All about leaks

Leaky diapers can be the most frustrating part of using cloth diapers. Every cloth diapering parent has experienced leaks at one time or another. It's frustrating. I remember going through a period not too long after we started cloth diapering where I felt like I was constantly changing Noah's clothes, the sheets, and my shirts due to leaks. It's important to pinpoint the cause of the leaks so you can figure out how to fix it. Here's a list of common problems, how to spot them, and solutions to fix them.

Not enough absorbency
If you take a diaper off of your child after having leaks and the soaker is sopping wet, you don't have enough absorbency.
Solution: Boost the absorbency with a doubler, a second insert, or by using a more absorbent fiber. Natural fibers can hold a lot more wetness than synthetic. Another solution is to change your child's diaper more frequently.

Compression leaks
Microfiber inserts can be notorious for compression leaks.  A compression leak is caused by the weight of your child, usually when sitting or lying down, presses down on the insert. The wetness leaks out just as if you were squeezing it out by hand.
Solution: Add a hemp doubler or switch to natural fibers.

Diapers too tight or too loose
Many parents realize that diapers that are too loose in the legs will cause leaks. If there is a gap in the leg hole, it's possible that wetness will have a chance to leak out before being soaked up. What many parents don't realize is that diapers that are too tight in the legs can also cause leaks.
Solution: If using one size diapers, adjust the leg openings by adjusting the snap down rise or leg elastics. If using sized diapers, considering trying a different size.

If your diapers aren't absorbing your child's urine and are causing leaks, it is likely that you have build up on the fabric. Build up is caused by residue left from diaper cream. Over time, build up can cause repelling. To test for build up, try dropping some water on the soaker or the diaper. If the water isn't absorbed then you have a repelling problem. *Many stay dry fabrics need pressure to absorb.
Solution: It's time to strip your diapers!

Not properly covered
A layer of fabric, usually PUL (polyurethane laminate) or TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), is required to keep the wetness inside the diaper and off your child's clothings, sheets, etc. If any part of the inside of the diaper is poking out, this can cause leaks.
Note: I do not have problems with the fleece liner coming out of the back of my Fuzzibunz. Fleece is great for wicking away moisture. This does not cause leaks. My (old style) Bumgenius Elementals will leak at the legs if I don't make sure the cotton is tucked inside.
Solution: Be sure to check the legs and waist to make sure that fabrics are properly covered.

Old inserts
If you are using older cloth diapers with microfiber inserts, your inserts may have reached their life expectancy. It is not uncommon to have to replace microfiber inserts after continual use for more than a year.
Solution: Replace your inserts with new ones. You can purchase more microfiber inserts or this is a great time to look into natural fiber options.

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