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Cloth Diaper Help

We at circle ME want you to be completely satisfied with your diapers. Please let us know what we can do to serve you! Below you will find a few common concerns. If these suggestions do not help or do not answer your questions, please click here and fill out the form. We will answer your concern to the best of our ability. Our goal is to help you succeed in cloth diapering.

My new diapers are leaking?
Leaks may be caused by a couple different factors. First, make sure that you’ve prepped the diapers enough. Some manufacturers recommend washing and drying your new diapers a couple of times before using them. All-in-ones typically require more prepping because they have so many layers. Both bleached and unbleached prefolds also require many washings and dryings to allow the fibers to open up properly and become absorbent. New cotton contains natural oils that need to be washed out. As a general rule, it is a good idea to wash your diapers before using them. If you’ve washed and dried your new diapers plenty of times, and they are still leaking, consider the fit of the diapers. Once the diaper is on, with your child laying on his back and his knees bent, bring his legs gently toward his chest to check the fitting around the legs. If there are gaps present, it is a likely cause of leakage. Try to readjust the diaper at the waist or legs to make sure there are no gaps. Some diapers will fit your baby better than others, and some are more adjustable than others.

If a pocket diaper has leaked after just a short period of time, and the insert is completely saturated, it means that more absorbency is needed. Try adding an additional insert or a doubler. Doublers are meant to absorb more, while not adding as much bulk as an insert.

My diapers have never leaked before and now they are leaking?
This may be caused by build-up on your diapers, especially if it occurs after 3-4 months of use. This type of leaking is called repelling. Build-up can be caused by a couple of different sources. First ,check your detergent to make sure it’s free of perfumes, dyes, enzymes & brighteners. Those ingredients can cause repelling over time. Next, make sure the proper amount of detergent is being used. It may take a little experimenting before you discover the right amount. Using 1/4-1/2 of the regular amount of detergent is recommended. Also, be sure not to use fabric softeners or dryer sheets in the dryer.

If you have checked your detergent and that isn’t the problem, diaper cream could be the culprit. When using diaper cream, it is important to use a brand that is designed to be used on cloth diapers, such as Northern Essence. When a diaper cream is needed and you don’t have a brand that is made for cloth diapers, be sure to use a diaper liner to prevent the cream from touching your diapers. Your next course of action would be to ‘strip’ your diapers, see instructions under, “even after washing, my diapers still stink”.

My baby has a diaper rash?
Sometimes using too much detergent may cause a diaper rash. It is very important to make sure you do enough rinses to ensure there is no residue of detergent remaining. Keep rinsing until you don’t see any soap bubbles!

If you are a prefold/synthetic diaper cover user and your child has a rash, your cover could be the culprit. You might try switching to a diaper cover that is more breathable like wool or fleece. Also, as much as you can, allow your baby’s bottom to air dry between diaper changes. More frequent diaper changes throughout the day may also help.

If you are a pocket or AIO diaper user you may look into investigating your diaper material. Natural fiber vs. synthetic fiber is a widely debated topic. Some believe 100% cotton is always best, because some children do have sensitivities or allergies to some synthetic materials used in diapers. If you have sensitive skin, your child probably does as well, so try switching to all natural fibers to see if the rash dissipates.

circle ME also carries multiple diaper creams that are approved for use on cloth diapers. If the rash seems on-going, please contact your doctor.

Even after washing, my diapers still stink?
There are many possible causes to your diaper stink problem: synthetic materials could be holding the smell, your water — could be too hard or too soft, you could be using too little or too much detergent, perhaps you are waiting too many days between wash cycles , the type of dirty diaper storage could be to blame…etc. It may take a little troubleshooting to pinpoint the cause. But here are a couple tips: wash your diapers every 2-3 days, always keep them in a dry-pail, and do a wash routine that works best for you and your family. There are a few basic suggestions to follow, but really, we all do our laundry a little differently.

Here are a few ideas to help:

  • You may start with a process called ‘stripping’. There are many ways to do this process. circle Me employees have found success by adding about 1 Tablespoon of Dawn dish washing soap to your washer full of clean diapers. Wash once and rinse until you no longer see any soap bubbles (this could be 5-6 times). This will also cure any diaper build up or repelling, which is a common culprit of leaks.
  • There are also products on the market that may help get the stink out. Try adding Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator to the wash cycle. It’s a blend of natural living enzyme cultures and botanical extracts. Bum Genius also makes an odor-remover spray that may be worth trying. It is simply sprayed on each diaper and insert before going into the dry pail. Both of these products can be found at circle ME!
  • If you just can’t get the stink out of your microfiber inserts, you may want to try prefolds or cotton hand towels as inserts. They work really well, and may provide a higher absorbency. Also, if you’re finding that you strip the diapers over and over, only to still have stink, it may be time to replace your microfiber inserts.


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