By Diane Annett
Leaking is not a cloth nappy 'thing'. The reason I switched to cloth was because disposables kept leaking! If you are getting leaks, it's usually either; not enough absorbency or something off with the fit.
The first question to ask about getting leaks is: How long has the nappy been on? Nappies tend to need changed every 3-4 hours. (I changed this often in disposables as well; would you want to be in a wet nappy any longer?!) But this depends on the child; if you have a heavy wetter, you may need to change sooner. Or if your child has just gulped down two cups of water, you know they are going to need to be changed soon! The next question is: When the nappy leaks is it saturated or only a little wet? If the nappy is saturated, it has leaked because there wasn't enough absorbency. To fix this you can change sooner or add a booster to increase the absorbency of the nappy. Some nappies hold more liquid than others, it depends on the materials they are made from. Boosting with bamboo or hemp is ideal for adding absorbency. If the nappy isn't completely wet, baby may have done a huge pee and 'flooded' the nappy. This happens because the nappy couldn't absorb the liquid quick enough. Adding a quick absorbing booster like microfiber or cotton can help fix this issue.
*Microfibre cannot directly touch baby’s skin due microfibre will absorb moisture from their skin.
Is the fit right? If your absorbency is OK there may be an issue with the fit of the nappy. Common issues are: Nappy Rise - you may need to go up or down a rise. This lengthens / shortens the nappy which will also help tighten the legs. Push the extra rise fabric up to tighten the legs and down to loosen the legs. Too Tight / Loose - You should be able to fit two fingers down the front of the nappy. The legs should be snug with no gaps and no inner fabric poking out. How to fit a cloth nappy: • The back of the nappy should sit just above the bum and the front should be below the belly button. • Squeeze the crotch of the nappy and pull it up between the legs to help fit it into the knicker line • Ensure the front of the nappy is flat against baby. The wings should fasten above baby’s thigh, on their hip. • Secure the waist poppers / Velcro around baby, ensuring that you can fit two fingers comfortably between the nappy and baby. • Push the rise fabric up to tighten the legs • Run your finger around the leg elastics to ensure a snug fit in the knicker line with no inner fabric sticking out.
If you are still having issues don't be afraid to ask for advice! The cloth community are very friendly and helpful.