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How Do You Use A Pocket Style Cloth Diaper

How Do You Use A Pocket Style Cloth Diaper

Ok, so you've decided you want to use cloth diapers for your baby and pocket diapers look like what you want to try, but how do you use them?  Let's start from the top!

Pocket style cloth diapers are named so because they have...wait for it...A POCKET.  Ta da!  Easy right? On a pocket diaper, there is a water-resistant outer layer made of TPU or PUL stitched to an inner fabric like microfleece or cotton such that there is a pocket space left in the middle where you can stuff an absorbent insert pad of some kind. 

Now, the location of the pocket where you stuff your absorbency in varies from brand to brand and isn't too relevant.  There are pocket diapers with the opening at the front (like AMP One Size Duo Diapers).  There are pocket diapers with the opening at the back (like Kanga Care's Rumparooz One Size Diapers or Cotton Babies' BumGenius 5.0).  There are even ones where the pocket is in the middle at the widest part of the diaper for easier stuffing (like AppleCheeks) or ones that open at both the front and the back (think Thirsties).  

What goes inside the pocket to provide the absorbency? 
Well, that's up to you.  Depending on the brand, the inserts may come included when you purchase the diaper.  This is true for BumGenius 5.0, Rumparooz and Thirsties pocket diapers or they may be sold separately (AppleCheeks, AMP, Elemental Joy etc). Inserts can be made from synthetic man-made materials such as microfiber (polyester), or natural fabrics such as bamboo, hemp, cotton, wool or blends of those.  Sometimes inserts can even be a combo of 2 different pieces of fabric that snap together (ex. one part microfiber that snaps onto for example a layer of hemp), or you might see inserts that are natural fabric on the outside with a layer of microfiber sandwiched in between.  There are lots of variations available.  

You can even be creative and come up with other ways to stuff your pocket diapers.  Some parents have great success using tri-folded prefold diapers inside their pocket diapers, or pad folded flats like flour sack towels.  Folded flannel receiving blankets can be used in a pinch as could an old t-shirt - really anything absorbent will do the trick.  

**One word of caution - If your inserts are made of microfiber, always, always stuff the inserts into the pocket opening of the diaper.  While it's possible to use natural fabric inserts by simply laying them on top of the diaper (rather than stuffing the pocket), you don't want to do that with microfiber.  It's a bit abrasive and so absorbent that it's drying/irritating to the skin and then baby would be prone to a rash, so while it can be a great absorptive material to use, always place it within the pocket of the diaper where it's meant to be. 

Using your pocket diapers
Now that you have your diaper and insert picked out, let's use it on baby.  If you are using a pocket diaper that is a one-size variety (adjustable with snaps down the front to fit babies from about 8-35lbs), start by adjusting the front rise snaps of the diaper to suit the size of your baby.  Most pocket diapers are 'one-size'.  If your diapers are a sized kind, for example size 1, 2 or 3 from a brand such as AppleCheeks then there will be no adjustable rise snaps down the front of the diaper (only waist snaps) so skip this step. 

~If you're wondering whether to choose sized or 'one size' cloth diapers, read this~ 

Once your diaper is adjusted for baby, take the insert(s) you are going to use and stuff them inside the pocket opening of the diaper.  Use a smaller insert for smaller babies, a larger insert for bigger babies or even two inserts together to accommodate the amount of absorbency your baby needs.  

Master Tip: You can stuff as many inserts as you need into the pocket to match the wetting requirements of your child (example, an extra insert or booster for nighttime).  But at some point if you add too many you will start to get a gap at the leg.  At this point, you will experience leaks and it's time to address the increased absorbency needs with perhaps a fitted style diaper instead.  This is more of an issue at night for older babies.  Pocket diapers are plenty absorbent enough during the day.  More about addressing leaks here.  More about leak-free nighttime diapering here

Time for a diaper change
When it's time for a diaper change, simply take the diaper off of your baby and shake any solids into the toilet.  Then grab the end of the insert, pull it out of the pocket and place both the insert and the diaper into a large wet bag or diaper pail for storage until wash day

Don't want to have to separate the insert from the pocket diaper?  Then consider AppleCheeks pocket diapers or Thirsties Pocket Diapers.  The location of the AppleCheeks pocket opening in the middle of the diaper and the design of the Thirsties pocket diaper which opens at both ends mean that with each of these diapers, the inserts will agitate out on their own during the wash cycle, so no need to separate those particular ones before washing.  Another option is to consider All-In-One style diapers (AIOs) which have no pockets to stuff. 

Pocket diapers are a wonderful option for your baby.  They are easy to use, and easy to wash.  Most pockets have a layer of microfleece as the fabric touching baby's skin which is soft and comfortable and wicks moisture away into the absorbent core keeping baby feeling dry just like a disposable would.  You can customize absorbency to your child's needs by adjusting the amount of absorbency you insert into the pocket and many of the styles are 'one-size' adjustable to grow with your baby.  You can feel confident choosing any of our quality brands of pocket diaper for your baby. They are warrantied, ethically produced and made of safe fabrics. 

| Shop our pocket diaper collections | 

Here's how to do it with a Rumparooz Pocket Diaper:

Some of our pocket diaper brand highlights:


- Available in one-size or sized options (size 1, 2 & 3).
- Made in Canada.
- Pocket located in middle of diaper at widest part.  Makes it easy for Dads with large hands to stuff. Usually insert will agitate out on it's own during the wash cycle.
- Purchase 2 or 3ply bamboo inserts separately.
- Can be used as a pocket diaper or as an All-In-Two (by laying inserts on top rather than stuffing).

- Made in Canada.
- One size adjustable design
- Pocket located in front of the diaper.
- Purchase bamboo or hemp inserts separately.
- Can be used as a pocket diaper or as an All-In-Two (by laying inserts on top rather than stuffing).

BumGenius 5.0
- Made in USA.
- One size adjustable design.
- Pocket located at back of diaper.
- 2 microfiber inserts included with each diaper (one small/one large).
- Starter Kit Packages available.

Elemental Joy Pocket Diaper
- Made in USA.
- Economical no-frills design = great value and modest price point.
- Pocket located at back of the diaper.
- Purchase inserts of your choice separately. 

- Produced ethically in China under fair labour conditions.
- One size adjustable design.
- Features amazing, PATENTED inner gussets to keep messes in.
- Pocket located at back of diaper.
- 2 microfiber inserts included with each diaper (one contoured small/one large).
- Starter Kit Packages available. 

Thirsties Pockets (2 kinds)
- Made in the USA.
- One size adjustable design.
- Features signature leg gussets for superior leak protection.
- Pockets located at front AND back of diaper so inserts agitate out on their own during the wash cycle. 
- Comes in 2 varieties:
*Original pocket diaper has a microfleece inner layer for a stay-dry feeling against baby's skin. Inserts are included (Newborn insert - 3 layers of microfiber. Full size insert - 5 layers of hemp cotton.

*Or there is a Natural Pocket featuring a 100% cotton inner layer against the skin and inserts are included (Newborn insert - 3 layers of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Full size insert - 5 layers of hemp/organic cotton).

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