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What is a Franken Nappy? Coping with leaks and heavy wetting.

Posted on: May 4, 2023 by
Katharine Brennan.
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What is a Franken Nappy? Coping with leaks and heavy wetting.

Sometimes heavy wetters, or heavy wetting periods, can leave you pulling your hair out. Desperate for the day you can change a nappy without changing everything your little one is wearing. If you cannot face another head to toe change, then let’s get talking.


Recently my nearly two-year-old started regularly wetting through her nappies at daycare. Her carers were struggling to make it work, so we had a conversation about it.

We discussed improved fit to help with some of the leaks, but ultimately she was just out-wetting her nappies.

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So I boosted them. Adding additional absorbency inserts to all the nappies I was using. There was no real rhyme or reason to it, I just grabbed all my odds and ends, or inserts from nappies I’m not using as much at the moment. (Some have been taken out of rotation because their shell is in use for teddy or baby. (see image))

We were lucky, adding extra bamboo or hemp inserts was enough to fix the daily leaks at daycare. Sometimes you need to think about other factors.


At the heart of cloth nappies are the layers! Instead of relying on chemical gels, cloth nappies need to have enough layers of material to last as long as you need it.


Franken-nappies aren’t a new idea, but it’s one that sometimes people forget to lean into when you cannot keep up with the floodwaters, often associated with an older tot. The concept is a very simple one. Arm yourself with anything absorbent and build a dam. Much like Frankenstein’s monster, these nappies are built from bits and pieces, a shell from one brand, inserts from others. Or you might use many of the same inserts, especially if you find a favourite. Some parents even get creative using tea towels or face washers.


At the core of it though, is understanding that modern cloth nappy inserts come in a handful of different fibres and these all have different qualities which make them perfect for their job.

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Unfortunately, the most absorbent material we use in cloth nappies, hemp, is also one of the slowest to absorb. So we tend to pair them up with a more efficient absorber . This is why you will often see hemp paired with bamboo, or cotton and bamboo combinations. When all else fails, wool or fleece covers can help – especially if this occurs overnight. Wool is especially great as it adds extra absorbency, is waterproof and has its own magical antibacterial qualities which means it doesn’t require regular washing (unless soiled).


So lean into your inner mad scientist and start creating some franken-nappies today!

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