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Sunday, April 14, 2013

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How I Stopped Nighttime Cloth Diaper Leaks

My daughter, Bo, is our second child. With my first, we used regular disposable diapers. In 2006, I was simply unaware that cloth diapering was even an option. What a difference a few years makes! I knew we wanted to use cloth with Bo since the very start! I would have used them with my older daughter as well, had I known it was an option. Live and learn, I guess!

After researching cloth diapers before Bo was born, one of my biggest fears about cloth diapering was the challenge of nighttime diapering. I had read stories from message boards and various blogs that nighttime can be a serious issue. Many families seem to experience a lot of nighttime leaks. I did not want to be stuck changing sheets and clothing at 3 AM every day!

At nearly 3 months of age, Bo sleeps about 8 hours each night. I’m certainly not going to wake her to change a diaper, so our cloth diapers must be able to hold wetness for the entire time.

I’ve experimented with several different nighttime solutions. What didn’t work for us were pocket diapers. Bo’s legs are skinny, and many pocket diapers are simply too loose around the legs. This is less of a problem during the day when diapers are changed every 2 hours or so. At night, the wetness quickly seeps out from around the legs and the waistband of the diaper once the inserts are soaked. If I don’t change Bo’s pocket diapers every 4 hours, they are almost certain to leak. This does not work for our night schedule.

Luckily, we’ve had nighttime success with two different diapering methods:

Prefolds and Wool Covers
This is my favorite way to diaper at night. I love the softness of the wool and how breathable the covers are. I never worry about diaper rashes when I use the wool covers. We simply fold a prefolded diaper around Bo using Snappi fasteners. We have pull-on wool covers that we pull on over the fastened diaper.

In the morning, the diaper is wet, but Bo is completely dry. The wool covers can hold up to 30 percent of their weight in water before they start to feel damp. Even if they do start to feel damp, they do not cause a huge wet spot on clothes or bedding. Bo has never awoken from wetness when she wears the wool covers.

Prefolds and Flip Covers
We have also had great success with Flip covers at night. I am such a fan of the Flip cover. They are my go-to brand when I need to depend on my diapers for extended periods, such as during long car trips and during the night. We use the cover at night by folding a prefold into thirds and placing it inside the cover like an insert. We fasten the cover around Bo and pop her into bed. She has never had any leak issues with a Flip cover. In the morning, the diapers are completely soaked, but there are no leaks!

As Bo ages, we may have to continue to find new ways to stop nighttime leaks. But for now, we’ve found the perfect solution that works for us!

Bio: Brenda is new to the cloth diapering community, but feels like she’s always been there at heart. She writes at Schooling a Monkey, where you can read more about cloth diapering adventures with Bo and other topics on parenting, homeschooling, and more!

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