Not Again! How to Stop Overnight Diaper Leaks

How to Stop Overnight Diaper Leaks

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If you’re a mom of a little one, you know all too well how one botched diaper job can rip through your home like a tornado. Without knowing how to stop overnight diaper leaks fast, they can ignite a lasting ripple effect. Nighttime diaper leaks often back up laundry for days, throw off sleep routines, and may even affect your overall mood the next day. Trust me, I’ve been there, mama! After hours of internet research and weeks of experimenting with different products, I finally arrived at a consistently reliable, 3-step solution to stop overnight diaper leaks. And I’m eager to share it so that you can get back to sleep!

We had just graduated from the fourth trimester. I was elated to settle into a co-sleeping routine that didn’t involve physically getting up 3 times a night. Then one evening, I conducted a routine diaper change before bed. Just a few hours later, I was woken up by a cold, wet mattress and a crying baby. After stripping the sheets, starting a load of wash, re-making our bed, and nursing our son back to sleep, I had faced a near 2-hour production. Then all of a sudden it was “groundhog’s night”. Out of nowhere, overnight diaper leaks had become our new normal. Consequently, I would come home each evening from work in a sleep-deprived haze, feeling defeated by the growing mountain of laundry waiting for me. Something certainly had to change, and fast!

Diaper leaks at night: 3 tips to stop them for good!
For your “Mom Hacks” Pinterest board, so you can refer back later πŸ™‚

Why does my baby or toddler’s diaper leak overnight?

There are three main reasons your baby or toddler’s diaper is likely failing you at night:

  1. Type & Size
  2. Absorption Capacity
  3. Seal

If you’re not 100% sure about the culprit, by all means take action to protect yourself against all 3 overnight enemies! I like to have plans A, B, and C in place rather than risk another night of poor sleep.

Diaper Type & Size

If your baby is going to bed in the same size diaper as they wear during the day, you’re likely to run into problems. “Daytime” diapers just don’t cut it for most babies and toddlers at nighttime. It’s also not necessary to worry about what weight range is printed on the box. We’ll talk about how to choose the perfect size overnight diaper for your little one.

Diaper Absorption Capacity

For many, like my own milk-guzzling baby, high-quality overnight diapers still do not have enough absorption capacity to make it through 10-12 hours of sleep. We’ll go over how you can double your diaper’s absorption capacity and say goodbye to overnight leaks for good!

Diaper Seal

Without a secure seal around the legs and waist, you’re sure to experience overnight diaper leaks. We’ll learn how to set your night up for success by creating 2-layers of protection to guard against leaks. I never go to bed without this back up plan ready to save the night!

Considerations for Gentle Parenting

Without a doubt, mamas who practice gentle or attachment parenting will likely find themselves at increased risk for overnight diaper leaks if they nurse through the night. Furthermore, if you co-sleep the negative impact of diaper leaks is practically double since we’re now talking about a full family affair! Rest assured, preventing overnight diaper leaks is possible. There’s no need to budge on any of your fundamental parenting beliefs!

How to stop diaper leaks: 3-step miracle
Get ready to say goodbye to leaks forever!

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The 3-Step Solution to Stop Diaper Leaks for Good

Is stopping overnight diaper leaks really as easy as 1-2-3? I started using this system when my son was 5 months old and it continues to provide us success past his 2nd birthday. Let’s go ahead and get you and your little one set up for a dry, restful slumber from the moment Amazon delivers the goods!

Step #1: Stop diaper leaks by sizing up with a high-quality overnight diaper or pull-up

To successfully stop overnight diaper leaks, you’ll want to put your little one in a diaper that’s at least one (possibly, even two) sizes bigger than what they wear during the daytime. Don’t worry about what the suggested weight says on the box. When my son wore a size four diaper during the day, he was sporting a size six at night to successfully stop overnight leaks.

It’s also essential to select a high-quality, overnight diaper. Daytime brands will fail most of us, especially if your baby nurses or takes a bottle in the night. After experimenting quite a bit, we had the best success with Huggies Overnites. Even though Huggies Overnights size six box says they’re for over 35 pounds, we maxed out before hitting the 30-pound mark. We then sized up to Goodnites, pull-on style diapers, with great success!

Recommended diaper for babies & toddlers under 27 lbs

Recommended pull-on diaper for toddlers & children over 27 lbs

Step #2: Stop overnight diaper leaks by increasing your diaper’s absorption capacity

Perhaps the most essential step to stop overnight diaper leaks (especially if your child has a heavy output like mine) is to increase your absorption power. The most efficient way to do that is by adding an insert to your baby’s diaper. This simple step can increase your diaper’s capacity by 100%! Just place them into your child’s diaper, seal, and go!

