Monday, February 22, 2010

Night time diapering

I think for many cloth diapering parents, night time diapering is a little intimidating at first - "will it last all night? will it leak? will it be too bulky? will it be smelly?..." My son leaked out of his disposables almost every night - we tried sizing up, different brands, night time versions, anything I could find! My cousin suggested cloth, and gave me some Dream-eze to try with a wool cover. I was amazed. No leaks??? Wow! After that, I was hooked for daytime, too.

So what does it take to use cloth at night? Of course it depends on your wetter, if they're a front sleeper, a girl or a boy. Not any one system will work for everyone. It WILL take some trial and error. But once you figure it out, I guarantee you'll wish you ditched disposables long ago.

Here are a few options:
- Prefold with infant prefold tri-folded as a doubler
- Fitted with extra doublers
- Thick/felted wool cover
- Fleece cover (with wetzone doubler for night)
- PUL wrap/cover with elastic at the legs
- Double (or triple) stuffed pocket diaper (PUL or fleece)
- Check out these night time specific options from our team! 

* As your child gets older, they won't need as much absorbency at night.
* Bamboo is a great choice for night because it has less bulk compared to cotton.
* Some people find microfiber retains the smells more than natural fibers.
* Remember you may need to size up in covers for night time use to help cover the extra fluffy bum (especially in the rise). Wool is usually more stretchy than fleece, however a heavily felted wool cover will not have as much stretch as a daytime cover, but will be "bulletproof" against leaks. 
* Some doublers are thicker than others, so you may need two extra, or four!
* An inexpensive doubler for pockets is a tri-folded microfiber towel (its not recommended to put microfiber directly against baby's skin).

- Make sure ALL of the diaper is tucked into the cover to prevent wicking
- I personally found that pockets wound up wicking at the legs overnight, so covering with a fleece cover helped protect clothing. Also, it was harder for me to avoid leg leaks with pockets when they were super stuffed.
- If you're using a wool cover, ensure that it is properly lanolized.  You may need to add extra lanolin to your wool wash for night time covers. 

Moisture rashes:
Sitting in a warm, wet diaper all night may cause your baby to be sensitive to wetness (Mine personally had a rough time with this!).
Here are some tips to avoid rashes:
- use a diaper safe barrier cream (or even Lansinoh) or baby powder every night.
- use a microfleece diaper liner to help wick moisture away from the skin if your diaper doesn't already have something like that.
- use a breathable cover (wool or fleece) rather than a PUL cover or pocket. This helps regulate the temperature in the diaper, as well as lets any extra moisture evaporate out.

Depending on how often you are doing diaper laundry, you may not need to do anything different with your night diapers. I am only using diapers at night for my 3 year old, so can go a week without doing laundry, however I have found that I need to do it more often to keep the stinkies away. I also rinse them each morning since they'll be sitting awhile. Sometimes I add vinegar to the pre-rinse to help counteract the ammonia. A super hot wash really helps as well.

They may have a hard time walking with a lot of extra fluff between their legs - but their bums (and the environment) will thank you for it! Share your night time success system here, leave a comment!


  1. I have a 5yr old special needs kiddo and we have found that only a fitted with a wool cover keeps our bedding dry. Of course he still wets pretty heavy at night but hemp/bamboo with wool works wonders for us. :)

  2. 成功是一把梯子,雙手插在口袋裡是爬不上去的。 ..................................................

  3. Hello, love your post! One quick thing I wanted to point out is that baby powder can really irritate sensitive airways and can lead to asthma attacks. The added perfume is one problem, as are the tiny particles which are easily inhaled. On another note, I just started using doublers at night and was so surprised the first night that I didn't have to change my 7 month old. I don't know why the word 'doubler' has been so intimidating to me for so long! That extra 5 minutes of sleep is priceless! =)


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