Let's break it down - a little more details.
Raves: Pockets are daddy, grandparent, and baby-sitter friendly. They go on similar to a disposable diaper, making them a favorite for many families.
Stay-Dry: Moms love pockets because of the "stay-dry" effect of the fleece or suede. Baby's bum stays feeling dry and happy. While some babys may have a sensitivity to the fleece, most find that the "stay-dry" of the fleece helps keep rashes from popping up. (Babies with a family history of skin sensitivity may have a reaction to fleece or suede...try just buying a couple diapers at first to see if there is any problem...gently used cloth diapers have excellent resale value, try craigslist, ebay or an online diaper site diaperswappers.com [registration required]).
Adjustable Absorbancy: Pockets are also a favorite because you can easily adjust the absorbancy of the diaper based on how many and what type of insert you place inside the pocket. One insert for general, daytime use; two for naps or car trips, and overnight. Many one size pocket diapers include two inserts; a small and a large insert. Use the small for newborn/small settings, the larger insert for medium/large settings. Use both inserts simultaniously for heavy wetters or overnight.
Overnight Solutions: Again, because of the stay-dry feature of pockets, it is a popular choice as an overnight diaper. However, for your older sleep-through-the-night child, both inserts may not be enough. Extra inserts can be used or inserts made of differnet fibers may be purchased. Hemp is very absorbant and is a popular choice. Hemp is a slow absorbing material, whereas microfiber is fast absorbing. If using a combination of inserts, the microfiber inserts should be placed in the diaper so that it is closer to baby with hemp being underneath.
*For my 3 year old, we used a hemp insert sandwiched between two microfiber inserts in order to keep her dry. It was a little bulky, but she was a sleep and did not mind...and she was dry!
How does sizing work? Pockets can be purchased in as SIZED POCKETS, from preemie (from approx. 4lbs) to XL (up to around 45lbs). Many brands also offer ONE SIZE (OS) Pockets. One Size diapers feature snaps up the front of the diaper that snap down to adjust the rise of the diaper. Most have three rows of snaps, (Happy Heinys has four rows) to create the various sizes from (x)small to large.Washing Pockets
Is that your final answer?
You've made your choice, you've got your pocket diapers.
you're ready to put them on your baby, right?
First, what type of inserts came, or did you purchase, with your pockets? All cloth diapers should be washed before wearing for cleanliness and to be prepped.
Microfiber (the most common insert included with pockets) will be fine with just a single wash and dry. Detergant is optional for a first wash.
If you purchase natural fiber inserts (cotton, hemp or bamboo) they need to be washed seperately from other diapers to remove the natural oils and make them absorbant. (if you wash with other diapers/inserts, the oils will attatch to them causing them to be less absorbant). These should be washed and dried 5-6 times before use and will keep getting more and more absorbant until around the 10-12 wash. They can also be boiled (provided they do not have any snaps) if you need to prep a small amount of inserts.
Washing Your Pockets. Before washing, you need to remove the inserts from the pocket. While some pockets advertise that the inserts adgitate out while in the washer, I tend to want to pull the inserts out anyway to expose them to the maximum amount water. I believe most moms remove the insert right away when placing the soiled diaper into the wetbag/diaper hamper. I often forget as I only use them for overnight. Removing the insert right before putting the diaper in the washer does not harm the diaper, although it may insult your nose. As will all diapers, if your pocket has a 'Velcro' closure, attatch the wings to the landry tabs to avoid a diaper chain (a literal chaing of diapers that connect to each other's 'velcro' closure while adgitating in the washer or dryer). Snap closures do not require any special prep before landrying.