Why oh why are my diapers leaking?!? You’ll be surprised, there might be a simple solution!

There is always a lot of talk about detergent buildup, wicking, and delamination. While these things can be very real, troublesome issues, the answer is sometimes simpler. Two questions you need to ask yourself before you worry about those other things are: Does this diaper fit right? And Am I using enough absorbency?

Sophia is now 17 months old. She is 24 pounds and 32”. I sized up to the larger sized diapers months ago! Currently though, my little toddler’s bum seems to be undecided about what size it wants to be in. I pull the rise all the way up and at the next diaper change the whole diaper is saggy and I can see right in through the leg holes! Now I know they started out good and tight.  Hmmm…

Ok, out came the mediums again. All those pretty snapped size 2 diapers got snapped down to the middle rise. Guess what? Perfect fit again.

Until the next diaper change that is! Right now, I feel like I am constantly fiddling with the diapers to get a good fit at every change.  But seriously it is important. If you don’t have the right sized diaper or maybe aren’t putting it on quite right it WILL leak! Check out this link from Thirsties for great suggestions on how to get a good fit every time.

Next you need to ask: Are you using the right amount of absorbency? I am currently using a large Ragababe insert with a medium under it. It seems that it isn’t quite enough. A few times now after only an hour or so I it will leak through. You should never feel wetness on the outside of a waterproof shell. I am going to go to 2 large inserts.

Let’s face it…the bigger the kid…the more they drink….the more they pee! My little girl loves drinking water. So I need to make sure I can keep up with her intake.

Obviously, diaper changes need to be frequent enough to keep baby comfortable, dry and hopefully rash free. Probably more like every 2  hours is a good interval during the day. But a cloth diaper really should last more than an hour before they reached their capacity and leak.

I have heard people say it to me before. My answer is: If you are only getting 60 minutes out of the diaper, you NEED to add more absorbency. Pockets are easy to do this with. You just add an extra insert or doubler inside the pocket. With any other type of diaper you can just lay the extra insert, doubler or booster right on top of the existing one.

Many brands sell doublers or booster options that match their diaper but you can really use whatever you want as long as it will fit in the cover.

My favorite to use are from Geffen BabyJersey Hemp Prefolds or Super Absorbers Plus are awesome choices.

I also love Thirsties Hemp Inserts for doubling up. They are SUPER trim and absorb a TON! Hemp is more of a slow stable absorber. These inserts are also great for nighttime use as well. We use 2 of them in a Kawaii Goodnight Heavy Wetter and they are now our bulletproof nighttime solution.

Finally a budget friendly option are Flour Sack Towels (FST for short). You can find them at Target or Walmart in the kitchen towel aisle. Or you can find them online here. They run about $1 a piece and add about 8 oz of absorbency to anything. You can use them with any type of diaper or other insert. You can even wrap them around MF and use in covers!

If you are looking how inserts and doublers stack up in the absorbency department, you need to check this out!

Keep in mind that many of these inserts and doublers are interchangeable between diaper brands. As long as it fits inside the cover, you are good to go.

Your baby’s diaper should not be leaking. Do a little investigating and experimenting with how different diapers fit. Invest in hemp if you can! Don’t be afraid to add more inserts if you think it’s needed.

What have you done to stop your diapers from leaking?

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About Jennifer Reinhardt

Jenn is a WAHM to two beautiful little girls. Sophia (4.5 years old) and Norah (4 months). She closed her business, Curves, when she found out she was pregnant so she could stay home with her first daughter. Now Jenn spends her time spreading the love of fluff and sharing common sense answers that help to make cloth diapers easy for everyone.

View all posts by Jennifer Reinhardt

10 Responses to “Why oh why are my diapers leaking?!? You’ll be surprised, there might be a simple solution!”

  1. Carolyn Says:

    AMEN! When I first started CDing and we had leaks, I panicked because I thought my diaper cover was repelling – turns out the prefolds were just over-saturated ;) (Oh, past self, how you make me laugh!) And I get super frustrated with any diaper that can’t last 2 hours. If you leak at less than 2 hours, I give up. I’m not willing to change diapers THAT often all day long ;)


  2. Jennifer Osmondson Says:

    I have found that no cloth diaper really works to my specifications. Having never had leaks with my other 2 kids when using disposables to using cloth and have leaks with every single diaper is disturbing. It made me really hate her allergy to a component in disposables. It is not a delamination issue anymore as we got rid of those diapers, it is not our detergent as I checked that aspect, and the diapers fit her just fine. I think it is annoying that a disposable could last us 1 to 2 hours, but the cloth only last 30 minutes or less.

    We start potty training at 12 months with my kids in disposables or cloth. I they successfully are fully trained before age 2 (at least with my older 2 so far). Personally I think I will just give up, because cloth is just a losing battle for us. We hate using prefolds, flats, AI2, and pockets. We prefer AIO which is just as close to disposable as we can get. I also think the expense turned me off, because I spent more in cloth than I would have for 12 months of disposable diapers. I have just given up trying to figure out why ours leak anymore.


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      I’m sorry you are having so many problems Jennifer! Have you ever tried Ragababes? I think they are as close to a disposable as you can come. Well made, absorb a ton. There is a b/s/t page to buy them new to save money. And they have a really high resale value. Good luck, I hope you find something that can work for you.


  3. Kats Says:

    Though I do agree that leaking can be caused by too large diaper or not enough absorbency, the real question here is that you just have to change more often. And maybe limit the drinking a little. Just because little one loves to drink (water, but definately not anything else), it doesn’t mean he/she has to drink just for the fun of it. Changing diaper every 1 hour isn’t too often. Specially when you are at home. On the contrary, it’s useful for your baby’s potty training (yes, you can start as early as you feel like it) to change because of 1(2) pee(s). It gives the right message to the kid. Not that it’s required but it’s recommended. It’s better for your baby to be in a clean diaper :)


    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      I think this may be a good strategy when you are trying to potty learn. My point though is when a diaper is leaking because its full. Yes, you can change as often as you want, but it should be leaking at an hour. The drier baby’s bottom is the better :)


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