7 tips to keep your cloth diapers from leaking
Posted by MAJALIWA BASS
If you're tired of blowouts (or just never want to experience them), cloth diapers are your only option. However, using them is slightly different than disposables. This article explains.
In this post I'll cover questions like...
- How do you make cloth diapers not leak?
- Why are my cloth diapers leaking all of a sudden?
- Are cloth diapers leak proof?
- How can I fix my repelling cloth diapers?
- How can I stop my cloth diapers from leaking around the legs?
- How can I stop my cloth diapers from leaking at night?
- Why does my baby keep peeing through their cloth diaper?
- My promise to you
I am a mom of four that had the "privilege" of diapering 4 babies (2 boys and 2 girls) - and that came with a lot of mistakes and lessons learned. So in this blog I share the diapering tips and strategies that worked really well for me. My hope is that these tips make your diaper journey super easy - so that you can spend less time online reading articles like this, and more time on the things that matter most - like your sweet little one. So let’s dive in!
- Tip 1: Make sure there's no gaps
Check specifically for where your leaks are coming from. A good way to easily check this is to look at the outside of your diaper cover. See if you see any wet spots. This will give you an indicator of where the wetness is coming from. Once you've done that, you'll want to dig a little bit further. If you notice that there's wetness around the leg area, you'll want to check around your leg cuffs to make sure they’re snug. Even the tiniest gap will cause a leak. If you notice there’s wetness in the back, it’s likely the diaper was slightly poking out or there’s a slight gap between their back and the diaper cover. Lastly, if you notice wetness in the front, it’s like the diaper isn’t snug and flat against their belly.
- Tip 2: Tuck the diaper fully inside of the cover
A common mistake that I've seen is parents leaving out a small piece of the diaper after putting on the diaper cover. Not intentionally of course. The problem becomes once the diaper gets wet, if that small piece is still poking out, when it touches their it's going to create a really big wet spot.
- Tip 3: Replace cotton and microfiber inserts with bamboo and hemp
If the leaks are happening in the daytime, it usually means you need to increase the absorbency of the diaper. Most diapers on the market (e.g. Alva Baby) come with a cotton or microfiber insert to start. If your baby is older than 3 months though, this won’t be enough absorbency. You’ll want to upgrade your inserts to bamboo or hemp. If the leaks are only happening at night, it’s likely you need to upgrade to a nighttime diaper. You can learn more about my recommended nighttime diapers here.
- Tip 4: Point the "fire hydrant" down
When it comes to diapering boys, you’ll need to learn to bob, weave & tuck their “fire hydrants” down into their diaper. Boys tend to pee more towards the front of their diaper. So, by pointing their fire hydrant down, it helps to ensure they pee down into the diaper, and not up and out.
- Tip 5: Double Up inserts for boys and girls
As I mentioned earlier, boys pee more towards the front of their diapers. Girls however, pee more towards the middle of their diapers. Use boosters and inserts to double up the absorbency in the areas where they pee the most to prevent leaks.
- Tip 6: Toss out old or worn diaper covers
There are roughly two types of diaper covers – PUL (aka plastic) and Wool. When plastic covers start to wear out, you’ll get leaks in patches. Rub the cover to see if there are any wet spots. Then check the inside to see if the plastic has worn away. If so, you’ll need to replace the cover. For this reason, I like to use wool covers. They’re all natural, crazy absorbent, and don’t have any materials that will wear away. You can use them for years. Click here to see my highest recommend wool cover.
- Tip 7: Only use rash creams safe for cloth diapers
I can’t tell you how many times I've had parents reach out to me and say their diapers were leaking only to find out that they're using a diaper rash cream that is not recommended for cloth diapers. “Bad” rash creams will create a water repellant layer on top of your diaper cause it to leak, and stink. Click here to view a list of rash creams tested for safe use on cloth diapers. If you’ve accidentally used the wrong cream, check out this blog article for tips on how to get the cream out of your diapers. To determine if you have this problem, place a few drops of water on the inside of a clean, dry cloth diaper. If the water beads up and rolls off, you have a problem.
So there you go. 7 tried and true ways to stop your cloth diapers from leaking for good. No stripping, boiling, or Borax required.