Category Archives: Leaking Cloth Diapers

Diapers sometimes leak. Whether you are using cloth or disposable. The great thing about cloth diapers is that you can make changes to fix the leaks. A properly functioning cloth diaper will meet your absorbency needs. Learn how to make it work with easy fixes to common issues.

bumGenius Refresher kit

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Have the elastics and velcro of your fave bumGenius cloth diapers seen better days? Fret not!

Your cloth diapers can be renewed with the bumGenius Refresher Kits. This easy kit includes three new pieces of elastic (back elastic, two legs), new tab closures, new laundry tabs, and instructions for sewing your diaper refresh kits into your bumGenius cloth diapers.

Pick up these kits today and you will re-fresh your cloth diapers in no time!

 

AMP Boosters

AMPthumbnail-4.asp Boosters in natural fibers give extra absorption with minimal bulk.

There are: 2-layer hemp (blue edge), 3-layer hemp (red edge) and 2-layer bamboo (green edge).

Boosters are perfect for giving a little “oomph” to cloth diapers for naps, overnight, heavy-wetters or babes that are growing out of sized cloth diapers. The thirsty 3-layer hemp can even be used as an insert for newborns.

Stripping (Your Diapers): When, Why, and How

happybabyIf you’ve ever hunted for information about cloth diapering, you’ve likely run across the instruction to “strip your diapers.” Some sources make this sound like a dire emergency, while other sources ignore it completely. So we thought we’d take a quick look at what stripping is and when it’s useful.

What is Stripping?

“Stripping” merely refers to an easy process that strips any lingering residues from the surface of your diapers.  Residues can build up if you use a detergent that has additives or fabric softeners, if diapers aren’t fully rinsed after each wash, or if you have hard water in your area.

Why Should I Strip? (And How Often?)

Stripping isn’t a routine maintenance sort of thing – it’s only something you need to do if your normally soft and absorbent diapers are suddenly leaking or if there’s an undesirable odor that lingers in your diapers even after they’ve been washed and dried.

So, HOW Do I Strip?

There are various methods for stripping your diapers depending on your type of machine. And obviously, regardless of method, start with non-dirty diapers or you’ll have a whole new set of problems to deal with!

HOT water with no detergent (top-loader): Wash your diapers in the longest cycle your machine will allow using the HOT wash cycle and either HOT or WARM rinse. Lift the lid every once in a while to check for soap bubbles –  you need to rinse until you no longer see soap bubbles or a film on top of the water during the rinse, which may take as many as 3-4 rinses. But once the soap bubbles no longer appear, your diapers are fresh and fully stripped!

Rock-a-Soak (top-loader & HE): This is a super-super-effective way to get rid of lingering funk and residues. In a top-loader, fill the tub with hot water, add 3-4 tablespoons of Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer, toss in your diapers, and let them sit for an hour or so. After the soak, run them through a hot wash and rinse cycle 2-3 times.

In a front-loader, add your diapers to the basket and put 3-4 tablespoons of Funk Rock in the detergent area of the detergent drawer. Start a quick wash cycle and hit “stop” or “pause” as soon as you notice that the Funk Rock has been washed into the basket and the water has been added in the cycle. Let this sit for an hour or so, then start a long, hot wash and rinse without adding anything else. You will likely need to wash and rinse 2-3 times.

Vinegar (top-loader & HE): You can also add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of vinegar to one of the rinse cycles. This is a gentle way to neutralize the acids and odors lingering on your diapers and it will help lift away the residues. You can add this via the detergent drawer or if you have a Downy ball, just place the vinegar inside and toss it in on top of the diapers.

Dawn dishwashing liquid (top-loader only): In a top-loader, you may also add one squirt of Original Dawn dishwashing liquid to the wash cycle. Dawn has been formulated as a degreaser, so it does very well in lifting off oily residues. (If your child has recently discovered Vaseline or petroleum-based diaper creams and smeared them all over his or her diapers, Dawn is also a very effective way to deal with that laundry issue!) Dawn creates lots of suds, however, so if you want to use this method with a front-loader, you’ll need to scrub the diapers with Dawn by hand and rinse them out before putting them into the washer. As with all the other methods, once the diapers are in the machine, wash on hot and – you guessed it – rinse, rinse, rinse.

