How To Cloth Diaper Your Baby At Night
Talk to any cloth diapering mom and they all agree that the biggest obstacle is how to cloth diaper at night and not wake up in a puddle of pee. Yes, it’s going to take some trial and error. But it doesn’t mean you have to resort to using disposable diapers.
Disposable diapers leak, bulge, excrete crystals, transfer dioxins and don’t allow the skin to breathe. They are not the “easy answer”. When you chose to cloth diaper you had a reason that overcame the convenience of any throw away comsumer product. Whether it is financial, environmental or health reasons that brought you to use cloth diapers, they are all still valid when the sun goes down.
That being said, cloth diapering at night is all the more satisfying when you find the solution that works for your baby. Aside from the type of diaper that you gently place on your baby before they drift off to sleep there are another tip that is helpful. Limiting or eliminating the fluids at bedtime and the middle of the night reduces the amount of outflow during the night. However, even if your baby is a constant nighttime feeder, you can STILL cloth diaper at night.
There is not one nighttime system that works for all babies but there are a few shining stars.
Prefolds as pocket stuffers: Prefolds are highly absorbent and are perfect for trifolding and inserting into a pocket. A prefold can be wrapped around a doubler, like the Joeybunz hemp insert or Happy Heinys Stuffin Insert, or two prefolds can be wrapped together. You can use any pocket diaper, however many moms have had great success with Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius diapers at night. There are a couple of top performing one-size diapers on the market as well that have caught the eye of quite a few cloth diapering families.
Fitted Diapers: Baby Beehind (BBH), Very Baby Simply Nights (VBSN), and Bamboo Velour Goodmama top the list of most highly recommended fitteds for use at night. Fitted Diapers are a great nighttime option because of their absorbent materials, the ability to add doublers, and their breathability. Successful nighttime fitteds usually contain hemp and/or velour for their ability to soak up large amounts of liquid. These fitteds allow you to lay a doubler under the snap insert and still have the soft material touching your baby’s skin. Where as pocket diapers contain a water-proof layer of PUL (polyurethane laminate), fitted diapers do not have this and require a cover. The lack of PUL is what allows a fitted diaper to “breathe”. To breathe means air is allowed to circulate to baby’s skin. A fitted diaper, though, is only as good as the cover you choose…
Wool: The brightest star in the sky when it comes to having dry sheets is WOOL. Wool is very breathable, comfortable, and can absorb 30x it’s weight in moisture before feeling damp to the touch. Wool keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I live in the hot state of Texas and wool worked wonderfully last summer. Wool is also anti-bacterial because of the properties of lanolin. Lanolin contains acidic fatty acids that react with the basic urea to create salt and water. Urea is a component of urine that would normally cause odors. Wool will need to be washed and re-lanolized every couple of weeks. It is a great idea to put a wool soaker or wool longies over any nighttime system you choose for that extra protection. You can choice hand knit wool, crocheted wool, recycled wool sweaters, or interlock wool for your nighttime safety net.
Getting enough sleep at night is enough to worry about. Don’t add to it by also worrying about wet sheets. You may have to experiment with a couple of different diapers before you find what works for your baby, but it will be well worth the effort!