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Monday, October 7, 2013

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Heavy Wetter 101

“Not again!” I muttered as I noticed the all too common wet marks on my son’s pants. That diaper hadn't even been on for an hour but was already a sopping wet mess. My tiny 18-month-old seemed to produce as much urine as a racehorse. He regularly went through a disposable every 1.5 hours and always leaked during naps and overnight. We were incredibly frustrated and ready to try something new.

So, we ordered a cloth diaper trial. It arrived, and we excitedly prepped all the diapers, carefully following the directions. We had such high hopes for these babies. One by one, they seemed to let us down. These weren't user error leaks from the fit being off etc. Those poor diapers were drenched too.

We hit the internet and found out that most of the diapers we had were only 3 layers of microfiber. While that is plenty for a average wetting kiddo, it was not enough for our son. We began double stuffing the microfiber inserts, but still got leaks. Because microfiber is like a sponge when squished after it has been filled to capacity, the liquid can leak back out.

The cheapest option was replacing the inserts of our pockets and all in twos with prefolds. We made sure to order the kind that are 4*8 ply for maximum absorbency. We hoped that ordering the infant size would give us the absorbency that we needed, but alas, it just wasn't enough. Finally, after trying medium size prefolds, the problem was solved. Some brands also call this size a “smart fit” as they are shorter than the traditional premium size prefolds, but just as thick and even a little wider for trifolding and snappi-ing around a wider kiddo.

While a prefold makes a great pocket or all-in two insert, it isn't great for adding absorbency to AIOs or Fitteds. So, we ventured into the world of bamboo inserts and doublers. Several brands make these inserts and they are a great thin booster to add under a microfiber insert or use with a sewn-in insert AIO. Some lighter peeing kiddos even get away with using these ultra trim inserts as a microfiber substitute. Our preferred method of using these inserts is under the microfiber inserts in pockets and all-in-ones or with flats wrapped around them for a great nap diaper.

After trying bamboo, we decided to also try out some hard core hemp inserts. Hemp is considered the most absorbent material of all the other diaper inserts, but it is also a slower absorbing fiber than microfiber, cotton or bamboo. So, for the ultimate heavy wetter pocket stuffing combo, use the slower absorbing hemp under microfiber, bamboo, or cotton. We found that newborn hemp inserts made great doublers in our AIO’s like the Elemental and that the One Size inserts worked great under the microfiber inserts in pockets.

When it came to overnight absorbency we quickly learned that a double or triple stuffed pocket was not going to cut it for our kiddo. The first thing we tried was putting an infant prefold trifolded inside of a large prefold that we then snappied around our son, thus acting like a fitted. His bum was the size of Texas, but he woke up dry. Thankfully we were able to move on to some overnight worthy fitteds and when we place them under our beloved Blueberry or Thirsties covers, we are golden. If your kid out pees a fitted under a PUL cover try wool or fleece.

Ultimately, when dealing with a heavy wetter, you need to learn that bulk is your friend. Bulk means absorbency. While some things can cut down on bulk like how you fold your prefold or using fibers like bamboo and hemp, you will never get a heavy wetter worthy diaper to be as thin as a disposable. It just simply isn't going to happen. So embrace that “extra” fluffy butt, and leaks will be a thing of the past

Bio: Charlene lives in UT with her adorably geeky husband and the two cutest baby boys in the Northern Hemisphere. She is a cloth diaper enthusiast, baby sling connoisseur, overall rockin' domestic engineer and avid blogger at

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Sarah W said...

I am mildly concerned about my baby's comfort once he is sleeping long enough to need some bulk.

lisa burrows said...

Fitteds and fleece are all that have worked for us

Sandra said...

Is it me or why do I feel like cloth is so complicated? I was doing disposables and never had leaks but as soon as I switched to cloth, I got many leaks especially while out and about. I'm actually scared to use cloth while I'm out with my LO

Anonymous said...

Kawii night diapers with a cbi and bamboo insert works :)