Friday, April 20, 2012

Night-time Cloth Diapering

This blog post was written as part of the Real Simple, Real Diapers Blog Hop celebrating Real Diapers Week, Apr 16th-21st, 2012.

Nothing pees with quite the frequency and volume of a 3 month old who just figured out how to nurse while asleep.

By 2.5 months old Johnny was technically 'sleeping through the night' (no matter what the pediatrician says, sleeping 6 hours is not 'sleeping through the night').  It was kind of nice because I could get a decent amount of sleep, feed him, change him, feed him some more and fall back asleep.  Eventually he stretched out a few more hours until we got to a point where he would cry a bit, I would get him in bed with me, he would latch, and we both would go back to sleep.  Dropping the middle of the night diaper change meant he started soaking through his diapers though.  I liked not getting out of bed in the middle of the night, but I wasn't a fan of waking up in a puddle of baby pee so I needed a solution.

After lots of experimenting we came up with 4 excellent solutions:

1.  Extra deep liner + gpant + 3 inserts = great if you already use gDiapers

My sleeping angel LOVES his lion.  And a dry bed.
Totally not 3 mos in this pic.
We use gDiapers most of the time during the day.  Johnny really needed 3 inserts to make it through the night, which was 10 hours for him.  Thankfully Fashionably Green Baby had just the solution for me!  She makes extra deep snap-in liners to use with the gpant that will hold 3 extra thick inserts.  The liners are made of PolyUrethane Laminate (or PUL) and wrapped with fold over elastic (FOE) so they are very durable.  We still use these today and have been very pleased with them for overnight.  Bonus: the liners we got were blue so when we leave Johnny with a babysitter at bedtime we just have to tell them that the blue liner is for night-time.

2.  GAD pocket semi-fitted + 3 inserts + snappi + Covered Caboose wool soaker = excellent for REALLY heavy wetters or rash prone babies

Even though things were going great with the Fashionably Green Baby liners I had an itching to try some other overnight solutions.  I had heard amazing things about wool and happened to find a couple Covered Caboose one size side snapping wool soakers marked down so I jumped on them.  I picked up some used Green Acre Designs one size pocket semi-fitteds and a few snappis to go with the wool soaker.  I was able to stuff the semi-fitteds with three inserts and that held my son all night.  If he did leak through the semi-fitted, the wool soaker kept our bed dry.  Using this combination we have never had a leak.  Ever.

Johnny's overnight Christmas set including fitted and
wool footies that he wears all the time.
Bonus about wool: I only have to wash the covers every couple weeks.  Washing is simple.  I put 1-2 gal of warm water in a bucket, add 1-2tsp Eucalan wool wash with lanolin, add the soaker, squeeze, let sit for 15 minutes, then squeeze out the water and hang dry.
Also, wool breathes very well so it is excellent for rash prone babies.  If Johnny ever has a rash at bed time I put him in a fitted with a wool soaker and it is usually gone in the morning.

3.  GAD pocket semi-fitted + 3 inserts + snappi + wool pants/footies = excellent for REALLY heavy wetters, rash prone babies, and if you're having trouble putting on PJ bottoms over the semi-fitted and soaker.

The only downside was Johnny's PJs didn't always fit over the semi-fitted with the wool cover.  Plus putting on a semi-fitted, then a wool cover, THEN PJs was time consuming and frustrating with a wriggly baby.  As the weather got colder around Christmas I decided to experiment with making some wool footies to use instead of the wool covers.  I picked up some wool interlock from Natures Fabrics and some cute patterned fleece for the feet.  I modified the Katrina's longies pattern to add feet, used puff paint to add some grip to the feet, and ta-da!  It works just as well as the wool cover and keeps him toasty.  If you'd rather buy some pre-made, there are lots of great options on Etsy.

4.  Swaddlebees EcoNappi + both inserts that come with it + maybe another insert? = simple one-step solution for older/bigger babies and very babysitter friendly

We use this diaper for daytime too because it is
irresistably cute. 
While all of these are great options, wool covers, snappis, and fitteds can be difficult to explain to a babysitter who has possibly never seen a cloth diaper before.  I like to keep things simple for our sitters so I tried several different pocket diapers for bedtime.  While many worked great during the day, if I stuffed them with the three inserts Johnny needed at night, they would gape at the legs.  Then I came across the Swaddlebees Econappi.  It comes with 2 inserts that are both 2 layers of bamboo fleece.  One is meant for young infants and is folded in half for 4 layers.  The second is for older infants and toddlers and is folded in thirds for six layers.  Together they provide 10 layers of bamboo fleece which is enough to hold Johnny through the night.  Since the diaper is designed to hold both the inserts at once it doesn't gape and it holds Johnny all night!

Hopefully this will give you some ideas for cloth diapering your own heavy wetter at night.  It can be done, but you might have to try something completely different from your daytime system.

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