Tag Archives: Thirsties

Cloth Diapering with Pocket Diapers

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!

CD with Pocket Diapers

 

 

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.

Pocket Diapers

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.

Pocket Diapers - Kawaii

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? 

 

 

AI2 Cloth Diapers

As we continue the “Cloth Diapering With…” series, we are venturing into more modern, new-fangled diaper styles. We started with the basics: prefolds, flats or fitteds with a cover. Today’s post is about the style known as All-in-Twos or ‘AI2’ for short.

Cloth Diapering with AI2 Diapers

What’s an AI2?

I remember when I first read this AI2 abbreviation on a website about four years ago and it immediately made the prospect of cloth diapering seem complicated and overwhelming. But fear not! Because All-in-Twos are just simple two-part systems that improve on the prefold/cover style we’ve already discussed.

All-in-Two just means that there are two separate pieces to your diaper. There’s the waterproof cover, which can sometimes be called a ‘shell’, and the absorbent cloth piece that’s placed inside. If you read that and thought, “Wait, that’s what you said about prefolds,” — you’re right! Brands that make All-in-Two diaper systems took a look at the traditional ways of diapering and made some modern improvements.

Most AI2 systems use snaps to hold the absorbent insert in place, though some use a tuck-in flap. To use the diaper just attach the insert to it’s shell and fasten it to the baby with the snaps or aplix on the cover. When it’s time to change, you snap out the soiled insert and keep it to be washed. If the shell is not dirty, you can either snap in a clean insert or let it air dry and use it again after the next change. The typical baby will need approximately 5-6 shells and 24-30 inserts.

AI2 Inserts

There are a few options when it comes to picking out an insert. Most brands make both a stay-dry and organic cotton version. There are also extra boosters that help for naps or nighttime. The stay-dry option means that there is a top fleece layer that creates a drier feeling for your baby. (Though if the diaper is very well soaked, it will eventually become saturated.) Whether or not you choose stay-dry is a personal choice. Some babies really don’t care if their bums feel wet, for others, it’s uncomfortable. The stay-dry layer is made from a synthetic blend and some parents want to keep their baby in all natural fibers. If you aren’t sure what to choose, you can always get a few of both and see what you prefer. (Cloth diapers have good resell values, so you can always sell it if it doesn’t work for your baby.)

AI2 Covers

Most AI2 brands use a One Size model for their covers or ‘shells’. One Size (abbreviated OS) means that there will be snaps along the rise to increase or decrease it’s size. One notable exception is SoftBums, which are One Size but use a teeny adjustable elastic system to change their size. Some brads, use the OS cover with sized inserts. This will give your baby a more exact fit. Here’s a little comparison chart to heal you see the subtle differences between the AI2 brands we carry.

AI2 Comparison Table

Many AI2 systems are interchangeable across brands and you also have the option of using your plain, old prefold inside of an AI2 shell. Some families like to stick to one brand, one system and keep things simple. Brands will often have package deals or special sales on their systems. (Tip- Black Friday and Earth Day are the times of year for big cloth diaper savings.) But, if you’re anything like me, you will have a little bit of everything. I tend to try diapers based on their colors and prints and if it works well, I’ll probably get more.

Hybrid Diapers

Hybrid Systems

With AI2 systems, the word “hybrid” sometimes sneaks in. A few cloth diapering companies also make absorbent, eco-friendly, disposable liners to be used inside the cover in lieu of the absorbent cloth piece. These can be extremely useful if you are traveling or going out. They are made for occasions when you want the convenience of a disposable without their full environmental impact.

A couple of tips for using disposable inserts— while they may be made for a specific cover by the same brand, they are for the most part acceptable to use in any cover. I’ve used Flip, GroVia, and gDiapers inserts inside of any cover I have. (I’ve even used them in an unstuffed pocket!) Also, be aware that a runny poop might make it’s way off the liner and inside your cover, so still carry a wet bag and extra covers just in case.

I’ve been asked a lot which disposable insert is best, so I wanted to test out all three (that we carry and I know of) so I could give an informed opinion. And honestly they all worked fine! The GroVia Biosoakers have adhesive that can stick to the cover and help hold it in place. (Sort of like a maxi pad.) They also have a bit of a gusset. The Flip and gDiaper inserts are a bit longer and are both rectangular. The Flip has a nice soft quilted top. I really didn’t have one strong preference. They all did their waste-catching jobs!

