Monday, April 15, 2013

Cloth Diaper Troubleshooting {Why are my diapers leaking?!}

Last week I started noticing that Isaac's diapers were leaking. At first it was just a little wet around his legs or belly but then his pants would have a big wet spot or he'd wake up soaked. I've been cloth diapering for three years total now between the two boys and I was stumped as to why they were leaking! We've used the same diapers without fail for over a year now and I've had the same wash routine for over a year, never with any problems! So what was causing my diapers to leak?

These were my possibilities:

Buildup- Although I have been using the same wash routine for over a year now, I knew it was always a possibility that my diapers could get buildup. My diapers didn't stink but that's not the only sign of buildup. Buildup can cause diapers to repel moisture and leak. 

Worn Out Diapers- I have had most of my diapers for over a year also, so they could just be getting old and worn out. There was the possibility that they were coming delaminated, which means the waterproof cover of the diaper is detaching from the diaper itself. That can also cause leaking. Or they were just getting old and worn and were losing some of their absorbency. 

Fit- Isaac's been growing again, he's gotten taller and thinned out some. So this was very much a possibility. I've been putting on his diapers fairly tight because that's how they fit best, but now that he was bigger, they may have been too tight which can also cause leaking. 

So which of these was causing my diapers to leak?

After some investigation of my diapers I ruled out delamination. They seemed to still be working just fine as far as wear. I only have about one diaper that I would consider really worn out. So I decided it was likely a mix of both the fit and some buildup causing the leaking. 

What did I do to fix the problem?

I don't love stripping my diapers and don't unless I absolutely have to. So I decided to try just a hot water strip first to see if that helped. All I did was put all of my CLEAN diapers in the wash with really hot water. I washed them about 3 times with hot water and then rinsed a few times with cold. Then did my normal drying routine. What do ya know, it worked! I was glad not to have to strip using any harsh soaps. Good ol' hot water did the trick! 

I also worked on the fit around my now much skinnier baby. Even though he's skinnier I've found that if I put them just a snap looser than I was, that they fit better and don't cause any leaking or wetness around his legs or belly!

So after some investigation and trial and error,  I was able to stop my diapers from leaking, which was a huge relief! 

Have your cloth diapers ever leaked? What did you do about it? Are you having leaking issues now? What do you think is causing the problem?

I'm a little late, but I'm linking up with My Cloth Diaper Stash for the weekly Cloth Diaper Blog Hop! Have a good cloth diaper troubleshooting blog post? Link up too! 


  1. I never thought about doing just a hot water "strip". Great idea!

  2. Fortunately, the only time that my daughter's diapers leak is when she pees a lot and needs changed. Otherwise, we have not had any problems, knock on wood.

  3. The only time I'd had issues with leaking was when it was a fit issue... or just plain getting too wet. Yay for getting the problem licked in one easy fix!

  4. Such a helpful post! I think leakage was mainly due to build up for us.

  5. I will have to try this. My little one's cloth diapers have started leaking. I really want to avoid stripping with chemicals or dawn dish soap.

  6. My daughter's diapers were leaking every time I would put one on her. I tried stripping the diapers and everything, but nothing worked. Turns out that she is just a super heavy wetter and the diapers just were not made to hold that much pee. So near the end of her diapering day, we had to do a micro insert as well as a hemp insert just to keep her dry for a couple of hours. I'm so glad that she is mostly using the potty now. That was turning out to be a ton of laundry.


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