Help - My Nappies aren't absorbent anymore

Life’s wonderful when your nappies are doing exactly what they are supposed to, right?

You’re changing your bub’s Cushie Tushies every few hours, there are no leaks and all of you are happy with where things are at: it’s like nappy-nirvana!

However, sometimes something can happen to upset the apple cart.

A little leak here.

A bigger one there.

At first they are random, then they seem to be happening every day.  And you find yourself changing your baby’s clothing every day because their nappies have leaked through.


Ain’t no parent got time for that.

What the heck is going on?  Things were working just fine…

First of all, don’t worry, it’s all okay!  Most issues with nappy leaks can be solved quite easily and it is just a matter of troubleshooting through a few possibilities until we hit on the one that is causing your issue.  Grab a cuppa and let’s sort this one out for you.

Leak Issue #1

The most common reason why nappies start leaking all of a sudden is that they need a strip wash.  

What’s a strip wash?  

It’s a very easy process to do on your nappies and is just like giving them a spring clean. 

Think about this: your nappies are essentially your child’s toilet, day in, day out, for weeks and months on end.  Yes, they are washed every day, but they need a deep clean every six months or so to keep them in tip top condition and avoid build up that can negatively affect their absorbency. 

Sometimes this buildup is caused by using too much detergent or an unsuitable detergent for cloth nappies; sometimes it just happens through normal wear and use.  Whatever the reason, no matter - it is all completely reversible.

So how do you strip wash?

Fill your bathtub or laundry trough with warm water and add a decent squirt of regular dishwashing detergent to it.  Gather up all your clean absorbent boosters and plunge them in, leaving them to soak overnight.  

In the morning, pop all the boosters into your washing machine and run them through lots of rinse cycles to remove all the detergent and gunk from your nappies (I suggest keeping an eye on the rinse water and do two more rinse cycles when you can see no bubbles in the water).  Don’t put them through a wash cycle, as repeated rinsing is all they need.  

Then hang them out to dry, preferably in the sun for a good dose of sanitising UV light.  

Voila!  Your boosters should now be soft, smell fresh and be as absorbent as they day your started using them!

Regularly strip washing your nappies will help to keep them in good condition - we know of many parents still using their Cushie Tushies 6+ years down the track because they have been well taken care of!  

Leak Issue #2

Is your nappy cream stopping your boosters from absorbing wee?

Many nappy creams are formulated to provide a moisture-proof barrier between wee and your baby, helping to avoid irritation to sensitive skin.  However, when these creams rub off onto your boosters they do the same thing: create a moisture-proof barrier on the boosters so that the wee cannot be effectively absorbed.  Bad news for nappies and your baby!

We always recommend using a nappy liner in your nappy when you are using a nappy cream to help avoid this occurring, but the good news is that it is completely reversible with a strip wash.  Just follow the strip wash process outlined under Leak Issue #1 and you’ll return your nappies to their former absorbent glory.  Just add a liner to your nappy when you need to use nappy cream and this will keep the cream off your boosters in the future.

Leak Issue #3

Babies have this habit of growing longer and changing shape as they get older and sometimes this can result in their nappy not fitting in exactly the way it did before - hello annoying leaks!

Thankfully, this one is a relatively easy one to fix!  

If you’ve strip washed your nappies and you are still experiencing leaks, then the culprit is likely to be how your nappy is fitting your baby.  Here’s some tips to keep in mind when you are putting on your next nappy:

  1. A well-fitted nappy has the boosters sitting firmly up against your bub’s skin.  If the boosters are loose, you’re risking leaks.  Bring the nappy up nice and high at the front and hold it there while you do up the snaps to keep it there.  
  2. When you have done it up, check that you can see some of the nappy front up above the wing snaps.  If you can’t see any nappy front above the wings, it is likely that it is sagging at the front.  Sagging = loose nappy = hotbed for leaks.  Just unsnap and try it again.  If you are using a Chameleon with the booster snapped in, you may like to unsnap the booster to help get a good fit.  Sometimes this can really help when you are finding getting a firm fit challenging!
  3. Check your leg holes to make sure they are fitting snugly around your bub’s legs.  Again, if these are loose you are risking leaks.  To avoid this happening, pull your nappy cover up nice and firmly at the front before you do up the snaps.  

If you are finding it really difficult to get a good fit, you can always pop a message over to us via email or Facebook and we will be happy to help you out one on one!

Leak Issue #4

Sometimes a little growth spurt will take you be surprise!

Every now and then we find that a bub is just at an age where they are weeing more than usual and this can take parents by surprise as their nappy fills in a much shorter time.

You have two options here:  you can either boost your nappy a little more by adding an extra mini booster or mini prefold to each nappy, or you can change your baby’s Cushie Tushies a little more often.  

This heavy-wetting growth spurt can last for a week or two, but then usually settles down back to their regular routine.  

So nappies that don’t seem as absorbent as they once were aren’t a big cause for alarm, sometimes things just need a little tweaking to fix the issue.  

As always, if you are having an issue that you can’t easily resolve with your Cushie Tushies, please contact us so we can help you out!  We’ve used our nappies on our own children and helped countless others to successfully cloth nappy theirs, so we are experts at identifying and solving all sorts of cloth nappy gremlins.   

We hope this guide helps you to have many happy years with your Cushie Tushies!