Cloth Diapering Your Newborn: Pocket Diapers

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NOTE: This post has been updated as of August 2014 with several new diaper 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 not as hard to stuff as other tiny pockets. 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! The velcro tabs are also SUPER sticky, so much that it’s difficult for me to undo the laundry tabs after washing. With time, they’ve also started curling back a little.

I found my Kawaii newborn diapers 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. And I just think it looks so cute on Erik; it hugged his tiny little body perfectly. This pocket includes both a small and an extra small insert, which might explain the higher price of $18.95. Not many mainstream diaper shops stock the Happy Heinys Mini, so you can try buying directly from the maker. 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. You can get these with free shipping at Nicki’s for $16.95. 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, so that’s more value for your dollar.

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 tongue-style 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 (hooray!) 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 (Mommy Magic) 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 Mommy Magic Etsy shop, and microfiber inserts are also available. She also sells preemie pockets – cute!!

That does it for pockets! Share your favorite diaper in a comment below; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. I’m new – just figuring out cloth diapers to see if they’re right for us. Seems like Fuzzibunz is the way to go for newbies if you aren’t doing one sizers.

  2. I’m due in May so I’m learning all the ins and outs of what to “collect” for my LOs stash & have heard FuzziBuns are a great way to go!!

  3. I have also heard that the Fuzzibunz are great and know a few moms who have used them. They are so cute too….and I love all the colors!

  4. Even though I dont really like the OS Happy Heiney I would really like to try that one on my NB. it looks great!

  5. The newborn Happy Heinys seems like a great option since it can grow with them! If only they were less than their one size pockets (which would make more sense).

  6. i’m hoping the Happy Heiney’s work for us as well as they did for you since I have a about 6 of them for next baby :) I’d also love to try the Swaddlebee’s!

  7. I have a fuzzibunz that I got for free from Kelly’s Closet so I am hoping that works great for our little one due in June! I am also hoping that the OS fuzzibunz that we have works too since we don’t really like that diaper as babies get older. :-)

  8. I am new to cloth diapering so I have not had an opportunity to try any of these but like most I have also heard a lot about Fuzzibunz although I would love to try any of them. I have tried JC Trade which I have heard is like Alva diapers so if that is the case then I’m sure I would like them to plus I know others who are pleased with Alva diapers. Thanks for all your giveaways!

  9. Definitely would be a huge fan of the swaddlebees mini napp but they don’t fit in the budget sooooo the winner is fuzzibuns perfect size!!!

  10. Great review! I think the Happy Heinys diaper loosk great, and the Fuzzibunz as well. And on a side note- how cute is Erik?! Love that first picture of him in his little knit pants!

  11. I like the Happy Hienys the best. Not really liking the knicknappies but i dont care for them on my 9mo old either.

  12. I like the Fuzzibunz Perfect Size! It looks like they will work well with a stump that hasn’t fallen off yet (the problem I see with a lot of newborn diapers).

  13. I’d say that the Fuzzi Bunz seems to have the best fit. After seeing all of them on an actual baby, that is the one I would choose.

  14. I still have no pokets in my stash, they seem very confusing to me! I really like the swaddelbies mini it looks less intimidating!

  15. I think I’d stick with fitteds and covers for newborns, honestly! But Fuzzibunz has a good reputation, so maybe I’d risk it.

  16. Judging by your comments about the diapers, I think I’d like the Swaddlebees Mini Nappi best. I like that they grow a little with the little one!

  17. I have a fairly decent sized stash of pocket diapers. I’ve never tried them on a newborn though. I only started using them when my LO was 4 months old. I’ve used Bum Genius, SunBaby, FuzziBunz One Size, NuttyBums One Size, and WolbyBug One Size. My least favorite is the Bum Genius because they consistently leak around my LO’s legs, no matter how I adjust it. I love all the others but have to say that my favorites right now are my FuzziBunz Elite One Size and SunBaby. The FuzziBunz are a little pricey but definitely worth it and the SunBaby ones are fantastic for the price (I found these on eBay)!

  18. I think I must have had an older style of the Fuzzibunz nb pocket (likely because I bought it used). Mine didn’t have 3 snaps on it & therefore was hard to get snug in the legs, and leaked nearly every time as a result. Good to see they have fixed that problem. I think the newer style looks great!

    Of the ones you listed, I’m digging the Knickernappies. I have never tried a side snap diaper, and I’m beginning to think I would really like them.

  19. I love the fit of the happy heinys! we used all one-size with my lo & he was big enough to fit in them early on-don’t know what we’ll do with this new baby!

