This post contains affiliate links.
Parents are commonly sceptical about cloth diapers because they fear they might be uncomfortable for their children because of the wet feeling.
But do children actually feel wet in cloth diapers?
A child will feel wet in cloth diapers lined with natural materials, such as cotton, bamboo, and hemp; however, they will not feel wet in cloth diapers lined with stay-dry materials, such as fleece and micro-fleece.
Read on to learn which cloth diapers will make your baby feel wet and discover for yourself how to use this to your advantage or simply make the cloth diaper feel dry if necessary.
Do All Cloth Diapers Make Your Baby Feel Wet?
As mentioned above, some cloth diapers will make your baby feel wet, and some won’t. This depends on the material that is in contact with the child’s skin.
Suppose the material touching the baby’s skin is made of natural fibers, such as cotton, bamboo, and hemp. In that case, your baby will feel wet if you don’t change the diaper after every elimination.
If you’ve decided to use natural fibers, the commonly available cloth diaper types that are made of natural materials are flat diapers, prefolds, preflats, fitted diapers, all-in-ones (AIOs), and all-in-twos (AI2s). These are all affiliate links to Amazon if you want to see what each of these looks like.
These types aren’t exclusively made of natural materials; it’s just an overview of all types you can choose from. Always check the properties of cloth diapers you intend to use to be sure which materials they’re made of.
If the material touching the baby’s skin is made of stay-dry materials, such as fleece and microfleece, the baby won’t feel wet unless the diaper is soaked. Fleece and microfleece don’t absorb moisture but instead wick it away to the absorbent layers.
If you’d like to use stay-dry materials, you can choose between a couple of cloth diaper types. The most common type are pocket diapers (affiliate link to Amazon), which you fill with inserts of any kind, and the top layer is made of microfleece.
You can also find other cloth diaper types typically made of natural materials, except the top layer is lined with a stay-dry material, such as fleece or microfleece.
These aren’t so widely available but can still be found pretty easily. Some examples are flat diapers, prefolds, preflats, fitted diapers, all-in-ones (AIOs), and all-in-twos (AI2s).
Another good option is investing in a few fleece liners (affiliate link to Amazon), which you place on top of the cloth diaper when you need a stay-dry solution but don’t want to buy a new cloth diaper.
These can be bought or made by yourself by simply cutting an old fleece baby blanket.
As already mentioned, they will wick away the moisture, so your baby won’t feel wet, and they will protect the diaper from poop.
Is It Wrong for the Baby to Feel Wet in Cloth Diapers?
It is natural for the baby to feel the consequence of their elimination, which will likely increase their body awareness. Some suggest that this might even lead to earlier potty training.
My experience says newborns will fuss before or immediately after elimination, whether they’re wearing a disposable or a cloth diaper. I’d change them as soon as possible so they could be cleaned up nicely.
If you can’t change the baby immediately or if the baby doesn’t fuss about a wet diaper (typical as they grow older and get distracted by so many things to explore), you probably won’t notice the wet diaper immediately. That is okay as long as you change the baby frequently enough.
Leaving a child in a wet cloth diaper for too long might be uncomfortable for them, and some will let you know exactly how they feel.
That is why I choose a hemp stay-dry fitted diaper (affiliate link to Amazon) for the nighttime, and unless the diaper gets soaked, my child doesn’t feel wet and isn’t bothered by the wet diaper.
How Can You Tell If a Cloth Diaper Is Wet?
To understand if the cloth diaper is wet, you should compare the dry and wet state of the diaper.
A dry cloth diaper will likely feel squishy and soft as opposed to a wet cloth diaper that feels tighter and possibly warm if the child eliminated right before you felt the outside of the cloth diaper.
You can also always feel the elastics or inside the diaper to check for wetness.
The wet zone will be in the very front of the diaper with boys and in the front/middle with girls.
How Often Should You Change Cloth Diapers?
Generally, cloth diapers should be changed at least every two to three hours and immediately after pooping.
The frequency of diaper changes will, of course, depend on the absorbent parts that you’re using in the diaper.
Expect to change absorbent parts with lesser capacity more frequently. For example, flat diapers without additional boosters will need to be changed about every hour or when you notice the child has peed.
Why Some Babies Don’t Like Cloth Diapers and What to Do About It
Some babies will seem like they just hate cloth diapers. They’ll cry every time they’ll eliminate and insist on an immediate diaper change.
It can be challenging from the beginning, especially if you’ve been using disposable diapers until then and the baby didn’t protest them much.
These babies (especially newborns, in my experience) are still very in tune with their feelings and probably don’t want to eliminate on themselves, so they’re trying to ask their guardian to help them eliminate before it’s too late.
Of course, they will hate the wet feeling of a cloth diaper, and that is their right.
What you can do to make the cloth diapering experience the best for your family are the following steps:
- change cloth diapers frequently (after every pee if possible),
- start offering the potty at every diaper change, especially when your baby starts fussing or crying – it might be a sign they need to eliminate,
- use stay-dry materials when you know you won’t be able to change the baby as quickly as possible (and especially at night).
Hopefully, you’ll find a rhythm soon that will keep you (or other guardians) and your baby happy!