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Monday, October 15, 2012

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The Evolution of a Nighttime Cloth Diapering System

I think the hardest part of cloth diapering for our family was nighttime diapering. When our daughter was about three months old, we stopped changing her at every night feeding because it was waking her up too much. Up to this point, she was changed every three hours or less – she never really had the chance to fully wet a diaper.

Of course the first time we left our bumGenius 4.0 on her for a six-hour stretch, she wet right through it. We had used the infant insert, so we bumped it up to the full-sized insert the next night. That also leaked. We discovered that both inserts in our BG4.0 diapers did not do the trick, neither did both inserts in a Rumparooz pocket. (And if you've ever used a one-size Rumparooz pocket on a little baby with both inserts in it, you know how ridiculously enormous it is – she can't have been that comfortable in it.)

At this point, we were out of diaper options. We were a one-size pocket family, with no other diapers at home. So we went back to changing every three hours to avoid leaks and started researching our options. We decided to try a fitted and cover to see how it worked for us. We had read many positive reviews, and it couldn't hurt.

We began our fitted and cover journey with a Kissaluvs cotton fleece hybrid one-size contour diaper (say that five times fast!) that we closed with a Snappi fastener and covered with a Thirsties Duo Wrap. It worked fantastic! The first night with our new nighttime diapering system was so easy and leak free. We couldn't be happier. Unfortunately, it was short lived.

A few months later, our daughter began leaking through the Kissaluvs diapers, too. I tried adding boosters (we used hemp inserts), and while they helped, they were not the answer. Also, our little one was five months old and she was quite wiggly when we changed her diaper, making the Snappi closure a bit difficult. So I hit the internet again and researched fitteds with snaps. I found a ton of well-reviewed brands, including Babykicks, Sustainablebabyish , and Bummis. However, we ended up buying three Baby Beehinds fitted diapers because of a great deal I saw. We found our diaper!

Finding a very absorbent fitted diaper you love is the best thing you can do when searching for a nighttime cloth diapering system for your family. Yes you can add hemp or other natural fiber inserts (we do periodically) to help aid in absorbency, but sometimes it's nice to have something that can work on its own. Don't be afraid to try a few different brands – cloth diapers can have excellent resell value!

For six months we didn't have a single leak. It was awesome! I had seen that other people like to use wool or fleece covers over their fitted cloth diapers for a more bullet-proof solution, but I don't believe in messing with a good thing. We had three fitteds and two PUL covers that we really liked.

Eventually, however, our daughter started getting red at night. After airing out in the morning, though, she returned to normal. So I figured the minimal air flow was the culprit. I did not want the redness to turn into a rash, so we purchased a fleece cover to try. Let me tell you, I was nervous about the fleece cover! How the heck is that supposed to keep her dry?! But it did! We now have two fleece soakers and a pair of fleece longies (pants), and they are wonderful. I have even tried wool soakers, and I really like them a lot. I made my own out of up-cycled wool sweaters, which was a fun project (there are tons of tutorials out there if you are interested). The wool also works really well, and I could see heavy wetters doing better with wool than with fleece.

I think we've finally hit the ceiling when it comes to nighttime solutions. We have extremely absorbent fitteds that we can pair with hemp inserts for extra absorbency and cover with either PUL, fleece, or wool, depending on what she needs that night. It took a little trial and error getting here, but we now have a very user-friendly (and grandma and grandpa friendly!) and versatile nighttime solution that didn't break the bank.

Bio: Jennifer Esposito - I've been cloth diapering my daughter, Adele, for a little over a year. She wore her first cloth diaper when she was 6 days old and was in them full time at 3 weeks. I've been married to my best friend for 4 years. I'm an editor by trade, and during my free time I like to run, sew, or read.


Talia Borders said...

That's the problem we are having too. I'm so afraid of leaks that I've been using honest company diapers at night. at least they are biodegradable.

Talia Borders said...

The nightime is our problem too. We've been using honest disposable diapers (at least they are biodegradable) and I've been searching for a cloth diaper solution. i was going to order lil' helper bamboo charcoal diapers, which states they can absorb 850ml but i might try prefolds instead

Lara + Chris said...

Yay Jennifer!!!! Great post, and I LOVE the fleece longies. :)

Jennifer said...

Fancy seeing you here, Lara! :) I love the fleece longies so much! We use them A LOT!