So, as you can see, stripping your diapers doesn’t take much more effort than a regular load of laundry and doesn’t need to happen often. The best way to prevent needing to strip in the first place is just to make sure you’re using a long rinse in your normal wash routine or by occasionally adding a second rinse to your routine.

Happy diapering!

Photo Credit – iandeth

Cloth Diapering Milestones: Moving from Liquids to Solids

It may seem from our title that we’re talking about food today, but as is inevitable in any conversation about diapers, today we’re actually discussing poo. (Sorry if we got your hopes up….) As any pediatrician or naturopath will tell you, watching your infant’s stools change from liquid to solid is an important, significant transition, and sometimes that can mean changing your diaper selection as well.

The Newborn Days

In the early days of life, your baby’s gut is immature. For the first few days, it’s excreting all the lovely, tarry meconium that is a by-product of life in the womb, and for the first few weeks is incapable of holding food for long. And obviously, the only food intake is in liquid form, so with all these factors together, you can count on a liquid-y, poopy diaper after every meal. (Diaper liners are a welcome accessory during this period!)

As for color and texture, due to the colonization of the gut with all the good bacteria it needs for nutrient absorption, you can watch the stool go from black to various shades of yellow and green. Your doctor or midwife will likely ask you at some point about the stool’s color and consistency as an indication of the baby’s health, especially if the baby has been jaundiced.

In terms of diapering, all of this liquid stool in the early days means that the most important factor to consider in choosing diapers is containment. You need a diaper or a cover that has good, snug elastic around the legs and waist to keep all the poo exactly where it belongs. Popular choices from New & Green parents tend to be a prefold, Snappi, and cover combo, a Kissaluvs size 0 + cover combo, and the (super cute) TiniFit All-in-One.

Regularity

At about 6-8 weeks of age, your baby’s stools will begin to change. While at the beginning poo tends to be runny, at this point it will begin to hold together and take on a firmer, more tacky texture. The upside to this is that the stool can be easier to shake off into the toilet, as well as that food is now moving more slowly through the gut, so it’s entirely possible that your baby will only move his or her bowels once or twice a day, sometimes at the same time each day. (Wahoo!) And as the months go by and as your baby begins to eat solid food, the poo will continue to solidify.

So as poo becomes more – shall we say, regular – containment is no longer the highest priority for a diaper, but absorbancy. Poo may not be as frequent, but the baby’s bladder is getting bigger and he or she is eating more.

Thus, parents’ favorite diapers tend to change: many still love the prefold + cover combo and the EasyFit All-in-One, but other favorites for this period include the Bamboozle bamboo fitted, the AMP hemp fitted, and BumGenius pocket diapers.

Watching your baby grow and change can be an incredible, joyful experience. We certainly hope that cloth diapering on that journey helps you celebrate the joy of watching your child grow and seeing the miracle of all the changes that your baby’s body goes through, including the myriad type of messy diapers.

And care to share your experiences? We welcome hearing your stories about how you have dealt with your “poo problems,” as questions about how to deal with poop are among our most frequent at our Cloth Diapering 101 workshops and here on the blog. Real-life stories are fantastic!

Cloth Diapering Milestones: When to Move Up a Snap Setting on Your One-Size Diapers

 

As your baby moves from those tiny infant days to the big run-around toddler days, different size cloth diapers take care of all your cloth diapering needs. If you’ve chosen to use one-size diapers,  obviously you’ll need to decide when to change the snap settings to get the best sizing at every step of the way. If you’re at one of times, congratulations on this milestone in your baby’s growth!

Here are few things to watch out for to know it’s time to change to the next snap setting:

When the rise falls below the top of the hips, you know the diaper no longer comes up high enough to provide adequate coverage on the front of the diaper. The “rise” is the height of the diaper in the front – this often indicates the the back of the diaper is a bit short as well, so it’s definitely helpful to extend the rise at this point by moving up one snap setting.

