Got Extra Junk In The Trunk? (what to do when cloth diapers are too bulky)

No, this isn’t a post about a Black Eyed Peas song. (Anyone else here grow up in the late 90’s?) It’s even better than that! I’m going to give you all the tips and tricks that you need when you feel that cloth diapers are too bulky… A.K.A. gotta lil’ extra junk in the trunk!

GIF of Fergie from the black eyed peas with lyrics on the screen reading what you gonna do with all the junk, all that junk inside your trunk? for lil helper blog post got extra junk in the trunk
I’ll be completely honest. When we decided that we wanted to be a cloth diapering family, our main concerns were what we we were putting against our daughters skin and doing our part every day to make a difference in the amount of trash in the world.

Thinking that some of the cute outfits we bought her might not fit was the furthest thing from our minds! My realization that there was a bit of extra bulk that I didn’t account for went something like this…

I picked out the perfect outfit, the perfect cloth diaper, and our little one looked adorable (like always!). I was so excited as I was putting the little clothes on her.

I went to do up the onesie and pull up the pants, and suddenly I encountered resistance… What the heck is going on?! Why won’t the pants pull up?! Every time I snapped the buttons on that onesie, they popped right back open!!

Aladdin and boo from Disney movie with words on screen saying start panicking for lil helper blog post got extra junk in the trunk
Panic set in. What am I going to do?! Is my baby going to fit into ANY clothes with her cloth diapers EVER AGAIN?!

Alright, so all of that was just a tad on the dramatic side, but have no fear! I have got you covered! Everything you need to know about what to do when you think your cloth diapers are too bulky is below. 


One of the best feelings at the end of a long workday is coming home to your smiling little baby… and taking off the tight, uncomfortable jeans that you wore all day long. Now, imagine adding a huge cloth diaper into your pants too. Are you cringing as hard as I am right now?

Guess what?! Baby feels the EXACT same way that we do about it! Nobody wants to feel like a human sausage! So believe me when I say the #1 tip that I have for overcoming the bulk of your cloth diapers is to forget pants all together!

what to do when your cloth diapers are too bulky - lose the pants! image shows a baby looking at flowers, wearing nothing but a tee shirt and a Lil Helper cloth diaper
And the BEST part about going pantless?! You get to show off all of your brand new adorable Lil Helper diapers! Space Dinos, Hearts and Bird Brain galore!

Letting your cloth diapers be the focus of your babies outfit is also a super easy way to help strike up a conversation with other moms. If you’re like me, you’re all for grabbing onto every opportunity to talk someone’s ear off about how INCREDIBLE these cloth diapers are!


Now we’re just getting fancy, but hear me out!! If you think your cloth diapers are too bulky you can experiment with different kinds of liners. This will help to not only find a custom absorbency that works for your babe but can also help overcome a bit of the bulk!

man making mind blown motions with his hands as fireworks go off for lil helper blog post got extra junk in the trunk
When you purchase your Lil Helper cloth diapers, they are going to come with the large and small charcoal liners. This particular fabric for a liner is amazing (and my personal favourite!) because not only does it have 8 layers of absorption when you are using both together, they are dark in colour (which means NO STAINS!), and they have a natural stay-dry feature.

You can also purchase Bamboo liners, which also feature 8 layers of absorption. These ones can be a little bit less bulky in my experience, though they don’t have the same stay-dry feeling as the charcoal. BUT add a stay-dry bamboo liner on top, and you’re good to go!

On the Lil Helper facebook page (which, if you aren’t currently a member, you need to go join right now!), parents are sharing their own unique liner combinations. One charcoal, one bamboo, stay-dry liner, disposable liners, boosters…. Everything is discussed! So if you’re having some difficulty figuring out the best route to go down, I would highly recommend joining the community and getting on in the conversation!

cast of friends looking out the window and clapping for lil helper blog post got extra junk in the trunk

The point is, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different liners and liner combinations until you find something that works perfectly for you and your family!


I know, I know. As a parent, there is nothing sadder than having to pack away the teeny-tiny little baby clothes that your little one fit into when they first joined this world in favour of a larger size that can fit around their chubby limbs. (Dawson has extra chub to go around, as evidenced in the throwback photo below:

It’s a glaring reminder that your beautiful little baby is, much to your dismay, growing up more quickly than you will ever be ready for. But believe me when I tell you that this is another very easy way to overcome the extra space that cloth diapers need in clothing.

heifer Sutherland with text on screen reading 'how could anybody be ready for this?' for lil helper blog post got extra junk in the trunk

I have a winter baby, so keeping her nice and warm through our terrible Canadian winters was #1 on my priority list from the day we brought her home and unfortunately, the no-pants party wasn’t a realistic option.

mom putting winter scarf on a very layered child for lil helper blog post got extra junk in the trunk

I very quickly learned that getting her PJ’s, onesies and pants in a size bigger than she actually needed was going to be the best way to make sure she was comfortable! (Here’s a photo of her at 2 months old, and you can barely tell that she is wearing a cloth diaper!)

think cloth diapers are too bulky? this picture shows a 2 month old baby wearing pants that are one size too big. The pants being bigger means they fit well over the cloth diaper - and you can't even tell she's wearing a cloth diaper anymore!
Sure, you might have to roll the legs of the pants up for a little while until they grow into them, but doesn’t that just make the outfit that much cuter?!


These were not introduced to me until a couple of months ago and I cannot BELIEVE that I didn’t know they existed before now!

if your cloth diapers are too bulky - make some onesie extenders! image shows onesie extenders, oval pieces of fabric with snaps on either end. they snap into baby onesies to make them a little bit longer and fit over your cloth diapers.
Basically, it’s a piece of fabric with snaps on both sides (exactly like a onesie) that you can snap into the onesie to give it some extra room between the legs! GENIUS!

This is one extremely easy (and can be extremely inexpensive) way to make sure that none of the outfits you purchased or were given for your little one go unused! A quick Google search will show you a TON of different options for purchasing at every price point imaginable!

No matter if you decide to get creative and make these bad boys yourself or just save yourself the time and buy them, you’ll find these definitely make a HUGE difference in how well your onesies fit your little fluff bum baby!


This one seems like a given, but something as simple as making sure you have the absolute best fit possible for your little babes diapers can eliminate a lot of excess, unnecessary bulk.

Fit on a cloth diaper is something that can be a bit tricky. Not only is it something that is super personal and needs to be tailored to each individual babe, it’s also something that has the ability to change from day to day.

new anchor slamming head on desk while news story is called why??? for lil helper blog post got extra junk in the trunk

But trust me when I say that figuring out that perfect fit to cradle that little tush is going to make the WORLD of a difference in both how much you love your Lil Helpers, but also in how much extra bulk there is.

man wearing large pink feather head dress with words on screen reading and... there it is for lil helper blog post got extra junk in the trunk

These are just some of the tricks that I have used so far when it comes to dressing my daughter over her cloth diapers! Do you have any other tricks that you found extremely helpful when cloth diapers are too bulky? Leave them in the comments down below!!

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