How do I know when to Change a Cloth Diaper?
Sometimes the best place to start is with the basics of cloth diapering.
Cloth Diapers do not have a handy little blue (or sometimes yellow) line down the front to let you know when baby has peed and it's time to change the diaper.
Instead, knowing when to change a cloth diaper relies on a few other concepts and mostly a gut intuition about your baby. It's about responding to your babie's mood and needs.
Babies need to be changed when they poop, and when they pee. Some parents choose to change their babies on a schedule, while others change with every pee (which in older kids can be every 2-3 hours depending on their bladder holding skills).
For overnights, Many parents choose to use a diaper that is absorbant enough to last 8-12 hours. While others choose to change baby every time they wake up. It is important to change with every poop to prevent rashes in the morning. Overnight cloth diapering choices can be personal and depend on your baby, your sleep needs, and what works best for your family.
It's Time to Change...
Some babies will always be cranky, but otherwise will get even more cranky with a wet or poopy bum. It's a good idea to check their diaper and change them into something dry if they are showing signs of being uncomfortable.
Seems obvious, but not always. If there is a smell of poop then it's probably time to change the baby into a fresh bum.
Every 2 Hours
The fall back guideline is to change your baby every two hours during waking hours.
Most cloth diapers should last baby for 2 hours before leaks.
If your baby pees before 2 hours and you notice then change them. It makes baby more comfortable and happy.
How Can I Tell if Baby Pees in a Cloth Diaper?
From the exterior, you can't really tell if baby peed unless your diaper is leaking and clothes are soaking wet. But leaks should not be a regular part of our life.
Sometimes when you take off the diaper and feel it in your hand it will feel heavier, more dense and perhaps damp. You can feel the front of the diaper and if the inserts have begun to scrunch up or feel more dense then the diaper is soiled.
If you're wondering what it should look like on inside after baby peed? With pocket cloth diapers you will probably not know that baby peed when you open up the diaper. The microfleece or seude liner wisks away the liquid to the insert. Inserts will show a slight discolouration where the pee has landed and where this is moisture. It should look wet, and often the insert will scrunch up. This will also resonate for users of cloth diaper covers and prefolds, or fitted diapers.
There may be a faint pee smell and that's okay. Stronger smells that burn your eyeballs are concerning, and we should chat about your wash routine.
Don't worry, you got this.
You don't need a little blue line on the front of the diaper to let you know baby has peed. You are a wonderful and amazing parent who can totally rock this cloth diapering thing.
Looking for your community? Join us in our Facebook Group to connect with other Nuggles cloth diaper parents.
Bailey is a mom of two young and wild children living in the cold tundra of Northern BC. She had no idea what to do with her life and fell in love with cloth diapering where she continues her passion here at Nuggles as the Director of Happiness.