Every day this week I have sat down to write a post, and been distracted. Today I hope to get one finished! I have shared several suggestions for overnight cloth diapering boys, and heavy wetters. Today I want to share some general tips for using cloth diapers overnight.
Use a Pocket Diaper
Hands down, a pocket diaper is the most customizable cloth diaper on the market. You can customize the absorbency by adding or removing various inserts and doublers. You can use a natural fiber insert to gain more absorbency. You can adjust the size to allow for extra bulk by just unsnapping the rise or the waist (on a one size pocket diaper). This is where I would start – with a pocket diaper!
Add a Doubler
Your baby may not be a heavy wetter, but probably still needs some extra absorbency to make it through the night with no leaks. Try a simple doubler – a gauze doubler offers several layers of thirsty cotton (like a prefold), or a hemp doubler increases the absorbency even further.
Switch the Insert Fibers
Microfiber is very thirsty, and it absorbs very quickly. But sometimes it just isn’t enough. Bamboo and hemp, as well as organic cotton, or any combination of the three, will greatly increase the absorbency of your diaper. The beauty of these natural fibers is that many of them are trimmer than microfiber also, so you are increasing the absorbency and decreasing the bulk.
If you don’t have a super-soaker, I like the Doopsy Bamboo Hemp inserts. They are the perfect blend of two ultra-absorbing fibers. I add a trim microfiber insert on top to absorb things quickly!
Try a Fitted Diaper
Fitted diapers are generally more absorbent than pocket diapers, simply because the whole diaper is made of absorbent material, and not just the strip or pocket between the legs. However, these diapers can be bulky, and they require a waterproof cover over the top. For heavy wetters, try combining a fitted diaper with a wool cover for a sure-solution to leaks.
Personally, I don’t like fitted diapers. Mostly because of the bulk, and also because of the long drying time in the wash cycle. I also don’t like using them overnight because the whole diaper gets wet, and will be against my baby’s skin for an extended period of time (10-12+ hours). I have been blessed to have normal wetting children, so I haven’t had to resort to this option for overnights. But many parents prefer them and use them successful overnight!
Add a Wool Cover
We have already talked about this, but adding a wool cover over the top of your diaper (whether pocket, prefold & cover, or fitted) will add a lot of leak protection. Wool is very absorbent and can contain much of the moisture that might wick or leak out of your diaper over the extended night time period. The cover may be damp in the morning, but chances are your sheets will be dry!
If you use this option, you will likely need to have at least 2 wool covers in rotation. If your baby is consistently wetting through his/her diaper into the wool, it will need washed more often. Wool does to be hand washed and laid flat to dry, so the time it takes to launder is longer than normal diaper laundry.