NOTE: This post has been updated as of August 2014 with several new diaper cover reviews!
Most pocket diapers on the market are one-size and they don’t fit newborns that well (unless baby is very large or long). However, there are a few pocket diapers out there that are designed just for newborns. With nearly every tiny pocket diaper, I did encounter one persistent issue – the inserts and the pockets are small, so stuffing is not that easy compared to a one-size. In these pictures, both Ingrid and Erik are pretty close in size and weight (about 7 or 8 pounds and 19 to 20 inches long).
Kawaii Little Green Baby: This unique pocket diaper is lined with 100% organic bamboo; it includes two 3-layer bamboo inserts as well. The outer waterproof material is TPU, which I find softer than PUL. Basically, everything about this little diaper is very soft compared to your average PUL and fleece pocket. And to get a bamboo diaper with two inserts for under $12 is a really good deal. I’m not crazy about the print choices (they mostly look like different colors of zebra strips) but the colored minky diapers are cute. And it’s easy to stuff, which is not usually the case with newborn pocket diapers. As an added bonus, the rise offers 2 more size settings so your baby can wear this longer. The fit was nice and snug around Ingrid’s waist and I really like the wide stretchy tabs (plus the non-abrasive laundry tabs). However, getting the leg openings fitted correctly was trickier; despite my best efforts there was still some gaping. Newborns without bird legs would most likely not have this problem! I found mine with free shipping at Sweetbottoms Baby.
Funky Fluff Bamboo: Very few one-size pocket diapers on the market fit my newborns well enough to be both snug and absorbent but not too bulky. Funky Fluff is my top pick for a one-size diaper that you can buy and successfully use from birth to potty training; in fact, it’s the only “non newborn” pocket diaper I’m including here! Technically, it also functions as an AI2 because the inserts can be snapped in (you don’t have to stuff them). The top of the waistband just hits her belly button; she was 19.5 inches at birth so that’s average. It doesn’t really bother me that the cord is covered; if the diaper doesn’t rub it then their clothes will! You can read my full review of the Funky Fluff Fusion bamboo diaper here; pictures of this diaper on newborn Ingrid are below! Although it’s easier to find Funky Fluff in Canada, my favorite US retailer that sells them is Joyful Giraffe.
Happy Heinys Mini One-Size: I like our Happy Heinys a lot! It’s snug-fitting and absorbent and offers room to grow via the adjustable rise snaps. The aplix waistband is very thick and kind of bulky but I think that’s because it’s stitched all around for added durability. It’s very easy to get on and off. This pocket includes both a small and an extra small insert, which might explain the higher price of $18.95. Not all the mainstream diaper shops stock the Happy Heinys Mini, but I found them at Irresistibly Green (with free shipping if you spend more than $20). I would definitely get more of these if they weren’t so pricey because the size range is awesome – they get pretty tiny but then adjust up to fit past the newborn stage.
Knickernappies Custom Fit (Small): This is one of the few true sized pocket diapers out there, so there aren’t any rise snaps. It fastens at the side and is a bit puffy in the front, but some mothers like this old-fashioned kind of look. I will say that the side-snapping design is a little harder to fasten than aplix when your newborn is squirming around. The Custom Fit seems to run a tad big, but the fit (and poo containment) is pretty good for little Erik. The size range is 7 to 15 pounds. They are made with a PUL outer and no-pill fleece lining and include one small microfiber insert with squared (not rounded) edges. I just discovered these are on sale right now at the Cloth Diaper Outlet for $14.75. They have a lot of pretty colors available! This is a moderately-priced little pocket that you could get a small stash of and not spend too much on.
Tiny Tush Elite Mini: This a tiny version of the popular Tiny Tush Elite pocket diaper and is made of the same PUL outer and microfleece inner. The Elite Mini includes two inserts – a small microfiber pad and then another insert that looks like a tiny little towel. You fold it in thirds and tuck into the pocket. To get a good, trim fit on Erik, I couldn’t use both inserts at once, and with just one in there, the absorbency was just average. He can wet this diaper only one time and I have to change him. At $22.95, the Elite Mini is the most expensive pocket we tried. The average cloth-diapering family could certainly not afford to have a big stash of these. I have to say, I was really impressed by the color and print choices that Tiny Tush offers – probably more than any other newborn pocket we researched. And like the Happy Heinys, the Elite Mini does have a very generous size range – with 4 snap settings on the rise it gets really tiny but opens up to accommodate baby well past the newborn phase.
Fuzzibunz Perfect Size (X Small): I did a lot of research and found that lots of mothers recommend Fuzzibunz for newborns. And now I see why. It was one of the best-fitting diapers we tried, which is probably due to the fact that it’s recommended for sizes 4 to 12 pounds. The leg gussets and waistband are very soft but snug, and it is top-stitched for durability and to make the outer shell stay put. I would say the absorbency level is pretty good, but not outstanding. For a newborn pocket, the price is very reasonable at $13.95. And you get to pick from all the fun Fuzzibunz colors. Plus, there’s the fabulous Fuzzibunz warranty and service to back them up. Diaper Safari sells these (and other Fuzzibunz products) with free shipping.
Swaddlebees Mini Nappi: Have I mentioned before that I love Swaddlebees and Blueberry diapers? No surprise that this was one of my favorite pocket diapers. It comes with a bamboo/cotton insert that’s longer than a standard insert, so I have to fold it down before stuffing in the pocket. Because it’s natural fiber I can also use it right up against Erik’s skin, which means the Mini Nappi probably qualifies as an AI2 diaper as well. It fits great on Erik and has the double snaps I love so much on Swaddlebees waistbands. There are also two rows of snaps on the rise for some extra growing room. Although you can still buy the Mini Nappi in some stores (retail is about $21.95) Swaddlebees has actually stopped making them. However, they do now offer the Blueberry Mini Deluxe which is almost identical in looks/fit. The insert is microterry, however, and not bamboo/cotton. Fortunately, the Blueberry is also less expensive! I found it for $17.95 at Diaper Junction.
Alva Newborn Pocket: I was pretty amazed at the price tag of $4.95 for the Alva newborn pocket diapers. And when the 2 I ordered arrived, I was satisfied with the workmanship and soft feel of the diapers. Each came with 1 smaller-sized three-layer microfiber insert and were very easy to stuff. However, when Erik tried them on it was clear they were too big, even on the smallest setting. The leg gussets gaped open in some places, and so we had some leaks onto his clothes several times. The rise was very high. My thoughts? I don’t think it’s worth buying these for a preemie or smaller newborn, even if the price is less than $5.00. Seems to me that if a diaper is much too big on an average-sized baby (7 or 8 pounds), then it’s not a true newborn diaper. And if your newborn is bigger, then you might as well just put them in one-size Alva’s on the smallest setting and save some money. Wish they had fit better on Erik because I especially love the minky dino diaper (pictured at left). But I can hold on to it and save it for later.
Anibums Newborn Pocket Diaper: There aren’t many WAHM newborn pocket diapers, but I found Anibums on Etsy and decided to give it a try. This diaper fit kind of like the Alva newborn, but the leg gussets were more snug and we didn’t have any leaks or blowouts. And it’s a very well made WAHM diaper. The rise was higher than I liked, though. And although I did love that this diaper includes two soft and tiny bamboo inserts and is just $14.95, I found they were tough to stuff. The opening is very narrow. You can find these in lots of prints and colors at the Anibows Etsy shop, and microfiber inserts are also available. Even better, because Anibums is a WAHM enterprise, you can request custom modifications for your baby’s size.
That does it for pockets! Share your favorite diaper in a comment below; I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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