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leaks and cloth inserts

October 18, 2011
photo by jessica lambright
photo by jessica lambright

So if you’re here, it’s either because you went the choose your own adventure route from our troubleshooting post, or because you used that handy dandy search feature off to the right. Either way, it sounds like you’re having some frustration with leaks while using cloth inserts.

First, let’s look at fit. There are some similarities with leak issues for using either gRefills or gCloth. Rather than insert them all here, feel free to peruse these pro-active tips for ensuring a good fit.

On to the task at hand: tackling leaks with cloth inserts. Are you using gCloth or a different cloth insert? The reason we ask, is because gCloth are specifically designed to fit inside the little gPants. They’re trim and don’t require any folding. We’ve heard from other parents who have used other brands of cloth inserts with success, and we think that’s great! Bottom line is we want you to have a functioning cloth diaper that’s easy on everybody. But! If you’re using a bulky cloth insert that requires a lot of folding, chances are it’s not going to fit inside the little gPants very well. It will add a lot of fill to the inside of the snap-in pouch and lift the trim of the pouch off of baby’s skin, breaking that oh-so-important seal. That’s one way leaks can happen. So. Please make sure that the cloth insert you’re using fits inside the snap-in pouch and does not compromise the seal.

Another question. Are you using any type of barrier cream? It doesn’t matter if it’s all natural or straight up vaseline, do NOT use a barrier cream with cloth inserts. This is not specific to our brand, but is true for all cloth diapers. If your baby requires the use of a cream, be sure to use in conjunction with a diaper liner (like our flushable cloth liners). These lay on top of the cloth insert and will protect your cloth inserts from the damaging effects of creams.

Moving on. Let’s make sure your cloth inserts (we’ll assume they’re gCloth at this point) are at peak absorbency. If you begin to see a performance decrease in your gCloth or if you find your gCloth doesn’t smell so fresh, even after washing it’s time to strip them. Stripping cloth simply means you wash them in a way that removes build-up from detergent and/or diaper cream. It gets them back to absorbing the way they should, and helps tackle any ammonia smell. Check out our blog post on stripping gCloth inserts.

gCloth inserts (or other cloth inserts) will not be quite as absorbent as our gRefills. It’s just the nature of cloth. Since babies are all different and require different diapering needs, you might need to adjust the frequency of diaper changes to accommodate the different level of absorbency.  It would be on par to need to change a cloth diaper every 1-2 hours, and a gRefill every 2-3 hours. Some tips we’ve gotten from our gMums is to:

1.  Use one gRefill and one gCloth for naps and overnight (use the gCloth beneath the gRefill)
2.  One of our gMums coined the phrase “hemp sandwich”.  She would use 2 gCloth inserts with the hemp sides facing each other and has great success with this method
3. Keep gRefills on hand for longer trips out of the house

Hopefully that will help you figure out those pesky leaks. If not, as always, give us a ring. Or check in with the super savvy cloth-diapering parents on our facebook page. Collective knowledge is pretty rad.

25 thoughts on “leaks and cloth inserts”

  1. My little girl is 4 months old and in gdiapers. We were previously using a diaper service with our gdiaper system, but recently started using the gcloth inserts. I’ve noticed in this last week that my daughter will actually feel wet/damp on her giants. When I change her I’ve noticed that the pockets appear to be sweating, or leaking, through onto the gpants and making them both damp and smelly. Is this normal? How long are the pockets supposed to last and do they break down? Please help me with this issue!

      1. I used to use the g diapers untill the plastic cover inside started to break down and break around the edges, giving my little one a rash. it would be so usefull if g diapers sold the plastic covers separetly intead of me having to buy a whole new kit which i find not so cost effective, if you sell this separetly then i ll love to get back to using them :)

    1. I have the same problem with the leaking in the middle. The diaper comes out damp and smelly and I change my daughter often. Is there a way to “fix” the pockets to make them more waterproof? Thanks

  2. I’m having the same issue with my tiny g pants! They’re not wet round the edges but through the middle. I don’t understand this as I thought the plastic part is waterproof!

