How do I stop leaks with diaper covers?
Cloth diaper covers that do not leak are vital to any cloth diapering system, especially with night time diapering when baby is in the diaper cover for an extended period of time.
If you've determined that certain diaper covers are allowing leaks, there are a few possibilities of what might be wrong.
Size and Fit
If your cloth diaper covers are the wrong size you will have leaks. Diaper covers that are too big allow gaps to occur at the thigh and waist and these gaps are invitations for moisture to leak through. Covers that are too small simply cannot cover enough of the cloth diaper to keep all moisture inside.
Measure your baby carefully to make sure your baby is in the right size diaper cover. If they aren't, it is time to move up to the next size.
Some cloth diaper covers, especially polyurathane laminate (PUL), are susceptible to residue build-up. If you suspect this is what has occurred with your covers, you can perform a strip wash by doing the following:
- Throw the covers into the washing machine for a hot wash without detergent.
- Take a peek during the actual wash cycle to check for suds. Continue washing cycles until you don't see any more suds.
- Then dry as you normally do.
- Going forward, consider a new detergent or use less in your normal cloth diaper wash routine.
PLEASE NOTE: This kind of a strip wash will RUIN your wool diaper covers. Do NOT strip wool covers.
If the cloth diaper inside the cover is the wrong size, it will probably leak. The same is true for diapers of poor quality or that suffer from the detergent residue mentioned above. If you suspect the cloth diaper itself is the problem, investigate the diaper or switch to a more absorbent style of cloth diaper. You might also consider using a diaper doubler or insert to boost absorbency and keep moisture in its place.
Cloth Diaper covers are often made with some style of lamination applied to the exterior fabric's surface. If that lamination, or waterproof layer, is damaged, moisture will come through the cloth diaper cover. For the most part, there is no way to fix the lamination once it has separated from the fabric, however, you should try to determine what may have damaged it to protect your remaining covers. For instance, bleach and stain removers can often cause this sort of damage.
Wool diaper covers may need to be lanolized if they are beginning to have issues with resistance to wetness. Wool diaper covers do not have an outer laminate layer, which is why they require you to re-lanolize on occasion.
If your day or night time diapering system is still leaking after troubleshooting your cloth diaper covers, please feel free to contact us for more help.