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.
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.