Don’t Cloth Diapers Leak?

Surprised baby

One of the questions we hear often is: “Won’t cloth diapers leak?” Of course, any diaper could leak, so we help our customers choose and care for their diapers properly to avoid the dreaded blow out or the wet bed.

With any diaper, you need to consider these issues to be sure that you have no leaks:

  • the diaper needs to fit well,
  • quality design and materials really does matter,
  • overnight calls for extra absorbency, and
  • sometimes laundry issues can cause problems.

Does size really matter that much when diapers are all one-sized? Size does matter. You need to choose a diaper that fits your baby’s size and shape.

We still focus on fit even when a lot of the diapers we sell are one-sized diapers. Most newborns will not fit well in so-called one-size diapers. Tiny legs don’t block leg openings. When a diaper is too big, a baby will pee right out the leg opening. Even if you plan to use one-size diapers, it helps to start with newborn cloth diapers.

Sometimes the issue isn’t size but shape. Even a bigger baby with skinny legs will need a diaper that has adjustable sizing for legs to prevent leaks. If a diaper slips down on a baby with a low waist, you end up with gaps at the legs. Choose a low-rise diaper to prevent gaps.

Also, check to be sure that the absorbent part of the diaper isn’t sticking out. If that happens, it could act like a wick drawing all of the moisture out of your baby’s diaper onto clothes and bed. At the end of a diaper change, check and tuck to be sure that the diaper is completely inside the cover.

Your baby’s size and shape do matter. We have experience with a variety of styles, sizes, and brands, so we can help you find the best fit to keep those little legs dry.

Aren’t all diapers pretty much the same? We see a big difference in the quality of cloth diapers. Quality does matter. When a family has been using cheap knock-off diapers and we introduce them to the real thing, they are amazed at the difference quality can make.

Sometimes the issue with leaking is design. Brands that have been around for a while have had time to incorporate customer feedback into their designs, adjusting the shape of a diaper for maximum wetness protection.

Other times, the issue with leaking is materials. A surprising number of inexpensive diapers include no absorbent materials at all. We sometimes wonder if these products have ever been tested for absorbency because they just don’t work as well as we expect.

Quality diapers have good reputations, and they are invested in your diapering success. We only carry quality brands we trust. Look for customer ratings and reviews to learn what works for other families.

How can I avoid leaky nighttime diapers? The key to a dry bed overnight is using enough absorbency.

Even if your baby seems to be sleeping through the night, it’s likely s/he is waking once or twice to pee without being so fussy that you wake up. That’s a lot of moisture to expect a diaper to hold until morning.

If you find that your baby’s diapers leak by morning, start by doubling up the absorbent part of the diaper. Add a second prefold or an extra insert, for example.

For heavy nighttime wetters, we recommend hemp boosters because the fibers are very absorbent. Because they are so absorbent, they hang on to water in the wash, and they are more difficult to clean well, so just be sure that you use hot water and plenty of rinses to keep hemp from getting stinky.

Why does my baby pee right out of the diaper? If urine flows right off the diaper without even being absorbed, you likely have an issue with laundry.

Oily residues on on any diaper material can cause the material to repel rather than absorb. This residue can come from diaper cream, fabric softener, even build-up from detergents that haven’t been rinsed properly. This is usually more of a problem with polyester diapers, but it can happen with any diaper if there is enough oily residue.

We are happy to help our customers troubleshoot laundry issues. Come in or call to tell us how we can help.

If the problem was diaper cream, be sure that the diaper cream you choose is safe for cloth diapers. Even then, you can prevent issues with your diapers by using a diaper liner.

If your natural fiber diapers are new, you do need to pre-wash several times until they are fully absorbent. If your new cotton prefolds are leaking, the fix is easy: wash 3-5 times on hot, and you are ready to go.

Occasionally, a diaper will leak. When that happens, figure out why, and you can prevent it from happening every time.

Cloth Diapering Basics

This month we’re covering our answers to common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diaper 101 basics, like “I can’t afford cloth diapers,” “I don’t have time for cloth diapers,” and “Aren’t cloth diapers gross?” What! We’ve got the answers.

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com 

Aren’t cloth diapers gross?

Baby waiting for diaper change

We get asked if cloth diapers are gross, and we aren’t sure what to say, other than, “No.” That idea seems to be stuck in people’s minds, though, so let’s examine it and unstick it.

These are the issues I see:

  • any type of diaper leaves you with the same clean up,
  • except that you also wash cloth diapers;
  • accessories can make it easier;
  • a shift in perception can change everything; and
  • you can always give the job to someone else.

