Cloth Diaper Features
As you browse our selection of modern cloth diapers, you'll notice that there are a variety of features boasted by different brands and types. This list of cloth diaper features is loosely ordered starting with the most common and working down to the least common.
- Rise snaps
- Leg gussets
- Tummy panel
- Tummy elastic
- Crossover snaps
- Adjustable elastic
Rise snaps are a grid of snaps on the front of a cloth diaper to allow its length to be adjusted as a baby grows - a common feature of "one-size" cloth diapers. For someone unfamiliar with modern cloth diapers, looking at the front of a diaper with adjustable rise snaps can be confusing due to the large number of snaps. However, keep in mind that once you adjust the rise setting to fit your baby, you leave it that way for quite a while - usually at least a few months - until your baby has grown enough in length that you need to let it out by one setting. You don't have to un-snap the rise when you wash the diapers. Rise snaps are typically laid out in two to three columns and two to four rows. The GroVia shell pictured below features three rise settings.
Leg gussets are crescent-shaped, elasticized pieces added to the leg area to provide extra protection from leaks. This feature is particularly appreciated by parents of babies who are not yet eating solid foods and may be prone to the occasional explosive diaper event. The leg gussets found on cloth diapers are usually made of the same waterproof material as the outer portion of the diaper (polyurethane laminate - "PUL", or thermoplastic polyurethane - "TPU").
A tummy panel (also referred to as a "waterproof insert stopper" by bumGenius) is a narrow piece of waterproof material - PUL or TPU - on the top, inside panel of a pocket or all-in-one diaper. This strip of waterproof material may help prevent leaks at the tummy, particularly for tummy-sleeping babies. Depending on how it is sewn, it may also help prevent inserts from bunching up at baby's waistline.
Tummy elastic provides extra leak protection for tummy-sleeping babies. Although elastic in the waist at the back is common to all cloth diapers (which is what makes them so much more effective than disposable diapers when it comes to preventing blowouts up baby's back), elastic at the tummy isn't quite as common. Tummy elastic creates a gathered or slightly scooped look across the front when worn.
Crossover snaps allow for a very small waist setting because the waist tabs can be cinched up tightly and fastened one over the other, similar to how most hook & loop closure diapers can be fastened. This is a particularly helpful feature in one-size diapers, allowing for a good fit on young babies.
Adjustable elastic can be found in the legs or back of some diapers. Adjustable elastic allows for a truly customizable fit, preventing leaks around the legs for skinny babies and red marks from too-tight elastic for chubby babies. Left side: The SoftBums patent-pending Slide2Size adjustable elastic utilizes a toggle system for the legs. Right: FuzziBunz uses a buttonhole elastic adjustment system in the legs as well as the back waist.