Cloth Diapers

Are You Tired of Stuffing Pocket Diapers? Do This Instead

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Pocket diapers are one of the most popular styles of cloth diapers since they are just as easy to use as disposable diapers. Once they’re stuffed, that is. But are you like me and find that you no longer love stuffing your pocket diapers? Then you can use pocket diapers as covers instead.

Once upon a time stuffing pocket diapers used to make me smile, but now it’s just one more thing that I have to do with a busy toddler running around. Because of this, my love affair with pocket diapers has run its course.

Now all of my pocket diapers have been repurposed into diaper covers. This is how you can do it, too.

What is a pocket diaper?

pocket cloth diaper

For those of you out there who are just starting out, a pocket diaper is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a cloth diaper that is made of fabric that has a waterproof inner-layer and a wicking layer sewn in, leaving an opening that allows you to stuff the diaper with an absorbent insert.

Pocket diaper inserts can be made of many different fabrics such as microfiber, hemp, bamboo, and cotton.

Can you use prefolds with pocket diapers?

Yes! Not only can you use prefolds as pocket diaper inserts, but you can also lay a prefold inside a pocket diaper shell and use it as a diaper cover.

What is an all-in-two diaper?

Using your pocket diapers in this way is similar to an all-in-two-diaper, commonly referred to as an AI2, but not quite. An AI2 is my favorite cloth diaper because the insert snaps inside the diaper shell instead of placed inside a diaper cover. If you are handy with a snap pliers, you can easily convert your pocket diapers into an AI2 instead.

Can you use pocket diapers as covers?

Absolutely! All you need for a cover is a waterproof outer layer to make a cover, which a pocket diaper has. Instead of stuffing the pocket with an insert, you will just lay the insert inside the cover, then snap or velcro it on your baby. Easy peasy!

The only thing you must be aware of when using pocket diapers as covers is that it’s very important that you only use natural fiber cloth diaper inserts. Microfiber will irritate your baby’s skin and cause a rash, so use natural fabrics like bamboo, hemp, and cotton if the insert is going to touch your baby’s skin.

Tired of stuffing pocket diapers? Repurpose them! #clothdiapers

This is how I choose to use my pocket diapers. The left is a prefold folded in thirds, the middle is a hemp insert, and the right is an Applecheeks bamboo insert. You simply lay them inside the cover like you would a typical diaper cover and you’re good to go.

The best part is when you change the diaper, you don’t have to unstuff a dirty pocket. Because, really, who enjoys that? When you use your pocket diaper as a cover you can just throw it in the diaper pail and be on your way. Simplicity at its finest.

Now that you know the different ways you can mix and match cloth diapers, you will be able to save both time and money. Don’t throw away your pocket diapers because you’re tired of stuffing them. Repurpose them instead! Don’t get rid of the prefold diapers that someone gave you and you think you will never use; use them as an insert instead.

Cloth diapering your baby doesn’t have to be complicated and time consuming.

You also might like:

Using Prefolds as Pocket Diaper Inserts. Which Size to Use?
Make Your Own DIY Fleece Liners for Cloth Diapers
What is an All-in-Two (AI2) and How Does it Work?
What is an All-in-One (AIO) and How Does it Work?

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68 Comments

  1. I have no pockets yet for this reason, but I will say that I would try Thirsties’ pockets because they agitate themselves out in the wash, which is at least one step that is easier!

    1. That is a nice perk to Thirsties and AppleCheeks but when we bought an HE top loader the inserts no longer agitate out. Boo!

  2. Holly Wells says:

    LOVE this idea! I am so over stuffing pockets!

  3. What a great idea. I am at that point of being done with stuffing after doing it for 2 littles full-time and my older child at nights. It was a peaceful time but now it feels like its time consuming. Thanks for the tip!

  4. I had no idea this was a secret… Also, if you want to use the cover more than once, you can let it dry in between changes, then reuse at the next change (so you’re basically alternating between two covers for the day).

