The Cloth Nappy Podcast: S1 E3: Pocket Nappies Explained

The Cloth Nappy Podcast: S1 E3: Pocket Nappies Explained

The Cloth Nappy Podcast: S1 E3: Pocket Nappies Explained

Pocket Nappies Explained 

00:52 In today's episode I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about pocket nappies. The pros, the cons, and what considerations to make when deciding whether these are right for you and your family.   

Pocket Nappies consist of 2 separate parts - the outer nappy shell and the absorbent inserts.  These inserts are a most commonly a long rectangle shape.  

The shell is a waterproof wrap that ALSO has a fabric layer across its entirety which creates a pocket to put inserts into, hence the name.

The pocket fabric is usually made of a soft stay-dry fabric such as suede cloth or a fleecy fabric.

To use a pocket nappy you stuff an insert or two inside the pocket.  The insert soaks up the wee, the nappy as a whole of course catches the poo. 

01:44 The Pros - the best things - about pocket nappies.

First, just like all in one and all in two styles, once stuffed and ready to use they are very easy.   They all go on to baby much like a disposable, in just one move. Ideal for childcare, grandparents, guardians, other carers because they are all really easy to use.  

Next, the price.  Pocket Nappies come in at a variety of price points meaning they are often one of the more affordable and attractive cloth nappy options on the market.   There is a huge market of pocket nappies so plenty of brands and designs to choose from.

When I talked about All in One and All in two Nappies in earlier episodes I said that to a point, price can reflect quality and performance but I don't feel like this is as true, or true in the same way, when it comes to pocket nappies.  

The outershell, the empty pocket nappy, performs as well, and only as well, as the inserts will allow it to.  The most expensive shell on the market paired up with a low absorbency insert will perform no better than a cheaper shell with the same low absorbency insert.  And vice versa.  A cheap shell with a good insert will perform very well just as an expensive shell with the same insert might do to.  It's important to pay close attention to inserts that you use inside a pocket nappy.

03:20 A other bonus point for pocket nappies, or perhaps for the brands and retailers, is that they are often sold without inserts.   This might seem quite curious since surely its easier to sell and to buy a complete product?  

And yes, I can agree with that in principle but only if the complete product is a good quality one that works for everyone but I don't think this is always the case.

You might fall in love with a particular brand of pocket nappies for some reason or another,  perhaps it's the prints that catch your eye,  but if those nappies come complete with a rubbish insert you could end up with leaks, frustrations and ultimately choosing to swap to disposables having concluded that cloth doesn't work for you when the reality is, it was just not a suitable insert.   

This is why knowledge really is power.   Understanding what you are looking at before you buy means you can make an informed decision. An episode on fabrics is coming up soon and this will arm you with the key information to make decisions.   

Pocket Nappies are really quite flexible and accommodating when it comes to choosing absorbency, or inserts.  You can use one or two inserts depending on your needs and of course you have the freedom to choose whichever fabric you wish.  

04:25 Another benefit to pocket nappies is that you can have fewer shells than you have inserts,  or sets of inserts, depending on how many you use per nappy.  

This ISN'T because you can reuse the outer shell, you definitely don't want to do that with pocket nappies but, as they are really quick to dry you can bring them back in to use before the inserts have dried so if you have a second set, or at least a few spares to keep you going, you can potentially manage with fewer outer shells.  

04:52  Drying time in the case of pocket nappies is neither a pro nor a con really although if pushed, I'd say it's a pro.  The outer shell dries in a matter of hours because there are no absorbent elements holding water, or holding on to the water. 

Inserts however DO take longer to dry (and how long that is depends on the fabric) but not usually as long as all in one nappies for example so they are, on the whole, a faster drying nappy system. 

05:12 Cons - the less attractive aspects.  

Pocket Nappies are a style that DO need preparation. They need stuffing before they can be used and they need un-stuffing before they go in the washing machine.  

Not only is this a little bit work but it can be a bit grim too.  Depends on how strong your stomach is but that's soon tested when baby arrives regardless of what kind of nappies you use!  

That said, it's nothing a good wash of the hands won't fix. 

05:42 Some people find the prep work of pocket nappies off putting but many also find it's no bother,  some people, (myself included) even find it quite therapeutic.  

Another potential con, or downside, to pocket nappies - especially when at the decision making stage is that because of how brilliantly flexible and adaptable they are,  they can feel far more complicated and confusing than styles such as the all in one. 

As I mentioned earlier, I will cover in more detail in a later episode how to decipher the differing inserts available but in the meantime it's worth taking advantage of our cheat sheets which you can get from the link in the show notes - these cheat sheets include the hierarchy of absorbency that will give some key guidance on where to look.  

07:30 I recently asked the members of a popular Facebook group what they like the most and least about All in Two Nappies and here are some of the responses (paraphrased where necessary). 

'Most favourite - very customisable with regards to level of absorbency.  Least favourite- stuffing them'

'I love how fast they dry, means I don’t need to buy as many so saves money and storage space'

'Favourite thing - much quicker to dry than AIOs. Worst thing - stuffing them'

'Best: designs and patterns. User friendly. Shells are quick to dry and I put the inserts on low in the tumble dryer, so everything is ready within a day'. Least: having to reach into the pocket to grab the inserts after a poonami'

08:15 A standard warning I'm going to mention as often possible: it is advisable to consider a mixed collection of nappies rather than going all in with one style.   

I know this makes matters feel a little more complicated but many people have a few different styles in their collection because some are easier,  some perform better, dad might prefer one style whilst mum prefers another and so on.    

Don't dwell on this but do consider just trying out a few of something before committing to loads of one style or to one brand. 

Now you know what a pocket style cloth nappy is and what is great,  and not so great, about them.   

I've already covered All in one and all in two styles in previous episodes and I'll be covering flat nappies and fitted nappies next.  Armed with this knowledge you will be well placed to make decisions about which nappies your like to use and which ones to spend your money on.   Don't forget to take advantage of our cheat sheets, you can find the link in the show notes.  

Thank-you for listening to The Cloth Nappy Podcast.  

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