Softbums: Cloth Diapers that Fit

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  • How many diapers do I need?
    That will depend on how often you want to do the diaper laundry, and how often your baby wets.
    Some babies wet a lot at once, and fewer times a day, while other babies wet a little many times a day. 
  • With our All-in-2 systems you will be saving quite a bit of money because you can reuse your Shells by simply replacing the wet Pod with a clean one. If baby poos, you'll want to change the whole diaper.  
  • Smaller babies poo more often, so you'll want to have at least 5 Shells a day for a newborn. Less for older babies.
  • Before calculating cost and quantity, be aware that most parents do not buy all their diapers at once, but get enough to do cloth Part-time, or enough to wash every day.  Then as they get more used to the system, come back and buy more Pods/Inserts, or Shells.   You also need to realize that very few people want to be chained to the washer, and do not do laundry every day. Most
    parents do laundry every other day or every 3rd day . You’ll need enough to cover your baby’s bum every day that you don’t want to do laundry, plus add a few extra in for emergencies, diaper bag etc.
  • You'll need about 5-8 Shells per baby per day, and 2-3 Pods per shell depending on the age of your baby.  Older babies wet less frequently, but need more absorbency for night.

    Our Good To Go Pack is a great place to start.  It contains 9 Echo Shells and 18 SUPER Pods.  This will give you 18 - 36 changes which should be enough to wash every other or every 3rd day.  If you will be using the Omni Pocket Diaper, you will want to get closer to 24 shells, since once it has been used as a pocket, you cannot re-use the shell. 

  • Where can I buy SoftBums products?
    SoftBums products can be found in many online and brick and mortar retail stores. If your favorite baby store doesn't carry SoftBums be sure to let them know that they should!

  • How do I use my SoftBums diapers?
    Using your new SoftBums diaper is easy.  Simply use the patented Slide2Size leg adjustments to adjust the leg opening to fit your baby, snap in an absorbent Pod, and your good to go!  If you are using the Omni Pocket Diaper you simply stuff the pod in the pocket rather than snapping it in.   More information on Slide2Size and the Pod System can be found in the Tutorials section of our website.

  • How can I prolong the life of my diapers?
    While SoftBums are made to last, please remember that reusable diapers are a garment and like any garment are worn down with every use, every wash cycle and every dryer cycle. Like any garment, they will eventually wear out with continual use, but its possible to make them last much longer by following some simple tips:

    • Make sure you have enough shells so that you don't have to wash every shell you have every time you do diaper laundry.The number 1 thing that will prolong the life of your diapers is having enough so that each one doesn't get used every single day. The more you have, the longer all of them will last.  We recommend at least 12 Shells total, and more for younger babies, or twins.

    • Never soak your shells (or if you do only soak them in water), never use vinegar or bleach and don't use the sanitize cycle if you have one. These things can severely degrade every part of your diaper, from the elastic to the fabric itself.Gentle care will prolong their life, sometimes by more than double.

    •  Line dry your shells.  If you do use the dryer, never turn it up past medium heat unless you're doing the 15 minute sealing recommended when you first get your shells.  High heat in the dryer is the main reason for degraded velcro, and will also harm your bamboo Pods over time.  For best results, take the shells out halfway through the dryer cycle and let them air dry the rest of the way.  Because they contain no absorbent material, air drying wont take long and it will prevent a lot of wear and tear.

    • If line drying your shells outside, arrange them with the inside facing outwards to minimize sun bleaching.  This isn't harmful to the diaper but it can fade your fabric! Also, you’ll want to avoid direct sunlight for any bamboo products.

  • What about rash creams?
    Using cloth diapers is a great step to reducing the chance your baby will get a diaper rash.  But if you need to use a rash cream, make sure you protect your diapers lining. Rash creams we recommend are:
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby, Burt's Bees, California Baby, CJ's Butter, Balm Baby.
  •  Some rash creams will stick to the lining and not wash out as well.  You can use disposable liner and just toss after each use, or a reusable fleece liner will work as well, anything that creates a barrier between the cream and the diaper's lining
  • Rash Creams we DO NOT Recommend are:
  • Desitin, Boudreaus, A&D or anything with fish oils or petroleum products

Which detergent can I use?