But isn’t it easier with a disposable diaper? No, think about it. Cloth or disposable diapers, it’s still a diaper change. No matter which type of diapers you choose, you still have the same clean up at diaper time: wipe the baby, switch the diaper, and dump the solids.

Even disposable diapers should be dumped because waste belongs in the wastewater treatment system, not in landfill. We know a lot of people don’t do it, but that doesn’t change the fact that they should. Think about the accumulation of that waste rather than the treatment of it. All of those babies and mountains and mountains of their poop. What a gift for their future.

No matter what diaper you use, dump the solids.

But isn’t cloth diaper laundry gross? It isn’t, especially if you don’t leave the diapers for a week to stew.

Just wash every couple of days, and the smell stays under control. You could use gloves at diaper washing time, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

If you meet someone who thinks that diapers are going to leave a washing machine stinky, help them think through the fact that the washing machine is cleaned over and over with hot water and cleaning chemicals. Washing machines do not hang on to residue of human waste. Clothes washed in a machine that has washed diapers will not come out smelling like diapers. Not even the diapers come out smelling like diapers. When you do diaper laundry right, cloth diapers are clean and fresh after washing.

Is there anything that makes it easier for me to clean up after a diaper change? There is, actually. We carry a bunch of clever cloth diaper accessories to make things easier for you.

With a reusable diaper liner, the poop just slides off into the toilet when you dump; with a disposable liner, you pick it up by the ends and dump it with the poop into the toilet.

If the smell from your pail bothers you, try a deoderizer. Don’t use a spray with odor-masking stronger odors. Try our volcanic mineral deodorizer. It absorbs odors without adding masking chemicals.

What is the most important thing I can do to keep diaper changes from being gross? Shift your own perception. It’s only gross if you think it is.

You don’t need to let yourself be controlled by the random thoughts your brain provides you. You can take conscious control and reprogram your thinking.

Try thinking this several times before each diaper change: someone I love so much I could burst needs me for these few short years to help with this job of cleaning up after elimination. This is easy. This is important. I do this with love.

Having done this not only for my babies but for my parent, I understand at a profound level that this kind of care is an act of compassion and love.

So, show it.

When you are changing a diaper, don’t scrunch up your nose and think how much you hate it. That’s the face your baby will see when s/he is completely focused on you. Go make that face in the mirror and ask if that’s what you want your baby to know about you.

In that moment of diaper changing, shift your focus to your baby. Focus on your love and compassion. Look at that little face and just let yourself smile. That genuine smile of love, the smile that reaches your whole face and warms your whole baby, that is what you want your baby to know about you.

What if I really can’t handle it? If you really can’t handle the mess, I have an easy cloth diaper solution for you: diaper service.

If the mess gets to you, you just let someone else handle it. Over two years you will pay more than you would buying and washing your own diapers, but you don’t have to wash them.

Think about the job of a diaper service. They take many, many dozens of wet, poopy diapers and they use their specialized knowledge of laundry science to get them so fresh and clean that you want to bury your face in them when they are delivered back to your doorstep.

Keep in mind, though: even if you let a diaper service clean your baby’s diapers, you still need to clean up your baby, and that’s going to be the same no matter what diaper solution you choose.

Honestly, it’s baby poop. It’s not that scary.

Cloth Diapering Basics

We’re offering our answers to common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diaper 101 basics, like “I can’t afford cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “I don’t have time for cloth diapers.”

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

I Can’t Afford Cloth Diapers

Baby counting money

When money is tight, it can be tough to squeeze out enough for diapers. We have a few tips to help you save money on diapers.

Consider these factors to save yourself money:

  • whether you choose cloth or disposable diapers;
  • which style of cloth diapers you choose; and
  • what to do if even the least expensive cloth diapers are too much for your budget.

Which diapers will save you the most money? The first choice most parents make is cloth or disposable diapers. Cloth diapers win the math every time.

Compare the cost of cloth diapers with disposable diapers over 5,220 diaper changes. (See our “Baby on a Budget” article to see how we came up with that number.)

Total diaper cost

  • $1,200 Disposable Diapers @ $.23/each (major brands)
  • $679 Disposable Diapers @ $.13/each (low-end brands)

Even a high-end option like one-size, all-in-one cloth diapers plus newborn size is less expensive than disposables for one child. If you need to cut the budget, you still have more inexpesive cloth diaper options.

