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Cloth Diapering Overnight

You’d be hard-pressed to try and find bigger advocates for cloth diapering than we are here at Pumpkin’s, but even I’ll admit that for brand-new parents, trying to use cloth diapers overnight can sometimes be a frustrating experience! While it’s completely understandable to want to give up and just use disposables for the proverbial graveyard shift, I did want to share some great tips to help get you through the tough initial trial-and-error stage. I promise that if you persevere long enough to break through and find a solution that works for your little one, being able to rely on cloth diapering 100% really is incredibly rewarding and validating.

For the vast majority of babies, what works during the daytime just won’t have enough absorption to last through the night. Let’s look at it this way – daytime diapers are meant to be changed on average about every 2 hours; nighttime diapers, on the other hand, are expected to burn that midnight oil and last anywhere from 6-12+ hours on the bum (*hopefully* – as long as baby’s sleeping through the night, of course!). I often hear people remark that they just invested in a cloth diaper routine and aren’t looking to spend even more money on a different, more-absorbent cloth diaper system at night, but the reality is that you really only need to look at adding an additional 4-6 nighttime diapers to the mix, depending on how often you like to wash at home. With this in mind, if you average out the cost of even just one disposable diaper per day over 2.5 years until potty training, the math speaks for itself – those additional few nighttime cloth diapers are well-worth the investment, and will pay for themselves in no time! While extra-absorbent nighttime diapers are definitely the simplest solution, there are a few alternate approaches that don’t involve adding more diapers to your stash.

Let’s start by trying to boost the absorbency factor of your current daytime cloth diapers – a feat which can be easily accomplished by looking at bamboo and hemp fabrics. These are the most absorbent cloth diaper fabrics out there, and if your babe is not a heavy wetter, it often only requires adding a simple 3-ply bamboo trifold (with or without hemp booster) to your daytime diaper to create a cost-effective nighttime solution! Keep in mind that you may need to go up a size – or let the rise snaps out – in order to accommodate the extra thickness. This might create a bit of a “bulkier” nighttime diaper, but this is a necessary evil – that extra heft will help to provide additional surface area for maximum absorption, allowing that single diaper to last throughout the entire night.

Applecheeks 3 ply bamboo trifold with AMP hemp booster

If simply adding extra natural fabrics to your daytime diapers still isn’t enough to carry babe through to the morning, then I highly suggest trying fitted diapers with covers. The advantage here is that 100% of the fitted diaper itself is made from absorbent material! This system is pound-for-pound the most effective when it comes to absorbency, and allows you to still fall back on the use of additional boosters, if necessary. If baby seems to be sensitive to the additional moisture over prolonged use, adding a simple fleece liner on top of the diaper can help to provide a great stay-dry barrier for your little one’s bum.

L to R: Pumpkin’s fitted, Motherease one-size with snap in booster, Tots Bots bamboozle (size 2) with included booster

Covers themselves can be either PUL, fleece, or wool – and not all wool is high-maintenance hand-wash only! There are some machine-washable varieties to be found out there – but that being said, all wool does require monthly lanolizing in order to maintain water resistance. If you’re looking to add any covers, trifolds, or boosters to your cloth diaper stash, be sure to check out Calgary’s own Babes in Arms for a great selection of quality cloth-diapering products!

We realize that not all babies have the same nighttime diapering requirements, so if you find yourself struggling with leaks and wet beds (yuck!) please give us a call! I’ll gladly dig through my treasure chest of supplies to see if we can find your perfect solution to a dry morning.

1 Comment
  1. April 2 years ago

    It’s so true, nighttime diapering is scary! I shamefully admit I used a lot of disposables at night just out of fear. No one wants to mess with a baby’s sleep or clean up a bed in the middle of the night. But once you make the leap you realize it’s not as bad as you fear.
    I found that dimple fitted were the best solution for my girl, who was a fairly heavy wetter at night. The wetness would reach the top of the diaper by morning but with a nice big cover over it they really held up.
    Great article and suggestions, thanks!

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