Dreaming of a dry and comfy night with cloth diapers? It can be done!

What to consider

When your baby is newborn and is on one continuous cycle of eat, sleep, wake, diaper change, eat, sleep…..you don’t have to worry too much about changing up your daytime diapering routine. The nights aren’t that much different. It’s when your baby begins to sleep longer and you abide by the golden rule “do NOT wake a sleeping baby” that you may need to make some changes.

Things to think about:

  • Longer sleeping = your diaper needs to absorb MORE pee (typically babies do not poop in the night).
  • Different positions for sleeping require different strategies.
  • Boys anatomy is different from girls and you may need different strategies for each.
  • If you have a “trickler” versus a “waterfall” type pee-er, you also may need to strategize differently.

That being said, generally more material = more absorbency. This is why you may add a doubler to your day diapers to transform them into a night diaper. Or this is why you may add an extra insert to your pocket diapers for naps and nights. Your night diaper may be bulkier than your day diaper. This is okay, mobility isn’t a huge need at night.

If you have a girl, think about a middle wetter. If you have a boy, the wet goes in the front. Until they start tummy sleeping… then it all changes. My dtr sleeps on her tummy all night so all her pee goes to the front of her diaper. So I make sure there is extra padding up there. When she was little and back sleeping, her pee went to the back of her diaper.

Some parents swear by pocket diapers for night for the stay dry feature and the great absorbency of microfiber. I find that generally they work well but sometimes, I think my dtr must do the “niagra falls” routine. So after a night like that, the next night she gets a fitted diaper (hemp or bamboo) with a fleece liner and a cover (BSWW or an Arisotcrat) and voila, the waterfall is dammed (so to speak!). I like hemp or bamboo for night because they absorb more than cotton so they are generally less bulky than a night diaper made from cotton.

So what are good night solutions?

  1. Pocket diaper with extra insert (microfiber or hemp)
  2. Hemp or bamboo fitted diaper with a fleece liner (for stay dry effect) and a cover (BWWW or Wool)
  3. Prefold with hemp doubler and cover

How do you find what works for you? See how things are going during the day. Add absorbency to your day time diaper (more than you think you need) and then see what the diaper is like in the morning. If its not soaked then you can possibly cut back on the amount of absorbency. It’s better to start with too much than too little. And remember, cloth diapers will feel wet in the morning. It’s okay – it’s meant to be like that.

4 thoughts on “Dreaming of a dry and comfy night with cloth diapers? It can be done!

  1. Emily

    We have been ‘toiletting’ our baby since she was six wks old. We noted her pooping between 0430 and 0630 am quite regularly and I began by holding/supporting her as we both sat on the toilet at home. She would then be in a position to ‘evacuate’ fully and has rarely pooped in her diaper since then. We have had slightly different routines now that she has been eating solid foods (solids introduced since 6 months). Her pooping happens early afternoon or after supper. We offer her the toilet for both peeing and pooping. We still rarely have to clean a poopy diaper. At night we may use a disposable and we often toilet her at 3 am if she fusses and cries. We have had many nights of minimal wetness and also have had times with dry diapers onto the morning.

    We use the prefolds and bummies as our diapering system.

    We did travel (4 months) to parts of Asia (the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand) when the baby was 5 months old. We used a combination of toileting (as above) and a few disposable as well as the bummies and prefolds.

    I must share with you the little scrub brush that we use for cleaning off poop from those prefolds before laundering….we use that little white colored brush that Lee Valley sells very inexpensively (it is a nail brush) and it works so well, that all that is left at times is a small stain which I may decide to use SHOUT stain remover on. My prefolds are still in pristine condition to this day even with many launderings.

    We used to use the baby bjorn potty along with the prefolds and have one in the car and one at home. If we notice the baby needing to ‘go’ or grunting, then we toilet her and encourage her to pee or poo. The baby Bjorn was useful for when she was smaller but now is too short for her now. We mostly use one of those toilet seat add ons for kids so that their little butts don’t fall into the adult sized toilet seats.

    The ‘baby’ is now nearly 18 months and is able to sign and say poo and pee. Peeing is still a hit or miss and poo is nearly done with!

    Hope the scrub brush idea helps…



    P.S. Congratulations!

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Emily,
      Way to go with the ECing and signing. It’s so rewarding to be able to communicate with your child!
      Thanks for the prefolds tips!

  2. Sondra

    Sunshine takes out poop stains from diapers (and clothing). Yellow poop stains will be gone in less than an hour – once they are on solids, it takes a little longer, but my diapers always come off the line white. Of course, it will fade prints as well. However, it’s easy, free, and about as green as you can get!


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