Cloth Diapering Woes – What to do if something goes awry

Cloth Diapering Woes. Sometimes it happens. Your diapers start leaking, or they start stinking..’sh*t happens’, lol! Don’t worry, it can be fixed. Here is What to do if something goes awry. This is  the Fat Bottom Babies website, You can see it on the  cloth 101 page.. below laundry routine.


 My diapers are leaking! – This is causes by a number of things and is usually solved by adding more absorbency!

The easiest fix is adding a more absorbency. Check the fit of the diaper and make sure the rise is high enough and that there are no gaps at the legs.

Cloth diapers are made to last about 2 hours. Any longer than that is a plus!!

  • ASK YOURSELF A QUESTION: Are your inserts soaking wet or not as wet as they should be.
  • If your baby is leaking and the insert is soaking wet, you need to change them more often or add more absorbency.

For over night, change your baby before feeding them. That way they an settle back down to sleep easier with their feedings.

If they sleep though the night without waking you might need to try a different kind of diaper for night time.

Fitteds and covers help a lot since the entire fitted is absorbent. Some mamas double and triple stuff their pockets and use prefold diapers wrapped around another insert like microfiber. Hemp has a LOT of holding power.

In order of absorbency:

  • Hemp/Cotton Blends
  • Bamboo
  • Heavy Cotton Fleece
  • Microfiber

In order of absorption speed: 

  • Microfiber
  • Cotton
  • Bamboo
  • Hemp
  • insert types
  • You basically need something that absorbs quickly and holds a lot, so many go with hemp/cotton blends.Is your insert NOT soaking wet?
  • There may be a problem if you already added absorbency or if your inserts are not as wet as they should be. You probably need to add Calgon Water Softener, or do an RLR Wash.  Minerals will build up in your diapers and cause them to not be as absorbent.
  • RLR is for mineral buildup only.Calgon will allow your detergent to work better.

Do not use Dawn Soap. For more information on WASHING diapers, click here.

Inspect the PUL for delamination and pinholes. They can be hard to see. If you DO see delamination or pinholes, the diaper is probably trash. Delamination and pinholes can be caused by a few different things.. dried out PUL from soap, if it was accidentally ripped by jewelry while stuffing (doesn really happen..) If it is really really old (washed over 300-350 times) 99% of the time it is a defect from the company.


My diapers stink! – This is a bacteria problem, You either don’t have enough detergent, not enough water..  you need to do one of the following: (The #1 thing you need to do is bleach.. But we will get to that below!)  For more information on Bleaching and Washing Diapers, click here.

Add more detergent
when you wash. Use the recommended amount for a heavily soiled load. Let’s get real here, you are cleaning poop and pee.

Use Less Water. – You want your diapers to bump and grind, to scrub up against each other. You don’t want them to be swimming.

RLR Laundry Treatment

RLR Laundry Treatment

Add a water softener to your detergent when you wash.  Since it is added to wash loads with detergent,  it only makes sense  that it boosts the power in detergent and allows things to get cleaner – helps bind mineral deposits in the water; dirt and soil sediments; and residual matter from detergent so it can rinse clean.


If you haven’t been using a water softener you will need to RLR.

RLR works the exact same way, but has the sudsing action already in with it/It strips out the MINERAL RESIDUE in the fabric.  Many say RLR is a stronger sodium carbonate like what is used in pools.

Straight from Wikipedia.. In domestic use, it is used as a water softener during laundry. It competes with the magnesium and calcium ions in hard water and prevents them from bonding with the detergent being used. Without using washing soda, additional detergent is needed to soak up the magnesium and calcium ions.

Bleach. “Dear bleach, I love you
.. Bleach is the only thing that will kill bacteria. For more information on Bleaching, click here.


My baby is getting a rash!  –  Urine is reacting with something in the diapers. Or their poor little bum is against too much moisture. It could be teething, or they ate acidic foods.. Usually it is because the diapers aren’t clean. Deep clean and/or strip your diapers.

Try a fleece liner to keep moisture away from baby’s bottom.

If this does not work and your baby is still rashy, you may need to switch to a different detergent. It is also possible that you are dealing with a synthetic allergy. Remember what your baby ate and try to avoid that food.
With yeast, DO NOT use cornstarch as a powder. Cornstarch will feed the yeast and you will have a terrible yeasty beastie problem. The FBB Fluff Dust does not contain talc or cornstarch and will work if you need a powder during the dreaded yeasty times.


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