When Cloth Diapers Leak: Inserts

Welcome to Part Two of why cloth diapers leak!

Inserts, a key part of the cloth diapering system. Yet, they can also cause the biggest problems in terms of leaking. There are so many factors that can contribute to an insert leaking: type, size, and age. Before we start talking about why inserts leak, let’s go over some different types of inserts that are available.

Inserts (or doublers as some call them) are what absorb pee. Different types of inserts work best for different situations. For example, hemp or bamboo are great for overnight because they can absorb a ton. But, they aren’t the best for a quick stay-dry solution because even though they absorb a ton, they take a while to actually suck up all the pee. Microfiber on the other hand, is great for the stay-dry feeling and works great during the day with regular diaper changes. It absorbs very quickly, but doesn’t hold a ton when compared to hemp or bamboo.Fuzzi Bunz inserts

Some parents like to do a combination of natural fiber inserts wrapped around a microfiber insert. It’s kind of the best of both worlds and works great if you have a heavy wetter. If you choose to go with natural fiber inserts only in your traditional pocket diapers, you may end up with a size issue as natural fiber inserts such as hemp or bamboo are quite thin in comparison to a microfiber insert. Thin is nice because you don’t have the extra bulk. But, too thin and you don’t get as much coverage as you need and then you start having leak issues due to size of insert.

So when you’re thinking about what type of insert to use in your pocket diapers, you need to also think about size. If you have an insert that doesn’t fit properly, you are going to get leaks. Ideally, you want the insert to fit from side to side and from front to back. If you have any extra space between the insert and the leg elastic, that is where you are going to have leak issues. Pee likes to run, and if it can find a clear path, that is where it will go. If there is an insert in its way, no leaks. For boys, you always want to make sure you have the insert fit right up to the front of the diaper, you don’t necessarily have to worry about it going all the way to the back. For girls though, you want to make sure you have the entire front to back covered.

Finally, age makes a huge difference. Microfiber tends to last about a year or so. After that point, it starts to get compressed and just doesn’t absorb as well. You can strip your inserts or do an overnight soak in something like Rockin’ Green laundry detergent and that will help your inserts last a bit longer. But, to be honest, microfiber inserts are very inexpensive to replace and will help keep your little one leak free for quite a bit longer. For those of you who have bought their cloth diapers second hand, or are now using them on your second baby, investing in some new inserts for $40-$60 (depending on how many diapers of course), is worth every penny.

For natural fiber inserts, they tend to last a bit longer than microfiber. But, they can get rather straggly looking because they are so thin. Picking up some new ones and slowly rotating out your old ones is a great way to replace them without spending a ton of money all at once.

Part One: Cloth Diaper Compression Leaks
Part Three: Cloth Diaper Fit and Size

Julie @ Little Monkey Store


6 thoughts on “When Cloth Diapers Leak: Inserts

  1. Hey Julie,
    I like all your posts – especially ones about leaks – cuz we know all about them but not always how to prevent them!

    Just one question though – can you get it changed so that when your email comes, it says Little Monkey Store or something similar in the Sender area? Currently, it comes in as being from “WordPress”….. would just be nice if it said it came from YOU! 🙂


  2. Pingback: When Cloth Diapers Leak: Fit and Size « Little Monkey Store

  3. Pingback: When Cloth Diapers Leak: Compression Leaks « Little Monkey Store: A Cloth Diaper Blog

  4. This is a very informative piece. Luckily, I don’t have to think about leaking diapers yet, hopefully not for a good long while. I just spent the afternoon with one of my baby cousins, he’s six months and I was babysitting for my aunt for 2 hours or so. Oh MY! He was such a hand full. I mean, he was very good, very well tempered, but he needed so much attention, holding, cleaning, feeding! I have so much more respect for mothers and I realized how not ready I am to have children yet!

    Anyway, this was a stumble. Thanks for the great writing.

    AubrieAnne @ http://whosyoureditor.blogspot.com/

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