Why Am I Getting Leaks?

From time to time, it's inevitable to encounter a cloth nappy leak. Whether it's due to a fitting mishap, an unexpected or extended nap, or simply forgetting to change the nappy promptly (we've all been there), leaks can be frustrating and disheartening. Not to mention the extra laundry that comes with it. But what if you're consistently experiencing leaks? Let's break it down and help you find a solution to keep your clothes dry once again.

In most cases, a nappy leak can be attributed to one of the following five issues:

  1. Incorrect fit
  2. Insufficient absorbency
  3. Flooding
  4. Compression leaks
  5. Not changing frequently enough

Now, the question arises: how can we determine which issue is causing the leaks?


Incorrect Fit

Firstly, we need to make sure your cloth nappy is fitted correctly. Check out our fit guide here. You can also join our VIP group on Facebook or email us at hello@kookabubs.com.au for support.


If you are confident your fit is not the issue, or are still having issues after correcting the fit, please follow our table below.

Cloth Nappy Leaks

Not Enough Absorbency

We understand that every baby is unique, and they go through phases of increased wetness that can catch us off guard. If you find yourself suddenly experiencing more leaks despite not making any changes, it's likely due to these "heavy wetting" stages.

To address this issue, we recommend increasing the absorbency of your cloth nappy. If you're currently using only the snake insert, consider adding the additional booster for added absorbency. If you're already using the booster, try incorporating an extra booster/insert into the mix. Remember, absorbency doesn't have to come solely from specialised inserts. You can get creative and use items like face washers, tea towels, or other appropriate materials you have on hand at home.

By boosting the absorbency of your nappies, you can effectively manage heavy wetting stages and minimise leaks. Don't hesitate to experiment and find the combination that works best for your little one.



Flooding occurs when a significant amount of urine is expelled rapidly, overwhelming the absorption capacity of the nappy. In simple terms, the inserts do not have enough time to absorb all the urine before it leaks out of the nappy. If you're experiencing this issue, there are a couple of solutions you can try.

One option is to add a cotton facewasher or a microfibre insert as the top insert, closest to your baby's skin. Cotton and microfibre have faster absorption rates compared to bamboo. By incorporating these faster-absorbing materials into the nappy, you can help prevent leaks caused by flooding. It's important to note that if using a microfibre insert, it should not be in direct contact with your baby's skin. Instead, place it inside the pocket of the nappy.


Compression Leaks

Compression leaks occur when the pressure applied to the inserts causes liquid to leak out. This issue is especially common with microfibre inserts, as they act like sponges and release liquid when squeezed or under pressure. That's why, in general, inserts made from natural fibres offer a much more reliable and effective solution. If you're currently using microfibre inserts, consider switching to or adding inserts made from natural fibres like bamboo or hemp. For more information on insert types and absorbency, subscribe to our newsletter and you'll receive a downloadable 'Beginner's Guide to Cloth Nappies'.

It's important to note that compression leaks can also be caused by clothing that is too tight. When tight-fitting clothes rest firmly against the nappy elastics, urine can seep through the stitching holes and onto the clothing. Bodysuits, in particular, are often the culprit for this type of leakage. As cloth nappies tend to have a slightly bulkier profile compared to disposables, the legs of the bodysuit can be snug. In this case, you can try purchasing snap extenders, which attach only to the bodysuit, making it more roomy around the nappy area. Alternatively, you may consider opting for the next size up in clothing to provide a more comfortable fit.


Not Changing Often Enough

It is recommended to change your baby's nappy every 2-3 hours or sooner if it is soiled. If you are experiencing leaks after the nappy has been on for more than 3 hours, it's a clear indicator that you need to change the nappy more frequently.

We understand that there are situations where extended nappy wear is unavoidable, such as during long car trips, outings, or unexpected/lengthy naps. In such cases, if possible, try anticipating these longer periods and consider adding additional absorbency to the nappy for extra security.

By being proactive and adding extra absorbency when needed, you can help prevent leaks and provide your little one with added comfort and protection. Remember, the key is to find a balance between regular nappy changes and adjusting absorbency as circumstances require.



If you continue to encounter problems with leaks or find this information overwhelming, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to assist you in resolving any leakage concerns, ensuring that you can fully embrace the benefits of using cloth nappies and enjoy a hassle-free experience.