Tip: Turn Your Favorite Pocket Into an All-in-Two

Love the fit of your pocket diaper, but want it to go the distance (aka - use it more than once)? Baby outgrowing some of your smaller diapers, and suddenly you find yourself a bit low on diaper changes? The following tutorial is a great way to repurpose your Pocket diaper, turning it in to an All-in-Two Diaper

Let's step back - What's an All-in-Two system? 
All-in-Two diapers are made of two pieces - a waterproof outer and an absorbent inner. Some of the most well-known brands include: Flip, GroVia, gDiapers (though g's incorporate a third piece). Shop All-in-Two brands here. And the term 'System?' That just to the fact that many of these brands have multiple options available, so you can build a 'diapering system' that matches your needs best (ie. GroVia offers a one-size shell and three insert choices - stay-dry, organic or disposable).

I know what you're probably thinking - wait, doesn't that definition ('a two-piece diaper') also seem to include my prefold+cover, or fitted+cover - those are both two pieces as well? Correct! I always like to say that All-in-Two systems are just prefolds+covers with better marketing. While some All-in-Two brands do have some more engineering on their side (ie. Bestbottoms or GroVia each offer snap-in inserts that fix exclusively in to their branded shells), other systems (ie. Flip or Swaddlebee's Capri) have inserts which simply set into the shell. A trifolded prefold laid into a cover - yup - same premise just less marketing.

So let's take this idea of a trifolded prefold laid into a cover a step further. 

1. Grab your favorite pocket diaper and pull out the microfiber insert. That pocket's shell has now become your waterproof cover. Wait, how does something that previously absorbed now work as a cover? Well, pocket's inner wicking layers, whether it be suedecloth or microfleece, absorbs moisture when there is a absorbency behind AND there is pressure against the wicking layer. Once you've removed the insert, your wicking layer is now pressed up against the waterproof outer fabric. No longer does moisture travel through the wicking layer, but it instead now is repelled.

2. Grab your favorite natural fiber absorbent inner. This inner (which we'll call an 'insert') can be anything - prefold, flat, folded up flannel receiving blanket, etc. It doesn't matter what that insert is made of, as long as it has been washed in cloth-safe detergent and is not microfiber (microfiber should never be placed against baby's skin!).

3. Fold the insert into an appropriately sized rectangle for your Pocket's width and length.

4. Lay onto the wicking layer of the pocket.

5. Secure diaper around baby.

6. At diaper change time, toss the used insert into your pail and hang the Pocket's shell to air out. Grab a second Pocket shell and new insert. At the next change, air out that alternate shell and reuse the one that was airing. Soiled? Pull from rotation and add in a new one.

Voila. Pocket diaper has now become an All-in-Two diaper. I like to think of this as MacGyver's version of All-in-Two diapering. 

Why Do I Love This? 

  • Versatile! It diversifies your stash. 
  • Economical! You get more bang for your buck. 
  • It's Potty Time! This is a fantastic way to change your pocket diaper from a stay-dry solution to something that feels wet to the touch - ideal for those wee ones who are on their way to using the potty. 
  • Cute! I will often hear from folks they avoid pockets because they hate the idea of a single-use cute-print outer. Well now you can show off that same print several times through the day. 
  • Great for larger toddlers. Finding yourself with fewer and fewer diapers that still fit your 35lb baby? But there is that one pocket diaper that does work? Rather than having to invest in a full stash of that single brand, you can now buy another two or three and two dozen prefolds. You've just grown your stash from one diaper to 2-3 days' of changes. 
  • No stuffing! I really dislike stuffing pockets. I can't tell you why, but it is just a task I avoid like the plague. The ability to lay in the insert is fabulous, in my book. 

Want to Do This Full-Time? 
You'll want to match your quantities to those I recommend for any other All-in-Two system. (Note, these quantities are per day, so you'll want to extrapolate out.)

  • For young infants, per day, I recommend planning on 3-4 Pockets and 12-15 inserts
  • Older infants - 3 Pockets and 12 inserts
  • Toddlers - 2 Pockets  and 8 inserts
  • Please note - these are fairly conservative numbers. As always, the more diapers you have in rotation, the less overall wear-and-tear and the better the diapers will fare. If the budget allows, I recommend adding a few more Pockets to what I suggest above. 

Want to Dip Your Toe In? 
  • Buy two pockets and a dozen prefolds. Unless your baby still has super-runny stools, this should be enough to last you through a full day. 

Does the Insert Matter? 
Short answer, not really. As long as it isn't microfiber you can use virtually anything. Like some guidance? Here are my recommendations - 

Does the Pocket Matter? 
Because you'll want to ensure you have great coverage, I do recommend a Pocket that is cut fuller through the legs and bum. I love - 

Any Pockets That Won't Work? 
You'll want to use a pocket that is lined with a stay-dry layer, whether microfleece or suedecloth. A Pocket lined in a natural fiber (like Swaddlebees EcoNappi or Blueberry Bamboo Deluxe) will not work. Why? Their natural fiber pocket layer absorb moisture (unlike the stay-dry pockets that repel) so you'd be reusing a urine-saturated shell all day. Yuck! 

What On Earth Should I Do With All These Leftover Microfiber Inserts? 
Save them. They will make great doublers for overnights (be sure to tuck the microfiber into the pocket, or behind the natural fiber insert). In addition, when you are ready to sell your stash once baby is using the potty, it is nice to be able to sell the diaper as a whole. 

OR, if you are crafty you can also make the microfiber insert work. Grab some cotton, flannel, microfleece, suedecloth, bamboo or any other favorite fabric safe to use against baby's bottom. In other words, avoid the Shamwow, microfiber towels, neoprene (haha - I typed that one as a joke, hmmm, wonder if that would actually work). Preshrink your fabric. Cut it to match the shape of your microfiber insert, then sew to the top. You've now put a 'safe' fabric layer between baby's bottom and the microfiber, so you now can lay that into your pocket's shell. 

Just call me MacGyver Momma. We've been doing it a lot around here a lot lately - my daughter is reaching a point at which several of her Medium/Size 1 diapers no longer fit, and we are often scrambling to find enough diapers to last us between laundry days (yes, despite a store full of thousands of diapers we are still running low, haha!). I've been loving, loving the fit of her Blueberry Pockets lately, but she seems so close to using the potty that I don't want to invest in any more diapers (at least, trying really hard with all the cute stuff that's come out lately!). And we've accumulated so many random inserts over the last few years it has been fun mixing and matching to find the trim fit I love with the absorbency an older toddler requires (I've even taken the soakers out of my B4 fitted and laid them into the Blueberry shell!).

Now go MacGyver up your own combination and report back! 

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