What can I do to prevent or stop leaks?

Diaper Leaks Troubleshooting Guide

  • Prep new diapers. The protective coating on new fabric and the oils in natural fibers block absorption. Wash new cloth diapers and inserts 3–4 times before the first use to achieve maximum absorbency. Reduce the amount of detergent to 1/4 of your normal amount. The detergent must be completely dissolved for optimum washing results. No drying is needed between washes.
  • Make sure the insert is securely in place. Even a tiny bit of insert fabric sticking outside the cover can cause a surprising amount of urine to wick out quickly. When diapering your baby, make sure the insert is properly stuffed into the cover/pocket.
  • Change the diaper before it’s completely saturated. When a diaper becomes saturated, dampness spreads to the outer shell or cover, usually from the legs, and causes leaks. You need to change the diaper before it gets to that point. If your baby is a heavy wetter, you may need to add more padding.
  • Change a newborn often. Newborns have tiny bladders and require frequent changing. To prevent leaks, you may need to change your newborn every 1–2 hours.
  • Add extra padding. If your baby has a strong urine stream, you can slow it down with extra padding. A boy will need thicker padding in the front; make sure not to cover the tummy button (umbilicus). A girl will need thicker padding in the back.
  • Strip your diapers once a month. Buildup of residue from detergents, water minerals, fabric softeners, ointments, and creams can cause cloth diapers to lose absorbency and begin to repel moisture. Stripping diapers will remove buildup and restore absorbency. It’s easy to do:  
    • Run a cold rinse with no detergent
    • Run a warm wash cycle with a little detergent, if necessary, but no bleach.
    • Run another cold rinse.
    • Continue washing on warm and rinsing on cold until all the suds are gone and the rinse water runs clear.
  • Soak inserts before washing. This will help remove residue and oils that block absorbency.
    • Microfiber: Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to warm water and soak your microfiber inserts for half an hour before washing.
    • Bamboo: Soak bamboo inserts in cold water for half an hour. Do not add baking soda; it will cause the fiber to disintegrate.