cloth 201 BLOG_201

Published on May 6th, 2013 | by Heather Vaughn


Leaking Cloth Diapers

Occasionally you may experience a random cloth diaper leak. If it happens once or twice, it could just be a fluke. However, if you notice recurring leaks, you will want to investigate a little further to find the source of the leaks so you can find the appropriate solution.

If you call our customer service team for help troubleshooting leaks, we'll ask a few questions for some more common reasons for leaks.

First, are your cloth diapers new? Believe it or not, one common reason for cloth diaper leaks is that natural fibers have not been washed enough times to release all the natural oils. It takes 5 to 7 washes for bumGenius Elemental, Flip Organic Day and Night Time inserts, cotton prefolds and other inserts made of natural fibers to be fully absorbent. Learn more about prepping your cloth diapers here.

If you've been using your cloth diapers without leaks for a while and are suddenly experiencing leaks, we have some other questions to ask.

Where is the leak coming from?
If your cloth diaper is leaking out the top, make sure that the insert isn’t pushing any of the lining fabric up against your baby’s clothing. That will cause the diaper to wick moisture up and out of the top. The top edge of the diaper should be flat against your baby with the soft fabric against your baby’s skin. If you have a son who only has leaks during sleep, you might need to "aim down" to avoid leaks.

If your diaper is leaking out the side of the legs, change the diaper and remove the insert. If the insert is saturated then your baby just pee’d a lot and either needs a more absorbent insert or a more frequent diaper change. If it isn’t saturated, then you either have a fit or a repelling issue, so continue reading for those tips.

To check the fit of the cloth diapers, pick up your baby’s legs after putting the diaper on and observe how it fits around their bottom. Is it snug? If so, good! However, if you can see any gaps or "air" between the diaper and their skin, then you need to refine the fit somehow. With bumGenius that might mean trying a different waist snap setting or fastening the tabs tighter. You may also need to adjust the rise setting on your one-size cloth diapers to get a better fit around the legs.

If the fit is correct and there are no gaps, you may have a repelling issue. Detergents and diaper creams can build up in the fibers of the cloth diaper, causing it to repel rather than absorb. To correct this issue, we recommend stripping your cloth diapers to remove the buildup using a little bit of original formula (blue) Dawn dish detergent. You can find our detailed stripping instructions here.

If the diaper is leaking out the back, make sure that the insert and all inner fabrics are tucked in completely. If the insert is sticking out the top of the diaper, it will wick moisture onto your baby’s clothing. We also occasionally see leaks up the back with little girls who are heavy wetters or little boys who are aimed off to the side of the insert.

If all of the above is fine and you are still having leaks, don't hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-332-2243. Our phone line is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday. Our experienced team will ask you some personalized questions about your baby, laundry routine and cloth diapers to help you find the solution to your leaking issues. We are always glad to help!

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About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.

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