  • $600 Cloth All-in-one (AIO) Diapers plus Newborn
  • $240 Cloth One-size AIO Diapers
  • $231 Cloth prefolds with sized covers
  • $177 Cloth prefolds with one-size covers

The problem, of course, is that you need to come up with that money all at once rather than $20-30 at a time. If you put away $12 per week starting in your 5th month of pregnancy, you will be able to buy a complete cloth diaper supply in your final month of pregnancy. All done!

Which style of cloth diapers is least expensive? If you are limiting your budget even within cloth diapers, there is actually one best choice: prefolds.

Budget choice: prefolds with one-size covers

We carry several choices of prefold and flat diapers. We like the Bummis Beautiful Basic Starter Package and the Bummis Newborn Cloth Diaper Package. Both are currently on special, so you save even more. (These are sized packages, meaning you need new diaper covers as your baby grows. To save more, buy prefolds separately with one-size diaper covers. These adjust as your baby grows.)

Bummis Beautiful Basic cloth diaper package

What if even cloth diapers cost too much? Volunteers across North America build local cloth diaper banks for low-income families.

If even a prefold package on special is too big an expense for your family, talk to us at bynature.ca about free or very low cost diaper options. If you are in the Simcoe County / Georgian Bay area, stop by the byature.ca store and fill out a diaper bank application. Outside that area, drop us a note, and we’ll help you find a cloth diaper bank in your area, if one is available.

How can you save a lot of money cloth diapering? For more tips, see the Real Diaper Association low-income cloth diapers tip sheet. They give details on starting small, upcycling, buying used, keeping wash simple, and, of course, diaper banks.

Cloth Diapering Basics

This month we’re responding to common comments by our customers, like “I don’t have time for cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “Aren’t cloth diapers gross?”

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

I Don’t Have Time for Cloth Diapers

All-in-one cloth diaper from Tots Bots

Are you sure you don’t have time to use cloth diapers? If you choose to use cloth diapers, you can use time-saving strategies and no-fold diapers to fit into your busy schedule. Your choices make a big difference.

Consider these factors to save yourself time:

  • which style of diapers you choose;
  • how many diapers to have on hand, which leads to
  • how often to wash diapers; and
  • simple cleaning habits.

Which style of diapers will save you time? If time is your limiting factor, choose a diaper that doesn’t require stuffing or folding.

Perfect choice: All-in-one diaper

At bynature.ca we carry several brands of all-in-one cloth diapers (or AIO diapers, as many call them), like the Tots Bots Easy Fit one-size diaper

All-in-one one-size diaper

To save time, have more diapers on hand. That means you won’t need to wash as often. There are drawbacks to this approach, though.

  • Money. You will need to invest more money up front to buy more diapers, if you wash less often.
  • Clean Diapers. Your diapers will be easier to clean if they don’t sit dirty as long.

Doing more small loads of cloth diaper laundry will save you money in the long run because you won’t need to buy as many diapers, and the diapers won’t suffer damage from sitting too long in waste.

Save time AND money with simple habits. Every morning, before you get busy with your day, start a load of laundry. Every other day, make that diaper laundry.

That means you need enough diapers for 3 days—two days between washes and one day to get the laundry done. For a newborn, you will need 35-40 diapers for this method. For an older baby, you will need 25-30 diapers. For a toddler who is nearing potty learning, you will need 18-20 diapers.

Save more money by washing more often, at least during the newborn months when you will be changing diapers more often.

Cloth Diapering Basics

This month we are answering some of those common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diapering basics, like “I can’t afford cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “Aren’t cloth diapers gross?”

We want to answer YOUR questions. Tell us your cloth diaper questions in the comments below.

Baby on a Budget: Cloth Diapers

Baby wearing Bummis cloth diaper

In my quest to save you from buying piles of baby stuff you won’t use, I’ve been outlining the essential baby basics on a budget.

You will change a lot of diapers. Elimination is one of those baby needs you meet one way or another.

As with baby carriers, you save money when you buy diapers that can be used from baby through toddler. We’ve got the solution for even a tiny diaper budget.

How Many Diapers Will a Baby Use?

Short answer: you will change 3000 – 6000 diapers on your baby.

During the first couple of months, you will probably have 12 diaper changes or more a day. If your newborn eliminates every hour, you change the diaper every hour in order to avoid discomfort and rash for your baby. That number will gradually dwindle to 4-5 diapers a day before your toddler uses the toilet.

12 x 30 x 3 = 1080
10 x 30 x 6 = 1800
8 x 30 x 6 = 1440
6 x 30 x 3 = 540
4 x 30 x 3 = 360
Total = 5220

Even if you are lucky and find that your child learns to use the toilet early and doesn’t eliminate as often, the lowest estimate for number of diaper changes per child is about 3000. I’m going to use that lowest number so I have a generous place to start when comparing with disposable diapers, but I want you to realize that it could be almost double that number. Babies’ needs vary.

