Friday, June 15, 2012

Cloth Diaper Tip: Wing Droop What It Is and How to Prevent It

Most of us have experienced wing droop even from diapers that claim not to have wing droop. Wing droop does not discriminate. Chunky babies or thin babies can all get the dreaded wing droop which can lead to gapping and leaks. Lets start with a simple explanation of what wing droop is, for those new to cloth and those who have yet to deal with it. Wing droop is when the front end of the diaper, typically were the soft side (the loop) of the Velcro is or the Socket snaps are located, dip down below the wings of the diaper. It looks like the picture to the right. 

There are a few reasons wing droop can happen. The first possible cause, and the most common, is that the diaper is too big for the baby. One Size diapers can have this reputation because One Size diapers are meant to fit on larger babies more easily and securely. One size diapers also rely on the fact that younger babies move less. However, some of us have little ones that decided crawling at 6 months or walking by 8 months is a great idea. Take my children, my oldest one didn’t walk until right around a year while my youngest walked right before 8 months which lead to us having more issues with wing droop.

Avoiding OS diapers and buying only sized diapers could help solve some of the wing droop issues. Unfortunately, OS diapers, for most of us, are the most economical choice buying lots of sized diapers means buying more diapers in general which can get pretty pricey. On that same note, it is advisable to purchase more than one type of diaper as 29 Diapers Green Baby on a Budget strongly suggests. Its a great idea to have a mix of diapers to help you find which diapers work out the best for you and your little one. The great thing about having a variety is that sometimes as baby grows a diaper that worked great when they were 6 months might not work as well at 12 months and the diaper that didn’t fit a few months before fits great as they get older. Variety is also good for when different people are watching your little one and changing their diapers. I personally have always liked pockets the best while my husband thought changing AIOs was the easiest.  Check out all the variety available from our Etsy Cloth Diaper Team!

Another cause of wing droop is simply that the diaper is being pulled too tightly. When there is back elastic you can easily pull the wings much further on the baby than it needs to be causing the wings to pull from where the diaper is snapped, typically in the middle. Let the back elastic do its job! It is there to help hold the diaper to the baby’s waist it doesn’t need to be pulled so tight. If gapping happens because it is Velcro (or even on Snaps) simply add a prefold diaper folded trifold style to help fill the diaper. By adding the prefold it should help eliminate the worry of leaks coming from the top.

A few other suggests are to make sure the wings connect straight across and not at an angle, meaning the back of the diaper is not sitting much higher on the baby. If the rise is too high use the fold down snaps to lower the rise or if that is not an option invest in a few cloth diaper safety pins. Not to mention get creative! Try arranging the snaps in different ways to get the best and most convenient fit. If that means creating some folds then by all means create some folds! Trial and error will be the best solution of wing droop. Here is a great little video (only a 1min and a half long) that shows how to be creative with the snaps! Good luck with tackling wing droop and hopefully you won’t abandon those diapers that have been giving you problems. Save some money and be green by being able to use all of your diapers. Happy Diapering.

*Picture from Cloth Diaper Shops Blog

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