Updated on October 20, 2015
Three Reasons Why I Love Pocket Diapers
I have a confession to make. I have a lot of cloth diapers. A lot. More than one person could ever possibly need to diaper one child. Now some of you might think this is a bad thing, but I’m going to tell you why it’s a great thing. After cloth diapering The Heir from birth to potty training and now cloth diapering Petit Prince (with many of the same diapers, I might add), I’ve picked a favourite style of diaper. Don’t tell King Dad, but my favourite style is the first style I ever bought… That’s not to say that I don’t like or even love other styles of diapers, but hands down the pocket diaper is my favourite.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with cloth diapers, there are a lot of different styles available to suit all your cloth diapering needs and wants. There’s flats or prefolds with covers, fitteds or hybrid fitteds with covers, All in Twos (AI2), All in Threes (AI3), All in Ones (AIO), hybrid systems, and my beloved pocket diapers. Now what all those styles are is the subject of another post, but for now I’m going to tell you what a pocket diaper is and why I love it so very much.
A pocket diaper consists of a waterproof shell, usually made of PUL, with a layer of material sewn into the shell that forms a pocket opening. The pocket opening can be in the middle, the back, the front, or at both the back and the front making it a pass through opening. The inner material can be a “stay dry” material like suede cloth, micro fleece, or athletic wicking jersey that pulls moisture down and away from baby’s skin or it can be a natural material like bamboo. The absorbent part of a pocket diaper is the insert, and it is stuffed into the pocket opening of the pocket diaper shell. Inserts can be made from a variety of materials including (but not limited to) microfibre, cotton, bamboo, and/or hemp. Some pocket diapers can be bought as a “system” meaning the inserts are included while other pocket diapers are sold just as shells and you purchase inserts separately.
Now that you know what a pocket diaper is, let me tell you the three reasons why I love them oh so much.
1. Customizable absorbency. The joy of a pocket diaper is that you can stuff it with almost anything. That means you can add absorbency when and where you need it. If you have a boy, you’ll want to have more absorbency at the front of the diaper, and if you have a girl, you’ll want to have more absorbency in the middle and back of the diaper. Got a night time heavy wetter? Stuff that diaper with a hemp or bamboo insert topped with a microfibre insert (all in the pocket), and you’ve got a fast absorbing super thirsty bullet proof night time solution. Looking for an inexpensive insert for your pocket diaper? Stuff them with prefolds or even flour sack towels (FSTs), seriously!
2. Fast drying time. You’re going to pull the insert out of the pocket diaper shell when you take the soiled diaper off baby (although some brands do have inserts that agitate out on their own in the wash). Since the diaper is then two separate pieces when washing and drying, it dries significantly faster than an AIO diaper. I toss the inserts into the dryer on low and always hang dry my pocket shells. Even so, they dry in just a few hours. I often do my diaper laundry in the evening, hang the shells to dry overnight, and by morning they are totally ready to stuff. This is simply not the case with most AIO diapers which can take a round in the dryer plus hanging overnight, and still not be dry by the morning. What that means is that you can get away with having fewer diapers in your stash with pocket diapers than with AIOs because you won’t need to account for a long drying time before clean diapers can get back on the bum.
3. Ease of use. Once my pocket diapers are washed and dried, I get them all stuffed (which only takes me 10 minutes for three days’ worth), and then they are ready for the bum. The grandparents or babysitter/daycare provider can pull out a pocket diaper and put it right on the bum. There is no fussing with flaps that need to be folded just so to get absorbency in the right place, as is the case with some AIOs. There are no snappis or special rolling/folding required, as with prefolds or flats. The pocket diaper is just one piece of genius that goes on quickly and easily.
Tell me what your favourite style of cloth diaper is! I want to know!