"My little one is too much of a heavy wetter - I have to use disposables at night."
"I can't find a good overnight diaper."
"I'm too scared of overnight diapering! I can't even get through 3 hours in a single diaper during the day!"
Sound familiar? We have heard these statements time, and time again. First of all, give yourself a virtual hug from us - we understand how frustrating it can be to have to change the bed linens AGAIN, or to have a little one wake in the night because s/he has soaking wet jammies. Now, read on!
Diapering at night-time can be a cinch for most folks, but tricky for the rest. If your little one is a heavy wetter, or wakes to feed in the night, then you will need to get creative and come up with a solution that packs a bit more punch than the usual night-time suggestions. There are two basic points you will need to understand when approaching night-time diapering:
1. Too much bulk may influence the fit of your diaper, causing the elastics to pull away from the skin and create a channel for leaking. Simply adding an extra insert to your diaper will increase the absorbency, but may not lessen leaks! The trick is to increase the absorbency without adding too much bulk. A trim option is to add a "doubler" or a "booster" - these are usually contoured in shape (eg bone-shaped) to allow the diaper to fit properly. Doublers/boosters made from densely-woven natural fibers are best (eg. hemp, cotton, bamboo). See below for some of our favourite doublers and boosters.
2. Textiles are not all created equal! Certain fabrics are more compressible than others. Say what? 'Compressible' means 'wring-out-able'. Think of a sponge: holds a LOT of water, but is very easy to squeeze (wring out). Microfiber, a very common insert in cloth diapers, is very compressible. When it is saturated, it can easily be compressed, resulting in leaks. Simply doubling up your microfiber inserts to create a night-time diaper will essentially double the size of your sponge, making the leak that much bigger when baby rolls over in the night (or otherwise compresses his/her diaper). Natural fibers such as hemp, bamboo, or densely-woven cotton are not easily compressed, and are therefore wise choices for night-time cloth diapering. See below for some suggestions of great natural-fiber diapers (fitteds) and inserts/doublers/boosters!
So what do we recommend for nights?
- a hemp or bamboo doubler or booster, placed BELOW your usual insert eg. Organic Hemp Doubler, GroVia regular booster, AppleCheeks bamboo-topped booster
- your regular microfiber insert (if applicable) placed INSIDE a tri-folded AMP or AppleCheeks insert
- a hemp or bamboo booster placed on top of your fitted or prefold (so it's what goes up against baby's skin) eg. GroVia microfleece-topped booster, AppleCheeks microfleece-topped booster
- a super-absorbent fitted such as a Bumboo (comes with its own booster!) or Stretch Bamboozle
"My baby often wakes with a red bum! Help!"
No problem! First of all, adding a stay-dry wicking layer to the inside of your diaper (which goes up against baby's skin) will really help in keeping baby's skin happy. Some babies are very sensitive to prolonged moisture contact, and so adding a microfleece or raw silk liner should help. Secondly, you may want to look into a breathable diaper cover. Plastic-laminate is a terrific waterproof fabric, but sadly, it's not at all breathable and can cause redness in sensitive-skinned babies. The only truly breathable diaper covers are wool diaper covers! We love the Kissaluvs Wool Lover diaper cover because of its incredibly gentle fit (no elastics around the legs) and soft, soft, soft feel.