Cloth Diapering: Getting the Right Fit

A major perk to cloth diapering is that blow outs and leaks are few and far between compared to disposable diapers. To achieve success with keeping baby’s clothes clean, though, you need to get the right fit.

Firstly, make sure when you fold the diaper up over the baby’s front you get the elastics in the crease of their legs.  Those upper thighs like to try to get tucked in there, so make sure you untuck them for a good fit.  (Also make sure that little boys’ parts are pointing down- always a good trick, whether in cloth or disposables.)


You can see the difference between the left thigh being out and the right thigh being tucked into the elastics still

The diaper’s snaps need to be at the right rise settings based off of weight and body type.  A good rule of thumb for One-Size diapers- though there is exceptions- is 8-16lbs on the highest rise, 17-22 lbs on mid-rise, and 23-35lbs for fully open.  Violet is currently 20 lbs and on the mid-rise snap.

So: your diaper is on the right snap setting, the thighs are untucked, and all body parts are facing down.  If you use aplix (Velcro) closure diapers, you can close it up similar to a disposable diaper and move forward.  If you use snaps, like I do, you bring the tabs over as much as possible without stretching the tabs.

I usually stick my other hand in the top of the diaper when snapping the diaper closed to prevent the snaps from digging into the baby

showing that it is okay for their two be a slight gap in the front of the diaper
Cloth isn’t like disposable diapers, you don’t have to pull the tabs as far as possible. It’s okay if there is a small gap in the front of the diaper.

The key is to make sure there is no gap in the back of the diaper and no plumbers  crack.

Once the diaper is on, lift babies legs to make sure they fold in the leg crease.  This quick step will make sure that baby’s movement doesn’t throw the diaper off or effect mobility.  When the baby’s legs are up, it also give you a chance to see if there are any gaps in the leg openings.  There shouldn’t be any gaps- if there is, try adjusting the rise snaps and/or closures.

If you have the rise snaps snapped, put two fingers up into the fold so it makes for a nice crease along the front.  This helps with the life of the diaper, preventing any pulls or rips near the rise snaps.  These diapers can and will last through the years and multiple children if treated with just a little care.

I realize this may sound tedious; believe me, it’s pretty easy to get down and once down it goes just as quickly as disposable changes.  Remember, the typical newborn/ young baby goes through at least 12 diapers a day- that’s plenty of practice and you will master it fairly quickly.  This is also the ideal way to put on a cloth diaper, but not the only way.  My husband, mother-in-law, and a sitter have all changed Violet without me spelling it out for them and they did absolutely fine and had no issues.  Until next time, happy changing!


Previous posts in our Cloth 101 series:


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