper inserts or lining.


Fluff is a term and word used commonly in cloth diaper names and websites. It means soft and light. 

For Sale (FS)

FS is an abbreviation that means for sale on cloth diapering forums.

For Sale or Trade (FSOT)

FSOT means for sale or trade and is used on cloth diapering forums where you can buy or sell cloth diapers.

First Time Mom (FTM)

FTM is a way for a first-time mom to identify herself on parenting forums and in chat rooms

Gender Neutral (GN)

GN is the abbreviation for gender-neutral and can be found on forums where parents buy and sell cloth diapers and other baby goods.

High Efficiency (HE)

HE stands for high efficiency, which is a type of washing machine. How you wash your cloth diapers and what detergents you use may be altered if you have a HE machine.


Hybrid is the shortened version of hybrid diapers.

Hybrid diapers

Hybrid diapers consist of two pieces an outer waterproof shell and a washable insert.

In Desperate Need Of (IDNO)

IDNO is an abbreviation used on parenting sites where cloth diapers or other baby supplies are sold that stands for in desperate need of.

In Desperate Search Of (IDSO)

IDSO means in desperate search of and is used by parents on forums and chat rooms when seeking help looking for specific items.

I Have A (IHA)

IHA is a way for a parent to write I have a (blank) or parenting forums or chat rooms to help others possibly searching for the same item.


Inserts are the part of the cloth diaper that is the absorbent layer. There are washable and disposable inserts.

In Search Of (ISO)

ISO is an abbreviation for in search of which parents use on forums and in chat rooms when looking for specific items.


Lanolin is a cream typically used by women on their nipples when they breastfeed. It naturally occurs in wool and is what makes wool diaper covers more absorbent and waterproof.


Lanolizing is the process of waterproofing wool and is used by those who use wool diaper covers.

Laundry Tabs

Laundry tabs are laundry detergent that comes in cubes or discs

Leg Gussets

The leg gusset is the band of elastic that goes around the leg hole in a cloth diaper.


Liners are placed in diapers to help make clean-up easier. They are usually disposable and biodegradable.

Let Me Know (LMK)

LMK is a way for people to write let me know on a forum or in a chat room.

Little One (LO)

LO is a way to write little one when people refer to their baby on forums or chat rooms.


Longies is a term used to describe diaper covers that are more like pants. They have long legs instead of looking like a traditional diaper cover, hence the name.

Mama Cloth

Mama cloth is a term to refer to washable and reusable panty liners and maxi pads. 

Microfiber (MF)

Microfiber is a common textile used in the making of cloth diaper inserts and liners.

Mother-in-Law (MIL)

MIL is an abbreviation for mother-in-la and is used on forums and in chatrooms. 


Minky is a cloth manufacturer that sells baby blankets and other baby textiles.

Nursing at Keyboard (NAK)

NAK is an abbreviation mother use when chatting online and nursing simultaneously; it means nursing at keyboard.


Nappy is another term for diaper.

Newborn (NB)

NB is an abbreviation for newborn. It is commonly used on diaper and clothing labels and tags for sizing.

Newborn Diaper

A newborn diaper is a small-sized diaper specifically for newborns; they usually fit babies between 6 and 10 lbs.

Nursing in Public (NIP)

NIP is the abbreviation for nursing in public.


Non-HE means the washer in discussion is not high efficiency. How you wash your diapers may depend on whether or not you have an HE machine or not.

New Without Tags (NWOT)

NWOT is used commonly on clothing selling sites and forums, and it means new without tags implying it has never been used or worn.

New With Tage (NWT)

NWT means new with tags and is used on sites and forums where clothing and other goods are sold.

One Size Cloth Diaper (OS)

An OS or one-size cloth diaper means it is a diaper that can be adjusted to fit babies of all sizes and weights.

One Size Insert

A one-size insert is an insert for cloth diapers that parents can use with one-sized diapers.

Onesie extender 

A onesie extender is a small rectangular piece of fabric that parents can snap in the bottom of a baby onesie or bodysuit to help it fit over a cloth diaper.

Off-Topic (OT)

OT typically stands for off-topic on parenting forums or in chat rooms.

Pad Fold

Pad fold is a style of folding a flat cloth diaper. Its other name is trifold.

Pail Liner

A pail liner is what you place in your diaper pail to hold your soiled diapers. There are specific cloth diaper liners that are also washable.


Pilling is when small fabric balls begin to form in your cloth diapers’ absorbent layers or liners.


Pins can be used to fastener cloth diapers. People sometimes use large safety pins designed explicitly for cloth diaper use.

