Finding the right cloth diaper fit is important if you want to ensure your baby stays comfortable while avoiding leaks. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you size your pocket cloth diapers. If you are left wondering, why do my cloth diapers leak? We can help you pinpoint the reasons behind cloth diaper leaking, and provide simple and effective solutions. Even using a cloth diaper overnight is possible. To prevent your baby diaper leaking overnight, we recommend adding extra inserts for overnight periods to keep baby comfortable.
Sizing your baby
Nora’s Nursery diapers are designed to grow with your baby, from about 10 pounds to 35 pounds. One set of diapers, if properly cared for, should last you right until it’s time to potty train! These diapers are designed for a wide range of sizes to ensure the perfect cloth diaper fit.
In order to avoid cloth diaper leaks, ensure you get the proper fit. Sizing your baby is straightforward if you follow these steps. The photo guide below will help you visualize the instructions.
Getting started - become familiar with your cloth diaper snaps
The perfect cloth diaper fit depends on getting the snaps just right for your baby’s size and level of activity. So to start off, let’s get to know the diaper snaps.
The top row of snaps are the waist snaps. There are a total of ten snaps across the front of the diaper, and two snaps on the inside of the flaps that fold around the front of the diaper. These will adjust the fit around your baby’s waist.
The second row of snaps are the thigh snaps. There are four snaps on each side of the diaper, and one snap on the inside of the folding flaps. These will adjust the fit around your baby’s thighs, and are important to get right in order to avoid leaks.
The rise snaps are the three rows and three columns of snaps across the front and middle of the diaper. Adjust the rise snaps based on your baby’s length and level of activity, from newborn to crawler to walker.
Nora’s Nursery Cloth Diaper Snaps
Nora’s Nursery Cloth Diaper Snaps
Getting the right fit – how to adjust your diaper length
Start with fitting for your baby’s length. Length is adjusted by the snaps that run up and down the front of the diaper. There are three rows and three columns of snaps which adjust the rise or height of the diaper. For small babies and newborns, you will likely connect the bottom three snaps with the top three snaps. For crawlers, you will likely connect the middle three snaps with the top three snaps. And for toddlers and taller babies, you will leave all the snaps undone, leaving the diaper at its longest length.
Sizing Your Diaper Length for Baby’s Age and Level of Activity
Crawler - Medium Setting
Attach the top row of the rise snaps to the middle row of the rise snaps.
Walker - Largest Setting
Leave the rise snaps fully open.
A good fit will have the diaper aligned right at the hip bones, under the bellow button.
TIP: Leave the insert aside for this stage, as it is very difficult to effectively adjust the rise of the diaper with the insert enclosed.
Once you have the appropriate rise for your baby, slip in the insert. Now you’re ready to place the diaper onto your baby!
Getting the right fit – how to adjust your diaper width
The top two rows across the diaper adjusts the diaper width.
Start by adjusting the snaps around baby’s thighs. These are the snaps across the second row from the top of the diaper. There are four snaps on each side of the diaper, and one snap on the inside of the front flap that folds over and secures the diaper. You want to make sure to get this fit just right in order to prevent cloth diaper leaks. Cloth diaper leaking generally happens around the thighs when diapers are too loose.
Once you have the right fit around the thigh, adjust the fit around the waist. Using the top row of snaps, secure the diaper snuggly around baby’s waist, just below the belly button. Use the double snaps along the top row to secure the diaper.
TIP: on the inside of the diaper, there are 3 snaps on the front flap that folds over the diaper. Ensure all three are snapped in place for the best fit.
Have I got the right cloth diaper fit?
Fitting your baby can take some trial and error. The sizing will continue to change as your baby grows and becomes more active. Ensure the fit is tight enough to hold in moisture and solids. For baby’s comfort, ensure that you can comfortably stick one finger between baby’s legs and the diaper. Also ensure you can fit no more than two fingers between the front of the diaper and baby’s belly. Slight indents on your baby’s skin are normal so long as you pass the finger test!
Step by Step Guide to the Perfect Cloth Diaper Fit
How to tackle cloth diaper leaks?
Do your cloth diapers leak? Are you struggling to find the perfect cloth diaper fit? There are a few ways to address cloth diaper leaking.
Firstly, check you have the right cloth diaper fit. Ensure the diaper fits snuggly without causing discomfort to your baby. If you notice cloth diaper leaks, adjust to a tighter setting, particularly around the thighs. In some cases, your insert may have become bunched up in between the legs, which can cause leaks. Ensure your inserts lay flat when you insert them into the pocket after washing.
Tip: If your baby isn’t quite filling out the diaper, consider adding another insert to help fill out the diaper. You may try this with newborns or when adjusting the length of the diaper as your baby becomes more active.
You can also add extra inserts to increase absorbency. For baby boys, you may consider folding over the extra insert and laying it along the front of the diaper near the top rise that meets the belly. Boys will generally wet the front of the diaper. Baby girls will need extra absorbency along the middle and back of the diaper, so consider leaving the insert flat or folding it towards the middle and back.
Tip: If you are adding extra inserts to tackle cloth diaper leaking, you may need to adjust your snaps to ensure a comfortable yet snug fit. Cloth diaper leaks will happen if your fit isn’t right.
Looking for extra inserts to increase absorbency?
Extra inserts should be made of a material that absorbs a lot of moisture while keeping baby comfortable. Bamboo fleece and other bamboo fabrics are popular options for overnight absorbency as they have a high level of absorbency, they are soft, and quickly wick away moisture. Bamboo is breathable and thermal regulating, making it dry quickly while keeping your baby comfortable. Bamboo fabrics are great if you want to cloth diaper overnight, and having bamboo diaper inserts for overnight periods can help avoid cloth diaper leaking. For more tips, visit Extra Inserts for Extra Absorbency.
To build your extra cloth diaper insert supply, check out the ten pack of Bamboo Cloth Diaper Inserts from Nora’s Nursery.
How to increase absorbency of your cloth diaper overnight?
There really is no best overnight cloth diapers for heavy wetters. If you find your baby diaper leaking overnight, you can add extra diaper inserts for overnight periods. The material of your inserts will help with heavy wetters. Consider folding over the extra insert along the front of the diaper if you have a baby boy or tummy sleeper - this is where greatest absorbency is needed.
For newborns, ensure to regularly check if a diaper change is needed, even if you are using extra diaper inserts for overnight periods. Newborns frequently have bowel movements during the night and generally need a change every few hours. Always change a soiled diaper to protect baby’s delicate, sensitive skin.
Tip: Ensure that the inserts do not come into contact with clothing as the clothing will absorb wetness and lead to discomfort and leaks.
Visit Using Cloth Diapers at Night to learn more.
Still struggling with cloth diaper leaking?
If you have tried all the tips provided here and you still find cloth diaper leaks, do an absorbency test. You can test if you are having an absorbency issue by laying your clean diapers flat and pouring a small amount of water on them. Apply a bit of pressure. The inserts should absorb the water. If the water ‘wicks’ away and does not absorb into the insert, you likely have a residue build-up problem. Repelling caused by residue build-up will almost always lead to leaks if not addressed. To tackle build-up and repelling, you may want to strip your cloth diapers and start over. Tips for stripping your cloth diapers are found in Washing 101 or Stripping and Restoring your Cloth Diapers.To prevent build-up and repelling, find a good cloth diaper wash routine at Washing 101.