    1. I had the same leaking issues with our tiny gpants when we used them 1.5 years ago but we didn’t use them for too long since our daughter was big to begin with so I didn’t bother asking. Now that we’re considering a second child and I wanted to reuse our diapers, I was wondering if there was ever any solution? It seems like they always leaked through at the seam where the stitching was, whether using gCloth or gRefills

  3. Hi, I’ve been using your Cloth diapers since Waldo was born but he’s 20 months now and getting wet really fast. Night is a nightmare. He’s wet every morning and I don’t now what to do. I tried to go with gRefills and it doesn’t work better.
    It’s hard to find another brand of cloth diapers because I love so much yours… what can I do ? Thanks for your help !

  4. My g diapers have been having leak issues, but not through the sides, but instead through the butt. I am using g cloth, abd I often notice that her butt is wet when wearing these diapers. To be honest, I’ve had nothing but problems with these diapers. They were given to me, and at first I used other inserts, and had leak issues, so I finally bought the g cloth, but am having the same exact problem. The gcloth seems to be a bit big for the pockets, imo. Whenever I put the diaper on her, I always make sure the pocket fits well on her legs, abd that there is a good seal, and yet not even an hour later shes wet through the back. I’m not understanding what its going on. She won’t be wet anywhere except right on her butt. Im so close to just getting rid of these diapers all together. I usually use BG diapers, but am trying to like these diapers since I’ve got them in my stash, but so far they seem to be more hassle than there worth. What is gojng wrong? I hear parents say they love them, but I just don’t get it. Maybe theyre using the grefills? All I know its that my experience with gcloth so far has been a nightmare. Id like to have them work, since theyre so trim, and easy on the go, but I just can’t handle the leaks. Worst of all is that my daughter is about to outgrow them, and we’ve hardly gotten any use out of them since they constantly leak. Im just beyond frustrated with these diapers.

  5. When my daughter was first born I used gdiapers mostly with cloth inserts then I started to get leaks and I got very frustrated as I tried everything they say to do…I gave up and now she is 13 months and I wanted to try them again and wouldn’t you know I’m having leaks again, I check the leg fit at every change and change her before 2 hours every time. I hope I can get the ones I bought sod so I can get more of the other brand that doesn’t leak and I do not have to do any funny tricks with.

    1. My son is only 4 months and I’m having leak issues too! I can change him every hour and still have to change his clothes from a leak! I’ve tried all the suggestions and no improvement. What brand are you using now?

      1. Mine constantly leak too, even right after he has been changed. I have been looking at Etsy and just ordered a different style to try because I cannot get the gDiapers to work as well as they are supposed to.

      2. Same problem- my 5 month old son has inner leg leaks almost every time- I change him every hour or 2. I have chatted with the support people(which are very nice and helpful) multiple times and I’ve checked for good absorption which I have and I check the fit- making sure pouch is close to inner leg and pulled up high without over tightening waist band. I still gets leaks. The cloth is too small I think! It needs to be about an inch wider- I think that would fix the problem. My cloth bunches in and leaves gaps between it and the leg creating an open pouch area where urine leaks out.

  6. I’ve had good success using gcloth inserts combined with a doubler insert. I use gcloth on top touching baby’s skin and Joey Fuzzi buns premium insert in size medium underneath. These are exactly the same size as the gcloth med-xlarge inserts (once washed several times of course).They are very thin and extremely absorbent hemp. I buy them on amazon. With the combo I can go 3 hours or longer if needed. My daughter is 14 months and I’ve had to use this combo since she started leaking at around 4 months. Before that just the single gcloth liner was sufficient.
    I love gdiapers, but sometimes you need to add an outside product. Gdiapers are the only diapers in my stash.