Pocket Diaper

A pocket diaper is a style of cloth diaper that has a pocket built-in. Absorbent liners and placed inside that pocket. 

Postage Paid or Included (PPD)

PPD means postage paid or included and is used on forums where cloth diapers are sold and bought.


A prefold is a style of cloth diaper that is similar to a flat but has multiple layers pre-folded and sewn together.


Prepping is a term that refers to preparing your cloth diapers for use for the first time. It may involve stripping or washing them several times first.

Public Service Announcement (PSA)

PSA means public service announcement and is used by forum members to bring people’s attention to an important topic.


PUL stands for polyurethane laminate which is the waterproof layer on a cloth diaper


A pull-on is a cloth diaper or diaper cover that you pull on like a pair of pants. 


Repelling is when your cloth diapers have lost some absorbancy, and they have begun to repel some of the urine. 


RLR is a brand of natural laundry detergent some people use for washing their cloth diapers.


RnG is the abbreviation for Rockin’ Green, a popular laundry detergent used for cloth diapering.

Stay At Home Dad (SAHD)

SAHD is an abbreviation for stay-at-home dad used in chat rooms and on parenting forums.

Stay At Home Mom (SAHM)

SAHM is an abbreviation for stay-at-home mom used in chat rooms and on parenting forums.


Serging is a technique to overcast unfinished fabric edges to prevent fraying. People who make their own cloth diapers may serge the edges.


Sherpa is a soft, fluffy fabric that some people use to make cloth diaper covers.


Shorties are short, soft, breathable, yet absorbent shorts you can place over a cloth diaper in place of a traditional diaper cover.


Skirties are diaper covers with a skirt over the top, similar to a skort than an adult would wear.


Snappi is a brand of cloth diaper fasteners that use hooks to secure the fabric.


A soaker is an inside, absorbent layer of a cloth diaper. It will snap or simply lay inside the shell of the diaper cover.


Sposies are a brand of disposable diaper pads that you can add to cloth diapers. They are typically used overnight to increase absorbency. 

Spray Pal

Spray Pal is a brand of cloth diaper accessories to help you clean poopy diapers with less mess. 


Stash refers to the number of cloth diapers you have. For example, you may have a stash of twenty diapers.


Stripping is a method of deep cleaning your diapers to remove any build-up or residue that may occur from frequent use.


Suedecloth is a soft fabric that is used to make cloth diapers and liners.

Swim Diaper

A swim diaper is a diaper specifically designed for use in the water. It is less absorbent, so it doesn’t collect much water while the baby is swimming.


TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane, the thin, stretchy plastic used on some cloth diapers to make them waterproof.


A trainer is a diaper used to help children who are potty-training; they are usually less absorbent than traditional diapers.


Trifold is a method of folding cloth diapers. Its other name is the pad fold.

Tea Tre Oil (TTO)

TTO is the abbreviation for tea tree oil. Some people use it to kill bacteria on their cloth diapers.

Turned And Topstitched (T&T)

Turned and topstitched is a way of sewing the edges of a piece of fabric. If you make your cloth diapers, you may come across this term.


Unbleached means that the fabric has not been bleached and will be natural, usually a cream, beige, or off-white color.


Upcycle is the process of reusing trash or other items to recreate something. An example of upcycling would be using empty wine bottles to make candle holders or flower jars.


Velour is a soft and smooth fabric that some use to make diaper covers.

Very Good Used Condition (VGUC)

VGUC is an abbreviation for very good used condition that you will see on sites and forums where cloth diapers are bought and sold.

Work At Home Mom (WAHM)

WAHM is the abbreviation for work at home mom.

Wet Bag

A wet bag is a waterproof bag you put your used cloth diapers in when traveling or doing errands.

Wet pail

A wet pail is a style of storing dirty cloth diapers until you can wash them. People use cold water, and some add vinegar, baking soda, or other odor neutralizers.


WIcking is the process by which fluids are absorbed or drawn off a surface. It means to remove the moisture from the fabric.

Wing droop

WIng droop is when the side of the cloth diaper does not fit correctly, and it causes leaks. 

Wipe warmer

A wipe warmed is an electronic device that you place baby wipes in, warming them up before use.

Wool soaker

A wool soaker is a cloth diaper insert made from wool that is highly absorbent and breathable.


Woolies are a type of dryer ball people use in place of fabric softener.


A cloth diaper wrap is the outer shell or cover of a cloth diaper that usually snaps into place.

Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is an ingredient in most diaper creams and can make your cloth diapers less absorbent from residual residue.

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