After 20 years in the nappy business, we have got you covered with all the solutions for leaking nappies. Fixing leaking reusable nappies has never been easier.

Fixing Leaking Cloth Nappies - Fit & Absorbency Issues

Leaking cloth nappies can be a source of frustration for many parents. Fortunately, most leaks can be resolved by addressing two key factors: fit and absorbency. As a cloth nappy expert for over 20 years our expert team can guide you through identifying and fixing these issues, ensuring your baby stays dry and comfortable. Remember day time cloth nappies should be changed every 2-3 hours (the same as disposable nappies) and that can change as your babies toileting needs change as they grow. 

1. Ensuring the Perfect Fit

Check the Size: One of the most common reasons for nappy leaks is using the wrong size nappy or having the rise setting too big or too small cause gaps and leaks. Ensure you’re using the right size for your baby’s weight and shape. Gaps around the leg or waist means wetness can wick out the sides so the right fit is really important. 

Adjust the Rise Snaps: For one-size-fits-all reusable nappies, adjusting the rise snaps correctly is crucial to avoiding leaks. If the rise is too high or too low, it can create gaps around the legs or waist. The nappy should sit snugly below the belly button and be evenly position on the back above the bottom with no gaps at the legs. You shouldn’t get much ‘bottom sag’ if the nappy is fitted correctly. 

Snug Leg Elastics: Leaks often occur around the legs due to poor fit. The elastics should fit snugly but not too tightly to avoid red marks. If you can slide a finger between the leg elastic and your baby’s skin, it’s just right. Ensure the elastics are in the groin crease (imagine the underwear line)  and not on the thighs. On the Night Nappy, Bamboo Fitted or Hemp Fitted Nappy you can tuck the leg frills inside the nappy instead of having them splaying out – this helps to avoid any red marks and keeps the nappy trimmer between the legs, and creates a better seal.  

Waist Fit: The nappy should sit comfortably around the waist without being too tight. Over-tightening can cause compression leaks, especially if the absorbent bamboo layers are at capacity and material is squeezed too much.  If using snap waist nappies – you can have each side of the waist on a different setting to get the perfect waist fit.  

For our Night Nappies, the waist & leg snaps can be in different positions – this adjust for chubby legs/skinny tummies or vice versa. 

Tucking in Fabrics: Ensure that all absorbent fabrics of the nappy are tucked inside the waterproof cover or outer shell.  Any part of the absorbent layers sticking out can wick moisture onto clothes, causing leaks. 

In the swim nappy, make sure the nappy is directly against the skin, then any swimwear goes over the top. Make sure no rash vests are caught inside the swim nappy. 

2. Boosting Absorbency

Evaluate Absorbency Needs: Babies have different absorbency needs based on their age, diet, and even the time of day. Newborns may need more frequent changes and remember the capacity of a dedicated newborn nappy is much smaller than a fitted nappy in the newborn setting.  While older babies might require more absorbent layers- when using the All in Two Nappy on a newborn, you can just use the Magicall Insert, but as they grow you will need to swap that to the Mighty Booster, then eventually use both for maximum capacity. 

Add Inserts or Boosters: If leaks are occurring because the cloth nappy is becoming saturated too quickly, adding extra inserts or boosters can help increase the capacity. Baby Beehinds offers a range of boosters made from bamboo/cotton, Hemp/cotton or microfibre which are highly absorbent and can be layered for increased absorbency. 

Hemp/Cotton & Bamboo/Cotton Inserts have a higher capacity than microfibre inserts, whereas microfibre absorbs wetness quicker. Keep in mind microfibre cannot directly touch the skin so it needs to go INSIDE the nappy pocket. All our inserts are heavily discounted (up to 70% off) so a great time to stock up. Extra inserts also come in handy over the cooler months when drying time takes longer. 

Use Natural Fibres: Natural fibre inserts (like those made from hemp or bamboo) tend to be more absorbent than microfiber. Consider switching to natural fibres if you notice frequent leaks with synthetic materials.

Prepping New Nappies: New natural fibre nappies and inserts often need several washes to reach their full absorbency. Ours are ultra lush fabrics so can take up to 10 washes to reach capacity. You can wash your new nappies once, or soak in plain water overnight then dry and start using, but we recommend adding an extra booster until they reach maximum capacity after 10 washes. 

Check for Repelling Issues: Sometimes, diaper creams with thick zinc based ingredients or traditional fabric softeners can create a barrier on the nappy preventing liquid to be properly absorbed, causing leaks. Ensure you’re using nappy liners if using nappy creams or choose cloth-diaper-safe creams and avoid fabric softeners.  The only exception to the rule for Fabric Softener is SOFT by B Clean Co which cleans &  softens naturally without stopping absorption. If you suspect repelling, a hot, long, wash with a full dose of detergent is recommended. 

Final Tips for Leaking Cloth Nappies

Frequent Changes: Cloth nappies need to be changed every 2-3 hours during the day and consider using a more absorbent setup for nighttime. Night nappies are built with up to 23 layers of absorbency and adjustable inserts and really are the bees-knees of night time solutions. 

Nighttime Solutions: For heavy wetters, consider using a dedicated Night Nappy  & Wool Cover that provide excellent leak protection overnight and up to 23 layers. You can also boost this combination by adding extra inserts to the OUTSIDE of the night nappy, this keeps the nappy fitting perfectly, without adding extra bulk. 

By ensuring a proper fit and addressing absorbency issues, you can significantly reduce or eliminate leaks, making your cloth diapering experience more enjoyable. Remember, every baby is unique, and finding the right combination may take a little experimentation.  Our Customer Team are always here to help and trouble shoot so just get in touch and give us a call or email. 


magicall bamboo inserts in 5 sizes
Magic All Inserts $5.00$7.00 Select options
Bamboo Fold-Ups Original price was: $12.00.Current price is: $8.00. Add to cart
might booster insert for cloth nappies
Mighty Booster Original price was: $16.00.Current price is: $9.60. Add to cart
best night nappy insert
Night Nappy Inserts Original price was: $20.00.Current price is: $10.00. Select options
My Cart