Monday, March 7, 2011

Why use fleece covers?

Fleece offers a waterproof, but BREATHABLE, barrier between the cloth diaper and the outer clothing. While it is not a natural fiber, it is highly reusable (I've had some that are going on 2+ years old) and is very effective. (For some pros/cons between fleece and natural wool covers click here).

A fleece cover/soaker is used over a fitted, prefold, or flat diaper (or any non-waterproof cloth diaper). It can also be used as extra protection over a pocket, AIO, or disposable diaper. When being used over a waterproof diaper, it can only provide an extra layer before it hits the clothing - it cannot force the liquid back into the diaper to re-absorb. Make sure all edges of the diaper underneath are completely covered to get any extra protection in these cases.
  • Fleece does not absorb anything. Without a diaper underneath, it will leak. Depending on the effectiveness of your diaper, you could get leaks out the legs of a fleece cover (for example, a poorly secured prefold diaper).
  • Fleece can be washed with regular laundry or diaper laundry, with no special care (100% polyester won't shrink). 
  • Fleece does pill with wear.
  • Fleece offers a breathable barrier - this being said, you may feel "dampness" or humidity on your baby's clothing if you're getting used to fleece covers. It is not a puddle or a wet spot, but you feel the heat/moisture exchange a bit. To me, this is a good thing because you know your baby's skin can breathe!
  • The more often you change the diaper, the more effective fleece will be for wetness protection. For night time, a soaker with a double layer of fleece in the wetzone is helpful and often gets babies through the night (again, depending on the diaper absorbency). There is also thicker fleece (200 or 300 weight) which provides more reliable protection (though a bit bulkier and more expensive). 
  • Some people find fleece is bulky under daytime clothing, compared to a PUL cover. However, for others, they are already sizing up in clothing to make room for a fluffy diaper :) In my case, it helped to keep the pants on my skinny 2 year old! 
  • There is no elastic in the legs/waist which is a benefit if your little one gets irritated by it
  • Soakers can be worn on their own during the summer months with baby legs for a cute outfit! You can also get fleece shorties or longies that double as a cover and clothing at the same time.
  • Fleece soakers on their own are not a suitable "training pant", since there is no absorbency. However, once children are at a stage where they stop their flow upon realizing they need to go, soakers can provide that extra layer of protection before it hits the clothing. (If they are still having full accidents, a soaker over training pants is not your best solution). 
  • There is a fabric called "eco fleece" that is made from 89% recycled pop bottles - great solution for an even more eco-friendly product (and it's the thicker, 200 weight)!  
~ Jen (owner of Winkydinks)

Do you have other questions about fleece as a cover? Leave a comment.
<<---------Find fleece soakers, longies, and shorties for sale by Etsy Cloth Diaper Team members by using the search filters on the upper left side of the blog!


  1. I have a fleece question... can you use a double layer of fleece for a swim diaper???

  2. Don't know if this got answered already (know it was a while ago) but most swim diapers are just poop catchers. As long as the diaper will keep the poop in it doesn't really matter what you use. Even the disposable swim pullups are not made to catch pee just prevent poop from leaking. I like using a size smaller PUL snap diaper cover as swim diaper. Those worked the best. Not sure fleece would work because fleece can become loose and stretchy (for a lack of a better word) when wet. Hope that helps for next summer. :)


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