Different Kinds of (Pocket) All in Two Cloth Diapers

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Q: What are pocket (AI2) diapers?

Pocket style diapers are also called AI2s (all in 2’s) and it’s essentially just a diaper with an opening where you can stuff in the abosrbant pad/insert. The pockets are what holds the absorbant layer/insert in place inside the waterproof exterior and the fabric of the pocket is the part that touches your baby’s bottom. When you slip in the insert you’ll want to make sure the absorbant side (microfiber/cotton/fleece) faces up towards your baby’s bottom.

Pros of pocket style diapers:

  • Easy to use. You don’t have to mess with fasteners or folding like with flats and pre-folds.
  • The diapers will have to be stuffed after each washing unlike all-in-ones.
  • These are the most common style of cloth diapers and they keep their resale value. You can mix and match systems and inserts to find the perfect combination.
  • Inserts come in reusable and disposable versions and most pocket diapers are big enough that you can double up on inserts if you need more absorbency (overnight or traveling).

Cons of pocket style diapers:

  • Since the pocket gets soaked you cannot reuse the diaper. You’ll have to wash the diaper each time it gets soiled.
  • They are fussier compared to AIOs so some daycares won’t use them. For babysitters and daycare centers and such, you should stick with all-in-one diapers like kushies that are easier to use.

Q: Okay, so why are there so many different types of pocket diapers?

The differences in pocket diapers is where the opening is located. Here are the different types you will come across.

  • Back opening pocket diapers – This is the most traditional and most common design. You put in your insert through a hole towards the rear of the diaper. There are differences in how big this opening is and this will affect how easy it is to insert or remove the pad (and maybe which brands of inserts you can use). Cleaning up poopy diapers can get messy with this style of diaper since you’ll have to grab the insert near the majority of the mess.
  • Front openings – This style is the opposite of the first. Removing inserts from front-opening pocket diapers is less messy.
  • Front and back openings – These have openings at both the front and the back which can make cleanup easier depending on what how your baby has soiled the diaper. Many people prefer pocket diapers with openings at both sides because the diaper can be washed all at once (without removing the insert) since the insert eventually falls out of the pocket during the wash.
  • Middle opening diapers – Some people prefer middle opening pockets because the insert stays in place much better. The pocket holds the insert in place at both ends and prevents it from shifting up or down. To avoid touching anything too messy you can remove the insert by loosening it at the front end and then pulling it out.

The best-selling pocket cloth diapers are:

  1. Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap
  2. bumGenius One Size
  3. Fuzzibunz One Size
  4. The Hero
  5. Kawaii Baby
  6. LBB
  7. Rumparooz One Size
  8. Alva Baby AI2

Q: What types of inserts can I use?

This is controlled by the width of the pocket and the opening. Some diapers have pockets that are larger so you that you can double up on inserts for extra absorbency. Inserts are usually cotton, microfiber, or flannel, but there are bamboo and hemp versions too. Microfiber and fleece keeps your baby’s skin dry, but they can be too hot during the summer, are not as absorbent as hemp, and they can be prone to gunk build-up.

If you’re away from home and need some spare inserts that don’t need to be washed you can use disposable inserts in place of/in addition to your regular reusable insert. Disposable inserts can be flushable, but not all are, so be sure yours are before you flush!

The best-selling inserts are:

  1. HappyEndings Bamboo Inserts (bamboo + microfiber)
  2. Thirsties Hemp Inserts
  3. Thirsties Stay-Dry Duo (microfleece + hemp)
  4. gDiapers (microfleece + hemp/cotton)
  5. Best Bottom Stay Dry (microfiber + fleece)
  6. gDiapers Disposable Inserts
  7. Select Kids Booster Pads (disposable)
  8. GroVia BioSoaker (disposable)

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