Try Cloth Diapers Risk Free

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Like Tweet

Pros and Cons of Designated Nighttime Diapers

One of the major hurdles new cloth diapering parents face is the problem of the nighttime solution. With disposable diaper manufacturers conjuring up magnificent visions of twelve hours of blissful relaxation, recent converts to cloth diapers may scream ‘no fair’! Seasoned parents know that in any case, that 12 hours? It’s a farce. Most newborns are up 3-10 times a night, with some children never sleeping that blissful twelve hours in a row—maybe when they’re teenagers and don’t need diapers.

So—what’s realistic and what’s necessary changes with your baby’s growth patterns. Makes sense, right? As babies get bigger, their stomachs get bigger and they eat/drink more breast milk or formula, and eventually milk, water, or whatever sneaky grandparents give them. When it’s blazing hot in the shade (like late summer in the U.S.), kids drink more as they are active later in the day. This phenomenon surprises nearly every parent of new sippy cup users, as free reign on drinks equals a flooded diaper, and the potential for wet sheets. As they mature, the longer they sleep, and, again with the wet covers. As newborns become infants and toddlers, tripping around from activity to activity with a glass while they graze on goldfish crackers, naps and bedtime can prove trying on even your best bulletproof daytime diaper.

Many parents fix this by designating 2-3 diapers as ‘nighttime diapers.’ It might be fitteds and wool, it might be a pocket diaper stuffed with microfiber backed by hemp, or even a super toddler prefold with a double gusseted PUL cover. If it’s not you with the baby, then whoever is minding the tyke will be told ‘use this one ONLY at night.’ Right? There are pros and cons to this DESIGNATED DIAPER approach:


  1. Drier mornings due to your awesome sumo-soaker diaper combo- obviously if you find something that works, then you have fewer issues to battle!
  2. Set out one diaper for caregivers with pjs—easy peasy just point to the items on the bed and you’re set for date night!
  3. Transition to day-trained can still = nighttime diapers, because they’re part of the ‘uniform’—no need to switch to pull ups since the child is used to this combo already.
  4. Helps you stay on top of diaper laundry so the specialized items are always clean!

  1. Must keep on top of laundry for special inserts/diapers—if they’re not clean when you need them, you won’t be happy.
  2. Caregivers make mistakes—like being fun and putting pjs on the kids at 6 pm!
  3. Poop happens—enough said!
  4. Using the same few diapers repeatedly causes more wear and tear –you may need to repair or replace these diapers more than the ones in your normal, larger rotation. You may also find that you have more issues with ammonia, a greater need to rinse, or more smell to those particular diapers overall because they’re soaked with urine for greater lengths of time over and over again.
Whether you choose to designate nighttime diapers or not is up to you. Weigh the pros and cons carefully and remember, you can always change your mind—as easily as you change a diaper. Add more to your rotation, try a new style of cloth diaper, or embrace cloth overnight if you’ve been afraid to try before!

Bio: Jill blogs about her experiences as a stay at home mom to 3 girls, country living, cloth diapers, and a life 'just this side of crunchy' at

Would you like to be a contributor on The Cloth Diaper Whisperer? We're always looking for creative writers who would like to share their cloth diapering tips. To find out more Contact Us

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We've always had different night time combos once our kids were 6 months old. Sometimes it just meant double stuffing a standard pocket diaper, but our son has given us a run for our money. We've tried everything for him at night. There was no way I was going to purchase a whole new stash so I've gotten new diapers here and there just for night time. Wool covers - we own two upcycled, two hand knit and one custom Etsy creation plus a fleece as back up. We use hemp prefolds with hemp/zorb inserts or a few fitted diapers with Joey Bunz and Flip inserts as back up. Yes, they do wear faster and I constantly battle stink. But he's usually dry in the morning, which makes the effort worth it.