Cloth Diapering 101: Pockets (pt. 2)

Getting started with cloth diapers can be daunting.  In this series, we’ll be exploring the various options  of each kind of cloth diaper and their pros and cons.

On today’s agenda:  Pockets!

I use pocket diapers pretty much exclusively.  Mostly because that just happens to be what I have, but they are also a little more economical than some of the other styles available.  Pocket diapers have a removable absorbency layer which allows some wiggle room for customization.  You can choose the insert that works best for your baby’s build and…er…”output,” and even add an extra layer, called a doubler, if you like.   Pocket diapers are pretty simple to use.

pockets pockets-2 pockets-3

See?  Easy peasy!  When it’s time to wash your diapers, you do need to remove the insert to get them adequately sanitized.  This only adds a couple of seconds to my day.  No big deal!


  • Simplicity.  Pocket diapers, in my opinion, are almost as simple as all-in-ones (or “AIO”s), which we will discuss in another post.  I use one-size diapers like the one pictured above.  They have an adjustable rise, and grow with your baby.  After washing my pockets, I stuff them, set the rise, and they’re ready to use!  Changing the diaper then is every bit as easy as changing a disposable.
  • Quick Drying Time.  Since the insert is removable, pockets tend to dry much faster than AIOs.  I put the inserts in the dryer, and hang the diaper to dry (if you put your diaper in the dryer, the heat may cause it to delaminate, which will remove the waterproof layer).  Once the inserts are done, I will sometimes put the rest of the diaper in the dryer on “fluff” or “no heat” to speed things along (because I still don’t have a clothes line or drying rack).
  • Portability.  Once you’ve stuffed the inserts into your diapers, they’re good to go.  No extra pieces or pins to pack in your diaper bag.
  • Customization.  You can add another layer or absorbency if you need to.  You also have the option of trying different types of inserts (bamboo, hemp, microfleece, etc.) along with different brands if one doesn’t work out for you.
  • Fit.  You’ll find out pretty quickly that cloth diapers may make your baby’s butt look h.u.g.e.!  Pocket diapers tend to be one of the more trim choices available.  I’ve also found that they tend to leak less than other styles I’ve used.
  • Versatility.  Simply remove the insert, and you’ve got a swim diaper!


  • Poo and pee.  You’re going to have to touch it.  That insert has to come out before you wash it.  I’ve found, though, that if I just barely grab the very edge of the insert when removing it from the pocket, I come into contact with very little excrement.
  • Cost.  Pockets are very economical, but they aren’t the cheapest option out there.
  • Time.  I stuff all my inserts at once.  Some people stuff their inserts as needed.  Either way, it is an added step.
  • Potty training.  The fleece liner is a “stay dry” material that keeps your little one from feeling too wet.  This dry feeling can hinder potty training efforts.

Cost:  As with most things, the cost of pocket diapers is varied, but on average they range from about $6-$15.   Most of my stash is made up of Sunbaby pocket diapers.   They’re about $5-6 each, and come in the cutest prints and colors!   Most people recommend having about 12 diapers on hand for each day that won’t be washing them.  So, if you wash diapers every other day, you’ll need 24 diapers.  Let’s assume you buy them all new (I get most of mine used.  It’s much cheaper that way!), and they cost you $11 each.  That’s an upfront investment of $264.  That might sound like a pretty hefty sum, but let’s consider how long it would take you to spend that on disposables.  If the average disposable diaper costs $0.17/ea., using 12 diapers a day, you would have spent that much in about four and a half months.  But if you bought one-size pocket diapers (like the one in the photo with the snap adjustable rise), you’re set until your little tyke starts potty training!   Hang on to your diapers for baby #2, and your savings compound even more!  The other great thing about all cloth diapers is that you can easily sell them when you’re done. Diaper Swappers, Spot’s Corner, Craigslist, and various Buy/Sell/Trade (or “b/s/t”) groups on Facebook are all great places to buy or sell used diapers.  That’s definitely something you couldn’t do with your dirty disposables!

So, what do you think?  Are pocket diapers the right dipe for you?  Use them already?  Comment and share below!

Join us next time as we discuss AIOs!


2 thoughts on “Cloth Diapering 101: Pockets (pt. 2)

  1. Pingback: Cloth Diapering 101: Fitteds and Covers (Part 4) | lifeatyellowhouse

  2. Pingback: 8 green ideas for baby working so far | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

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