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My 1-month-old baby is a big one, father comes from a family of giants. At night (more rarely throughout the day), he is peeing through diapers multiple times. Sometimes the diaper seems practically unused. Not constantly and not every day, but enough for me to be asking questions. He started in size 1 and we still have him in size 1. I believe I'm putting them on right each time, but maybe not, because I never went to a parenting class. I don't remember having this problem as much with my 2-year-old. Maybe because she's a girl and this is just more prone to happen to boys? Anyway love some tips or just a why it's happening.

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    What do you mean by "peeing through"? Is liquid coming out the top, out the side, or physically passing through the diaper? – AndyT Aug 27 at 9:11
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    It sounds like you're saying amount of urine is fully saturating the diaper and then enough extra that it "overflows." Putting it on right is not an issue. Gender is not an issue. And you say "the diaper seems practically unused." When? "unused before he pees, so the problem is not that it was already wet" or as in "it's still dry after he does this; the diaper caught none of it"? Your extra statements make it sound like maybe the diaper is not catching any of it. These are two very different problems, and some answers won't work for both. Please clarify what the problem is. – Aaron Aug 27 at 17:57
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    If going up a size doesn't work, try a different brand. Some brands just didn't fit my baby boy properly and always leaked. – Bex Aug 28 at 9:36
  • Are you certain it is urine? If you are cosleeping and/or over dressing, it could be sweat. – rtaft Aug 28 at 16:34
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    Where is the leak happening? Around the legs, or around the waist? – Michael Frank Aug 28 at 22:15
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The most common problem with baby boys “leaking” is based on male anatomy. During a diaper change, you’ll typically have the baby on his back. The baby’s little penis may flop every random direction. If it’s pointing upwards when you put the diaper on, there’s a good chance that you get some spillage at the top and a mostly dry diaper, especially if a little erection causes the diaper to “tent” or pushes the waist band away a bit.

So always make sure it’s pointing down, that should reduce the risk of spilling and get better absorption in the diaper. If that doesn’t help, it may be time for the next diaper size.

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    I know this is picky, and want to point out up front that I have no evidence to back up my thinking, so I may be completely off base here. I would hesitate to point a baby's penis downward and 'keep' it there, just as I would hesitate to put any anatomical structure in an unnatural position and fasten it there. Off to the side, yes. down, no. You're a good mom, though, and a great contributor, and I'm sure you'd tell us if something were amiss with your son(s?). – anongoodnurse Aug 26 at 21:49
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    I have two boys, and my personal experience is that the diaper brand is vastly more important than which direction their penis is pointing. The average baby penis isn't very big, I doubt it's reaching all the way to the edge of the diaper. – Lindsey D Aug 26 at 22:51
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    @anongoodnurse by “pointing down” I don’t mean anything forced or against nature, just using the natural “floppyness” (for lack of better words) to guide things somewhat down-ish. The hint originates from my two very experienced midwives (independently). Answering your question: son’s absolutely fine, anatomically and otherwise. And of course if the diaper is too small, nothing will stop them from leaking. – Stephie Aug 27 at 6:21
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    @DevSolar - Um, yep, it's standard advice, at least in the UK. As a man I have no issue with doing it to my baby son, or to myself... – AndyT Aug 27 at 9:09
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    @DevSolar Interesting. My penis is pointing down as I write. No discomfort at all. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Aug 27 at 10:11
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My experience with my son was this: every time he was experiencing a noticeable number of leaks, we went up a size and it addressed the issue.

It's true that, on a couple of occasions, his penis was pointing upward when the diaper was put on and that contributed to some over the waistband escapes, but this also correlated with the diaper being too small.

  • going up a size is surely a smart move – iBug Aug 28 at 14:52
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    Indeed. I give this advice often. People only think of the diaper number like clothing size, and while that's true, larger sizes are also more absorbent. Don't hesitate to move up a diaper size even though the clothes sizes are not changing. – JPhi1618 Aug 28 at 15:05
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I always avoided pointing my son's anatomy down because I didn't want it getting wedged into bending the wrong way in an uncomfortable position (during a REM sleep cycle the neurons in the brain that block an erection are not active - at least that is one theory - leading to an erection, and you don't want disturbed sleep due to uncomfortableness during REM sleep). I don't know if I was just being obsessive, but it's one thing to consider. And sure enough as Stephie said certain expensive diaper brands leaked out the top. Though they could leak out other sides as well.

I switched to Luvs after being given advice from other parents (I am in no way affiliated with Luvs diapers) and never had leakage problems again. Every time I saw that "Experienced parents choose our Luvs" marketing campaign I nodded along with the commercial. They're generally also less expensive than other name brands, or they were a dozen years ago.

If that brand is not available where you live, ask other parents of young boys to see if they have any opinions of the brands available in your area.

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We used washable ones and didn’t have problems except from them being cheaper...

After 2 boys and a girl, direction did not matter, but fitting properly did.

Tried all brands of premade: pampers Oko etc etc but the washable were advantageous as there are fewer chemicals wrapped around the little one’s body. Regular changes are a must as with any diaper...

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Our experience was — and I feel somehow sorry to say that — that we only had issues with diapers (like blowouts, rashes) when we didn't use Pampers. This was true in Germany and in the U.S.

I'm not affiliated with Pampers in any way, I do not have any advantage whatsoever from saying this, and it shouldn't be so hard or costly to produce well-working single-use diapers; this is simply my personal experience which I hope will help you. Humor me, try Pampers if you aren't already, and tell us how it went.

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    And note that Peter A. Schneider is an anagram of "He's diaper centre", so this guy should know what he's talking about. – Strawberry Aug 27 at 16:33
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    I'd recommend trying different brands and seeing what works for you and your baby: we had real problems with Pampers causing very severe soreness, and switching to another brand helped. Different brands will have different shapes and materials, which may work better or worse with any particular child. – psmears Aug 30 at 13:11
  • @psmears Good advice -- what I wanted to convey is that we did try out different brands and had by far the best experience with Pampers. – Peter - Reinstate Monica Aug 30 at 13:24
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I have some tips for you to stop him peeing through his diaper.

  • Make sure his willy is pointing down and not up.
  • Try using the + size diaper
  • Even go up a size in diaper
  • Try switching brands as some diapers work better for different kids. I have a 4-year-old DD in diapers at night and Pampers are great on her. However, my 3-year-old DS, who isn’t potty trained yet, wears Luvs and is fine but leaks in Pampers.

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