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This is part 5 of our series on cloth diapering.

To see the other parts of The Nestery's ongoing series on cloth diapering, go here -

In this blog, we discuss getting the correct fit while using cloth diapers.

Why is cloth diaper fit important? 

Don't you want your cute cloth diapers to stay on that adorable baby bum?! Jokes aside, proper fit helps with the following:

  1. Prevents leaks, poopocalypse averted!
  2. Red chafing on the thighs or belly. 
  3. Rashes

Since there are a few different types of cloth diapers, let us see how to correctly get them onto your baby.

How to get the right fit with prefolds and flats?

Put the prefold or flat diaper on the baby using a diaper fastener like a diaper pin or snappi. They can be folded into different folds including a newspaper fold, bikini fold, diva fold and the jelly roll fold. They can also be used as a traditional Indian nappy. Sounds intimidating but they are easy to learn. Here are pictures of the many versatile prefold and flat folds.

How to fold a prefold?

(image source: Bumpadum

Prefold folding style

(image source: Bumpadum)

Remember, these diapers are made of absorbent cloth but they are not waterproof. So ideally, they would need a waterproof cover on top. The covers are usually one-size that go from the tiniest tot to a toddler. They have snaps that can be used to get the right fit. For the smallest babies, use the lowest rise setting (3-5 kgs). There is a medium-rise setting for older babies (5-8 kgs) and large settings for 8-11 kgs. Extra-large settings work for the oldest children (11-17 kgs). If you choose the correct settings, the fit of the cover over the flat or prefold will be great. 

How to get the right fit with pocket diapers and AIO diapers?

Pocket diapers and All-In-One (AIO) diapers come with the same type of snaps that can be adjusted according to the child's age and weight from the lowest rise to an extra-large setting.

How do you know it is time to size up or move to the next series of snaps apart from the weight of the child?

Here are a few signs:

  • The fit on the legs is too tight and you cannot slide a finger in
  • The rise on the diaper is too low i.e., it should be at the navel but moves too low
  • Pee is leaking out of the top of the diaper

But just snapping the diaper closed is not enough to get the right fit for your cloth diapered baby. Additional points to remember about getting the right fit for cloth diapers: 

  1. Place cloth diapers lower than disposables, near the navel, to make sure the rise is correct. 
  2. Check the fit of the elastic around the legs. It should be loose enough that you can slide a finger in, but tight enough to prevent leaks. You may have to learn this through trial and error!
  3. The diaper should come up into the baby's crotch area, just like underwear. If that is not happening, tuck the diaper up enough that it goes up into the baby's groin area.
  4. Check that prefolds and flats or any inserts are properly tucked in. 
  5. Lift up the baby to check the final fit. Do a finger test (as mentioned above) to see if the diaper is loose at the waist or at the legs. Adjust and tighten as needed using the tips above.

And there you go, the strategies for the perfect cloth diaper fit for your babies and toddlers. It may seem like a long checklist at first glance, but once you get used to cloth diapering you will soon do it on autopilot. After all, isn’t that what most aspects of parenting are like?

To see the other parts of The Nestery's ongoing series on cloth diapering, go here -

Drop us a comment or your questions. :)