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Using cloth diapers at night can pose some challenges for many families. The thought of the potential for overnight disaster is enough to keep some interested families from going the route of cloth diapers. While your regular daytime diapers may be fine at night for the first few months, you will usually hit a point where your baby HOPEFULLY starts sleeping for longer stretches, and you will usually find you want more absorbency when that happens. Finding an overnight solution can sometimes be a bit of trial and error, here are some things to consider to get you started on the right foot.
Fitteds are probably one of the most absorbent types of cloth diaper. Because of that handy feature, many people use fitteds for the bulk of their diaper stash. This feature also means that for many families they are a popular nighttime option. Fitteds range drastically in price, and you should be able to find a few in your budget with no issue. If you only plan to use them at nighttime, you probably wouldn’t need more than 3-4.
From experience, I will say that you usually get what you pay for regarding fitteds (not to say cheaper brands aren’t as good, because they are great and would do fine for daytime use, but if it’s nighttime we are talking, my experience is that some medium to higher-end brands do a fabulous job).
In the photo above, the green diaper is a Kissaluvs fitted (it seems as if Kissaluvs are discontinued now) and the white diaper is a Sustainablebabyish brand. I also have an Imagine Baby fitted (unpictured, sorry!). In order of price, Kissaluvs were the cheapest, but they were also my least favorite because they were the least absorbent. I liked my Imagine Baby diapers much more because they held more. However, my Sustainablebabyish diapers were by far my favorite. These things were practically leak proof! It was also the most expensive one I purchased, but it’s not as expensive as some other brands, either. Many fitteds come in various sizes so you can get the best fit for your baby, but there are some one-size options, too. Fitteds are awesome, but they aren’t a “stay dry” diaper (meaning the baby can feel the wetness since there is no moisture-wicking layer), so it may not be the right solution for everyone.
Heavy Wetter Variety of Diapers
Many brands of cloth diapers make a special “Heavy Wetter” variety of diaper designed to be more absorbent. One popular brand that makes a heavy wetter/overnight edition of their diaper is Best Bottoms. The Best Bottom Heavy Wetter AIO comes with a 6 layer bamboo insert for the upmost absorbency, but it even has room that you can add other inserts with it for even more absorbency, too.
If you are looking for a more economical heavy wetter diaper to stock up on, Kawaii Goodnight Heavy Wetter is another option that receives rave reviews. You can receive bulk packs of them for the same price as just a few of the more expensive brands. They are a one size diaper, so they will get you through potty training. They are a pocket diaper that features a 3-layer waterproof shell. It comes with standard microfiber inserts that you can double up on, but you can pair this diaper with some more absorbent inserts for ultimate protection.
Pocket Diapers with Better Inserts
If you already have some pockets that you use on a day to day basis, you can still use them at night but up your insert game. There are a number of ways you could do this:
- Double your inserts–use your regular inserts, but layer 2 of them together. This may be all you need, but be sure to check the fit–some diapers will leave leg gaps if they get too bulky. Leg gaps will cause leaks.
- Invest in a more absorbent insert– bamboo and hemp are some of the most absorbent insert materials. They also happen to be pretty trim, so if you layer two of them together, they will be less bulky than microfiber.
- Try a flour sack towel– I discuss flour sack towels more in-depth in this post, but these are probably the cheapest inserts you could ever get for your cloth diapers, and they have the added perk of being extremely absorbent!
Update: Grovia ONE Diaper
Added November 2018: After writing this post, I purchased a Grovia ONE diaper and would now like to officially recommend it as an overnight diaper option. It is an all-in-one diaper made with absorbent cotton soakers with microfleece liners. Check out this review for more details on the Grovia ONE diaper.
An all-in-one like the Grovia ONE is the perfect choice for many families. All-in-ones are the easiest type of diaper to use, but finding one that is absorbent enough for overnights can be a challenge. Grovia really came out with an excellent diaper to solve this nighttime issue!
This may not be the right diaper for every family, so be sure to check out this review to see if it’s right for you. I do think it would be a fabulous option for most families, though!
Because of the trial and error that can be involved with nighttime diapering, many families opt to just use a disposable diaper at night. I just want to caution that sometimes disposables may be the easiest choice, but they aren’t always the best option. They work for a lot of kids, but some (like my youngest!) will out-pee even a special overnight variety of disposable. Cloth diapers sometimes work better for extremely heavy wetters because they are more customizable, but if you have an average heavy wetter, disposables may be the easiest choice if you don’t want to experiment with different cloth options.
It’s totally fine if you would rather use disposables for your overnight diapering. I firmly believe cloth diapers do not have to be all or nothing! Any cloth diaper used has a benefit for your baby and the environment, even if you do not use them 100% of the time. 🙂
Overnights Don’t Have to Be So Stressful!
While finding an overnight solution can be some trial and error, I just really want to emphasize that it’s not that difficult–it’s not like you’re waking up to a flooded bedroom every day and spend 200 straight days trying things to figure it out.
Sometimes, people really over-exaggerate the issues they are anticipating in their head. Very rarely do the issues end up being as big of a deal as someone might get themselves worked up to think they will be. It’s usually something you can figure out in a few nights of trial, factoring in any shipping time if your order new diapers or inserts.
A few nights in the grand scheme of things is TOTALLY doable, and if you’re interested in cloth diapers but nighttime is holding you back, is a few nights of trial and error really worth skipping something that can save you thousands of diapers, help with rashes, produce less waste, and look absolutely adorable? I think not! 🙂
What do you think about these overnight options? If you cloth diaper already, what is your go-to for overnights? If you don’t, what are some questions you still have? Drop the answers to these questions in the comments!