Why Diaper Leaks?

Diaper Leaks Troubleshooting Guide



Frustrating with leaky diaper?

Perform the simple test below to find out why it happens...


Diaper leaks are common phenomenon  experienced by almost every parent, no matter what types of diaper system or brand is used. By knowing the possible root cause of the particular leak issue most diaper leaks can be well controlled and make cloth diapering more reliable and comfortable. And hence increase the confident level of parent to continue using cloth diaper!


To make it simple, we come out with the Step-by-Step Diaper Leaks Troubleshooting Guide to help to figure out the causes of leaking. Basically there are 3 major causes of leaking - repelling, incorrect fit/adjustment and over saturated diapers. You may find the following test helpful to figure out the cause of leaking. 


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Step 1: Repelling Test  It will normally happen as soon as baby pees.


Perform a quick test on them. Pour some clean water onto the diaper at different spot. Press gently press on the wet area with your hand. Watch how the water being absorbed into the absorbent layers:

** Make sure the diaper is tested with soaker/insert, it needs something absorbent under it and a little pressure.

  1. Do the water absorb well and fast into the bottom layer?
  2. Do the water form beads and roll around on diaper liner or roll off to the edges?

If the water absorb slowly or form beads on the diaper inner, your diapers are repelling liquid!


What should you do?

  1. If the diaper is new and less than 10 times wash, it needs more PREWASH.
  2. If the diaper is used for quite sometimes, it needs STRIP WASH.
  3. Repeat the PREWASH/STRIP WASH process until it passes the Repelling Test.



Step 2: Incorrect fit/adjustment Test  It will normally happen as soon as baby pees.


If the diaper leaks in a very short period, which is almost as soon as baby pees, most likely it is because of the incorrect fitting on baby. Watch the pattern and area of leaking:

  1. Leaking around the legs? Urine flow out from the thigh area.
  2. Wicking around the legs? Feeling damp at the thigh area.
  3. Leaking at back? Urine flow out from the back.
  4. Leaking in front? Urine flow out from the front.
  5. Wicking at the waist? Urine wick out onto baby's clothes or bedding.

If any of the above happens as soon as baby pees, your diapers are most likely in incorrect fitting/adjustment!


What should you do?

  1. Leaking around the legs: Ensure the elastics/gussets snug at the thigh without gaping in all different positions and with lots of wriggling. If the diaper leak only when baby is sitting, you may also check if there is gap at the thigh when baby is sitting. Sometimes if the waist is not tight enough, it can slide down a bit when baby is sitting. If yes you can tighten the waist a little bit more.
  2. Wicking around the legs: Feeling damp at the thigh area. Wicking is a common diapering problem often mistaken for leaking. Check for escaped fabric. Ensure that absorbent materials of the diaper are fully covered inside the cover.
  3. Leaking at back: Check the waistband - Is the waist fitting snugly? Ensure that it is tight enough without gapping. Is the insert sticking out the back? Ensure the insert/soaker completely tucked into the cover.
  4. Leaking in front: Occasionally we see more leaks with little boys who are aimed upwards. So, for baby boys, point downwards and centred and not upwards!
  5. Wicking at the waist: Urine wick out onto baby's clothes or bedding? Ensure the insert/soaker completely tucked into the cover. Make sure that clothing is not tucked into the diaper by accident. 



Step 3: Saturated Diaper Test  It will normally happen after some period of time.


Most of the leaks are caused by full diapers, where insert/soaker or diaper is completely saturated (soaked). The diaper will leak simply because it cannot hold any more liquid. Remove the insert/soaker and check to see if insert/soaker is saturated. If the insert/soaker is fully soaked, it is time to upgrade the absorbency!


What should you do?

  1. Simply add an additional absorbent layer (booster) to your existing diaper. Or upgrade to a more absorbent insert/soaker.
  2. Change your baby more frequently.  During the day, baby should be changed at least every 3-4 hours. For heavy wetter, you may need to change even more frequently.
  3. Find a different type/style of diaper for particular occasion (i.e. try a different style of diaper for night time sleeping).