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Cloth Diapering Tip #2: Growth Spurts

Posted by Bryana on 11/11/2009 to Troubleshooting

You bring baby home from the hospital excited to begin cloth diapering right away. A few days go by and feel certain your cloth diapers are working out as you hoped. A few days later…"BAM!"

All of a sudden your diapers are leaking and you can’t figure out why. You ask yourself, "What am I doing wrong?", "Are these diapers no good?", "Do I have detergent build up?", "Is that even possible? These are brand new diapers!"

Has this happened to you?

Consider for a moment there may be an answer that has nothing to do with the diapers themselves. Even as a mother of three with 7 years of cloth diapering experience, the possible answer didn’t occur to me until Jenn of bumGenius! pointed it out in a retailer’s meeting I attended in September. The problem? Your baby may be going through a growth spurt!

What does this mean?

Babies go through several growth spurts in the first 12 months. During a growth spurt, babies tend to eat more frequently and sleep a little longer than usual. Growth spurts are temporary in nature lasting approximately a week.

With a higher volume of eating, the natural conclusion to assume is the age old adage…"What goes in…must come out!

With a longer than usual sleep pattern, prepare for your baby to wear their diapers longer than usual. I don’t know about you, but in our house we have a rule never to wake a sleeping baby!

How do I know if it is a growth spurt?

As I mentioned above, a couple of "tell tale" signs of a growth spurt are:

  • baby seems hungry all the time
  • baby is sleeping a bit more than usual

There are also typical ages when a growth spurt may occur. Look for growth spurts around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and again at 9 months.

What do I do?

First and foremost, when cloth diapering through a growth spurt, prepare yourself for more frequent diaper changes. You can also invest in some extra diaper doublers and/or inserts that you can add to the diaper for more absorption. If you’re using prefold diapers, consider double diapering during the growth spurt.