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Choosing reusable cloth diapers is a big decision that can lead to a rewarding journey for you and your baby. But where do you start? Here are the most commonly asked questions on how to start your cloth diaper journey.

Nicki's Diapers is a family business founded by Nicki and later joined by her husband Jesse. As a husband and wife team, they worked together to ensure the highest quality products while following responsible environmental and social business practices. The company is now located in Akron, Ohio.

Diaper Stuffing 101: How to Stuff Cloth Diapers


Diaper stuffing is a simple way to increase pocket diapers' absorbency. For stuffing cloth diapers, you simply stuff extra insert material into your pocket diaper to increase its ability to hold liquid. This can be any fabric or combination of fabrics you choose. It's a great way to get the most out of your pocket diapers, but it can cause leaking if it's done incorrectly. 

Thus, if you’re going to use pocket diapers, you need to learn how to stuff them properly. It makes a huge difference in how well your baby will be protected from leaks. So how do you do it right?

In this article, we'll show you the best way to stuff pocket diapers. It's a lot easier than you might think! We've also included some helpful tips along the way.


How To Use Pocket Diapers


how to use pocket diapers


Before we jump right into the main discussion of how to stuff cloth diapers, let's lay the groundwork with a discussion of what pocket diapers are, how to use pocket diapers, and what you need to get started. 

What is a Pocket Diaper?


pocket diaper for diaper stuffing


A pocket diaper is a waterproof outer diaper with a pocket sewn into it. This pocket can accept different types of inserts used to absorb babies' waste. It can also hold other items like flat or prefold cloth diapers that are folded up to fit in the pocket. 

How Do You Use Pocket Diapers?

Simply add the inserts into the pocket diaper, and you’re ready to go! That's all there is to using a pocket diaper.

Pocket diapers are easy to use, and convenient, because you can add more absorbency as needed. They are also highly customizable because you can choose which type of inserts to use with them. Cotton, microfiber, hemp, bamboo, fleece, and microfleece are all popular absorbent materials that can be used with pocket diapers. 

But the main challenge in using pocket diapers is stuffing the inserts. If you stuff too many inserts into your pocket diaper, you may have leaks. If you stuff too few, your baby may have trouble staying dry.


How To Stuff a Pocket Diaper?


Diaper stuffing using bamboo insert


Stuffing a pocket diaper is easy! The steps outlined below will help you to stuff your diaper properly:

Choose The Right Diaper Inserts

You can use a variety of best cloth diaper inserts with different absorbency levels, depending on your baby's wetting habits and your family's lifestyle. If you aren't sure what type of inserts to get for your pocket diaper, here is a quick breakdown for you:


  • Microfiber is made of synthetic fabric.
  • Microfiber is the fastest-absorbing material and is one of the most economical options for budget-conscious families while still offering high absorption.
  • If you have a baby who wets often and you're running out of options, give microfiber a try. You can't beat its speed in soaking up moisture.


  • Cotton is a natural fiber that offers a soft, lightweight feel, like wrapping your baby in a cloud.
  • Cotton absorbs more fluid than microfiber, but at a slower pace.
  • It will last through years of use and resists excessive shrinking.


  • Bamboo is more absorbent than cotton or microfiber, but it doesn’t absorb as quickly as either. A layer of microfiber is usually all that's needed to prevent leaks.
  • Bamboo is a popular material among pocket diaper users because it's naturallyanti-bacterial, deodorizing, and hypoallergenic.
  • It’s also soft and squishy, making it a popular choice for those with moderate wetting needs. If your budget allows it, go for it!


  • Hemp is slow to absorb, but it'sextremely absorbent. It's especially good for heavy wetters!
  • Hemp is best used when paired with another fast-absorbing material like cotton or microfiber.
  • It's super-soft and hypoallergenic, so even sensitive skin will love it.
  • The absorptive properties of hemp also make it an excellent choice for nighttime use.
  • Hemp can last longer than other inserts, as it tears less easily.
  • With a fabric weight lighter than most microfiber inserts, hemp is the easiest to stuff into pocket diapers without adding bulk.

