Diapering Technique: Double Diapering Do’s and Don’t s
The theory is simple. One diaper can hold a lot of liquid, but two diapers can hold twice as much. Obviously to an extent this is true, however in the process of adding more diapers, you may end up with less capacity than you started with. People “double diaper” in different ways. Perhaps the simplest way is by using soaker pads. These are inserts that can be placed inside the diaper to increase the amount of absorbing surface and material. Simple and effective.
It is recommended, but expensive to buy soakers. These are sometimes designed to be placed inside diapers and as a result should not cause the diaper to leak when properly applied. However, if you make your own soaker you need to be careful. If the diaper cannot absorb and diffuse the liquid fast enough, it will run out the sides of the diaper and you will lose a lot of the capacity. It is suggested that rather than simply wadding up a piece of cotton and stuffing it into the diaper, that you take a cotton diaper (baby size works) and fold it in half, and then fold it again in thirds. This long and skinny soaker should then be centered on the diaper and will probably be long enough to run the length of the diaper. When the diaper is used, the soaker folded in this way will help diffuse the liquid along the length of the cotton, and will also help draw the moisture towards the center and away from the leaky sides. Soakers, when used effectively, help increase the ability of the diaper to diffuse a large amount of liquid in a short amount of time, and increase the diapers capacity slightly.
Using Several Diapers:
It is a common myth that simply taping more diapers on top of each other will produce a greater capacity. In reality, if you simply add more diapers tightly on top of each other, the liquid will not have enough room to be absorbed slowly into the compressed material and space. This will result in the liquid running straight out the sides of the diaper and down the sides of the others. To effectively use several diapers, first diaper the person using one. Then, using a cutting instrument (opened scissors work) make several long slits in the diaper’s surface. The should run from about halfway up the diaper in front, to just behind the legs. If three or four slits are made, the diaper will be able to leak through the slits when it reaches capacity. Simply adding more diapers will not increase the ability of the diaper to absorb quickly. Instead, it will minorly increase the amount of liquid the diaper can hold. Roughly this will add perhaps one or two more wettings.
If you are actually interested in using these techniques, it is advisable to use plastic pants as well. These fit over the diaper and help slightly to prevent leaks in a disposable. In a cloth diaper, they are absolutely necessary. Bottom line, if you are willing to go to the trouble to stuff cotton in the diaper and slit the bottom and add another, you might as well spring for some plastic pants.