    1. I wouldn’t call it a secret but not something that a newbie might think of since so many pockets come with microfiber.

  5. Carrie H. says:

    Great advice for a newbie cloth diaperer. Thanks.

  6. Sounds like a great time saver!

  7. Such a great idea! Now if I just had some natural fiber inserts.

  8. Paige Hyder says:

    I don’t mind stuffing them so much, but I hate adjusting the elastics in the legs after washing.

  9. Amanda Jones says:

    Great idea and time saver!

  10. I love the idea of using pockets as covers! Will totally be doing that in the near future!

  11. Lindsay Kaples says:

    Awesome ideas!!!!

  12. I love the idea of not having to pull the dirty liner out of the pocket. I may need to invest in a few prefolds and give this a whirl!

  13. Interesting, and a great idea! I never would have thought of doing that!

  14. Lara Clinton says:

    Simple enough! Pockets sound like a pain when you’re busy.

  15. I’m new to cloth, my baby is still only 2 months old. It never would have occurred to me to use her pocket diapers this way! Fantastic!

  16. This is great! I still am loving my pockets, but I have heard that love affair will end eventually. Good to know I have options. 🙂

  17. I love reading about cloth! When my time comes I hope to be armed and ready.

  18. Natalie Brown says:

    Hello! I don’t have a child in cloth diapers but my grandson is. I’m going to let my daughter in-law know about this useful and time-saving method. Thanks for the tip!!

  19. Michelle T says:

    ^or, rather an EXCELLENT idea….

    1. Best typo ever when talking about diapers.

  20. Michelle T says:

    I still love my pockets, but this is an excrement idea if a pocket is lined with a yucky fabric! I have a few excessively pilly WAHM diapers this would save!

  21. Britney S says:

    I don’t mind stuffing pocket diapers yet. We mostly use prefolds and covers, and pocket diapers on laundry days. Great ideas though.

  22. Vicki Hall says:

    Pocket diapers without the insert make good swim diapers too. I would use an older one though. I’m gonna try this I love how easy AI2s are.

  23. Stephanie Marcus says:

    I honestly didn’t think about using pockets as covers. We mostly have pockets bc my DH doesn’t like to use covers and prefold but it wouldn’t be too bad if I am in a rush to use them like covers.

  24. Hallie Conway says:

    This is great! And I’m sure you could reuse the cover if your insert isn’t saturated fully. Good tip!

  25. michelle oberg says:

    I cant stand stuffing pockets!

  26. Amber Edwards says:

    I’d love to use pockets. I use prefolds and flats with covers right now as it is. I could use pockets as covers when I’m feeling lazy, or stuff them and send them with my mom or anybody else who watches my squish. God bless my mother, she has fully supported our choice to cloth diaper and has no problem changing prefolds when she watches him. As of yet, nobody else has watched him. My sister has offered, but said she would refuse to change a cloth. I thing a prestuffed pocket might change her mind. Thanks for the advice! Also, thanks for including pictures. They always help me to better understand what’s what.

  27. Ashley Feltner says:

    This is exactly how I’m starting to cloth diaper. It is so much quicker and easier.

  28. Monica Barrientes says:

    Hehe, yay! As a cloth diapering momma for over 5 years now, as well as an ECing momma, I have been doing this for years! I want my little ones to feel wet as soon as they pee, so this was my go to solution 5 years ago. 🙂 maybe it will catch on now! Yay!

  29. I never would have thought of that!

  30. Thanks for reminding me of this. I have some BG 4.0s that I have stopped using because I moved to AI2 diapers. Now I have some I can use as back up!

  31. barnolds barnes says:

    I wish I had some prefolds or flats so I could try this!

  32. I liked seeing the size of the inserts. AC’s rock!

  33. I would love to be able to sew a soaker in to my pockets.. I guess I wish I could convert them to AIOs! This is a good solution for me for now!

    1. That would be a great idea!

  34. Miranda Lewis says:

    saves me time and dont have to stuff all those diapers anymore and i can also start using some old ones again

  35. looks like a good idea! I think I might try it.

