I’ve been quietly battling leaks since… well since I started this whole cloth thing. My little guy’s onesie has been wet in one (or both) of two places at some point almost every. single. day. There’s often a wet patch on his belly, right at the top of the diaper. If not, then there’s probably one around his legs. Sometimes I start undressing him to change his diaper and prematurely celebrate leak-less-ness. Then as I unsnap the dry looking onesie I feel the leg leak that I couldn’t see. Ugh.
Why are there so many leaks? I’m buttoning all of the buttons! This shouldn’t be rocket science. I see baby after baby wearing cloth and looking dry online. All of these amazing moms are chatting about the cutest fabrics and who’s having a diaper sale. No one is complaining that their every day is wet and leaky… except me. And, only in my head. I want this to work so badly that I am maintaining a relentlessly optimistic attitude.
Until recently, most of my problem solving attempts have involved shopping. “I’ll just try another brand. This one probably just isn’t a good fit for us! Or this brand… or this style…” Increasing the variety of diapers, of course, has only complicated the situation- as I can’t figure out which ones leak, if there are any patterns etc.
Two weeks ago, I got serious about getting to the bottom of this. I had the opportunity to buy someone’s entire stash of 30 pre-loved Fuzzi Bunz diapers. Now, I already had one Fuzzi Bunz Elite- and it seemed to hold up against leaks better than most of my diapers. Buying these diapers would help me eliminate several variables and get to the business of stopping leaks. So I cleaned all of the diapers and talked my husband into spending and evening adjusting elastics with me so that all of the new diapers would be exactly the same size. We separated any whose elastics might need replacing and vowed to use only diapers from this new lot until I figured out what was going on. And within just a few days, I had! There was one bump in the road (massive leak) that had me questioning if the PUL was too old and was no longer water resistant. That was quite a scare because that would mean that I had just wasted $200, and I wondered if I could justify keeping this up. But I stayed focused, put that one in the wet bag marked, “diapers that leak” and kept plugging along.
I learned some things that I was able to generalize across multiple styles and brands of diapers.
1. The leg leaks (usually minor- more like dampness) are not so much ‘leaks’ as they are a result of the cotton in the onesie doing what cotton does and wicking the liquid from the diaper. If I only snap the middle of the three snaps on the onesie, this doesn’t happen. I learned this when I posted a picture of a wet onesie to Fluff Love Photostream and asked for advice. The middle snap and slightly larger onesie advice were game changers!
2. Microfiber absorbs quickly, hemp absorbs a ton. Layering a microfiber insert on top of a hemp insert is a great strategy. It hasn’t failed me yet and I’ve been using that combination consistently for several days now. Next, I’m going to try charcoal inserts and another fabric called Zorb. I was expecting much too much from my pile of trim microfiber inserts. Now that I’m using them with a hemp doubler though- I am happy and my baby is dry.