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HELP! My diapers are leaking? Where should I start troubleshooting?

Leaking diaper can happen and when they do more then several times it can be frustrating trying to figure out where, why and how it is happening.  Here are some points to look into if you are running into leaking diapers.

Common Causes or Issues that lead to leaky cloth diapers -

  • Heavy Wetter
  • To much liquid for the diaper
  • Compression leaks
  • Poor Fit or Wrong Size
  • Soaker material vs. the fast pee’er
  • Inserts need to be replaced
  • Repelling

Heavy Wetting ~
Heavy wetting is normal and can be a part of every little ones life at some point. This time varies from kiddo to kiddo, but if you ask most parents, most have been through this. It will take multiple attempts before you find how and what works best with you. Often times this means finding the right insert combination that works for your little one. Remember, have patience, this will be some trial and error.

Too much liquid for the diaper ~
Soakers/inserts have limits and please keep in mind that this is not time based. My little one can hold his pee while playing but as soon as he slows down and relaxes he can quickly push a diaper to its limit. Check your little one and change often.

Compression leaks ~
Certain types of inserts are known for compression leaks. Meaning, once weight (ie: sitting down in a car seat, or for my little guy - jumping in a jumper) and pressure is applied to the insert it releases the liquid. Microfiber is known for compression leaks and releasing liquid under pressure.

Poor Fit and Wrong Size ~
Remember, diapers fit babies differently. Each of us has our own unique design to our body and what fits great for one baby (older siblings) may not work for another. Several things you can do to check the fit of the diaper is to make sure it is snug on all sides. Once the diaper is on, move the legs around to make sure you don’t see any gaps or air between the diaper and the skin. Gaps allow leaks. If your little one is to small for the diaper or current setting, leaks will slip right out of the diaper or if your kiddo is to big for the diaper you may experience leaks similar to compression leaks.

Another factor to this issue could be the wrong size insert. The insert needs to fully fit inside the pocket. Space between the insert and the elastic binding on the diaper is not good. This is a great place for wetness to end up and pool causing leakage.

If your little one is leaking out the top of the diaper make sure the insert is not pushing the lining up and allowing it to touch clothing. This will wick wetness out of the diaper and onto clothes. You want to make sure the top of the diaper lays flat against the tummy.

If leaking is occurring through the legs/side of the diaper change and check the insert first. If the insert is saturated your kiddo pee’d a lot and may need more absorbency or changed sooner. If the insert is not saturated it may be a fit or repelling issue. Something could be channeling the pee to the outer edges of the diaper. Check the fit around the legs. You should see no gaps or air.
If the wetness is coming up the back first check to make sure the insert is tucked completely inside. If part of the insert is sticking out this can allow wetness to wick up the back into clothing.
If you have a little boy make sure he is “aimed” or “turned down” other wise he can direct pee to front or the sides of the diaper.
If you have a little girl they can release a lot of wetness up the back.

Soaker/insert material vs. the fast pee’er ~
Some fabrics are GREAT for holding a good amount of pee, but they all so can have their drawbacks. Hemp is a great example of this. Hemp inserts are GREAT for holding a lot of wetness but it is also a rather slow absorber. One way to work around this is to use a combination of microfiber and hemp. Placing the microfiber on top will quickly absorb the pee and pull away from your little ones bottom and it will allow the hemp to slowly soak the wetness up. Cotton and Bamboo absorb wetness quickly as well.

Inserts need to be replaced ~
Over time and/or heavy use inserts will just loose their ability to work like they used to. Microfiber is generally good for a year. Hemp and other natural fiber soakers can last longer but can start to loose their goodness once they get thin and ratty-looking. Remember, all inserts will start to absorb slower over time.

Repelling ~
Issues with diapers and soakers repelling can be caused by not fulling prepping, using fabric softeners in the washer, dryer sheets or diaper creams.

You may not use fabric softeners or dryer sheets with your diapers but do with other clothes. The residue from these products can get deposited on to your diapers and inserts causing repelling issues.
If you need to use a diaper cream, look for those that are safe for cloth diapers and we suggest using a liner when doing so. Make sure to wash the liner separate from the other diapers so that residue is not deposited onto other items.

~~The biggest thing to remember is realistic expectations of what your cloth diapers can handle. They are not meant to be left on for endless hours. Dealing with leaks can be frustrating but with a little bit of time, effort and patience leaks can be resolved!~~

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