We recommend for following Detergents:
  • Lulu's 
  • Purex Free & Clear
  • Country Save
  • Rockin Green
  • Kirklands Free and Clear
  • Tide (Please note that with Tide, a little goes a long way as rashes can develop on sensitive skin from lingering detergent residue. Babies with sensitive skin will also want to avoid optical brighteners and enzymes.)

  •  Anything with oxygenating additives, enzymes or whiteners will slowly ruin your diapers.  Also, anything with "natural oils" will leave a residue that will in time will build up on your diapers and cause them to reduce the amount of absorbency they can absorb.  This may take a week, or 3 months to show up.  
    Detergents we DO NOT recommend because of enzymes, or natural oils:
    • Dreft
    • Seventh generation
    • Purex Baby
    • Method
    • Gain
    • Sun
    • Ruby Moon
    • Charlie's
    • Eco Sprout
    • Cascade (not a laundry detergent but we've seen it recommended on forums)
    • ECOS
    • Planet
    • ecover
    • Bio-kleen
    • There are many more detergents that we do not recommend due to inclusion of enzymes, etc, if you have any questions please call!
     Borax, vinegar, softeners and bleach should NEVER be used. Baking soda in the first wash will help to de-odorize them, but you shouldn’t need it often.  Every once in a while, or if your diapers are stinky after washing, you may need to strip them. Wash 3–5 times in hot without detergent to strip diapers, the hotter the water the better job it will do. Also you might try soaking in the washer for a few hours or overnight if your diapers are getting stinky.


For a Top Loader:

  • Water Level HIGH
  • Only add 3/4 washer Full of diapers, too many and they won't get clean
  • 1/4 of the recommended amount of Detergent (If the instructions say to use to the 1 line, only go up 1/4 of the way to the 1 line.  It's not the detergent that gets your diapers clean, it's the water.  If you are washing often enough(every 1-3 days), and not using too much detergent(detergent acts like a magnet to bacteria and can cause leaks or rash), your diapers will never get stinky.
  • Wash on WARM or COLD (warm if your detergent has enzymes), with detergent
  • Wash a Second time on HOT, with No Detergent
  • Dry PODS in dryer on Med, hang dry Shells(for first time, dry Shells in dryer for 20 min or more to seal holes)

For an HE Front Loader:
It's very important to make sure there is enough water in the washing machine. That's usually the problem with HE washers. They don't add as much water as top loaders and therefore don't rinse the diapers as well, and don't get them as clean as top loaders. So you have to trick the washer into adding as much water as possible. 

These settings are for the "LG Front Loader".  Your washer may vary but this is the best combe we have found : 

  • Fill wetbags up with cold water before adding to washer(this will saturate your diapers and make them heavier to the sensor making the washer add more water.  The more water the better and since you cannot manually adjust for a Frontloader, this is the best solution.)
  • Wash twice.
  • 1st Load - ADD 1/4 or less of recommended Detergent - Delicate Cycle - extra rinse- prewash - low spin - heavy soil -  WARM or COLD(if your detergent contains enzymes you HAVE TO use warm otherwise they won't activate and clean properly)
  • 2nd Load - high spin - heavy soil - Permanent Press - HOT - NO Detergent
  • Dry Pods, and hang dry Shells to prolong life


There are generally a few possible causes for leaks, which we have given recommendations on how to resolve below. Believe it or not Leaks are totally NORMAL when you are first starting out with cloth diapers!  Usually it's just one little thing that needs to be tweeked and it should totally resolve any leaks you are having.

We've found that the four main causes of leaks are:

  •  Build up from improper detergent or wash routine
  •  Improper fit
  •  Not enough absorbency, or not changing baby often enough
  •  Not enough Prewashing, as they can take up to 10 washes before PODS  become fully absorbent, 1 wash just won't do it!!
 Stripping the diapers and/or changing detergent might be necessary to resolve the leaks. There is a list on this page of recommended detergents.  Also, below we've listed our whole database for resolving leaks for you!  We hope you will find this information helpful and not overwhelming.  If you still have problems, please contact us!  Don't suffer in silence!