When the leg openings become tight, that can also be an indication that the diaper is on the small side. Leg openings should be somewhat snug in order to keep messes where they belong, but if you can no longer fit one finger in between the leg elastic and your baby’s leg or if the elastic is leaving significant indentations in your baby’s skin, then it’s time to re-evaluate.

It should be noted, however, that tight leg openings can occur for other reasons, as well, so you should check out other fit issues before changing your snap settings. If you have a wonderfully chubby baby, the legs will probably become tight before the rise becomes too short, while if you have a long legged, lanky babe, the leg openings may never become too tight before it’s time to switch. Tight leg openings are merely a companion symptom. (Leg openings should never gap, however, so look for a different culprit if changing the snap setting results in gaps around

the legs!)

However, if the diaper is tight around the waist and difficult to get on, that’s a good sign that your baby is ready to move to the next snap setting.

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bumGenius One-Size Guide

If pee regularly starts leaking over the top of the diaper, regardless of the rise, it may be time to change the snap setting. This can be due to a boy who tends to point upward or a girl who sleeps on her front – however, before you decide that changing snap settings is the best way to solve this problem, consider doing some “problem solving” by making sure to tuck your boy downward when you change him or by adding extra absorbancy to the front of your girl’s diaper.

The makers of BumGenius, one of the most popular one-size diapers on the market today, offer a helpful comment to keep in mind as well:
Remember, babies change shape frequently as they grow up. You may have times when your relatively young baby is using their one-size diapers on the largest setting. The same child may be on the medium setting several months later due to increased mobility.

FuzziBunz One-Size Guide

Also, one extra note for those of you who use Fuzzi Bunz One-Size diapers:

Even though Fuzzi Bunz’s version of the one-size diaper uses elastic instead of snaps to change sizing, these guidelines still apply. However, the elastics allow more settings than snaps do, so you may choose to adjust them more or less often, according to what works best for you and your child. If you ever find yourself trying to find the “right” adjustment for your child, use this handy chart to find suggestions that may work for you.

Here’s the best to all you fantastic mamas as your child grows and hits many milestones in the first few years of life!

Video Learning Series:: bumGenius Pocket Cloth Diapers for Newborns – How to Make it Work!

We’ve had a few questions of late about using the bumGenius Pocket Diapers for newborns and here’s what we’ve been saying.

There are pros and there are cons.

Let’s start with the Pros:

  • This diaper comes bundled with a newborn insert (the absorbent part of the diaper) that is small and trim so it doesn’t overwhelm your baby, make his or her bum too huge.
  • This diaper also comes with a one size insert that will grow with your baby.  Usually parents switch out the mini newborn insert for the one size insert at about 10lbs and this will take them right throught.  There may be a point where you’ll need a boost of absorbency (toddler naps & nights) at which point you can pull out that mini insert and use it as a booster.
  • It will grow with your baby and you won’t need to purchase another size of diapers.  You won’t have any “diaper clutter”.
  • If you have two in diapers (a newborn and toddler), you can use the same set of diapers for them both.
  • No learning curve for the other diaper-ers in your life, as they only have to learn one style of diaper (and then they get to perfect it by practicing 7000 times!)

Now, let’s take a look at the Cons:

  • As with any One-Size Diaper, it needs to have extra material to accomodate for it’s growth up to fitting a toddler.  This can make it seem overwhelming to figure out how to put it on a teeny little newborn.
  • They do have a little more “poofiness” to them because of this extra material.  If the inner material is not well approximated to the baby’s skin, this can be a cause for leaking (but this can be remedied – see the video for a tip).
  • While we typically recommend a set of 24 diapers, we recommed 30 if you are going with a One-Size to decrease the wear and tear over 2-3 years.  This will be a higher up front cost, but over the course of your diapering days, you’ll still be ahead for only having purchased one set of diapers.

Have a look at the Learning Series Video Tips for using a bumGenius Pocket Cloth Diaper with Newborn to learn two specific hacks to make this diaper fit well and decrease the incidence of leaking during the newborn phase.  The video was created before the 4.0’s were released but the concepts are transferable and work well on both the 3.0s and 4.0s.

