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Curse of the Leaking Cloth Nappy

A leaking cloth nappy is a pain. Really and truly. 
Thankfully, the cause of leaking nappies is usually very easy to pinpoint and even easier to fix.


Here are the most common causes for a leaking nappy and how to fix the problem!

First of all, we need to PREVENT nappy leaks.

To do that, we have to make sure we:

1. Have sufficiently prepped new nappies
2. Change the nappy at least every two hours (except nights and naps)
3. Use a nappy or fabric that matches our baby’s output

If we’re doing all three above and STILL getting leaks, the issue could require some tweaking to the fit of the nappy or the care routine.

Here’s a handy little flowchart to break down the possibilities

A word about strip washing…

Personally, I think strip washing can create more problems than it’s supposed to fix. A relatively recent phenomenon, there is much talk in cloth nappy industry circles about the controversial strip wash. Many manufacturers suggest that if properly cared for, nappies shouldn’t require “stripping” at all, let alone frequently. I have cloth nappied 6 children over the past 11 years and have strip washed twice during that time. Both times, prior to storing newborn nappies (and it probably wasn’t even necessary!).

Generally defined as the process by which oils are removed from nappies, you should really only need to strip wash if you suspect barrier creams or fabric softeners have caused oil build up in the nappies.

As a general rule, your nappies should smell like nothing when they come out of the machine or off the clothesline. If they smell, there is a problem and you will need to tweak the care routine. But that’s a whole ‘nother flowchart!

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