Smart Bottoms cloth diapers can come across as intimidating to a new cloth diaper user because they are not your typical diaper. I know this because I was intimidated the first time I put one on my daughter. I have been using Smart Bottoms for over a year now and I have learned a few tricks along the way to make them so much easier to use! A few other Smart Bottoms Ambassadors have also come up with some clever tips as well.
One of the first intimidating factors is the soaker. If you are not familiar with these diapers, the soaker is attached to the diaper and you can customize how you want it folded in the diaper. I have personally only ever folded it in half, but there are two other ways to fold depending on the gender of your child. If folded a certain way, it can increase the absorbency and efficiency of the diaper.
The elastics on the diapers are rolled, so when you put the diaper on you have to “roll” them in so no cotton (or the white fabric) is showing. If you even have a little bit of cotton showing, it may cause a leak onto the clothing your child is wearing, which is called wicking. Be careful not to roll them too much though, as this will cause leaks on the outer fabric, the PUL.
Along with staggering the snaps, if you are finding the one-size diapers are not fitting just quite yet, you can also snap the rise setting to the lower part of the waist snaps. Leave the middle rise snap, snapped to the rise button. That way you can still snap the waist snaps to the proper setting! This will make smaller leg holes, giving you a more customized fit that could fit your newborn even sooner!
The double row feature of snaps can help prevent wing droop! This is when the extra waist fabric that is not snapped will droop down underneath. Ambassador Breanna L. came up with this lovely graphic showing how to use the double row of snaps to prevent this!
Watch this quick little tip video about putting on the diaper that will help have zero cotton showing, and possibly prevent wicking onto clothing!
Trying to decide what rise setting your child should be on? I have discovered a few different ways to tell if you are on the wrong or right rise setting! If you are noticing tugging around where the rise snap, snaps, you need to go up a rise. The tugging on fabric over time could cause a rip in the PUL. If you are on a too big of rise setting, it will look bulky. The pictures below will help with a visual image.
Still having issues with the fit? Watch this video I made on how to get a good fit with your Smart Bottoms diaper!
One last tip for the rise snaps is watching the way the fabric lays when they are snapped. Obviously if you have a full open rise, this will not apply. If you are snapped on any rise setting, pushing the extra fabric upwards into the diaper will help make a cleaner fit, and not put as much strain on the rise snaps. This will help prevent any unnecessary pulls in the fabric.
Besides fit tips and tricks, there are a few things that can help the overall absorbency for your “heavy wetters.” Adding one of the Hemp/Cotton Boosters will help drastically!
For nighttime, you can add a size small Smart Fold into your 3.1 for an easy nighttime more absorbent diaper! All of our nighttime leaking stopped when we started doing this! Shown below is just the size small Smart Fold in the 3.1. To see the Smart Fold in other rise settings, and the other sizes of Smart Folds, check out this blog post I did on finding which size would work best!
To top both of those off, add a fleece liner to wick away the moisture so your child! These also help prevent stains!
I hope that some of these tips and tricks help while using Smart Bottoms diapers! We love our Smart Bottoms, and anything to make them more efficient and work excellent is a plus!