Are you a bumGenius fan?

Have you rocked your cloth diaper laundry yet?

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I know, I know.  We’ve been talking a LOT about this stuff.

But it works, it really works!

Want some, don’t you? Click here to grab a coupon code.  It’s only valid until Sunday and our stock will go fast.

Try it and then come back to us and tell us how much you love it.

Leaking Diapers? Common Reasons AND Fixes

cryingbabyOne of the most common frustrations for cloth diapering parents and one of the most common reasons we know of why parents decide to quit cloth diapering is leaks.

But leaks are fixable – and often easily so. Read on for a checklist to see how you can keep your baby AND his clothes dry.

Typically, leaks happen because of issues related to fit, size, absorbency, or because bits of the diaper are peeking outside the diaper cover.
Also, leaks commonly happen when a baby is “in between” sizes or when a “one-size” diaper is too big on an itty-bitty newborn.
Let’s look at each of these scenarios by itself:

FIT: Each baby’s shape and size is different. Some babies are long and lean and some have those lovely rolls of baby fat around their thighs. Thus, even though two babies may be the same weight, the same diaper will fit them differently. Basically, just make sure that once your diaper is on that there are no gaps anywhere around the thighs or back of your baby. Everything should be tight, snug, and secure (and don’t worry – it’s difficult to get a diaper too tight.)

A second, though less common, “fit” issue is with how a diaper is sewn in the legs. On some babies, certain diapers will tend to “roll up” at the thighs and this can cause liquid to wick out. If you see any “inner” part of the diaper showing, such as fleece or cotton, try to roll it or tuck it back into place.

SIZE: It may seem obvious, but make sure you’re using the right size diaper. If the diaper is too big, there will be gaps around the legs or back where pee and poo can escape. (Gaps may be obvious or not. Basically, if you can easily fit more than one finger in between the elastic of the diaper and your baby’s leg, liquids will have no problem getting out.)

Likewise, if the diaper is too small, the elastic around the legs and back may get stretched too much and they can’t do their job of containing everything. Often diapers that are too small also have a very low rise over the crotch. Especially with boys, this can mean there’s just not enough diaper where the liquid wants to go and the leaks will happen at the front.

The fix? Check for gaps, over-stretched elastic, and your diaper’s rise and adjust which size diaper you use accordingly. If you are “in between” sizes, where a “small” is too small and a “medium” is too big, consider adding a bit of bulk, such as a doubler, or changing the brand or type of cover you use, which often fit differently, to get you through those two or three interim weeks.

ABSORBENCY: As a baby goes from a newborn to toddler, the amount and frequency of the baby’s wetting changes. Typically, as a baby grows she will pee less often but with a greater quantity. Thus, make sure you are using a diaper with adequate absorbency for your baby. If you need to increase the absorbency but aren’t ready to switch to a different size, add a doubler or two.  Also, if you use pocket diapers, consider adding an entire prefold or flatfor night time leaks.

“TUCKAGE”: This one is especially easy to fix and is incredibly common, even among experienced cloth diaperers. “Tuckage,” while perhaps not even a real word (darn!), merely refers to the times when a bit of the diaper doesn’t get tucked into the cover during the diaper change. Especially when you’ve got a wiggly baby, it can be difficult to remember to check that everything is tucked securely inside the cover, but this one step will make sure everything stays dry!

BAGGY ONE-SIZE DIAPERS ON NEWBORNS: One-size cloth diapers can be real budget-savers and a great way to only have to buy diapers once in your baby’s diapering lifetime. However, they can be too baggy in the newborn days. In this case, we recommend adding a hemp/cotton cloth wipe folded in half. This will add some bulk, but it will improve the fit until your baby fills out the diaper a bit more.

Here are a few products that seem to excel at keeping frustrating leaks at bay:
FuzziBunz UNIQUE one-size cloth diaper
Bummis Super Brite covers
Tots Bots Easy Fit All in One cloth diaper in Hook & Loop or Snaps

Have you solved your leaking problems in a creative way? Please let us know! We’d love to pass your advice on to other parents.