All About: Pocket Diapers

Pocket diapers.

Alright. Pocket diapers are super simple, really. Two layers of fabric, one waterproof, one not waterproof, plus a closure.

The Basics

My standard instock pocket diapers feature the same hidden elastic and Touchtape closure as all of my other diapers. When I make Made To Order pocket diapers with flannel interiors or cotton exteriors, I use elastic binding rather than hidden elastic. This helps keep moisture where it belongs and cuts down on the wicking that these particular diapers are prone to.

I do not put elastic around both sides of the pocket opening. There is elastic around the back, but the interior side (usually fleece or suedecloth) is left plain. For two reasons. First, adding elastic to both sides of the opening is not really necessary, and as I’m most interested in keeping my costs down, I generally don’t do things that are  not necessary – it just takes extra time and materials, and therefore means extra cost. Second, I personally find pocket diapers with elastic on both sides of the opening to be harder to stuff, and the task of stuffing pocket diapers is tedious enough without any extra hassle!

Leg Openings

I also do not topstitch around the leg openings.  When Wally was a baby and I added pocket diapers to my product lineup, I personally found that I experienced more leaking/wicking with pocket diapers that had been topstitched around the legs (regardless of brand). So, the ones I added to my inventory had a rolled leg, rather than a stitched leg.

Now with Genna, I’m finding that for her diapers, I don’t have any leaking or wicking regardless of how I make the leg. I’ve heard similar reports from those I’ve asked to test it out for me (just a few people, and I never thought to test the different leg types originally!).  However, it does make them marginally more difficult to stuff, because the opening is narrower inside.

I briefly considered switching the leg style earlier this year, but decided not to – many of my current customers really like the diapers the way they are, and there’s really nothing to be gained by switching.

I will say that I am kind of tired of the internet “knowledge” that rolled leg styles leak more than topstitched leg styles do.  Based on anecdotal evidence, it would seem that wicking/leaking at the legs has more to do with your baby’s shape and what you stuff them with than anything else. Some families/babies find that they prefer sewn legs and some find they prefer rolled legs.


As for stuffing your pockets, you may use anything you like. Personally, I recommend prefolds – they’re absorbent, multi-purpose, and inexpensive. I sell special inserts, and recommend using two of those for an average use, but if you’re looking for economical, prefolds are really the way to go.

Some people really like microfiber terry as inserts. Personally, I do not have good experience with microfiber terry, but plenty of people do. (Plus, honestly, I really don’t like the way microfiber terry feels.)


About sarahtar

Our Family lives in central Iowa. We are Christians, conservatives, and crunchy granola heads. We love the outdoors, photography, and lindy hop. Turn ons are people who are polite, honesty, and really good root beer. Turn offs are mean people and people who make my life more difficult.

Posted on April 17, 2009, in All About, Cloth Diapering. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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