  7. We have been using gDiapers for almost two months and despite trying all the tips and tricks they leak about 80% of the time. We have even tried different sizes because our baby is rather tall and thin. This morning within 30 minutes our son had already peed out of two diapers. We are getting so we really, really hate the gDiapers. Any other suggestions from what has been posted? Anyone try other brands of cloth diapers they like better?

  8. I have had leaks when using gCloths since our daughter was born (never when using gRefills) and she is two months old. We are using little gPants with the snap-in pouch (not the tiny Gs). They seem to fit her well now and I have followed all the tips with no success. They leak out the legs – only urine, never poopy leaks. It is very frustrating as I like the slim fit of the gDiapers best. Unfortunately, these diapers just may not work for our daughter. We almost never have leaks using Thirsties DuoWraps with their inserts. I always use those at night now, and keep trying the gDiapers during the day…I hope once she gets a little chubbier that they will start to work.

    1. You might want to try the gRefills. I have been using them since she was born with no leaks. My baby is 6 weeks and pees A LOT and I can go 3 hours or more without having to change her. With regular prefolds I have to change her every 45 minutes. I tried the Gcloth inserts and have to double them for them to last more than an hour.

  9. I used these diapers for several months along with the gdiaper cloth inserts. I couldn’t go even a fl hour without a leak and it always leaked in the crotch area close to the waist. I tried everything and always made sure the seal was tight but it continued to happen. I finally sold these diapers for several other brands and have no issues with leaks on any of the 5 other brand diapers I am currently using. I think the idea of this diaper is really great but the design is flawed. It makes me sad they didn’t work out because they are the most appealing looking cloth diaper and oh so trim, but if it doesn’t do the job right I guess all that doesn’t matter :-/

  10. My son is 3 months old and we’ve been using gDiapers for about 1.5 months now with the gCloth inserts. We also bought them for the trim fit because when we he outgrew the newborn size of the other brand we’d been using, the next size up was so huge I was afraid it would impede his motor development (he’s a fairly long and skinny little guy). About a week ago we started getting leaks around the legs with the small gPants (never with a poop) so we decided to move him up to the medium size. They’re bigger than I would like (still much smaller than other brand) and seem much too loose but so far no leaks during the daytime going about 3 hours between changes. At night we use an organic cotton prefold with the front double folded and he’ll go 6-7 hrs like this without leaks. The gCloth and gRefill both leaked at night. Overall we’re pretty satisfied so far.

  11. I am using th small gdiapers with cloth inserts. I have noticed the cover feels wet when I change it even though it doesn’t appear wet. Also, the diapers are leaking around the leg. I feel this happens, because the inserts are bulky or a little difficult to get a proper fit in the liner. Any idea on a solution?

    1. I think the covers will feel damp due to the breathability of the liners. We usually have 2 covers going each day and alternate with each change so that they air out. We only get leaks around the legs in 2 circumstances, if we aren’t changing frequently enough or if we didn’t make sure the pouch was tucked into the crease of his legs. But every baby fits differently. We also don’t use them overnight.

  12. I think some of these ladies above^ are not prepping their inserts! I love gdiapers and have only had one problem with stink but I stripped them and they are like new again. Yay! They are so easy to use and they dont bother my 15 month old like disposable did. Thank you gteam!

  13. Calling the gpouches both waterproof and breathable is a bit of a stretch. It’s got to be a bit of a trade-off! Having a fully soaked hemp side of a gcloth against the pouch always makes our baby feel damp through the gpants, right in the middle. The “hemp sandwich” (2 gcloths hemp-to-hemp) is the only thing that has helped us with this. This way the stay-dry part of a gcloth is against the pouch. Our baby girl is 5-months, 17 lbs, and the current overnight solution is large gcloth, preemie GMD prefold, upside-down small gcloth. (We didn’t want to buy a ton more large gcloths.) However, this is almost too wet in the morning. We will next try more concentrated hemp doublera (Thirsties?) or else use othe diaper covers at night. It’s a shame that there aren’t larger gpouches when you do need more overnight bulk than 2 large gcloths, especially for large and XL gpants!

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