Important tip for diaper inserts

Just make sure there is space between the top of the diaper insert and the top of the diaper itself. If the insert isn’t fully covered, it could cause some wetness near the waist of your child’s PJ’s. Rest assured, this issue is super easy to avoid!

Recommended diaper inserts

The overwhelming number of raving Amazon reviews on Sposie Booster Pads speak for themselves. I never needed to experiment with other diaper insert options because the Sposie pads instantly did the trick for us. It looks like we are not alone in our love for them!

Step #3: Stop overnight diaper leaks by overlapping a cloth diaper cover (for maximum seal!)

The least well-known, yet equally important step to stop overnight diaper leaks is to seal the deal with a cloth diaper cover. After you have placed your Sposie Booster Pad inside of your baby’s overnight Huggies Diaper or toddler’s Goodnites, add a cloth diaper cover over top. Cloth diapers have a superior ability to prevent leaks around the legs. This is a MUST particularly for side sleepers!

Tips for cloth diaper covers

If you’re like me, you may not have any prior experience with cloth diapers. Fortunately, cloth diapers aren’t as overwhelming as they first seem (especially since you’ll never have to wash soiled inserts with this system!). Just remove the inserts since you won’t need them (I used mine in place of microfiber cleaning cloths- they work great!). The most important step is to make sure the disposable diaper is completely concealed by the cloth cover to prevent leaks. You’ll also want to ensure a snug fit around the waist by when you snap the cover into place.

Recommended cloth diapers

I experimented a bit and prefer the ALVABABY brand based on price, accessibility, and fit. They’re super cute and come in a one-size-fits-all size (my son has been wearing the same ones for nearly two years!).

The last thing you need to know to stop overnight diaper leaks

Mama, I’m so excited for you to get a great night’s rest with this 3-step system to prevent overnight diaper leaks! I will tell you that the only time this system has failed me, is when my son needed to move up to the next size overnight diaper. Once we sized up, we were back to successfully dry nights. To minimize this risk, I suggest automatically sizing up your overnight diaper when you size up on your daytime one. I also like to keep a box of the next size up in the house so we’re always prepared. Babies and toddlers can grow leaps and bounds overnight and you never know when a growth spurt could strike!

If you arrived on this article after one, two, or several nights of diaper leaks, just know you’re not alone in your frustrations. It’s one thing to settle your baby back to sleep when they need a cuddle, but when external factors like faulty diapers disrupt our sleep it’s a completely different story! I like to remind myself that the good times, along with the challenging ones, won’t last forever. They are only little for such a little while. πŸ™‚ Here’s to great rest and sweet dreams, mama!

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    With Love & Kindness, Tana
    Hi, I’m Tana! I’m a mom, certified positive discipline parent educator, and former school counselor. It’s my mission to help you make the most of every moment with your children through effective positive & gentle parenting tools.Β Let’s dive in!

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    24 thoughts on “Not Again! How to Stop Overnight Diaper Leaks”

    1. Incredible advice! We’re going to be starting our family soon and I know literally nothing about babies 😱 Articles like this help me feel more prepared! Thank you so much for sharing πŸ’–

      1. Hi Maria! I thought I knew a thing or two about babies after working in a daycare setting through college and studying child development… but no! Don’t worry, no one is ever prepared! πŸ™‚ It sounds like you’re going to be a phenomenal mother with your intentional approach!

      1. Hi Josephine! Thank you for reading and sharing! We ran into the same issue with Pampers when my son was a newborn. It certainly takes some experimenting! What had the most significant impact for us at night was the Sposie pads and the cloth diaper covers.

    2. My grandson soaks through all the time! It’s such a pain because he wakes with wet sheets and pajamas when he’s spending the night. I’m definitely going to pass these hints on to his mother.

    3. We just dealt with a random diaper leak overnight! Last night! It’s been awhile, but it can happen at any time… 😬 We have found a lot of success with HelloBello diapers in general, and now they have overnights! Also Pampers have worked pretty well for us… we were having leaks a few times a week before we started using specific nighttime diapers.

    4. Oh yes, we had this problem so many times. And my son would wake up crying and it was very difficult to change him and put him back to sleep again! Such great tips! I wish I had read this back then! Now we are big boys and we are potty trained!

    5. OMG I have this problem with my toddler and infant. Huggies overnight diaper saved my sanity for the most part. I never even thought of using diaper inserts in diapers. I tried cloth diapers for a while with my third but MAN when they start solids🀒🀣. I’m definitely going to look into these inserts though.

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