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how to cloth diaper at night

When I first started cloth diapering, I used cloth diapers during the day but still used disposables at night.  I wasn’t sure what to do at night time.  I was concerned that my baby would be sleeping on a wet diaper, or that I would have to wake up several times to change her.  After few trials and errors, I found two cloth diapering systems for night time to be leak proof and kept my baby's bottom dry all night (up to 12 hours):

1)      combination of prefold + stay dry liner + diaper cover


2)      pocket diapers

Prefold and Diaper Cover

I place a prefold diaper, add inserts if necessary, and place a stay-dry liner on top.  The stay- dry liner keeps my baby’s bottom dry throughout the night even when the prefold is saturated wet.  My daughter is now 2 years old and I use the Premium size (or Toddler size) prefold + bumGenius Stay Dry Doubler (which has the stay dry liner and microfiber sewn together) with a Thirsties Diaper Cover for night time.  My daughter has skinny legs and the Thirsties Diaper Cover with deep leg gusset provides a leak proof night time solution.

Pocket Diaper

This is my favorite night time cloth diapering solution because the fleece covers my baby’s entire bottom.  I personally like to use a bumGenius 3.0 One-Size cloth diaper, but any pocket diapers will do.  They all have stay-dry fleece that keeps your baby’s bottom dry.  The great thing about pocket diapers is that I can add as much inserts as needed to increase absorbency.  I found that using two inserts (one microfiber and one hemp) is sufficient for younger babies.  However, as your baby grows, adding 3 or 4 inserts may be necessary.  Microfiber inserts absorb moisture quickly compare to hemp.  So, always place the microfiber insert on top and hemp on the bottom.  When you add more inserts, the pocket diaper will become bulky and may create a gap around the legs, especially for babies with skinny legs.  If you are using a One-Size pocket cloth diaper, I would recommend snapping down in front to a smaller setting for night time.  This tightens the elastics around the legs, preventing leakage during the night.  Even though my daughter is 2 years old, I still use the medium setting on the front snaps to tighten the leg elastic area for night time and use large setting for day time.  I use 2 One-Size Microfiber Inserts and one Newborn Size Microfiber Insert (total of three microfiber inserts) at night time for my 2 year-old-daughter who currently weighs 24 lbs.

Check for gaps around the legs.
cloth diaper with gap cloth diaper with no gap
Don’t get discouraged if your baby’s diaper has a leak at night.  There are solutions.  Adding more or less inserts and making sure there is no gap around the legs can solve your problems.  Try different things and find out what works for you.  When you do, you will stick with night time cloth diapering as long as your child is in diapers.  Cloth diapering at night is just as convenient and leak proof just like the disposables.  Just think about all the money you will be saving by using cloth diapers at night!

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