A two piece system, one being your waterproof “pocket”, the second piece is an insert you stuff into the pocket for absorbency. Offers versatility of absorbency and ease-of-use, once stuffed will go on as one piece and come off as one piece.. Change entire diaper at each changing, easily stuffed with more inserts for older babies and nighttime. Many pockets are now one-size, working best at around 6-8 weeks, through roughly 35 pounds. Pocket diapers do not require a cover. Thirsties pockets have a 14 day trial period on one diaper, a great way to test run the pocket diaper system. I also love the Tiny Tush one size fitteds, incredible size range and very well made in the USA. Applecheeks offers pocket diapers with natural fibers on the inside with their Econappi and Bamboo one size pocket diapers as well.
Prefolds and Covers:
Prefolds are 100% cotton diapers, square in shape. They can wrapped around the baby and fastened (with a plastic tether fastener called a Snappi), or folded like a business letter and laid inside a cover. Prefolds absorb and contain, but need a second piece called a cover. Covers are waterproof, usually laminated polyester materials in bright colors, they cover the prefold diaper to make for a waterproof system. Most covers can be reused throughout the day, unless a bowel movement leaks onto them. Our best selling cover is steadily the Thirsties duo wrap, which comes in a variety of closures and colors.
Fitted diapers are similar to prefolds and easily interchanged with them for diapering. Fitteds absorb and contain, but do not require using a fastener or folding, they will have Velcro (also called aplix) closure or snap closure. Fitteds do need a cover, like prefolds do. Fitteds are useful in older babies for napping and nighttime, as their absorbency wraps around your baby rather than just down the middle like pocket diapers. SustainableBabyish makes some of the most absorbent fitteds on the market, other favorites are Blueberry Bamboo one size fitteds, and the stay-dry Thirsties Duo Fab Fitteds.
AIO's or All-In-One's:
One piece, easy to use, great for caregivers. Usually very trim fitting under clothes, but if your baby outwets their absorbency, you may have to change very frequently or add an insert on top of the diaper. Some AIO diapers have natural fibers directly against the baby’s skin, whereas most pockets will have a stay dry lining from synthetic materials. AIO diapers do not require a cover. Many AIO diapers now offer an additional space to stuff an insert if needed. An example would be the Thirsties Duo AIO, and the Blueberry Basix AIO.
Hybrid or AI2 (All-In-Two) Systems:
Examples of this system would be the Flip, Grovia and Softbums system. This system relies on using an outer shell that is waterproof, and usually one-size (10-30 pounds or so). What absorbs the feces and urine is changed during the day, and some of these brands also have disposable insert options to change out for greater versatility. The Flip system relies on flaps on their covers to hold an insert in place, Grovia has snaps in the shell to snap their inserts in, and Softbums relies on snaps as well. Hybrid systems are incredibly economical, as a variety of inserts can be used in them (even old washcloths or handtowels!)