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Cloth 201: Cloth Diaper Leaks
September 14, 2014 5:40 pm | by
Cloth Diaper Creams

Lately, we’ve been seeing A LOT of questions about cloth diaper fit. Some people are worried that the fit may be too tight while others are experiencing leaks as a result. Let’s take some time to actually discuss cloth diaper fit and give you some tips on how to avoid leaks.

When it comes to cloth diapers, you always want them to be snug. This will ensure that no moisture escapes from the diaper. If you can see any gaps or “air” between the diaper and their skin, then you need to refine the fit somehow. With bumGenius or Flip that might mean fastening the tabs tighter to fit more securely around the waist or adjusting the rise setting on your one-size cloth diapers to get a better fit on the legs.

Now, say you secured your baby’s diaper, but think it may be too tight, think of it this way: when you wear socks with shoes for a few hours, you will have red marks left on your skin once you take off the socks. This is normal and the same analogy can be said for cloth diapers. Red marks will happen and should not cause any concern. But, if you see that your baby is physically uncomfortable or restricted as a result of the cloth diaper fit, you should always re-adjust.


Do your diapers fit properly?

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 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. Please give us a call at 1-314-892-1855 so we can help troubleshoot.
  • 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.

Will my cloth diapers fit differently through different stages of my baby’s life?

1660752_10151888776281640_1039889274_nYes. Absolutely, and chances are, no two babies will wear or fit into their diapers the same way. Here’s what to look for:

  • Newborn/Infant – If you’re using a one-size cloth diaper during this stage, it may be a bit big and bulky. It will also fit above the belly button, which is a sensitive area at this time. Newborn cloth diapers like Econobum fit low beneath the navel to keep the umbilical area dry. If you are using one-size cloth diapers for your newborn, it may take some time for your little one to grow into the diaper, but they should be on the smallest rise setting. To make the fit a bit tighter and have less of a gap, double up on inserts.
  • 6-12 months – At this point, your baby will have grown into their diapers and they won’t look as bulky or awkward. The diapers should be fitting under the belly button and, if you are using bumGenius or Flip, you may even be on the second or third rise setting. You could also have a heavy wetter during this stage due to dietary changes, and hemp inserts will help make your diapers more absorbent. If you find that your baby is constantly on the move, be sure to tighten that diaper, especially around the legs.
  • Toddler (12+months) – Your baby will (most likely) be on the largest rise at this time. You will find yourself constantly adjusting or downsizing to meet your baby’s needs, especially if they’re walking since baby’s tend to get trimmer around this stage.  Since your baby is taller, the diaper will fit lower on the waist and even resemble underwear.

You’re still experiencing leaks and nothing we mentioned in this post seems to help?  Give us a call at 1-314-892-1855 so we can ask a few more questions to troubleshoot this with you!



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 and Instagram pages, she babysits a few cloth diaper-wearing kids and likes playing with her dogs.



  • Emma Wong said...
    September 26, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Hi, Thanks for this informative post.

  • Dawn said...
    September 25, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Our child is a genius because she is so sweet for her mommy and daddy. <3