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Cloth Diaper Leaks During the Day: How to Stop Your Cloth Diapers from Leaking

December 29, 2014

Stopping Diaper Leaks During the Day

Are your diapers leaking? Check out the list below of the most common causes of diaper leaks and how to make it stop. Also be sure to check out our simple instructions for stripping your diapers.


A loose fitting diaper will leak on baby. Check the fit around you baby's legs, and make sure it is not too loose. It should be a bit snug, but not leave any red marks. If the fit is not tight enough around the legs, the diaper will gap while baby moves about - causing leaks. This is common if you have a baby that has changed sizes recently - for example you formerly chunky leg baby is now walking and running and has slimmed down. In which case, you may need to size down your diaper to prevent leaks. Click here for simple instructions on how to measure your baby to choose the right diaper.

2. CHOOSE THE PROPER INSERT (Pocket Diapers Only)

When placing an insert inside of a pocket diaper, you must be sure that the insert covers the full width of the diaper. There should not be any space to allow the insert to shift in between the legs. Also, be sure the insert is not too wide, as it will stretch the seams of the diaper and may cause wicking or will bunch up and pull away from the sides of the diaper when baby moves or crawls.


Absorbency is a key component in a functioning diaper. If you are taking out a soaking wet insert, then you need to increase the absorbency, by adding a doubler. If your inserts are not soaked, you don't have build up, your diapers have a good fit, and they still leak - you likely have yourself a super soaker child, who pees with tremendous force. The fast peeing cannot be contained by the diaper, because your child is peeing faster than the diaper/insert can absorb. This happens a lot with older babies, or babies that are ready to potty learn. They hold in their pee for hours, and when they finally pee, it is with such force, that is leaks out of the legs before it soaks into the insert. In this case, use a hemp insert with a microfiber towel wrapped around it. The microfiber absorbs quickly and the hemp holds it in better to prevent leaking.


If baby is a boy – make sure the ‘fire hydrant’ is pointing downwards before closing up the diaper – especially at nighttime. Additionally, try double-folding your doubler or insert in the front of the diaper where baby wets the heaviest.


Double-fold your doubler / insert where baby wets the heaviest. For boys this will be in the front of the diaper. For girls, this will be in the center and back of the diaper.


Drying on high heat will reduce the repellant properties of PUL over time. To extend the life of your diaper covers, All In Ones or Pocket diapers, air dry them whenever possible.


Diaper leaks can be caused by a build up of detergent in the diaper. If your diapers stink when they are peed in or if your nose burns from the ammonia smell, and your baby is red on the bottom, your diapers have detergent build up. To fix this, you'll need to switch to a cloth diaper friendly detergent and strip your diapers to get rid of excess detergent and germs. It is a good practice to strip diapers every 1 to 3 months to keep them functioning their best!

Click here to view a list of Recommended Detergents.


In addition to your detergent, diapers need to rub against each other in the wash to get clean. If your wash load has too few diapers they won't rub against each other in the wash and may still come out dirty. If your wash load has too many diapers, they won't have enough room to agitate and may come out dirty. Either way, dirty diapers will leak. 16 to 24 diapers is a good load size.

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