What is a Pocket Diaper?
Pocket diapers are a popular option among cloth diaper users, perhaps because they are made by most cloth diaper brands in a variety of prints. They’re made up of a waterproof or water-resistant diaper cover sewn to an inner (usually synthetic) layer of fabric. This sewing is not complete as an opening is left, usually along the back, so that inserts can either just be laid inside, or secured inside with snaps. The inserts sit inside the pocket that is created between the cover and fabric layer, and that’s how they get their name.
These diapers are a combination of an all-in-one diaper and an all-in-two diaper when it comes to convenience. Like an all-in-one diaper, once the inserts have been placed inside the pocket (often called “stuffing” the diaper), it can be used just like a disposable. Also like an all-in-one, once the diaper is wet it must be completely changed as the inner layer must be washed. However, like an all-in two diaper, washing is improved. Some pocket diapers have openings left between the inner fabric and the cover both at the top and bottom of the diaper, so that the inserts can agitate out during the wash cycle; this can make them even easier to launder than all-in-twos that have inserts that often need a little help to be removed from the cover.
What are the Pros and Cons of Pocket Diapers?
- Faster Changes. Once the insert has been placed inside the pocket, the diaper is ready-to-go at change time, which makes diaper changes quick and easy.
- Daycare friendly. Already stuffed pocket diapers are ready to go at diaper changes to be used just like an all-in-one, and so they are perfect for child care providers, grandparents, and anyone not completely on-board yet with the whole cloth diaper thing. These diaper changers can put the diaper on and take it off after each use in one step, using them just as though they were disposables.
- Easy to Wash. Because the insert is removable from the pocket, the whole diaper washes more thoroughly and will dry faster than all-in-one diapers.
- Prints, prints, and more prints. Because pocket diapers are made by so many retailers, and because of their popularity, there is no shortage of cute prints and all shades of solid colors can be found. No matter what your style, you’ll find many diaper prints to match if you look at pocket diaper options.
- Stuffing. As mentioned, inserts must be placed inside the pocket diaper before use, and removed prior to washing (unless they have two openings). While we’re talking about seconds per diaper per wash, stuffing is often one of the biggest complaints from those using pocket diapers.
- Additional work at Diaper Changes. Though many pocket diapers have two openings to allow the insert to be agitated out by the washing machine, some pocket don’t, and others use inserts that snap in place. When using those pocket diapers, inserts must be unattached and/or removed before washing. Removal of the inserts can be an unpleasant task.
- Slightly Expensive. Because the diaper cover must be changed with the diaper inserts every time, pocket diapers can be on the expensive side as you’ll need as many as you would if you were using all-in-ones.
- Limited Pocket Space. Because the cover and inner layer of pocket diapers are usually cut to a similar size, pocket diapers can bulge and arch when stuffed when additional inserts are added. This can cause leaks as it can cause gaps around baby’s legs and waist.