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Sunday, March 16, 2014

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Overnight Diapering: On a Budget

Many people shy away from cloth diapering overnight because what they have hasn't worked or because they see the high price tags of fitteds and wool and assume that cloth diapering overnight is way too expensive. Over the years I have used various methods to cloth diaper overnight, and my kids are not light wetters (both of them can actually out pee a disposable overnight).

The key to inexpensive overnight cloth diapering is to take what you have on hand and use it a little unconventionally. Take an inventory of what you have and you may just be all set or almost ready to go. It’s also possible that you may need to buy a few inexpensive items. But even if you have to buy a few prefolds, flats, stay dry liners or a diaper fastener you still won't be dropping as much change as you would on a traditional overnight diaper system (or be wasting money on disposables). Below are what I consider to be the four cheapest overnight options.

Option 1- The Super Stuffed Pocket
This is usually the first thing people try. While it can work great for some people, it may not work for tummy sleepers and heavy wetters. As the title suggests you "super stuff" a pocket diaper (this can also work with some All in One diapers). You put the fastest absorbing fiber at the top of your insert stack and then stuff away. I suggest cotton, bamboo or microfiber on top and hemp on the bottom. Some people also have luck with a hemp prefold as the sole insert (Thirsties makes a popular one). In this picture I used a preemie prefold on top of a bamboo insert on top of a hemp insert all inside a BumGenius 4.0 pocket (any brand will do but a wide crotch is best). Make sure that you cannot fit more than one finger between your baby's leg and the diaper or you may experience leg leaks.

Option 2- The Super Stuffed Cover
This option can be done in a million ways. You begin by wrapping a prefold or flat around another insert like microfiber, hemp or bamboo. Then you lay it in a diaper cover or un-stuffed pocket diaper. Although legs gaps are less likely with this option you still should be careful to check for a good fit. You will need to add a stay dry liner if you baby is moisture sensitive (most are not).

Option 3- The Faux Fitted
What you need:
- 2 Prefolds (1 of them needs to be large enough to pin or snappi), 2 flats, or 1 flat and 1 prefold
- 1 Cover (PUL, fleece or wool) or a unstuffed pocket
* For a extra heavy wetter you may need an additional doubler.

1) If using a flat, fold it into a prefold shape (a rectangle) don’t worry about it being uneven.

2) Then take the second flat or prefold and fold it into an insert shape and lay it on top of the large prefold or flat. If you have a super heavy wetter wrap the inner diaper (prefold or flat) around the doubler. Lay a stay dry liner on top of the prefold or inner flat if needed.

3) Attach the whole thing using a jelly roll or similar fold with diaper pins, snappi or boingos. You can also use two prefolds.

4) Cover the diaper with your diaper cover of choice (PUL, fleece or wool).

Option 4: The Upcycle
Handy with a sewing machine? You can sew your own fitted out of scrap fabric, receiving blankets, old t-shirts or prefolds. We made our own fitteds out of too large prefolds and used a infant prefold for the soaker. Be creative and don't worry it doesn't have to look pretty. You can also sew a cover using anti-pill fleece, or wool from a thrift store sweater. Cover the fitted with the cover of your choice.

Ultimately, with a little creativity and a few inexpensive items you can find an overnight cloth diaper system that works for your baby and your budget. Play around and you may not find something that works on the first try, if not just keep at it and you will eventually find something. If you need any ideas let me know what you have in your stash and I am happy to give you some ideas.

Bio: Charlene lives in UT with her adorably geeky husband and the two cutest baby boys in the Northern Hemisphere. She is a cloth diaper enthusiast, baby sling connoisseur, overall rockin' domestic engineer and avid blogger at

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Anna said...

I always cloth diaper at night. A double-stuffed Kawaii pocket diaper (fleece inner) microfiber insert and one bamboo. No leaks yet!

Irina Johnson said...

Cloth Diapers are necessary at night even if the baby is not a heavy wetter

Irina Johnson said...

Cloth Diapers are necessary at night even if the baby is not a heavy wetter