cloth 201 BLOG_201

Published on September 22nd, 2013 | by Brittney French


Cloth 201: Cloth Diaper Leaks

A leaking cloth diaper is the worst. bgblegsphoto116x175


Whether you have to change your baby's sheets in the middle of the night or sport a wet T-shirt in public, no one wants to deal with a leaking cloth diaper — ever.

Leaking cloth diapers could be a result of several different issues, but the most common are fit, lack of absorbency, and detergent build up.

So, are you experiencing cloth diaper leaks?  Answer the series of questions below to troubleshoot!

Are your diapers new?  If you answered yes, see below.  If the answer is no, keep reading!

Make sure your cloth diapers are fully prepped.  Cotton, hemp, and other natural fibers take more washes to become fully absorbent.  You must wash bumGenius Elemental, Flip Organic Day and Night Time inserts, cotton prefolds, and other inserts made of natural fibers five to seven times to be fully absorbent.  Learn more about prepping your cloth diapers here.

Do your diapers repel moisture?  If yes, see below.  If not, keep reading!

Detergents and diaper creams can build up in your cloth diaper, causing it to repel rather than absorb.  To correct this issue, we recommend stripping your cloth diapers to remove the build up.  You can find instructions on stripping your diapers here.

Do your cloth diapers fit properly?  If you are unsure or answered no, see below and determine where your cloth diaper is leaking.

If your cloth diaper is leaking out of 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 of the side around the leg openings, change the diaper and remove the insert.  If the insert is over saturated, you need to add more absorbency, like an additional insert or hemp.  If it isn't saturated, then you either have a fit or a repelling issue and will need to adjust the tightness of the diaper or strip your diaper.

To check the fit of the cloth diaper, pick up your baby’s legs after putting the diaper on and observe how it fits around their bottom. Is it snug?  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 diaper is leaking out the back, double check that the insert and all inner fabrics are tucked in completely.  If the insert is sticking out of 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.

You're still experiencing leaks and nothing we mentioned in this post seems to help?  Give us a call at 1-888-332-2243 so we can ask a few more questions to troubleshoot this with you!


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About the Author

Brittney is a social media coordinator for Cotton Babies. She has three sisters, loves pizza and enjoys listening to obscure bands no one has heard of. Outside of posting on the Cotton Babies Facebook page, she babysits a few cloth diaper-wearing kids and cheers for her favorite sports team.

2 Responses to Cloth 201: Cloth Diaper Leaks

  1. Brittney French says:

    Hi Erin,

    If you’re already using hemp, that should help. Have you tried stripping your diapers recently?

  2. Erin says:

    What about at night? In the past I successfuly used the freetimes, when that alone started causing leaks I added a hemp insert. Now leaking again, every morning waking to wet pajamas. I even try to “point” him down. What do you suggest for a good overnight solution?

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