We are nearing the end of our “Cloth Diapering With” series in today’s post about Pocket Diapers. In this post we’ll cover all the basics of pocket diapers and a few pro tips. Pockets just so happen to be my favorite kind of diaper for my baby and I’ll tell you why!
Pocket Diapers are the most obviously named diaper style. They’ve got a pocket? Bingo! The pocket is used to stuff your absorbent layer, which is typically a microfiber insert that is sold along with the outer piece. The outer piece consists of a waterproof PUL exterior and a stay-dry lining that’s sewn in. The absorbent insert is stuffed in between these two layers of the outer piece.
They are a one-and-done style of diaper meaning that no part of the diaper can be reused before washing after it’s been soiled. Unlike prefolds/flats/fitteds with a cover or All-in-Twos, the entire pocket diaper will need to be laundered because that stay-dry layer that comes into direct contact with baby’s bum is sewn in the waterproof outer. So why use them? Well, there are a few things about their design that make them unique and might make them perfect for you.
With pocket diapers, you are able to customize your absorbency. If you have a newborn or a three-year-old you can use the same pocket outer and stuff the appropriate about of absorbent inserts inside. Because they are neatly contained inside the pocket, your absorbent layers can’t poke out the side of the diaper or become unruly on the changing mat with a squirmy baby. (Of course, you can always add booster inserts to up absorbency in any other type of diaper! I’ve just found it easier to do with pockets.)
You also aren’t limited to using the microfiber inserts that come with most pocket diapers. I actually use my tri-folded prefolds inside my pockets. For daytime, it’s just an infant prefold tucked inside. At night, I use a Thirsties hemp prefold plus a premie prefold. You can also purchase inserts made from different materials or, of course, just stick with the microfiber that comes with most pockets. You can even use an old t-shirt in a pinch! It’s really just a matter of your needs, which might change as your baby grows.
The biggest draw to pocket diapers for me is the stay-dry interior. Some parents don’t like the idea of synthetic fibers touching their baby at all. So if that’s you, then you can pretty much cross pockets off of your list. It doesn’t really bother me and I find that my daughter seems much happier in a drier diaper. It really just comes down to whether or not you want to have a more natural, wetter diaper or the stay-dry kind. It’s really just a personal choice. And I’ll say that some babies (like my son) really don’t seem to care about having a wet feeling diaper while others do.
(There are stay-dry options in other diaper styles! So if you like the stay-dry but aren’t sure about pockets, look into fleece liners, GroVia hemp inserts with their All-in-Two system, or several All-in-One options.)
I will also mention that most pocket diapers are made in One Size sizing. This means there are snaps along the rise that close or open to make the diaper smaller or larger. AppleCheeks are one notable exception with a 1/2 sizing system. It’s also worth mentioning that the stay-dry fleece varies slightly by brand. If you can see a friend’s or go to a store in person, that’s something to compare.
Once your pocket diaper is soiled, you’ll need to unstuff it and drop it into your wet bag. This is because the absorbent insert might not agitate out in the wash and won’t be properly cleaned. If you feel icky about touching the inserts, these charming little Diaper Dawgs might help.
Make sure to follow a good laundry regime with you pocket diapers. Because they have synthetic fibers, they are more prone to buildup. Don’t cut corners with your detergent. I always use commercially-made cloth diaper safe detergent along with a cold rinse and hot wash. To me it’s a protection on my investment. That, plus I really just can’t deal with the hassle of troubleshooting laundry problems!
After the wash, I dry the prefolds in the drier and air dry my pockets (and covers and All-in-Ones– anything with PUL). Once they are all dry, I stuff them and put them away if I’m feeling very organized. Sometimes though, I just keep them in two piles and stuff as I need them.
I hope I answered any questions you had about pocket diapers!
What do you think of pockets? Any lingering questions?