Pocket Nappies: Everything You Need to Know
5 July 2023
The world of baby accessories moves so quickly, there are new and exciting things to save (or waste!) your money every year. We attend baby shows and marvel at the contraptions you can buy to make having a baby easier.
Having a good stock of nappies before your baby arrives is essential. Cloth nappies have moved on so much from the terry towelling flats and plastic knickers that our Grandmas used. They are still around in slicker, prettier styles.
Reusable nappies takes some time to get your head around, but they save so much money, they are super comfortable for babies, they look much cuter than disposable nappies and they go along way to reducing the carbon footprint a newborn brings.
There are many different types and brands on the market but the most popular for the last fifteen or so years have been pocket nappies but there are lots of things people don’t know about them. We’re here to help, by answering the most frequently asked questions!
"I loved the pocket nappy, once I knew how to put it together it was great. Was lovely and soft. The sizing was great as my little one is tall but skinny and the nappy fitted really nicely." Lauren tester, Nov 2022
What are pocket nappies?
Pocket nappies are reusable nappies that are stuffed with absorbent inserts. They are easy to use, tend to be birth to potty and can be adapted to suit your baby.
They consist of a shell with a fabric patterned outer PUL layer that is waterproof and an inner fleece gussetted layer that keeps baby dry, in between the two is a pocket which can be stuffed with absorbent bamboo and microfibre inserts or boosters. They popper to fasten onto baby and can grow with them.
Our bamboo absorbent inserts are covered in charcoal fleece which makes them slim fitting and extra absorbent. Our microfibre boosters are thicker and faster absorbing.
"I loved your pocket nappy! The size seemed to be a better fit on my child than some of the other nappies we have. The double gusset feature is really helpful and innovative, and was a super soft material." Katie, nappy trialer Nov '22
Benefits of pocket nappies
The benefits of pocket nappies are:
- Easy to use - they can be prepped so any carer can change baby easily
- Adaptable - adjustable sizing and absorbency to suit
- Quick drying - they come apart for ease of washing and drying
- Great for nursery or childcare - so easy for people to manage
- One size fits most - adjustable rise and waist to fit from birth to potty
- Multi use - Shell can be used as a swim nappy
- Comfortable - Stay dry layer keeps baby dry, made of natural soft materials
- Relatively cheap - initial outlay saves money long term and can be used for multiple siblings
- Environmentally friendly - all recyclable materials, and can be used for all subsequent babies and then sold on
- Chemical free - vegan and made using oeko tex certified fabrics and dyes
How to use pocket nappies
Pocket nappies are one of the easiest washable diapers to use. They can be pre-stuffed with the inserts that work best for your baby. Here's how to use pocket nappies:
- Choose the inserts - microfibre soaks up fluid quickly but doesn't hold lots, cotton is thin and absorbent, bamboo is really thirsty and can hold a lot but absorbs more slowly. Mix and match to suit your baby or the length of time you want between changes.
- Stuff the pocket - for newborns one insert may be enough, for older children add more. Lay the insert along your forearm, slide your arm into the pocket of the nappy like you are putting on a glove, grip the end of the insert and the pocket with hand two then slide hand one out leaving the insert behind.
- Put on baby - Pocket nappies go onto babies in the same way as disposable nappies, they have poppers or velcro to do them up.
- Check your fit - The leg elastic should sit in the crease at the top of babies thighs snugly - the knicker line - with no gaping and you want to have space for two fingers in the waistband.
- Adjust the rise - There are nine poppers (three rows of three) across the front of one size pocket nappies below the waist and hip poppers. Once you have your rise set you won't need to change it until baby grows significantly. Lowest poppers for newborns on a closed rise, mid setting for an older baby and open all the way for toddlers.
- Change frequently - Newborns should be changed every few hours in single use nappies or reusables, for older babies pocket cloth nappies can last 3-4hrs depending on how much they wee, pockets are not always the go to for heavy wetters, and on how much you stuff them.
- Dump poo in the loo - Our pocket nappy has an attached stay dry inner and most solids just roll off fleece and turn the pocket so the fleece faces the toilet. Then see saw back and forth so most of the solids drop into the toilet before weaning babies poo is water soluble so can go straight in the machine. You can sluice in the toilet under the flush if you want to avoid soiled nappies going in the wash.
- Store ready for washing - It's best to dry pail dirty nappies in a nappy bucket, XL wet bag or Strucket. It's also worth reading the washing and care instructions from your nappy manufacturer as each manufacturer varies.
* Remember, the poo in disposables is meant to be flushed down the toilet too so this is no different *
"I really liked it. It contained well. The fleece was soft even after washes. It fitted both my baby and toddler better than the current birth to potty nappies I use. I liked that it had a cotton insert for fast drying but that could be boosted. Nappy felt less like a cloth bum on the baby than the current cloth nappies which was nice." Frances Nov '22
How many pocket nappies do I need?
How many pocket nappies you'll need depends on the age of your baby. Newborns need around 20 nappies and toddlers 15. There is no need to panic and buy all of these before baby arrives. Think of your cloth nappy journey as a marathon, rather than a sprint!
Remember as pocket nappies are quicker drying than most nappies, you may be able to use less. I'd advise having a few nappies of different types and different brands and even some disposables part time while you find your feet.
With my eldest son, I waited until he was 6 weeks old to introduce cloth nappies. That gave me time to adjust to being a new Mum and settle into a routine.
You will quickly learn which types suit your baby and which ones you reach for most and find easiest to wash and prep. Sell on ones that have been outgrown or that don't work well for you and buy more of the ones you like best. Preloved cloth nappies groups are a great way to buy and sell.
We are affiliated with the UK cloth nappy network, most nappy libraries have some of our nappies, and our wipes kits. This is another cost effective way of testing out which nappies work for you without too much outlay. Having sampled some for a few months, you can invest in your own.
Pocket nappies are convenient as they dry quickly - the inserts fall out in the wash so can be dried separately to the main shell, they can even be tumble dried and they can be organised ready to just snap back onto baby so they suit nursery or Grandparents. There is no faffing with multiple layers.
Can you use pocket nappies as night nappies?
Yes, you can use pocket nappies as night nappies as they can be stuffed with enough inserts to keep baby dry all night. They can also be used on long car journeys.
However most people who cloth bum tend to use two part nappies overnight as they are reliably more highly absorbent so less likely to leak. Our Cheeky Doodoos fitted nappies and wraps are great for nights.
If you found this blog useful you may like -
How to deal with poo in a reusable nappy
Fact Vs Fiction: Top 10 Cloth Nappy Myths BUSTED
The Different Types of Reusable Nappies
How To Stop Reusable Nappies Leaking
Reusable Nappies & Nappy Rash: Your questions answered
If you want to know more about making the switch to reusable nappies, please contact the team. You can drop them a line or use the online chat. The team all use the products themselves and nothing is too much information. We all love to overshare based on our own experiences.
About the Author: Kirstin loves living by the sea with her three children. As part of Cheeky Wipes customer service team she spends most days talking about periods, poo, and pee. In 2021 Cheeky wipes was honoured with a Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development celebrating their hard work over the last 13 years.