Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tips for Troubleshooting Pocket Diaper Leaks!

Guest Post by Bert

Sometimes cloth diapers leak. Heck, some times disposable diapers leak! The truth of the matter is that unless you practice early elimination your baby needs to wear diapers. What do you do when your cloth diaper is continuously leaking?

I like to go through a process of elimination when it comes to solving cloth diaper leaking problems. First, I look at the way I put on the diaper. Are the inner tabs pulled up causing the urine to wick up the clothes? Is the diaper the right size; is it too tight or too loose around the legs causing a gap?

Pocket Diaper Leaks
The main reason for pocket diaper leaks start with what makes a pocket diaper stand out from the rest of the cloth diaper pack – their ability for the user to tailor absorbency by adding and removing inserts. If you have too many inserts in the pocket it will cause gapping between the diaper and your baby’s legs. If you don’t have enough inserts your diaper will leak.

Most pockets, at least the more popular brands, are one size. If you’re experiencing leaking in a one size pocket diaper, particularly around the legs, I encourage you to try moving your baby up or down a size. If the diaper’s too small there won’t be enough area for the insert to absorb the urine. If the diaper’s too big then you’ll have leaks around the legs from gapping.

The other cause for pocket diaper leaks could be due to a build up of detergent. A detergent build up can happen with both the pockets and the microfiber inserts (if you use microfiber). If this is the case you need to strip the diapers to get rid of the build up. What’s a simple stripping method? The original blue Dawn detergent. Yes, that’s right, Dawn detergent. Two squirts into a very hot washing cycle of clean diapers will do the trick. Do an extra rinse cycle after that and you’re done. You can also use baking soda or vinegar. I haven’t used either of those methods because Dawn works for me so let me know if you’ve had success with either of those.

If you notice that there’s leaking that’s happening and it’s not in the common problem areas of the legs or near the top of the pocket chances are that your waterproof liner (aka the PUL) could be worn down or peeling. You can tell if this is happening by turning the diaper inside out and holding it up to the light. If you can see through it, if there are breaks in the liner or it’s not shiny then your leaking problem is the PUL. There are ways to re-waterproof your pockets otherwise you’ll likely need to restock on new ones. Once the waterproofing of a pocket diaper isn’t working it’s got a very short time before you’ll need to replace it or buy a cover.

Now of course there are other reasons for leaks in a pocket diaper. These are the most common causes for pockets. If you’ve found other causes please comment below and share your knowledge.

Hope this helps!

Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This June, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.


Ellen Bratzel said...

Found a couple tips in here I can't wait to try! I am new to cloth, and bought a couple diapers used. They have been leaky, and I was at a loss for what to do. I'm pretty sure I have them set at the right size, but the tabs sticking up may be a problem. Or they may need to be stripped. Thanks for this post! I'm sure I will come back to it often...

Will Kern said...

Who says that leaks in diapers or cloths cannot be avoided? These tips provide solutions to those who worry about leaks. Thank you so much for sharing.

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