How I Came to Hate Pocket Diapers

Posted 02-28-2014 at 11:12 AM by Banana Cat

When my first child was born, I couldn’t wait to use pockets.

I’m not sure why. Perhaps because the patterns and colors were cute. Perhaps because they were so modern-looking compared to the prefolds and covers we were using for the newborn stage. Perhaps because I was already sick of snappi’ing after the first week and couldn’t wait to just be able to slap on a diaper at changing time. The minute she hit 10lbs I tried them on her. A few were still gaping at the legs, but by the time she was 12lbs she fit fairly well into them. They were cute. They were colorful. I loved them! In fact, my modest stash of 12 pockets, thanks to sales, co-op groups and for sale or trade forums, blew up to over 70 pocket diapers over the course of a few months. They functioned the same as all-in-ones except you had to stuff them, which hardly took any time; why spend the extra money on all-in-ones, I scoffed.


Soon, this was only a third of my pocket stash. So I went a little nuts…


I had a bunch of bamboo inserts, because I liked how trim they were on my daughter. But after a month or so we started having stink issues. We never solved them and I think part of the reason was because we were using an on-site laundromat at the time, and the washing machine options were basically “on” or “off.” I couldn’t really tailor a specific laundry routine to have extra rinses or anything, so my inserts continued to smell awful. Not wanting to give up pockets quite yet, I tried a variety of different inserts. I tried stuffing them with flats and prefolds, but flats had less absorbency and prefolds were too bulky. For months I tried a variety of different options, but never quite found something I liked.

When she was a little over a year old, I was sitting on the couch stuffing pockets. I thought about how much I hated stuffing pockets. It took forever and if I tried to stuff them too quickly the inserts bunched up and I had to restuff them, taking even longer. Why can’t everything be like my prefolds, I wondered. They don’t smell and there’s no stuffing.

OH. I suddenly realized that pockets were not The Way of the Cloth Diaper for us. I liked the prints on pockets and that was about it. I was sick of laundry issues with inserts and admitted that with over 70 pockets I was just too stubborn to admit they weren’t working for us. We had a couple of cotton all-in-ones gifted to us that I loved but hated how expensive they were. However, a couple of months later when I discovered I was pregnant again, I got my butt on selling off most of my pockets to fund some all-in-ones. No way was I going to stuff pockets for two children when I hated stuffing them for just one!

My second child is now three months old. I’m glad we switched mostly to all in ones. We still use pockets at night for my older daughter, and when I open up the dryer to put away diaper laundry I always put away everything except the pockets and inserts. I glare at them, as if doing so would make them stuff themselves. Maybe one day we’ll be a completely pocket diaper-free family. I can’t wait for that day to arrive.

Filed Under: General


9 Responses to “How I Came to Hate Pocket Diapers”

  1. thetysonfamily on February 28th, 2014 4:58 pm

    I am with you. I, too, absolutely hate stuffing pockets and just use cotton diapers. One thing I am so puzzled by that you brought up here is the stink issue…then you sold them. ?? I have read that often, passing on diaper issues to another…sounds like a way to pass on frustration and deter other families from cloth to me, which makes me sad. I just can’t believe how many people do this. :( Hopefully they were dirt cheap and given full disclosure for some brave soul to try to work through, but I’ve found far too often the opposite.

  2. lady longs on February 28th, 2014 5:35 pm

    Thank goodness there are so many different choices. Pockets are my fave and I am so glad I chose them. Ive used them for 3 years, so Im pretty sure I will like them forever. Im just typing in to say how grateful I am that we all have a choice! And to remind myself, when talking to newbies, that just because I LOVE pockets, doesn’t mean everyone else will….

  3. emilyrebekah on March 1st, 2014 10:49 am

    I am an all in one girl myself, but do appreciate pockets, especially when it comes time to rinse off poo. I use bamboo in pockets, I think that resolved my stink issues.

  4. trynna on March 1st, 2014 1:31 pm

    are these for sale?

  5. abeccarelli on March 1st, 2014 4:02 pm

    I was sure I would love pockets too…not so much anymore. I have another baby on the way, and my pockets will be gifted to a friend in need of cloth. I hate them. I hate stuffing, I hate the inserts, I hate it all. I am getting AIOs and flats. Period. It’s just more my thing.

  6. chandni3 on March 2nd, 2014 6:44 am

    Wouldn’t all in ones have more stink problems?
    I loved my flat’s with flips but they weren’t absorbent enough for my son so for him we use Mother-ease Sandys. I love them except their bulk. There’s something I love and hate about each type of cloth diaper.

  7. Onemoreontheway on March 3rd, 2014 12:48 pm

    Prefold & pull on girl myself. No stink issues, inexpensive, cute especially in a vintagey kind of way, (or tie dyed haha) less waste for the earth. You totally can reuse prefolds as rags etc. after they’re holey..PUL and all that jazz? Trash.
    I do have the occasional AIO and Pocket and am fine with those, but no way would I make them my full time dipe.

  8. aprilflower on March 4th, 2014 10:15 am

    You might enjoy using flats and pul covers. THere is no stuffing and really not as expensive. They are the easiest as far a laundry is concerned and they are much much cheaper. You do have to fold the flats but it’s just like folding a towel if you pad fold.

  9. Banana Cat on March 7th, 2014 4:45 pm

    Like Lady Longs responded, thank goodness there are so many choices! Not too far in the past we all would have been using flats and rubber pants whether we wanted to or not, and now there are so many types of different diapers! All the different responses show that everyone has their own preference, and we are lucky to be able to choose the right type of diaper for our individual lifestyles and situations. Isn’t modern cloth diapering wonderful?

    I will address the concern of stink issues, since it came up a couple of times, and I did not really address it in my blog post. We live in a city apartment, and for a long time used a laundromat. I believe this is what contributed to our bamboo stink issues, since bamboo rayon does not clean quite as easily as cotton, and we did not have the luxury of being able to tailor a wash routine past the incredibly non-customizable selections of “wash” and “dry”. We currently live in a different apartment with our own washer and dryer and stink issues are a thing of the past, even with the few bamboo diapers I didn’t sell. I still hate stuffing pockets so I will never go back to using them as our primary diaper, but I did technically solve the problem by moving across town, though I don’t recommend that as a first course of action for resolving laundry issues.

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