Pockets and Fitteds…Another Way to Cloth Diaper!

Cloth diapering is a funny adventure. It’s really not all that different from becoming a parent. You start out hoping for the best and dreading the worst. There’s always quite a bit of hesitation and fear right before you take the leap. You worry about all the bad things that could go wrong, but then once you finally jump in, you quickly realize all the benefits and don’t know what you were so worried about before!

Every cloth diaper system has its pros and cons. As Lana shared with us a couple weeks ago in her post, Hybrids are awesome for their flexibility. Prefolds are the least expensive. All-in-ones are the easiest to put on. Fitteds are the most absorbant. We chose Pockets because they were easy to understand; they look and operate just like a disposable diaper. They are also easy to clean. The absorbent insert, which you stuff into a sleeve inside of the waterproof diaper cover, can be removed entirely and washed and dried separately. This makes cleaning them easier, because you can treat the covers more delicately, preserving the elastic and waterproof fabric, and be more aggressive to the inserts, washing and drying them on high heat or using stronger cleaning products. Our favorite pocket diapers are BumGenius Pockets with snaps.

        Pocket Diaper  Pocket Diaper with Insert Showing

We love pocket diapers. They aren’t intimidating for Grandma or daycare to figure out. There are no special folds to learn or gadgets to attach. They are just a soft, comfy, adorable alternative to disposable diapers. But it didn’t take long to realize that we needed a different system for night time, as our side-sleeping baby always had problems with leaks during the night. This is where we turned to fitteds. Similar to hybrids, fitteds are used with a diaper cover. The difference is that hybrid inserts are generally long rectangular-shaped absorbent pads that lay inside the cover, and fitteds are the shape of an entire diaper, and are entirely absorbent. This solves the side-sleeping problem, since even the sides and waist of the diaper are absorbent. Our favorite fitted (the only one we’ve tried) is the Imagine Bamboo Fitted with snaps, which we use inside a Thirsties Duo size two cover with snaps.

Fitted (left) and Cover (right)

Diaper SprayerSo that’s our system: pockets for daytime and fitteds with covers for night. Other accessories we use to make things easier are a diaper sprayer and a hanging wet bag. The diaper sprayer is similar to a sprayer attached to your kitchen sink, only it’s attached to your toilet tank and allows you to spray off the yuck without having to do the old “dunk and swish” method. 

Wet BagThe wet bag is a waterproof bag with handles that holds the dirty diapers until it’s time to go in the wash. We chose a wet bag over a pail because we liked that you can throw the whole wet bag in the wash along with the diapers. It also saves floor space in our small bathroom.  When we go out and about, we just put dirty diapers in a plastic ziplock bag in the diaper bag. Easy and cheap!

In cloth diapering, just like in parenting, every family has to choose what works best for them, and no two families will do it exactly the same way. Now you’ve heard about hybrids, pockets, and fitteds. We’d love to hear from some prefold/flats or all-in-one fans! Any mamas out there want to share their own cloth diapering system, tips, or advice?

Lianna is a homesteading mama of three: a sparkly seven-year-old daughter, a joyful five-year-old boy, and a confident three-year-old boy. After graduating from the University of Iowa’s college of education, she started Wondergarten Early Enrichment Home, a multi-age, play-based early childhood program. A self-proclaimed Queen Dabbler, she has a long list of hobbies (from gardening and canning to sewing and painting), and doesn’t mind being only mediocre at all of them. She lives with her husband, mother, three kiddos, dog, cat, rabbits, dwarf goats, and chickens on an acreage in the country. The Cornally family spends their time talking about education, learning how to grow and preserve their own food, and romping around in their woods.


