Troubleshooting Diaper Leaks

So you're using cloth diapers for your sweet baby, when you notice their clothes are getting wet. The outside of the diaper is wet. Or maybe the bed is wet when they wake up. You're frustrated and annoyed. You're about to give up on the whole mess. You don't have time for this, right??

Don't worry, we can help! Cloth diapering doesn't have to be that stressful. Leaking cloth diapers can almost always be completely absolved by checking and fixing the issues below.


  1. ABSORBENCY. The top reason for diaper leaks is absorbency: there's not enough of it. Each diaper needs 1-3+ inserts to achieve the perfect absorbency for your little one. The absorbency level needed depends on the amount of urine let out, and the length of time the diaper is on Baby. We carry three different inserts in our shop to use with Honeybuns. You can read more about their differences HERE. Some customers also suggest wrapping whatever inserts you have for each diaper with a FST (flour sack towel) available in most home/kitchen departments for very little cost. Some also suggest placing one natural fiber insert (such as the quick and super inserts we carry) directly against Baby's bottom, and the rest of the inserts inside the pocket.
  2. FIT. The second most common leak issue is caused by poor fit: do you see leg gaps when the diaper is on your baby? Some helpful hints: Find a good fit at the thighs first then adjust the waist. Diaper goes where undies would on the inside thigh. They sit lower than disposable diapers on the belly too. Marks: don't be concerned if the diaper leaves marks. Marks like a sock or a bra would leave are ok! Angry red marks means the fit needs to be tweaked. Also, fold up not down when adjusting the rise snaps (creating wings like the red arrow is pointing to in this picture). You should also be sure to use the right size diaper on your baby. Read more about the sizes we carry HERE
  3. DIAPER FABRIC. Sometimes using a diaper with an absorbent outer fabric, such as cotton, can create leaks. These diapers have a layer of laminated PUL fabric beneath them to aid in wicking moisture in and keeping the wetness inside the diaper. However, sometimes when Baby wets, the wetness will seep into the cotton outer via the leg holes and/or belly. This can often times be avoided by increasing your absorbency with more inserts, and checking there are no leg gaps. Read more HERE about PUL vs Cotton outer diapers, including customer testimonials.
  4. BUILD-UP. Another cause of diaper leaks is build-up. Sometimes cloth diapers can accumulate a build-up on the fabric that can cause wetness to repel instead of soaking through it into the absorbent inserts. Build-up happens when dryer sheets are used, when diaper rash creams that contain petroleum are used, when the diaper has been washed in hard, untreated water for at least a month of regular washing, and when a weak detergent has been used or something that can coat the fabric. The need for a diaper strip can also be determined if there is a "barnyard" stink that won't go away. To fix this, your diapers will need to be either soaked in bleach or stripped. Read more about bleach soaks and stripping diapers HERE.
  5. DELAMINATING PUL. Honeybuns cloth diapers are sewn with either a PUL (polyurethane laminated knit fabric) printed outer, or with a hidden layer of PUL beneath a cotton/minky/velvet outer. Sometimes the lamination on the PUL can start to wrinkle, bubble, crack, and/or pull away from the knit it was laminated to causing leaks. Delaminating fabric cannot be repaired. It can be avoided in some instances by using a good wash/dry routine, and avoiding using water to wash with that is untreated with a high iron content. In other cases, delamination can occur because the knit fabric was poorly laminated by the fabric manufacturer. We at Honeybuns take great care in finding these companies and avoiding them. We aim to use the best PUL fabric for our diapers.