What exactly are pocket diapers?
A pocket diaper is very similar to an all-in-one diaper. Sometimes they are called All-in-two diapers, or AI2. The diaper has a pocket between the inner and outer layers where you “stuff” an absorbent insert. Pocket diapers have either snap or hook & loop closures, making them very easy to fasten to your baby.
The outer layer of a pocket diaper is usually made of waterproof material, such as PUL. This eliminates the need for a diaper cover. The inner layer is made of a fabric that will wick moisture away from the baby’s bum and into the absorbent insert. bumGenius! diapers use a micro-suede as the inner fabric, while FuzziBunz use a micro-fleece, and Rumparooz use a micro-chamois.
Most pocket diapers come with at least one insert, and it is usually microfiber.
What are the benefits of pocket diapers?
There are several benefits to using a pocket diaper. First, the pocket allows you to customize the level of absorbency by adding more inserts, a diaper doubler, or a larger insert. For example, at nighttime I place my daughter in a Rumparooz G2 One-Size pocket diaper. I add extra absorbency to the pocket by snapping an additional insert to the main insert. This allows her to go 10-12 nighttime hours without a diaper change.
The pocket makes for a faster drying time. An all-in-one (AIO) diaper has the absorbent insert sewn in place on the inside of the diaper. With a pocket diaper, the insert is usually removed before washing. There are some brands of pocket diapers that feature inserts which agitate out of the pocket during the wash cycle. By removing the insert from the cover, it will dry faster. This also allows you to hang dry the pocket portion of the diaper, which will extend the life of the PUL or waterproof fabric, as well as the elastic in the legs and waist.
Pocket diapers are very easy to use. Because they don’t require a cover, once the insert is stuffed into the pocket, the diaper is essentially an all-in-one. Changing the diaper means that you just need to remove the old and snap/velcro on a clean diaper. This also makes them very easy for a caregiver to use, because they go on like a disposable diaper with no added steps.
What is the care involved with pocket diapers?
Pocket diapers are really very simple to use. The insert should be removed prior to washing. It is easy to just grab the corner of the insert and remove it before placing the diaper in the pail or wet bag. Some people prefer to shake the insert out of the pocket so that they don’t have to touch anything.
As mentioned before, the removable insert speeds up the drying time involved in caring for your diapers. You can line dry or machine dry the inserts, but it is usually recommended that you hang dry the pocket portion.
The only additional step with pocket diapers is that you need to stuff the pockets with the inserts before the diaper can be used. Some people just stuff the diapers as they go. I prefer to stuff all of mine after washing and drying. Then diaper changes are as easy as grabbing a clean diaper off the changing table. Pre-stuffing your pockets also makes it easier for dads and caregivers to use the diapers. They won’t have to worry about stuffing the insert in properly, or getting the right insert into the right pocket (if you use more than one brand).
What are some favorite pocket diapers?
There are many brands and styles of pocket diapers on the market. Some have side snaps. Some have double gussets. Some have a flap that covers the pocket opening. Many are one-sized (meaning that they can be used from birth to potty training, or usually 8-35 pounds). Some offer the choice of snap or aplix closure.
Probably the two best sellers of pocket diapers are the FuzziBunz (the original pocket diaper) and the bumGenius! diapers. Other choices include Rumparooz, Happy Heinys, BabyKicks, Thirsties, Knickernappies, and Smartipants. Each of these has unique features that sets them apart from the others.
Examples of pocket diapers:
FuzziBunz Perfect Size (left), and One-Size (right)