  1. We are new to cloth diapering. This is our 3rd week of cloth diapering our 8 week old daughter.
    We use pockets as well 🙂 We love Charlie Banana because they can size down so small! They would definitely fit a 6-7lb baby right after birth. They also have a “bra strap” leg adjustment that allows you to make a perfect fit your baby rather than having to use snaps already in place for sizing the leg openings. Another great option is the cross over snap on the waist. This allows you to really get the waist tiny for a newborn. Charlie Banana is a hybrid and we do have the disposable inserts although we haven’t tried them out yet.
    I would recommend Sunbaby for diapering on a budget! They are adorable and VERY affordable! We ordered 24 diapers with 24 blend inserts for $128 free shipping. The owner is very nice and replaces diapers if you have one that ended up with an issue. If you email her through her website, she emails back the same day! She comes out with new prints every couple of months 🙂 I almost like the Sunbaby better than the Charlie Bananas because they are less bulky on the sides, so our daughter doesn’t look so “lumpy” 🙂
    Happy Cloth Diapering!

    • Hi Rachel! I love hearing other opinions on this subject, so thanks for sharing! We have a couple of Charlie Bananas, too. The thing I love the most about them is that you can buy them at Target! Such a good use for all those baby shower gift cards! 🙂 Sunbaby didn’t work for my super chunky/big bottomed babies, but a similar cheap option (also from China) are Alva’s and Kawaii’s. They have a wider “seat” than Sunbaby, and both are about $5-$7 each. Such a deal! However, they don’t last nearly as long as the higher quality diapers, like BG’s, do, so we had to buy a new stash for our second child. But at least they are cheap enough that it doesn’t really matter! I could talk about this stuff for hours. Happy fluff! 🙂

  2. Diaper Sprayers a few facts: No Diaper Sprayer on the market was manufactured for that purpose; they are all originally Hand Held Bidet Sprayers. That is why so many people are complaining about their sprayers breaking, because they were not made to handle the abuse. You can save money and buy a cheap plastic sprayer and then need to buy another one soon or you can get a Stainless Steel Sprayer at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com for a little more that will last, it comes with a 5 year warranty. And don’t forget, using it as a Hand Bidet means you will save money on toilet paper, everyday….forever….Just a thought

  3. Ok Lianna, better late than never! I meant to comment on this over a week ago, but life happened (of course). I have never really found the pocket love. And I dislike AIOs even more (I could never get them clean enough…they picked up a mildew smell really quick that was hard to get out, and they took way too long to dry). I don’t mind them really, but other than the 2 Green Acres side snap pockets that I found used on Diaper Swappers, and 2 Swaddlebees, I never really found any that I LOVE. Not to mention that my husband can’t fit his hands in them to stuff them, so he was always hunting me down to do it for him. I still have about 10 on hand for my biggers to use when they change Rowan, for babysitters, etc.

    I have preferred prefolds and covers from day one. 1) They are so much cheaper! 2) Covers come in all of the cute prints that pockets do. 3) I have way more prefolds than covers, but I can throw covers in with the regular laundry, which for me is super convenient. 4) Occasionally, when Row went through more diapers in a day, I’d get super busy and not realize I was so low on clean diapers (I’ve never had a very big stash), and in a pinch I’d origami fold a receiving blanket, snappi it, and throw a cover over it. Voila! I could have diapered like this from the get go for next to NOTHING! 5) I don’t know if it’s his build, his size, or what…but this method gave me a better, trimmer, leak free fit. 6) Did I mention it was cheaper? 7) This method can still be tweaked to fit your needs. Rowan went through a phase where he was a heavier wetter (especially at night). So I found a mama on Diaper Swappers to make me a couple dozen bamboo and zorb inserts. They are super thin, and super absorbant, so they don’t add any bulk laying it in the center of the prefold.

    I should add that my favorite prefolds are Nikki’s Imagine prefolds, and GMD’s when I can find them cheap enough. My all time favorite covers are from Fluffy’s Diapers on Etsy (lots of prints to choose from, a choice of snaps or hook and loop, inexpensive, and excellent quality) or Thirsties Duo with snaps.

    I am currently getting ready to make homemade, reuseable, cloth “pull ups” so we can move on to using the potty. Is it weird that the thought of selling my son’s cloth stash makes me kinda sad?


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