Pocket cloth diapers are probably the most popular modern cloth diaper option available right now. There are many mainstream brands to consider, at affordable prices, in both One Size and sized options. Probably one of the most popular brands ever is bumGenius, and their one size 5.0 pocket diapers come with microfiber inserts. Charlie Banana, Fuzzibuns, Kawaii, Alva and countless others are the same deal- the basic price includes one pocket diaper cover and one or two microfiber inserts (usually one small and one large). But you might hear a lot of moms talking about having issues with microfiber- that they get leaks from compression or lack of absorbency.
Microfiber has its place, lets be fair. Many light-to-moderate wetting babies do just fine with microfiber inserts. For me, it works great as a quick absorbing layer but needs something more substantial underneath. An argued majority of babies in cloth will struggle to find success with this material on its own. I see moms everywhere selling or donating their original mf inserts and upgrading to bamboo or hemp. At the very least, they are boosting their diapers with hemp and bamboo boosters- which can be bulky.
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The growing trend of natural fibers, which are well documented as having more absorbency and hold, has manufacturers rethinking microfiber altogether. Many cloth diaper brands have gotten on board with natural fibers in their pockets- such as Funky Fluff, Lalabye and Thirsties. The former two include 2 bamboo inserts with their pockets, and the latter offers a unique combination of one microfiber insert snapped onto a hemp insert.
When Microfiber just isn’t working for you
If your baby can’t last 2 hours in their pocket diaper without leaks (using both provided inserts), you might need an upgrade. You’ll first need to determine if the leaks are being caused by poor fit, lack of absorbency, or compression. If your inserts are completely saturated before two hours- you need more absorbency. Alternatively, if the inserts are not fully saturated but you get leaks around the legs or tummy, you may need to adjust the fit and how you are putting the diaper on. If leaks are only happening in carseats, carriers, or while wearing onesies- you have compression leaks.
A simple way to hack your stash is to add boosters. This can be bulky, but it might be what you need. I talk about booster options on this post here.
The best solution is to replace one or both of your inserts with a natural fiber. I personally recommend hemp, especially if you want to keep a microfiber insert on top, but bamboo or cotton are also good options.
Which brands to buy
I’ve tried just about every mainstream insert option on the market. For quality and price point, two brands stand above the rest. You can find many other choices to upgrade your inserts, but I’m going to talk about my personal favourites.
AMP 2 ply Bamboo or Hemp Inserts
These inserts are designed to fold in half or in a tri-fold, which makes them perfect for sandwiching around a microfiber insert. The 2 ply Bamboo (green trim, C$7.99) is nice and slim inside the pocket, however I can’t use it on its own. I add a booster- either one microfiber insert or an AMP 2ply or 3ply Hemp Booster. The 2 ply Hemp Insert (blue trim) works very well for us on its own and is an affordable cost at C$6.95. I do add a booster for naps or outings. Buy AMP inserts from Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot with free USA/CAN shipping!
Thirsties Large Hemp Inserts
Sold in packs of two for C$11.96 ($8.75 usd), these are a fantastic upgrade option. Thirsties makes a beautiful hemp/cotton jersey that they sew into 6 layered inserts. You can pick some up from Lagoon Baby in Canada/USA or Diaper Junction in the US. You can also do One large and one Small thirsties hemp! Yes, the thirsties hemp comes in a small size too- they’re great for newborns or as boosters for older babies.
One of Each: Thirsties and AMP
My preferred pocket stuffing method is one large Thirsties hemp insert with one 3ply AMP booster on top. It’s very trim and holds my heavy wetter for 3 hours easily. It fits in every One Size pocket that I own, even on the smallest setting. You can buy both from Lagoon Baby with shipping to Canada and USA.
A more economical solution
Tight on funds but still need to upgrade from microfiber? Try stuffing your pockets with any of these affordable solutions:
- cotton t-shirts, pad folded
- flour sack towels or receiving blankets, pad folded
- flat diapers (bamboo or cotton), pad folded
- Boost your microfiber with a mens size cotton sock
- Wrap a flour sack towel around a microfiber insert for naps or overnight
What works for you?
Has microfiber worked well for you? Did you need to upgrade to a natural fiber insert? Join the conversation and comment below with your experiences. Please share this article with other cloth diaper fans as well.