Resolving Leaks:

There are a few things to look at for the cause of leaks:

- Not enough absorbency - This is easy to remedy, and most people do 1 of 2 things.  Add more absorbency by adding a second POD, either a Mini POD, or another Full Size POD.  OR, you can Try using Bamboo PODS instead.  Bamboo has the ability to absorb 4 times what cotton does and is half the thickness.  So you can have a SUPER absorbent diaper that is very thin.  However, the Bamboo does cost a little bit more than the DryTouch.  Our recommendations for starting out with Bamboo is to try 1-3 of the Large Bamboo PODS at $8.95 each they are a phenomenal deal! 

-Adjusted too tight or too loose or improper fit.  You should be able to cross the tabs over for a baby 3 mo or younger.  If you cannot cross the tabs over on a newborn, you probably have the legs far too tight.  You can try loosening them an inch or more and then pulling the POD up very high to the belly button, and THEN closing the diaper so that the tabs cross over.  

 Here's a helpful video tutorial for getting the right fit:
We highly suggest using this formula to size and fit the diapers properly:

TIP: For the Omni, add .5 inch to the formula (so 2 inches instead of 1.5)

- Too much detergent, use of fabric softener or natural based detergents or excessive use of harsh additives such as vinegar or bleach and soaking the diapers cause build up and therefore, leaks. You'll want to strip the diapers and modify the wash routine. Leaks due to build up or detergent issues often cause "repelling" where the liquids don't absorb quick enough and roll out the diaper before being absorbed. This can be remedied by stripping the diapers and changing detergents and wash routines. 

-"Bunching" of the insert.
If the insert is bunching, due to improper fit, the liquids will pass straight through the diaper because the liquid isn't being absorbed into the insert. Bunching is reduced by pulling the insert through the legs firm/snug against the baby's body and then pull the shell over. The pod should only come up part way up the aplix strip of the shell (too high and you can get leaks out the top, too low and the insert can slip down and cause bulging/bunching) so that when the velcro tabs are fastened, they hold the pods in place. After fastening the tabs, lift the legs up and run your fingers along the leg elastic to make sure all the pod is inside the shell and there is no gaping etc.

Stripping Diapers
It is necessary to strip diapers when having issues with leaks or smells caused by build up. First off, if you don't want to go through the stripping process from home, you can look into our "Diaper Service Stripping Service"  It takes all the work and stress out of stripping, and saves you countless hours of worry of wondering if you are doing it correctly!  There's nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain from a bad rash!

If you'd like to go ahead and strip your diapers from home you can easily do so. It can be tedious, but it's really quite simple if you follow these recommendations:
You'll need to use a detergent of some sort(our recommendation is Lulu's) in the first wash ONLY. You can use your regular detergent (use more than you normally do for stripping, so if you usually use 1/4 cap, for stripping use 3/4 cap). Or you can use 1tsp. of Dawn dish detergent. It's typically very effective at removing the buildup. Use just a small amt of Dawn in the first load. With an HE washer you'll only need 1 teaspoon of Dawn. Dawn can work very well, but may not for some applications. Also, it may void your HE warranty by using dawn, even though many parents have used it just fine. RLR laundry treatment is another option for stripping your diapers.
Use VERY HOT water to strip your diapers. Turning your water heater up all the way not only helps with stripping, but is also recommended for every day washing. If you have an HE washer, stripping can be harder because you will not be getting as much water in your washer as would be ideal. You can try some of our HE tricks (included below in this email). 

 It looks a little complicated but don't worry, it's pretty easy. The main thing to remember is to use hot water on the highest level, and an extra amount of detergent in the first load. Then just continue to wash and wash and wash in plain HOT water.

To strip your diapers:

1. Add 3/4 recommended amount of detergent.
2. Wash diapers on HOT with detergent
3. Make sure the water level is on high. Having plenty of water is essential to getting the diapers clean.  (For HE or Frontloader use the delicate cycle to add the most amount of water to your load, and add diapers wet, not dry.  Do NOT ever use the Sanitize cycle as it will delaminate your shells)
4. Wash diapers on hot again, this time with no detergent.
5. Wash an additional two times on hot, with no detergent

The diapers can be washed as hot as 140 degrees (we do not recommend the sanitize cycle if it raises the temperature to above 140 degrees as it can damage the diapers). Please note that we do not recommend products such as bleach, oxy clean, bac out, and vinegar because they are harsh on the materials in SoftBums diapers. (Bleach can be used on the dry touch pods, but is not recommended on the shells). Also, many natural detergents have natural softeners & oils that can cause build up (which leads to smells and leaks).


