Posted by Aimee
on Mar 11th, 2013 in Featured
| 1 comment
One of the problems that some people face with cloth diapers is leaks. Leaks can be frustrating to the point of making a parent reconsider if cloth diapers are for them at all. Your cloth diapers might be leaking for any number of reasons. Ask yourself these questions to help determine the reason for leaks.
- Is the insert soaked?
- Is the insert relatively dry?
- Is the diaper brand new?
- Is the diaper fitting securely around baby’s legs and waist?
- Do you use dryer sheets?
The diagnosis of your leak issues can often be answered by the answers to these questions.
- If the diaper insert is soaked, even if the baby has not been in the diaper that long, then you need more absorbency. Some babies simply wet more than others. If you are using synthetic fibers like microfiber (MF), consider switching to a natural fiber. Some of the most absorbent fibers are hemp and bamboo. You can also consider combining materials. MF absorbs quickly, but hemp holds a lot of liquid. Pairing these two will help you avoid “flash floods” and also give you long-lasting absorbency.
- If the insert is fairly dry, but the diaper is leaking, your diapers are most likely repelling. If you are using pockets or all-in-ones, you probably need to tweak your wash routine. There is a chance you have detergent build-up. Run your diapers through several detergent-free hot washes. While the machine is agitating, peek in and see if there are suds. If you have suds, then your detergent is not rinsing fully. Keep running the hot washes until there are no suds, and then dry as you normally would. If you still have leaks, you’ll need to strip* the diapers and start all over again. (*Keep your eye on the site for a future post about how to strip your diapers)
- If the diaper is brand spanking new, it might just need further prepping. Typically, synthetic fibers don’t need as much prepping, but if you prepped them with natural fibers, some of the natural oils may have adhered to your microfiber, and this may be causing repelling. If you prepped microfiber and natural fibers together, run the MF through several hot washes without any natural fibers. If you didn’t prep MF with natural fibers, run the MF (without any newer natural fibers) through several hot washes. If your newer natural fibers are leaking, run them through a couple more prep (wash and dry) cycles.
- If you have a skinny baby, there is more chance of leaking around the legs. Make sure that your one-size diapers are on the right setting and that they fit your baby properly. If you are using prefolds and covers, consider using covers that have double gussets. These tend to fit a little more snugly around the legs and help prevent leaks. Fit is one of the reasons I tell the cloth diaper curious to vary their stash rather than getting all one type. Babies, like their moms, come in all different shapes and sizes, so what works for one baby won’t necessarily work for another. If you’re just getting started, you might want to consider a trial so that you can determine not just what you like best but what fits your child.
- Most people know not to use dryer sheets on cloth diapers. If you didn’t know that, stop using them immediately and strip your diapers. If you use dryer sheets on other loads of laundry, and you’re having leak issues, stop using the dryer sheets, clean out the inside of the machine, run your diapers through several hot washes, and then try them out again. If you still have leaks, strip your diapers, try air-drying them, and then try them out again.
Any questions on preventing or fixing leak issues? Post them in the comments!
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