How do I stop leaks with fitted diapers?
Fitted diapers may leak for several reasons. There are also several things you can do to help solve the problem.
First things first - always check the diaper cover. It is possible that your diaper cover does not fit correctly. More often than not, parents will discover the problem is not with the fitted diaper, but leaks with the diaper covers.
Is baby in the right size fitted diaper?
To determine if your cloth diaper covers are fitting correctly, you'll need to measure baby carefully to figure the correct size to use. The reason cloth diaper sizing is so essential is that if you are using a cover that is too small, the cloth diaper won't be covered adequately and the exposed diaper areas can leak. The same occurs if your diaper cover is too big; there will be gaps at crucial coverage points and leaks can occur then as well.
Have you prepared baby's fitted diapers for use?
The next step, is to ensure you've prepared the diaper adequately. Fitted diapers must be washed three to six times before maximum absorbency is reached. If you have not washed the diapers this many times you cannot expect the diapers to be able to absorb adequately.
Some other options are:
- Check to be sure the diaper is large enough. A diaper that is too small will draw-up in the stride and leave areas wide open for leaks. If a cloth diaper that hasn't leaked previously is suddenly leaking, consider moving up to the next size.
- To keep using your current size a while longer, or if your child is a heavy wetter, consider a diaper doubler or insert which can boost absorbency.
- Check for detergent residue. Washing cloth diapers with too much detergent or with the wrong kinds of laundry products (perfumes, fabric softeners, etc...) can leave a residue in the cloth diaper that blocks absorbency. Certain fabrics are more susceptible to this build-up, especially those that contain polyester, such as microfiber.
A note on residue build-up: To clean off residue, put the diapers into the washing machine for a hot cycle. Do not add any detergent or other products. Open the washer during the wash cycle and check for suds. If you see soap bubbles, your cloth diapers are still retaining some residue. Continue performing hot washes until you no longer see any residue. Only then will the diapers be completely cleansed. After this "strip wash" the diapers should be much more absorbent and softer, too. If a strip wash was necessary, you should switch laundry products and/or reduce the amount of detergent being used.
If after ensuring your fitted diapers are the right size, do not suffer from residue build-up, and have been washed adequately for absorption, read more about why the problem may be caused by leaks with the diaper covers.