How Many Diapers Do I Need?

Short answer: you need 24 prefolds and 4 one-size diaper covers.

On a budget, choose the lowest number of diapers you will need. I’ve seen more than one family make do with a dozen diapers, but you will end up washing more than once a day or leaving your baby in a wet diaper (which can cause irritation and rash). I consider 18 the minimum to start for a family washing diapers every day. The number of diapers used per day will go down quickly, so your laundry will go down quickly.

Just to keep being generous with the numbers, I am going to use 24 as my comparison number. Buy 24 prefold cloth diapers and 4 one-size covers, and a few accessories (like wipes or wash cloths and a bucket to hold the dirties), and you are set.

Compare Diaper Prices

  • $690 Disposable Diapers
  • $600 Cloth All-in-one Diapers plus Newborn
  • $240 Cloth One-size All-in-one Diapers
  • $231 ($195) Cloth prefolds with sized covers
  • $177 Cloth prefolds with one-size covers

The clear winner is prefold diapers with one-sized covers.

1 set of 12 Organic Cotton Prefolds, Infant Size
1 set of 12 Organic Cotton Prefolds, Premium Size
4 Bummis Simply Lite one-size diaper covers (Made in Canada!)

Our calculations

  • Disposable diapers – 3000 diaper changes x $.20-25 each = $690 ($.23 x 3000)
  • All-in-one one-size (no newborn) – 12 AIO x $20 = $240
  • All-in-one one-size plus newborn – $240 + (18 Newborn x $20 = $360) = $600
  • Prefolds with sized covers – 12 organic cotton Infant prefolds $44.96 + 12 organic cotton Premium prefolds $59.98 + (3 x 3 x $14 = $126) = $231  SPECIAL: Bummis Super Brite sized covers are on special right now for $10 per cover. Knock that total down to $195.
  • Prefolds with one-size covers – 12 organic cotton Infant prefolds $44.96 + 12 organic cotton Premium prefolds $59.98 + 4 one-size diaper covers $71.92 (4 x $17.98) = $177

Simple diaper bonus: prefold cloth diapers are by far the easiest diapers to wash. You can use and accidentally abuse cotton, and it still performs. For answers to your diaper cleaning questions, start at our Cloth Diaper Laundry Hub.

Why Shopping Local Will Save You Money in the Long Run

Saving money with diapers isn’t just a matter of the price you pay up front. I’ve heard many sad stories of people who thought they had found great diaper deals, but it turned out that they bought trouble.

Nature Mom has outlined the reasons shopping at bynature.ca or any other local store will save you money when you are buying for baby. The store in Orillia has a staff that is trained to help you succeed.

We’ll help make sure the diapers you choose are best for your individual circumstances. You won’t have to try multiple styles to get it right. We can help narrow down the many choices to the absolute best choices for you.

Every cloth diaper purchase from bynature.ca includes our 10 years of experience helping thousands of parents with cloth diapering. We’ll ensure you get off to a good start from day one, with everything you need to be successful.

We’re easy to get in touch with when you need help. Email, phone, or stop by the store, and we can help troubleshoot with fit, leaking, overnight diapering, washing issues, etc. This saves time weeding through the crazy responses online. (We joke, please don’t put your diapers in the dishwasher! This could be a costly mistake.)

Many local stores offer consignment sales so when you are done with your diapers, if you choose quality brands and followed recommended washing instructions, you might be able to resell your diapers through the local stores. Our next cloth diaper consignment sale at bynature.ca (our Repeat Sale) is coming up fast already! We’ll start registering consignors next month for our Spring Sale on March 22nd. (Check in on Facebook or get our newsletter for updates.)

How do you know if your diaper is safe, a counterfeit, or under warranty? When you talk to us in the store, we help you understand these issues. They do matter. It’s like having insurance for your investment. Authorized retailers can also help with warranty issues, and there are many unauthorized sellers online.

Bottom line, cloth diapers are an investment. Spending your money with a local retailer helps to secure this investment. That $50 or $100 you might think you’re saving buying from a big box store is easily worth the independent retailer’s time and expertise when you need it, as well as your own peace of mind throughout your cloth diapering experience.

Are You a Super Saver?

Go diaper free with infant pottying (or elimination communication). You will still need some diapers but not nearly as many as you would cloth diapering full time.

More Baby on a Budget

Next week I’ll talk about breastfeeding essentials. As you can guess, doesn’t involve much more than you and your baby.