  20. I’d love to try the Fuzzibunz Perfect Size for number 3! My first was in all disposables, my second started in cloth around 5 months, and I’d love for #3 to be in all cloth!

  21. I hate that they don’t make the swaddlebees mini nappi anymore. It looks great & I love the bamboo cotton as the insert. I also like the Anibums Newborn!

  22. I would like to try the Alva Newborn Pockets. They look like the fit so nicely! Thanks for reviewing these…I am due TODAY with our first little one and looking forward to cloth diapering!! 😀

  23. We only discovered cloth when my son was 4 months old so I haven’t had the newborn experience yet. For baby#2 we’ll have to see what happens … I’d be interested in trying the Blueberry and Fuzzibunz.

  24. The only diapers, from the ones you review in this article, that I have for my new little one due in April are the Fuzzibunz. Never CD’d a newborn before, so I’m looking forward to finding out what works for us.

  25. The Swaddlebees/Blueberry option looks great! I’ve heard it’s easier to stuff than Fuzzibunz, but it looks very trim. Plus they have the best prints :-)

  26. The swaddlebees mini nappy was my favorite. Thanks for the reviews..if i have another kid, I will try nb fluff! Of course, I see he doesn’t have a cord here–our LO’s stayed on for 3 weeks, and then she was in the regular OS. :/

  27. I like the look of the Happy Heiny. I just got a couple of Alvas, and I think they are really hard to stuff even though they are cute. I’ve heard you have to twist the back tabs to take up some of the leg slack. I really really like the one you just showed on your cute little guy on fb…the Funky Fluff. It looks awesome. I think I might need a couple of those!!!

  28. I wish I would have CD my little guy as a newborn!
    I love the Alva Dino diaper too. I ordered one and it just came. :)))

  29. I wish I could try them all too! But maybe the Happy Hineys… I have little faith that my baby due soon will be under 8-9 lbs, so I think most of the newborn stuff would be too small to use for long.

  30. Thanks for these reviews! I’m expecting my first and it’s helpful to know what worked well or not so well for you! I think the Happy Heiny Minis look fabulous! Now if only I had that kind of money to throw around… :)

  31. We’ve used both the Tiny Tush and Fuzzibunz on our newborn. The both worked really well, though I think the Fuzzibunz fit my girl slightly better.

  32. These little pockets are SO cute! I love Tiny Tush diapers. I’d love to try their NB diapers. Looks like you got a pretty good fit. I wonder if a hemp insert would help w/ absorbency.

  33. The Fuzzibunz one looks great!

    I have been planning on using disposables at first, but all these posts about newborns in cloth have me changing my mind!

  34. i like the happy heiny’s mini! i like that they have such a long band of velcro around the belly, lots of room for growth

  35. I really want to try the swaddlebees diaper now!! I will have another little one in May and am getting excited!

  36. I like the sounds of the Anibums Newborn Pocket Diaper… I would love a diaper that helps contain everything so blow-outs don’t happen!

  37. I haven’t read through more than this yet, so I’m hoping there will be more newbie reviews <3 We just found out that we are expecting baby #6. This will be my first CD'ed newborn. Super excited. I've got 4 of the BG NB AIO's that I picked up in the seconds sale from cottonbabies, a handful of the Alva NB's (which I'm a little disappointed with now that I've read the review LOL) and some prefolds. I've got a bunch of the THX newborn AIO's on the way, and they run smaller than Alva's so I'm excited about those at least! Supposedly they fit just like the Lil Joey's do. I think I will have to hunt down a couple Fuzzibunz in gender specific colors in a few months though. You got a nice fit on Erik with that one for sure :)

  38. i have 12 fuzzibunz medium and am really hoping they work with my LO due in oct. i was contemplating buying some of the xs or s just because of size im woried ill be waisting money my babies are all 8lbs+ and so far my LO in my belly has weighed about 4-5 oz over so i have a feeling she will be big aswell i keep ging back and forth between alvas and fb guess ill just have to get a few of both now :)

  39. Right now the only newborn pocket we have is the Fuzzibunz Perfect Size XS. I’ve heard pretty good things all around from it. I definitely want to add the Blueberry Mini and a Happy Heinys Mini as well. Idealy, I want them all though hahah

  40. Pingback: Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews, and a BIG Giveaway!

  41. Pingback: *New* Fuzzibunz One-Size Diapers Review

  42. Thank you so much for the comparison. I am kind of sad that some of the smaller ones are nearly impossible to find now, since this post was written earlier.