Pocket Diapers and Double Stuffing

I’ve long been a fan of pocket diapers.  Pocket diapers is how I started and it’s what makes up the majority of my cloth diaper stash.  As much as I love my cloth diaper stash, there’s a cloth diapering method that I absolutely do not do: I’m not down with double stuffing my pocket diapers.  In fact, I rarely get fancy with stuffing my pocket diapers.  I use the stuffing that the manufacturer designed to go along with it.

That’s not, of course, to say that I don’t recognize benefits to double stuffing pocket diapers.  To me, it’s a matter of determining when the benefits outweigh the risk.

Why Double Stuff Pocket Diapers?

Pocket Diapers and Double Stuffing (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

Admire that fluffy bum.

One of the benefits of using pocket diapers is that you have the ability to adjust the level of stuffing to give you the absorbency that you need.  For overnights, I’m a huge fan of stuffing the bedevil out of pocket diapers.  Of course, that’s also why I only use certain diapers for overnight cloth diapering: they need to have generous pockets to hold the inserts.  I’m particularly fond of pairing the AppleCheeks three layer bamboo inserts with microfiber for overnights.  I fold it long ways so that there are six layers of bamboo behind the microfiber.  If you double stuff in daytime, you can go longer between changes.

Why Single Stuff Pocket Diapers?

So, hold on a second.  If you double stuff, your diaper will hold more.  So why doesn’t everyone just double stuff their diapers?  There are lots of reasons for that.

Double stuffing adds bulk.  Sure, Norton can go through the entire night in a diaper without waking for a change.  However, he’s also so stuffed that he walks funny in his diapers.  (The first time I double stuffed pocket diapers for overnight use, I nearly fell over from laughing at Norton’s funny walk.)  And there’s absolutely no way he could wear jeans with that diaper.

Double stuffing isn’t bulletproof.  When double stuffing pocket diapers, one must be careful with what’s used.  For instance, double stuffing microfiber inserts might backfire.  While microfiber is a cheap insert material that absorbs very quickly, it’s also prone to compression leaks.  This can be better avoided by using a natural fiber material instead of or in addition to the microfiber insert.

Double stuffing may weaken the diaper.  Your pocket diapers have a limited amount of space.  If you double stuff the diaper, you may be putting too much pressure on the diaper’s construction.  First there’s the extra space of your hand in the pocket diaper as you stuff it.  Then there’s the space of the additional insert.  All that additional bulk can mean additional pulling at the stitching and the fabric, which can lead to construction failure faster than normal use.  In fact, when doing a warranty claim on one of my diapers, one of the questions asked by the manufacturer was how many inserts I used.  This leaves me wondering if double stuffing that diaper would have voided the warranty.  Regardless, though, of warranty claims, I love my diapers and want them to be around for a long time.

Do you double stuff your pocket diapers?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Rumsita says:

    For a long time, simply adding a thin hemp doubler to the 2-piece microfiber inserts in my daughter’s pocket diaper worked for us at bedtime. Eventually that wasn’t enough absorbency so I switched to using fitteds with a wool cover. Any more absorbency stuffed in the pocket and it wouldn’t have gotten a good seal around the legs. My son nurses a lot more at night than my daughter did & pocket diapers don’t work for him at night. (I have tried using the microfiber small part with the bamboo big part of inserts from the same company, paired with the thin hemp doubler & got leaks. Not fully saturated, just couldn’t get a good leg seal.) I simply won’t put him to bed without a wool cover or wool longies over a very absorbent fitted diaper. It works so much better than a double stuffed pocket.

    Oh, and I don’t stuff extra during the day because my kiddo has sensitive skin that requires changing soon after he wets & he’ll fuss at you until you change him. Adding absorbency simply doesn’t make sense if you have to change frequently anyway.

  2. I havn’t needed to with the current one in diapers, but the last one was a heavy wetter, so double stuffing or at least adding doublers was necessary at night and for longer car trips. But yeah, it doesn’t make sense to double stuff during the day, since you really should be changing them as soon as they’re wet, or you’ll run into rash issues.

  3. Ruth V. says:

    That is quite a fluffy bum! If I’m going to add something besides the inserts that came with the diaper it’s usually a thin hemp doubler. I just hate extra bulk.

  4. We can usually get away with just using a thin bamboo insert.

  5. I am usually totally lost in the world of cloth diapers. To a disposable diaper user this stuff is like understanding latin.haha. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I don’t CD, but I’ll definitely share this with my friends who do!!

  7. Rachel N says:

    I don’t double stuff, except at night. I also don’t have heavy wetters so double stuffing is not needed. Occasionally I will add a small booster if we will be out of the house for a while but that is all I need. My babies can go 2-3 hours in a pocket stuffed with just 1 insert so double stuffing isn’t needed.

  8. Jessica Hughes says:

    Good to know for new cloth diapering mommy!

  9. Tracy Adler says:

    I never though of double stuffing the diaper causing the diaper to weaken structurally. It makes complete sense. I have all bamboo inserts that I plan on using with the pockets for our little one. Thanks for the info!

  10. Rachel A. says:

    awesome info! I have been double stuffing my pockets at night since we started at 4 months. I use a microfiber and hemp insert. Should I put the hemp on the bottom or the top? I can’t figure out what works best. I like using hemp, but when I dry them on the line they get super stiff and I don’t see the point of putting it in the dryer just to fluff it up since I’m avoiding the dryer to save electricity right?

    • Quicker absorbing closer to baby’s skin, so microfiber then hemp at the back. Bamboo absorbs pretty quick too… I think the order is microfiber > bamboo > cotton > hemp. (though note that microfiber shouldn’t directly touch baby’s skin)

  11. Stephanie Jackson says:

    I will double stuff some of my diapers but they are the inserts that are designed for my diapers. I usually use just a hemp or a bamboo and microboo. The second can be pretty fluffy but not overly so and the single hemp isn’t any thicker than a disposable. Pants will fit over the double stuffed diapers but it can look silly 🙂

  12. I haven’t read before about the diaper itself weakening from overstuffing but that definitely makes sense. I’ve mostly read that for nighttime leaks a pocket with a microfiber and bamboo or hemp doubler is best or use a good fitted with wool. I’m not at the point where I get to try them out yet so I dont know what will work best for us hehe
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  1. […] Again, I’m not an authority. However, if any of these scenarios play out for you, then chances are your kid pees a lot and you need a cloth diaper to withhold the task! Luckily there are tons of great options for heavy wetting children. Personally, I prefer a receiving blanket insert. You can also just add more to your diaper, but check out why that might not be the best solution.  […]

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