Overnight can be one of the most difficult times to be diapering a child. Whether you are using cloth or disposable diapers, leaks often occur when baby is sleeping in odd positions and sleeping for long stretches of time. Sometimes overnight leaks can be easily fixed by trying a different diapering system. But what if leaks are not your only issue? Damp diapers left on for extended periods of time (like overnight), may cause irritation and result in rashes. Cloth or disposable: overnight diapering is not easy.
These simple tips can reduce leaks and prevent rashes:
1. Invest in "Overnight" diapers
During the day, we prefer diapers that are trim-fitting and stylish. Overnight diapers must be functional instead of fashionable. Investing in several highly absorptive diapers is a big step towards solving leak issues. My favorite overnight solution is a fitted diaper [aff link] with a good diaper cover [aff link]. Some people prefer to use wool diaper covers, but any good-fitting waterproof diaper cover can serve equally well.
2. Select natural fibers
I like natural fibers for a variety of reasons. Natural fibers used in cloth diapers are less prone to repelling and build-up issues than synthetics fibers such as microfiber and bamboo. Having an overnight diaper that is 100% clean is important, otherwise residual bacteria will have 12 hours to flourish in the diaper and convert urine to rash-causing ammonia. Did you know that under damp and warm conditions the bacteria population doubles every 20 minutes?
3. Late-night diaper changes for newborns
Newborn diapering is a special situation. Since newborns are eating very frequently and do not have a typical sleep-wake cycle, they will be "going" more frequently at night. Many newborns have a bowl movement every time they eat, and you may already be changing multiple diapers in the middle of the night. If your newborn is saturating diapers with urine, add a diaper change in the middle of the night.
4. Is your child ready for overnight potty training?
If you have an older child who is consistently leaking through his overnight diapers, it may be time to consider if he is ready for potty training. Older children have larger bladders, and usually expel more liquid at a time. Look for signs of readiness for potty training and tips for overnight potty training to see if diaper leaks could be an indication that your child is ready to take control of his bladder functions.