  36. Natasha Hohmann says:

    Why has no one else mentioned this easy transition?!? Duuh. Thank you!

  37. This is such a practical idea, Regan! A couple of times I’ve been asked by moms if there is such thing as a fleece-lined diaper cover. I guess they like the idea of a softer fabric against their child’s skin as opposed to PUL. Your tip to use a pocket diaper shell would fit the bill perfectly – and they are really economical.

  38. Something I’ve been doing for quite some time! 🙂

  39. I have been cloth diapering for over three years so I knew this trick. I always just laid a prefold or flat if I was short on time 😮

  40. I love this idea- I prefer prefolds and covers to my pocket diapers because they seem to leak far less. But I’ve barely won the husband over to the pocket diapers…

  41. Love the idea of not having to stuff the diapers, and I have some extra prefolds to use instead. Thanks

  42. Kasey Wiessinger says:

    I use my pockets as ai2s during the day and stuff them at night. I really liked seeing the different natural fiber inserts next to one another because I need to get more but haven’t pulled the trigger.

  43. Elizabeth Godschalx Wisniewski says:

    I like finding new ways to make diapering easier for my Husband. Thanks for this pocket hack!

  44. destiny richardson says:

    One full year of stuffing pockets, and i still don’t mind it one bit…

  45. Jamie Aust says:

    Good idea in a rush… My good friend hates pockets and always uses them as covers for prefolds 🙂

  46. Christina L. says:

    We’ve been doing this for the last few weeks since the stay dry wasn’t absorbing my 2 month old’s pee fast enough. Perfect fix for our problem!

  47. LO is not here yet love reading tips to CD

  48. Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing

  49. I do this all the time! Stuffing pockets is the worst, and microfiber and I have declared one another mortal enemies. My favorite is to trifold a yellow-edge prefold and plop it down on the diaper, then just snap the diaper on the baby. Voila!

    1. Yes! Yellow edge prefolds are my best friend.

  50. I’m kind of over my pocket diapers since getting into ai2 so I just might try this

    1. It seems like a lot of people get tired of pockets eventually 🙂

  51. I need to do this. Stuffing and trying to match up pockets gets tedious.

  52. The vast majority of my diapers are pockets and while I don’t love stuffing them, my son in pretty sensitive to wetness so I go though the hassle of stuffing every time. I do have tons of fleece liners that I could use on top of inserts for that “stay dry” feeling, but since DS is so active they don’t stay in place very well. Still a great tip though for those that can do it!

  53. I have never even tried pockets for this reason. I just trifold or lay on an insert in my covers.

    1. I haven’t bought a pocket diaper in ages and have gotten rid of the majority of the ones I had but the ones that I do have left are almost never stuffed anymore. It’s one of those if I had to do it all over again things 🙂

  54. Diapers are so versatile. I think most of the ones I have in my stash now are pockets but I’m hoping for more AI2’s (the snap kind). However, I am totally going to steal this idea!

    1. I prefer the ones with the snap in inserts and sold a lot of my pockets to replace them with standard AI2s. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done but I did keep a few pockets that I liked the overall fit of and couldn’t bring myself to sell them.

  55. Lauren Simms says:

    Glad I’m not the only one that uses pockets as covers. Males them extra versatile!

  56. Thanks for this post. I am just starting to use cloth diapers and I can see how stuffing the pockets gets old after a while. Why do you say not to do this with a microfiber unless it has a stay dry top? And what is a stay dry top? And what do you think about using the bum genius insert on top of the pocket?

    1. Hi Erin, microfiber against a baby’s skin draws out moisture and causes rashes. The bumGenius microfiber is not okay against a baby’s skin and must always be stuffed in a pocket. There are some diapers that are meant to be used as an all in two that use microfiber but put a layer of microfleece on top so they can be against the skin. SoftBums is one of the microfiber inserts with a stay dry top.

  57. Thanks – that’s a time saver.

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