Line drying your shells will extend the life of the velcro significantly. The high heat of the dryer can cause the velcro strip and laundry tabs to get fuzzy and worn out very quickly. The diapers can be “fluffed up” by putting them in the dryer on low after air drying. It’s okay to put the diapers in the dryer on hot for about 10 minutes to seal the seams occasionally and when necessary.

General Tips: Maintaining Velcro on Diapers

You can keep the velcro looking nice by doing a couple things. If you're having issues with the tabs coming undone and attacking other diapers you can put your diaper shells into a delicates bag when you wash them. This will protect the shells from getting caught on things and should keep the velcro looking much nicer. Also, line drying your shells will extend the life of the velcro significantly. The high heat of the dryer can cause the velcro strip and laundry tabs to get fuzzy and worn out. 

  • Where are SoftBums products made?
    All SoftBums shells are made here in the US.  Many are made right here in Minnesota by moms just like you, sewing shells in between baby wrangling.    Our pods can vary by production run.  Whenever possible we make them in the US, but occasionally they are made in China.

  • Warranty

    SoftBums Diapers are made with the utmost care and expertise.  We stand behind our products 110% and always will.  If you should ever have a problem with your diapers, please contact us directly immediately.  Certain items are covered under warranty for different periods of time.
  • This warranty does not cover leaking, odor issues, fading, staining, repelling, pilling, fuzzy loop closures or other normal wear and tear, and is applicable only to the original purchaser of the products.  Proof of purchase is required.

    You are solely responsible for understanding how to care for the items you purchase.  We are not responsible for damage to an item caused by improper care, abuse, misuse, normal fading or normal wear and tear of the product materials.

    This warranty is void when washing instructions have not been followed; bleach, fabric softeners, vinegar, oxy-clean, or any other caustic substances and laundry additives have been used; and when the diapers have been subject to water or drying temperatures above 140F.

             Though this warranty does not cover leaking, we at SoftBums are ready to help you to be successful with your diapers.  If you're having problems with leaking please contact us at  We have many helpful tips, and can usually pinpoint one or two simple things you can do to eliminate leaking.

    Items returned to us under warranty will be repaired or replaced at SoftBums option.  Please contact us at to obtain an RMA form, which must be filled out and sent back with your warranty items.  Your name, return address and description of problem must be clearly written and legible on this form.  Remember, if we cant read your address we cant send it back to you!  All RMAs must be accompanied by an RMA form and copy of original receipt from purchase.  SoftBums will not accept items that arrive in an unhygienic state, so please take care to make sure your items are clean before sending.  Once we receive your item please allow up to 1 week to process your RMA and get your repaired or replaced item back to you.  Please make sure youve included phone and/or email  information so we can contact you if we have questions about your return.

  • What is your return policy?
    SoftBums accepts all returns purchased from and that have been unused and unwashed within a period of 180 days (6 months) from date of purchase.  Only items purchased directly from SoftBums will be accepted for return, and only when accompanied by an original receipt.  Refund will be in the amount of original purchase minus shipping.  Refunds do not include promotions, coupons or other discounts used for purchase; refunds will equal the amount actually paid.  Shipping of returned items to SoftBums is solely the responsibility of the customer and will not be reimbursed.  Items that have been washed or used will not be accepted for return.

    If your diapers are no longer covered under warranty or used, they can no longer be returned to SoftBums.  However, SoftBums diapers have a great resale value and there are many people looking for good used diapers.  You can try reselling them on Craigslist or other online forums such as our own Facebook page.

Still have questions?  All of this information and more can be found in the SoftBums Diaper Book.  And as always feel free to email us at or call 612-216-4213 with any questions. 

This cloth diaper is amazing! I switched over my entire stash after finding SoftBums Diapers. I think the size adjustment system is the best invention to hit cloth diapers in 20 years!
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