“Can I use pocket diapers as diaper covers?”
People who are just starting out with cloth often wonder about using pocket diapers as diaper covers. After all, pocket diapers are cheap and plentiful and available in some really super cute patterns… but if we don’t have to use a new cover, then that can make using cloth diapers even more cost effective.
Simply put? Yes, you can use pocket diapers as diaper covers. Some cloth diapers, like AppleCheeks, AMP, and Thirsties, market themselves as being “duo diapers,” meaning you can use them as either a pocket or a cover, so there’s a duo-purpose.
If you want to use your pocket diapers as diaper covers, you need to either use a natural fiber or an insert topped with microfleece. AppleCheeks sells two layer and three layer bamboo inserts, as well as a stay dry insert with a microsuede topped side to go against baby’s skin. (While I love it for a size two AppleCheeks, I find it to be too small for a size one AppleCheeks cover. I dislike folding inserts when there’s no yoke style all-in-two cover to hold it into place.) AMP sells bamboo and hemp/cotton blend inserts that can be either stuffed in the pocket or placed on top to go directly against baby’s skin. Thirsties Duo diapers have a two piece insert system with a microfiber side and a hemp/cotton blend side. You can also purchase Thirsties Duo Stay Dry Inserts that have microsuede covering the microfiber side of the insert so that it can go against baby’s skin.
You absolutely can not put microfiber directly against your baby’s bottom. Think about how dry your hands can feel after stuffing microfiber inserts. Now think about how delicate your baby’s skin is. Do you really want to have that much drying action against the bum? (Short answer: no, you don’t. It can chap your baby’s bottom because it’s so efficient at wicking away moisture that it will leach the moisture right out of your baby’s skin.) And while I love microfleece liners, they are not an adequate substitute for an insert that is made with a microsuede layer against the skin. Microfleece liners can shift around in the diaper, and that means that your baby will end up with patches of skin that are not protected from the drying effects of the microfiber.
Other things to keep in mind: you will most likely have to change your pocket diaper more frequently than a cover with exposed PUL, or at least have pocket diapers as diaper covers that you switch between during diaper changes.
Have you used pocket diapers as diaper covers?