Baby Dry All Night
Contain those midnight diaper leaks
For some parents, midnight changes and bed stripping is a nightly ritual. It was for us. Six out of seven nights, we’d have a pre-dawn diaper explosion with a sleepy sobbing boy, soaked sheets and sodden PJ’s – not to mention our wet clothes. That gets old fast!
I asked around. One mom from play group swears by Huggies Overnites, another by Pampers Baby Dry, another by Luvs. One friend suggested switching to cloth, and another introduced me to diaper doublers. As is always the case, what works for one family won’t necessarily work for the next. So here are some trouble-shooting ideas to help you contain your tot’s nighttime leaks.
Disposable diapers consist of two sheets of nonwoven fabric with an absorbent pad sandwiched between. Typically, the pad contains chemical crystals that can absorb up to 800 times their weight in liquid and hold it in gel form. Fit, absorbency and leakage control will vary from brand to brand and between the types each brand produces.
The problem is that those special overnight types are more expensive than the regular ones, and you may need to test several different types before you crown a winner.
Tricks and Tips
- Try diaper doublers. They are absorbent pads you stick inside the diaper at night.
- Try a pull-up (or swim diaper) over the diaper. The soft elastic sides slide easily over the diaper to hold it in place and provide extra padding. Again, these are more costly than regular diapers but work better than laying a second diaper.
- Try jumping up one size up at night. The actual diaper isn’t that much bigger, but the absorbency core will be. Go too big, though, and the diaper may sag—and a loose fit guarantees leaks.
The basic types are flats, fitted, pockets , prefolds and all-in-one. Then you need to layer in inserts, doublers (aka soakers) and covers that you can buy in a variety of materials, including wool, cotton, hemp, bamboo and microfiber. The list of pros and cons for each type is too lengthy to discuss here. If your chosen daytime diaper with one or two inserts isn’t getting the job done, try the following.
Tricks and Tips
- The general consensus is that wool covers and hemp doublers with your chosen diaper (regardless of brand—expensive or cheap) and its insert will nearly always do the job.
- Microfiber inserts don’t seem to last as long as hemp or bamboo. When hemp and bamboo lose their softness, a cloth diaper-safe fabric softener will solve that.
- If your little love wakes when she feels wet, try adding a fleece liner or test out a fleece-lined diaper.
For young babies, life revolves around milk – you could probably set your watch by their feeding schedule. As those milkaholics grow and start to eat solid food and sleep for longer periods at night, you can play with their nighttime feeding schedules.
Limit drinks at night: How long your baby can sleep at night without a refill will depend on her age. Just make sure she drinks enough during the day. Try water instead of milk at night.
Avoid late-night feeds: Milk is the fastest way to douse a late-night wake-up scream fest, but your wee one will be more likely to need to pee. Perhaps teething, not hunger, is the problem.
Check out Dry All Night: The Picture Book Technique That Stops Bedwetting, by Alison Mack.
Victoria Pressley is a full-time writer and stay-at-home mom living in Leavenworth.