Sometimes, cloth diapering a baby during the night-time hours can be a little tricky. There are a few things that experienced parents keep up our cloth diapering sleeves to make overnight cloth diapering easy. Here are seven of our favorite tips to make overnight cloth diapering easy at your house too!
- Double stuffing, or putting multiple inserts into one diaper, is a simple technique to get more absorbency out of your cloth diapers. For pocket diapers like the bumGenius 5.0, simply add another insert in the pocket. I like to use a newborn microfiber insert along with the one-size insert and that is sufficient to keep my daughter dry overnight. Some all in one diapers also have a pocket where you can add your doubler. If you’re using prefolds, you can lay the doubler between the prefold and the baby to add extra absorbency.
- If you have a heavy wetter and are working on trouble-shooting the process of overnight cloth diapering, try out hemp doublers. Hemp is a super absorbent natural fiber that many people use successfully in their overnight diapers. My daughter isn’t a heavy wetter, so two microfiber inserts is sufficient for us and I haven’t tried them personally.
- Whatever type of doubler you choose, make sure to include a stay dry layer in between the insert and your baby’s bottom. A stay dry layer wicks away the moisture so the skin remains dry throughout the night. This helps to prevent irritation and diaper rashes. The pocket in most pocket diapers acts as a stay dry layer.
- Designate some diapers as overnighters. The overnighters are double stuffed every time we do laundry and placed in a separate drawer. When bedtime rolls around, we just grab one of those and go. That way no matter who is putting my daughter to bed, she will stay dry until morning. These diapers also make our bedtime routine just a little bit smoother.
- For midnight dirty diapers, try to make things as easy as possible for yourself. As a baby gets older, they eventually stop having bowel movements at night. When that happens, you may find that it possible to delay a diaper change until a more reasonable hour of the morning. The goal is to get a new diaper on while reducing the possibility of keeping your little stinkmonster awake for a long time!
- Make sure you have a few diapers ready to go for a quick night-time change. I have been known to occasionally leave my clean pocket diapers in a laundry basket and stuff them as needed. This can make an overnight cloth diaper change tough. It is much easier to have a wipe and a diaper ready to go. Struggling in the dark with a crying baby is a bummer for everyone.
- It is important to dress your baby for easy overnight cloth diaper changes. Here are some suggestions about overnight clothing.
- When they’re tiny, I loved using sleep gowns. Just pull up the gown, change the diaper, and pull it back down! Easy peasy lemon squeasy. We also used sleep sacks during the colder months.
- Once my daughter was a little older, we started using footie pajamas. A zipper is nice because there is very little opportunity for user error in the dark. The noise of that zipper going up and down definitely makes a difference though, especially if your baby has a hard time falling back to sleep. Snaps can be a little tricky to line up in the middle of the night in the dark with bleary, sleep-deprived eyes, but, for sure, they are a quieter option once you learn the technique of opening and closing snaps quietly.
- I recommend against using sleep sets that have a separate shirt / pants. When using cloth diapers, these sleep sets can increase the likelihood of a leaky diaper or wet pajamas at night because the clothing can inadvertently get stuck inside the diaper against a wet area.
If you can change a messy diaper without turning on the light, you deserve a high five. As for me, I’m not that brave. I kept a night light in the nursery and would switch it on to see what I was doing, but it wasn’t so bright that it woke up my baby any more. Then, once she was freshly diapered, I’d turn the night light back off and work on getting her back to sleep.
What do you use for your overnight diapers? How do you facilitate easy midnight diaper changes? Are you brave enough to change dirty diapers in the dark?