At this point in my cloth diapering journey, I think that I can say that I’ve tried almost all the major categories of diapers: prefolds with covers, All-In-Ones, All-In-Twos, hybrids… but my favorite is definitely pockets! Almost my entire stash now consists of various pocket diapers.
What is a pocket diaper?
A pocket diaper is a diaper-shaped, waterproof shell sewn to a fabric inner. One edge is left open, creating a pocket. The pocket is then stuffed with one or more inserts. Inserts can be made of any material – microfiber, cotton, hemp, or a blend of materials. When the diaper is stuffed with an insert, the entire body of the diaper is one piece, and looks in appearance very much like a disposable diaper.
Why do I love pocket diapers?
Smaller learning curve. You don’t have to learn a fancy fold or attach multiple inserts with snaps – just take the insert and stuff it in the pocket. It’s quick, it’s easy. You can do it at 3am by the light of your iPhone!
When the diaper is sitting in the drawer, all stuffed and folded – it’s ready to go! No extra steps of snapping something into a cover or securing a Snappi on the baby. No searching for the various pieces when it’s time to pack your diaper bag. In fact, I often leave stuffed pocket diapers stuffed into my purse so I can just pick up and go.
Fewer escaping naked babies. My 10 month old can now flip herself over and rise to her hands and knees in less time than it takes to remove her diaper, all while still wearing the safety belt attached to the changing table cover. You can imagine how impossible it might be to try to attach a prefold first, and then a cover. She would be long gone by then! Pocket diaper to the rescue!
Dads and daycare love a pocket. Pockets are known as the “daddy friendly” diaper. Because it looks just like a disposable, and takes no extra steps (bonus if the closure is hook and loop), caregivers who are unfamiliar with cloth are less likely to balk. Our Mother’s Day Out workers were worried until they saw the diaper, then it was no problem at all. Turns out, they were worried about having to put on a prefold and not knowing how.
Let’s not touch pee if we can help it. I’ve found that whether I use a front-load or a top-load washing machine, 98% of the time the inserts agitate right out of a pocket diaper in the wash. I just take the pocket diaper right off the baby and throw the whole thing into the wet bag. I shake the wet bag right into the washing machine and don’t touch a wet diaper once!
Less diaper sprayer drama. I love my diaper sprayer for removing poop! However, that stream of water is powerful (for a good reason!) and, well, the force of the spray can ricochet if you’re not careful. All over your nice, clean bathroom. And maybe your clothes. Compared to the All-In-Ones or All-In-Twos that I have, my pockets have a fairly flat inside. The flat surface of a pocket is much less likely to cause the dreaded poop ricochet.
Double- and triple-stuffing! I love that you can customize the absorbency of pockets by adding inserts into the pocket. And you don’t even have to use cloth diaper inserts – you can use anything absorbent. I’ve stuffed my pockets so full that my babies might walk a little bow-legged, but the diaper lasts through the night without leaking!
Pocket diapers can also be used as covers in a pinch. Sometimes you can reuse the “cover” several times before having to wash it by placing prefolds inside the empty cover. My sister-in-law did this regularly for the first few months of her baby’s life, before she had built up her diaper stash.
There you have it, the many reasons to love a pocket diaper! Are there any I have missed? What do you love about pockets?
Jenny Bradford is a mom to two cotton babies, Little Sir born Oct. 2009, and Little Lady, born Feb. 2011. She lives in the Dallas, TX area with her husband, Christian, and can be found at Conscientious Confusion – a blog about living consciously, which often encompasses: green living, natural health, conscientious consumerism, cloth diapering, and living frugally.