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!
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:
- Type & Size
- Absorption Capacity
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!
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!
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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!
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. 🙂 Here’s to great rest and sweet dreams, mama!
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