Modern cloth diapers come in a host of shapes, including preformed cloth diapers, all-in-one diapers with waterproof exteriors, fitted diaper with covers and pocket or "stuffable" diapers, which consist of a water-resistant outer shell sewn with an opening for insertion of absorbent material inserts. Many design features of modern cloth diapers have followed directly from innovations initially developed in disposable diapers, such as the use of the hour glass shape, materials to separate moisture from skin and the use of double gussets, or an inner elastic band for better fit and containment of waste material. Several cloth diaper brands use variations of Procter & Gamble's original 1973 patent use of a double gusset in Pampers.
Ok, these diapers are getting 3 stars because they HAVE held in what they're supposed to hold in. However, I really hate the texture of the diapers. They are "plastic-y". I LOVE the Pampers Swaddlers because they are soft, almost fabric-feeling. I bought a huge box of the Baby Dry kind because they were a few bucks cheaper, and thank God we are almost out of this box because I hate the plastic texture of the diaper. I guess that's just personal preference since they seem to perform just fine, but I prefer to have a soft little baby butt when I hold my little one, not a squishy plastic butt!
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Over the next few decades, the disposable diaper industry boomed and the competition between Procter & Gamble's Pampers and Kimberly Clark's Huggies resulted in lower prices and drastic changes to diaper design. Several improvements were made, such as the use of double gussets to improve diaper fit and containment. As stated in Procter & Gamble's initial 1973 patent for the use of double gussets in a diaper, "The double gusset folded areas tend to readily conform to the thigh portions of the leg of the infant. This allows quick and easy fitting and provides a snug and comfortable diaper fit that will neither bind nor wad on the infant…as a result of this snugger fit obtained because of this fold configuration, the diaper is less likely to leak or, in other words, its containment characteristics are greatly enhanced." Further developments in diaper design were made, such as the introduction of refastenable tapes, the "hourglass shape" so as to reduce bulk at the crotch area, and the 1984 introduction of super-absorbent material from polymers known as sodium polyacrylate that were originally developed in 1966.
There are several different organizations around the country that distribute free diapers to needy and low income families. Many of these are charities or churches, with some government programs also assisting. There are programs for single mothers, teenage moms, and families living in poverty. Anyone that needs free or low cost diapers near where they live, and that meets qualifications, may apply.