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How cloth diapering differs from child to child

Posted by Becca on 4/30/2014 to Cloth Diaper How-To

How cloth diapering can differ from child to child

cloth diapers,diapering When I had my second child, I expected that he would be different from my daughter. I thought maybe I could look forward to differences in looks, personalities, schedules, temperaments, eating habits… but I didn’t really think that diapering a second child would be much different from diapering my first, even taking into account their gender difference. I felt like kind of a cloth­ diapering expert after my first child. I knew the ins and outs of many different styles and brands and I hadn’t yet found a cloth diapering issue I couldn’t troubleshoot. Of all the things I thought I’d have to face with a second child, I didn’t think that trouble with cloth diapers —my favorite and most trusted cloth diapers even— would be something I’d have to worry about.


It was.

How was it different?

Diapering my son might as well be a different art altogether. My son not only wets mostly the front of his cloth diaper, but he must have a really, powerful flow of pee because he goes from dry to soaking, leaking, and dripping in five seconds flat. Attempting to fix this issue, we stripped the microfiber inserts, double stuffed the pockets, switched to natural fiber inserts, adjusted the sizing on the OS diapers, switched the inserts again, made repairs on Velcro and snaps, threw out a couple of really, tired diapers, switched to only the diapers that seemed to have the least amount of issues …and still, he continued to have leaking problems. He leaked in everything: the few new diapers we bought, tried­ and true ones from my four­ year old stash, the inexpensive pockets, and the expensive pockets. I was at a loss and really tired of going through 2­3 outfits in a day. My daughter never leaked. It was one of the things I raved about when talking about my cloth diapers. Then, here my son comes along to make a liar out of me.

Finally, I decided that using primarily pocket diapers might be the problem. For whatever reason, whether his body type or his wetting patterns, they just weren’t completely reliable with him. They did work most of the time, but only one or two leaks a day was still a problem. We switched to mostly fitteds and prefolds under PUL covers with an extra newborn prefold added to the front at night, and his leakage issues have gone down to almost never. Only on nights when he nurses more than normal and we change him less than normal do we have real issues. During the day, only one prefold or fitted is necessary (and we still use some pockets during the day) but I need to make sure I change him often and use my most absorbent diapers during naptime or I’ll pull him out of bed to find a wet little belly. My little man just needs lots of absorbency and the extra leak protection that a diaper cover offers. But boy, did that learning curve take much longer than I’d expected, and all because I simply had trouble accepting that what worked for my daughter wouldn’t necessarily work for my son.

It was a good life lesson, and hopefully one I’ll remember in the future when it comes to other things I take for granted between the two of them. He is a different little guy, and I love the diversity of personalities the two of them bring to our family. But the cloth diaper thing really threw me for a loop. I just thought diapering was a “one size fits all” thing, so to speak. People had told me that it isn’t and I thought I believed them, but I really didn’t. Now I know for myself that different babies often have different diapering needs. That’s why it’s great to have so many cloth diapering options. I don’t know what I’d do if he were in disposables!



Cindy B
Date: 4/30/2014
We've used the old style "sized" fuzzi bunz with both our boys and had pretty good outcomes. Little/no leaking except at night... they both are long sleepers (10 hours or more) if they're dry. I've never found a cloth that could handle that.
Tiff Setzler
Date: 4/30/2014
When we first brought our little girl home she kept leaking with her microfiber inserts & as she was getting bigger it was worse. We noticed her bamboo ones never leaked. We'd go thru so many clothing changes, now our Alva Baby Bamboo inserts are all we buy & work amazing!!
Kim H
Date: 4/30/2014
I have noticed that my youngest son wets so much heavier than his older brother did at night. We have done prefolds & covers with both, but have used doublers to customize.
Date: 4/30/2014
Great post. I'm 32 weeks pregnant with baby number two, so its good timing for me to see this article.
christine k
Date: 5/3/2014
We didn't have much issue with our second. We went from a boy to a girl, so I feel we had any of the issues covered from diapering a boy. lol
Lara Clinton
Date: 5/4/2014
This is really interesting. Who would have thought it'd be THAT different? This helped me get a more realistic grip on my "stash" that I'll be building until even the first one arrives, that ultimately you don't know what to expect to last you in the long run!
Carly Tea
Date: 5/4/2014
This is why I'm glad I have so many different types of diapers. If I'd invested in all one kind, even my favorite kind, they may not work for my next child and I'd need a whole new stash.
Date: 5/6/2014
Great info for future children!
Date: 5/9/2014
I have two heavy wetting boys, but notice some differences, too. My first was bulletproof in a bumgenius pocket. This new squish is doing great in prefolds & Thirsties covers. I don't mind shopping for new diapers ;)
Sara Walden
Date: 5/17/2014
this was interesting to read. i have two boys an i never really thought about it but they are completely different from a "wetting the diaper" prospective. my oldest son didnt really wet as much as my youngest.
TIffany W.
Date: 5/18/2014
Thank you for sharing, this was a very interesting read! Wonderful information for the future.
Jen Vrabel
Date: 5/18/2014
We currently have 4 in cloth and yes they all do wet differently!Thankfully, flats and covers work well for all 4 of our littles. They each have different combos of flats and inserts but it has been great to have all 4 sharing.
Kristen Pack
Date: 6/4/2014
I haven't noticed much difference yet, but my little lady does seem to be a slightly heavier wetter than my little boy.
Date: 6/6/2014
Oh dear! I'll have to keep this in mind - I was already mentally deciding how to top of my stash for number two. But I think I'll wait, just in case...
Date: 6/6/2014
This makes me nervous. I have been trying to stock up on different diapers for future baby and it might be for nothing. Yay.
Autumn Pysarchyk
Date: 6/24/2014
Hoping that we have baby #2 soon, I'm glad I read this. I assumed they would be different, especially if we expect a girl this time versus a boy. Hopefully they don't differ too much though!
Ashley Seymour
Date: 11/23/2014
I have an almost 2 year old and a 3 week old in cloth. I'm already discovering differences in the two of them (with regards to cloth diapering) and they're both boys! :-) My daughter used disposables, so I can't compare the genders...
Sarah Hayes
Date: 1/5/2015
that picture is so sweet. Id hope my next child would be a lot easier to CD bc its def been a battle for us
Amy Dunn
Date: 1/8/2015
Wow! I never thought about there being a different in cloth diapering a boy than a girl. We are due to have our first son any day now. I'm glad I haven't spent a lot of money on diapers for him until I see what works best for him. Thanks for sharing!

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