I’ve mentioned gDiapers disposable inserts so I’ll talk a little about this brand specifically. It’s categorized by some as an AI2, but I usually tell people it’s more like an All-in-Three. With gDiapers, there’s a cotton, cloth outer, a waterproof ‘pouch’ layer inside that, and finally an absorbent piece inside that. Another feature that sets gDiapers apart from others in the AI2 category is that the cotton outer part called the gPant is sized Small-X-Large. You can read more and see photos about gDiapers in this post.

I hope this post helped demystify the AI2 cloth diapering systems. These diapers have many of the same benefits as the types we’ve previously discussed with a few more bells and whistles.

Have you ever tried an All-in-Two? What’s your favorite?

Diaper Stash

Diaper Stash
As you may remember, I’m expecting my second baby this July–a girl– and I’ve started going over my diaper stash in preparation. Since we are gearing up for the Great Cloth Diaper Change next weekend, I thought this would be the perfect week to talk about diapers. Although, let’s be honest, I really don’t need any excuse!

My son was born in 2011, which was before Sweetbottoms the local shop opened. I knew people who cloth diapered and there were some local shops near me that carried a few brands. I did most of my research online and cobbled together a newborn stash of Prefolds and covers. I have 18 Preemie-sized and 24 Infant-sized Prefolds. The smaller ones fit perfectly for the first few days, depending on the size of your little one. My son weighed in at 7 lbs and never lost weight so I think the Preemie size fit with a Snappi for like 10 days. However, they are useful as doublers and I actually still use them for that now. The Infant size fit him with a Snappi for about 6 months. After that, I still used them but just tri-folded into a cover. In case you ever wondered, this is what a Prefold looks like after it’s been used and washed more than 100 times!

Diaper Stash- Prefolds with Snappi

So I’m definitely good on the Prefold front, but I do need a new Snappi. And now they have colors… oh the decisions! For covers, I actually first got a few second-hand because I wasn’t sure if I would really be okay doing cloth and didn’t want to make a huge investment. We mostly used Thirsties size x-small covers from the start. I also liked the Bummis Super Brite and used the size small and eventually medium. And yes, that’s all Velcro/Aplix/Hook&Loop closures I used. Honestly I can’t remember when I got my first snap diaper. I found it to be just fine, though. It’s nice and fast for upset babies their sleepy Mamas.

Diaper Stash- Thirsties Covers

Diaper Stash- Bummis Super Brite

Here’s a shot of my little guy with a Thirsties Duo Wrap in a size 2. This photo was taken when he was about three months old. Oh how time flies!

Diaper Stash- Thirsties DuoWrap

For Baby Girl, I decided to try some of the Rumparooz newborn covers this time. I just adore these prints! I also want the Kangaroo one. I have had a crush on the GroVia Peacocks Shell since it came out last year. Now I have a little girl to snap it on! I’ll probably re-use the Thirsties and Bummis covers, too.

Diaper Stash- Rumparooz and GroVia

It wasn’t until after 6 months that we started to expand our cloth diaper horizons. I tried a few Pockets and All-in-One (AIO) diapers. I like Prefolds and covers for the first few months, but would be nice to have some one-piece diapers for going out and convenience. I’ll give you a peek at my currently-used diaper stash in another post. Today was laundry day, so most of them were out of commission.

I recently got a few new newborn-sized AIOs. I love the Swaddlebees and I had to get the little GroVia owl print. (See top photo. We have the GroVia Shell in the same print so I’m planning to set up a “matching diaper” photo situation.) The Swaddlebees are great because even though they are Newborn size, they still go up to 16 lbs so they should fit for at least a couple of months if she grows similarly to her brother.

Diaper Stash- Newborn Swaddlebees

I also got a few Swaddlebees 2.0 in size medium. Personally, I prefer the side-snapping style of diaper. I like how there’s a nice flat front and the flexibility of snapping is great for babies with bigger thighs, like my son had. I snap the bottom snap looser and the top one tighter to avoid red marks and maintain tightness around the waist. This is what I’ve gotten so far, but I plan to get more in this size and maybe a few girly prints in the large.

Diaper Stash- Swaddlebees 2.0

 

I also got a Kawaii pocket diaper (See top photo.) because I love the print and have always wanted to try out the Minky. I’ve got my sights set on a few Charlie Banana and Apple Cheeks pockets, too. Can you tell? I like variety. My poor husband can’t keep up.

What about you? Did you increase your diaper stash for your next baby? How much did you get to re-use from previous cloth diapered babes?