The infamous problem many new moms and first time cloth diaperers have – leaks! The good news? 99% of the time, it is resolvable. It could be as simple as a snap, but as complicated as a strip. Either way, the diapers can be fixed.
The most common place that diapers tend to leak is through the legs. Believe it or not, even experienced cloth diapers struggle throughout baby’s growth with keeping up with the perfect fit. Every baby grows at a different rate, and have different proportions, so what might work for me today may not work for you today, might it might work next week for you and stop working for me… following? Cloth diapering can be an art… lots of trial and error, but amazing results when you find that “perfect fit”.
Ok, so your diapers are leaking through the legs. No problem – first thing to check is the snaps.. is the waist as snug as it get get around baby so that you can only fit a finger between tummy and diaper? If it leaves red marks, it is too tight.
(Photo: Humble Bumble One-Size Pocket Diaper)
Piddly-Winx diapers are designed with an over-laying flap so that you can get a really snug fit on leaner babies (shown in photo in red). The flap on the right (with 2 snaps) can snap into the flap on the left, resulting in a snug fit around the waist.
Diaper is snug around waist? Great. Take a peek at the leg snap and make sure that it too is snugly snapped in place. Many parents forget this small single snap (shown in light blue), but it can make the world of difference when it comes to leaks.
After you have established all of the snaps up top are great, let’s take a peek at your sizing grid. There are some pre-set “cookie-cutter” sizes, but as I mentioned earlier, what works for one might not work for all. Generally, “small” is from about 8 lbs through until 16 lbs. Medium is about 16 lbs through until about 24 lbs, and “large” is 25 lbs and up. Check out the photo below to see the “cookie cutter” sizes:
(Photo: Different cookie cutter size options)
The size your baby fits into is also heavily depend on your baby’s proportions. Use your judgement, not the numbers. If the diaper is loose, tighten up. If the diaper isn’t fitting nicely, try to loosen it up. Sometimes you might need one of the snaps from a medium, but 2 from a small. Overnight diapers might have a different snap combination in the sizing grid than daytime diapers because extra inserts can affect the fit too… you get what I’m saying.
Ok, so your snaps are perfect, but the diaper is still leaking? Next easy thing to fix is to check the insert placement. Because these are pocket diapers, the insert placement is very important. Make sure the insert is perfect flat when you are stuffing it into the shell. The way I stuff is to lay the insert up my arm, guiding it into the shell all the way to the top. Using my left hand, I pinch the insert, and slowly pull my right hand out, using both my thumb and pinky to ensure the insert stays flat. If you are stuffing quickly and the insert bunches or folds, this can end up with a leak, as the insert is not reaching the leg elastics, so there is no absorbency.
(Photo: Boy and Girl stuffing options)
Nailed the insert? Let’s talk about gender-specific stuffing. As you probably have figured out, boys and girls pee differently, resulting in different areas of the insert being used – boys generally soak the front first, and girls soak the middle/back. If you are finding the insert just isn’t covering the right areas, you can add an extra insert or daytime doubler to add extra protection. For boys, I would suggest using a doubler, folding it in half, and placing it in the front area of the shell. For girls, I would suggest the opposite, doubling up the middle and back with that extra insert. If you are using a second 3-layer microfibre or 4-layer bamboo, just place it on top of the first insert inside the pocket – folding one of those suckers may turn out too bulky (4 layer folded on top of a 4 layer pad would be 12 layers).
On smaller/younger babies, one other thing that you can change (thanks Kara for the suggestion!) is pulling the leg elastic in closer to your babie’s leg creases – this will ensure a better fit. Be careful not to make the leg elastic too tight though – if it leaves a red mark, it is too tight, and should be loosened by a snap.
Having problems with leaks in other areas? Check out this article for some more tips!