See Related: Best Cloth Diaper Inserts for Absorbency and Comfort


Arrange The Diaper Inserts


 Diaper stuffing with diaper insert


When you're arranging your inserts for diaper stuffing, the order in which you layer the inserts is extremely important. The trick is to put the fastest-absorbing material (e.g., microfiber) closest to your baby's bum and the slowest absorbent (e.g., hemp) furthest away. 

So, for the best results when stuffing a pocket diaper, lay down a layer of microfiber in the front (i.e., closest to your baby), then place a layer of cotton next, then place bamboo or hemp in the back (it'll take longer to absorb but will keep moisture from escaping).

Note: It's essential to prevent diaper blowouts by avoiding bulky and thick pocket diapers. This causes leaks almost every time.

Fold the Inserts Differently

Sometimes it's a good idea to personalize your cloth diaper. Not all children are the same! Boys tend to wet in the front of the diapers, while girls tend to wet their middle section. 

Therefore, it can be helpful for parents to fold an insert halfway and place it where they believe their child's most frequent peeing place is located. This way, they can get a more concentrated stuffing that will last longer.

Now Stuff Your Diaper:

  1. Lay the pocket diaper flat, making sure the pocket is facing up. 
  2. Take the insert(s) and lay them flat on your forearm with your hand holding them in place. Make sure there aren't any crazy bunches between the inserts; just even them out before stuffing. 
  3. Stuff them inside the pocket.
  4. Last, simply make any adjustments to ensure everything is even.

Note: When using pocket diapers with snap inserts, be sure the snaps point down, or they may leave red marks on your baby's sensitive skin.


Diaper Stuffing FAQs

How Do You Stuff Prefolds in Pocket diapers?

Stuffing prefolds in pocket diapers is easy! Here's how to fold and stuff a prefold cloth diaper into a pocket diaper: 

  1. Lay the pocket diaper flat, making sure the pocket is facing up. 
  2. Fold the insert in thirds or fourths lengthwise and tuck it into the pocket, just as you would any other insert. 
  3. Fold down the top edges for a perfect fit.

How Many Inserts Do You Put in a Pocket Diaper?

There are several factors that go into this decision. The size, structure, and material of the insert are important, as is your baby's age and activity level. 

You can typically stuff as many inserts into a pocket diaper as you want; but it's best to avoid stuffing too much extra fiber into them, since this could cause diaper blowouts, due to your baby's movements. Most experienced cloth diapering parents tend to use two to three inserts in their pocket diapers, and some go with even less than that!

Can Microfiber Inserts Touch Baby Skin?

NO! Never let microfiber inserts DIRECTLY touch your baby's skin because they can cause rashes. Microfiber is SUPER good at absorbing moisture—so much so that if microfiber directly touches your baby's skin, it would absorb the moisture from the skin and cause irritation or a rash. 

You can safely use microfiber inserts in pocket diapers because the pocket creates a barrier between the baby's skin and the insert.

What is The Most Absorbent Diaper insert?

In terms of absorbency,hemp is far superior to any other absorbent material. One thing to note about hemp: although it absorbs more than others, it absorbs at a slower rate.

Can You Put Inserts On Top Of the Pocket Diaper?

Of course you can! Pocket diapers are made of two layers: an outer waterproof shell and an inner pocket that's sewn into the cover. Even if you put the insert(s) on top of the pocket, the outer waterproof shell acts as a cover and will keep the absorbent layers inside the diaper from leaking through. Doing so will also allow you to change diapers faster, as you don't have to take the insert out.


The Bottom Line For How to Stuff Cloth Diapers


 Diaper stuffing with diaper insert


Diaper stuffing is a common practice when it comes to cloth diapering, especially when using pocket diapers. The idea of stuffing is to add extra absorbency to the diaper, which leads to less time spent changing the baby's diaper and more time spent doing other things.

Although diaper stuffing is a fairly simple task, it can cause frustration for parents who have never done it before. As with any new thing, there is a learning curve—and this is one of those things that isn't difficult to do, but takes practice to get down pat.