Cloth Diapering at Night
February 10, 2014 8:00:00 AM EST
Waking up to wet sheets stinks... in more ways than one. When your little one starts sleeping longer stretches at night (or if your lucky ALL through the night!), the last thing you want to do is having them wake up to change pajamas and sheets. Some may tell you, save yourself the trouble and just use disposables at night, and there's no shame in that if that's what you want to do. But if you want to use cloth at night, don't be discouraged! It CAN be done. You just have to find the combination that works for your kiddo. You may even find a nighttime solution that works even better than disposables...
Boost your diapers
If only one insert in your pocket diaper isn’t cutting it at night, try adding another. Most pockets come with two quick-absorbing microfiber inserts, usually a newborn and a larger, one-size insert. For younger babies, using both of those inserts together may be all they need to get through the night. Older babies may need two one-size inserts. If additional absorbency is needed, try inserts or doublers made with hemp or rayon from bamboo. These two materials absorb slower, but typically more than microfiber, while also being more trim at the same time. This makes microfiber on top and hemp on bottom stuffed inside a pocket a great combo. The microfiber absorbs wetness quickly, while the hemp underneath pulls it down and steadily adds the additional absorbency needed. Just be careful when your stuffing your diapers with extra inserts that you aren't creating gaps where wetness can leak out!
You can also add absorbency to all-in-one and all-in-two cloth diapers. Some all-in-ones have flaps, where additional inserts or boosters can be added. You can also add inserts on top of your diapers, but be sure it’s a material that is safe to be next to baby’s skin. Microfiber should NEVER go next to baby. There should always be some kind of barrier or liner between your baby and microfiber. Lots of babies do fine with natural fibers next to their skin, but if your baby is sensitive to wetness, you can always add a stay-dry fleece liner on top.
Kick it Old School
Prefolds and flats, the kinds of diapers your Grandma may have used, can make for a great nighttime diapering solution. Flats are single layer, large squares of fabric and are usually cotton. Prefolds are also square, but unlike flats, they have multiple layers already sewn together. Both can be folded to customize absorbency needed for you baby. Don’t be intimidated by these diapers… You don’t have to get all fancy with complicated folds. You can simply pad fold your flat, or trifold your prefold and lay it in a waterproof cover. Just fold it into a long rectangle. Simple as that. Doing so creates several layers of absorbency where your baby needs it… right in the middle in the wetzone of the diaper. You can modify the fold to add more layers in the front for boys or in the middle for girls. Don’t be afraid to add hemp doublers if needed. Some like to wrap a prefold around a hemp doubler or insert for heavier wetters. There are even some prefolds and flats are even made with hemp and rayon from bamboo blended in making them even more absorbent and perfect for nighttime or heavy-wetters.
Fitted cloth diapers are an excellent choice for heavy wetters and overnight. Fitteds are cut to the shape of your baby, with elastic at the waist and legs to help hold in mess. Unlike other diapering options where the center of the diaper is the only area to absorb, with fitteds the entire diaper is absorbent. Fitteds are usually made of natural fibers, such as cotton, hemp, or rayon from bamboo. Some come with soaker pads or inserts already sewn into the diaper, while others can be snapped or simply laid in. You can add more soakers if additional absorbency is needed. Although they may look like a complete diaper, they do require a waterproof cover to contain wetness. There are many waterproof TPU and PUL covers that work great with fitted cloth diapers and can be the answer to many parents' trouble with night time diapering.
The Bulletproof Combo
For those who don’t want to mess around and are tired of waking up to wet sheets, many parents will tell you, fitteds and wool are a bulletproof combo. Of course, that’s an exaggeration :) They are just trying to express how strong and reliable that combination is together! Properly lanolized wool will resist wetness at first, forcing the fitted to absorb as much as it can. Once the fitted can absorb no more, the wool takes over absorbing as much as 1/3 of its weight in moisture. If your wool does get wet and still has enough lanolin on it, you just air dry it and the lanolin will neutralize the urine! Lanolized wool can go weeks without needing to be washed. To learn more about wool, check out Wool for Newbies in the Cloth for Newbies section of TGN’s website.
Those are just a handful of nighttime solutions. You may come up with one all your own! It may take a little trial and error, but it IS possible to successfully cloth diaper your little one at night.
*I have purchased all products mentioned in this post. Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.
Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors, playing with her kids, swimming, and warm weather. She cannot wait for winter to be over. She started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.