Why I Quit Using Pocket Cloth Diapers- And What I Use Now

Tell me if this story sounds familiar:
When I was researching cloth diapers as a pregnant first-time-mom, I kept coming across all these charts. The ones that break down cloth diaper types as "easy", "easier", "easiest".

It weighs some of the pros and cons of each type- like price.
And not much else, actually.

Using diaper covers with flats or prefolds seemed SO intimidating to me- and this chart clearly showed they were the most complicated system.

All-in-one diapers were just too expensive.

I ultimately chose pocket diapers because they seemed to be the middle of the road- more affordable, and easier to use than other types.
Well, after almost three years, two kids, and experience with every.single.diaper type, and over a dozen brands- I'm here to call bulls--- on that chart.

There is no "easiest" cloth diaper.

They all have their pros and cons, which goes far beyond just the price, but they're all easy.

Organic Baby Boy Clothes

Don't get me wrong, I liked my pocket diapers when I used them.
I bought them at a good price, and they did their job.
They were easy to use, and I didn't mind the stuffing.

Pocket diapers, it turned out, required more work than using a diaper cover with a flat or a prefold. Stuffing diapers, and then un-stuffing when they were used kind of did it in for me.
I hated having to touch pee- soaked diapers, or maneuver around poo to get the inserts out.

I want a diaper I can just toss into the pail and forget about.

I understand that there are pocket diapers that you don't need to unstuff if you use their dedicated inserts, but these wouldn't work for me because of my next issue:

Then there's also my beef with most of them automatically coming with microfiber inserts.
Some people are okay with microfiber, but I am pretty adamantly pro-natural fibers for a multitude of reasons.
I quickly swapped mine out for cotton flour sack towels, which was not only an extra expense, but I was also stuck with this stash of microfiber inserts, which seemed so wasteful to me.

Pockets are probably the most bulky choice of diapers, too.

Once the pocket diaper is stuffed, it is an easy go on the bum, which does make it a great choice for caregivers.

All-in-one diapers can be finicky to wash, due to their thick layering of fabrics.
They also take longest to dry. And- get this: most AIO come with tongues that need to be folded or put into place before actually putting them on the bum- which makes them just as "complicated" to put on as a cover with a pad-folded insert.

So which diapering system did I ultimately switch to after I had my second baby?
(and two in diapers)

Covers and flats/prefolds.
When you pad-fold the insert into the cover, it becomes an all-in-two diaper system.
Which, to me, has all of the pros in cloth diapering: affordable (this is the cheapest diaper system), easy to use (just put the cover on with the insert laying in there!), easy to wash, quick to dry.

And the con: you need to fold an insert.
Which is no more labor intensive than stuffing and un-stuffing a pocket, and can be as complicated as it is to fold the soaker tongue of an AIO in two (not at all).

As of today, I have one lone pocket diaper in my stash.
It was sent to my by a cloth diaper brand when I first began my Instagram account a year ago. I partially hold on to it for the sentimental reason that it was the first time a brand noticed me and offered to send me a product.
I use it as a cover.

All-in-ones have recently began to make their way into my stash- most for free as promotions, a couple I have bought.

I like AIOs. They are easy to use.
But are they THE easiest?
No way.

Click here to see my complete guide to cloth diapering


  1. I agree with you. My favourite covers are the kind you can use both as an Ai2 and a pocket. So I can have some stuffed ones for outings and the hubby, but at home...

    Just pad-folding never really worked for me, I use the dragon tongue fold:


  2. What are your tips for using AIOs? I've chosen to use them since our little one will be at daycare 5 days a week and that's the only way they will cloth and my husband is adamant he's not doing anything "harder than disposables".

    1. AIO diapers can be great! Natural fiber AIOs will clean up a lot easier (more forgiving of less-than-perfect wash routines) than synthetic fiber ones, but they also tend to wear more quickly. You may just have to try a few to see what you like.
      All-in-twos are a great option, too, because they can be more customized, and are just like an AIO once snapped together!

  3. I am with you on the pocket diapers. I prefer pocket diapers or all in ones in my diaper bag or for childcare. At home I prefer the pad fold with a cover or fitteds with covers. Fitteds is my favorite as it is the easiest for me. If they don't fully dry in the dryer I have a drying rack next to the changing table I put them on.
    My first was all pockets, but more kids add more laundry, and I don't want to be constantly folding and stuffing pockets all my waking hours!

  4. I concur. I've tried quite a few types of diapers throughout my 4 childrens' lifetimes and I come back to prefolds and covers almost all the time. The only time I prefer AIO's is when they are newborns- these are the simplest to bust out and put on during those long long nights with little sleep.

  5. I could not agree more! I stared out with prefolds and covers because I didn’t have hardly any money to spend on diapers. Then about 2 weeks in to cloth diapering, a friend sent me her stash of pocket diapers. I used them, and quickly decided to go back to diapers with covers, although now I use floursack towels, as I find it’s much more fun and customizable to fold them in whatever way I need depending on what kind of absorbency and positioning I’m looking for. I’m glad I didn’t spend any money on a more expensive system!!

  6. "I hated having to touch pee- soaked diapers, or maneuver around poo to get the inserts out." - then i guess cloth diapering is not for everyone.

    1. I'm confused by this comment. Do you realize this is a cloth diaper blog? Did you read anything but this sentence?
      POCKET cloth diapers are not for everyone. There are other diapering systems that are much easier for dealing with once soiled, and that was a huge driving force for me quitting pocket diapers.

      Cloth diapers may not be for everyone, but I truly believe they're for a more people than you'd think- you just need the right knowledge, tools, and system for your family.

  7. are you able to offer a sewing pattern for the preferred type of diaper?