Thursday, August 20, 2009

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Diapering Through the Night!

Nighttime- ah, nighttime. Blessed respite from a long day of a mama’s work (never really done of course, but we’ve all got to sleep sometime…) But night time can be anxiety inducing – not knowing how much sleep you’ll get before baby wakes up for a feeding, listening for baby’s every breath, or just wondering if you’re going to be coordinated and coherent enough to feed and change your baby properly in the middle of the night.

In those blissful yet bewildering early days, it seemed that there wasn’t a diapering solution that could work for nighttime. My new little daughter wanted to breastfeed every two hours, and a diaper change accompanied each feeding. I had a system that worked well during the day- Kissaluvs fitted with Bummis super whisper wraps. The fitteds were soft and easy to snap to just the right fit. The super whisper wraps were durable and just as easy, especially with the Aplix covers. They were also available in adorable prints, which was one of the big draws for me.


I discovered that at night, however, cute did not concern me. Sleep did. I needed to find a solution that was quick, easy and effective. Exhausted and overwhelmed, I won’t pretend that disposables never crossed my mind. How easy it would be, I thought, to have a one piece to change into and out of, and to not have to worry about more laundry in the morning.

In the daylight hours, I thought more clearly and chagrined myself for these thoughts. What did ease matter, I wondered, when I wanted the health and environmental benefits of cloth diapers for my baby? I was onto something, though, with the one-piece, so I opted for all-in-ones. I found very quickly, however, that these weren’t really easier. Sure, they were a bit easier to get on and off, as I did not have to snap them into place and then put a cover over them, but the fit was not great for my newborn, and I had a lot of leaks. Also, I discovered that frequent washing wears all-in-ones more quickly than other diapers, and reserve these now for traveling.

I tried every other suggestion, from wool soakers to pockets to pull-on pants, all of which were guaranteed by moms I knew and moms who wanted to sell their product via the web. I could understand their enthusiasm for each of these systems, but I was still left feeling that something was just not as perfect as it could be. Too hot, too messy, too time-consuming, I just knew that there had to be something better out there.

My best friend came to the rescue. With a baby only a few months older than mine, she was still figuring out her own perfect system.

Fleece soakers”, she told me. “You’ll never go back.” And she was right. Fleece soakers are everything I could want in a nighttime diaper. Economical, environmentally friendly, available in every cute pattern imaginable. Easy to pull on and off without elastic, snaps or Aplix. They stayed dry, even as my daughter began sleeping more and going for longer stretches without a diaper change. The best part, I found, was that they made the transition from my newborn fitteds to the Bummis organic prefolds that I switched to for an even more cost-effective and environmentally option after the newborn stage. Now I just put a Snappi on the prefold, pick the fleece that matches her pajamas (or suits my mood) and settle in for the night, confident that my daughter will sleep warm and dry throughout the night…or as close to “through the night” as it gets with a five-month-old.

34 comments:

hosiewosie said...

great story! fleece soakers, eh?

The Soldatke family said...

I love my fleece soakers! They are awesome!

Upstatemomof3 said...

I need to make a few fleece soakers for my daughter for the fall.

Amanda said...

I've heard good things about fleece soakers, but I've not used them myself. I wonder how hard they are to make.

idnar82 said...

I love fleece soakers! They are my nighttime solution too...and daytime around the house and any other time DS can be without pants, haha. I can't wait to get some fleece longies for the cooler months. I'd love to try wool, but the fleece is working and I love it! Glad you discovered it too!

Sarahjenne said...

Hmm. I never thought about fleece covers before. We used disposables full time for my daughter's first 3 weeks and at night for a week or two after that. Now thst I know some other options we might do cloth right away with the next one.

Sarah said...

We've been having problems with our 22mo not sleeping through the night because he wakes up wet. I just might try fleece and see if it solves this problem.

Pamela said...

I have a pattern for fleece soakers that I really need to try.

My diapering through the night issues are because my 4mo is the heaviest wetter known to man. Dude soaks through two regular prefolds. At the same time. And then through everything else. I can't bear to wake him up to change his diaper (also I can't bear getting out of bed in the middle of the night to change a diaper). Ugh.

Crissy said...

We finally just found that a SmartiPants double stuffed holds up through the night (12-13hrs) with my 9 month old. And 9 times out of 10 she also has a BM during the night too and SmartiPants held its ground!

Jen said...

I use disposables at night. Everything I have tried leaves rashes on my little ones and they always end up leaking. The only thing that worked well were flats/prefolds and fleece soakers, but they bulk was HUGE to make it last 12-13 hours. After a while, they would still get a rash. I use BGOS during the day, but at night always end up having to go back to disposables :-(

dannyscotland said...

How do they work if they don't have elastic or a fastener of some kind? I'm very curious. Thanks.

Sarah J. said...

Great article! I have some fitteds coming today and can't WAIT to try them with cute fleece covers!

Ryan and Amy said...

haven't done cloth diapers with a newborn yet...hhmmm, new stuff to think about with the next one!

Stacy Whalen said...

I've recently started making/buying my own fleece soakers and shorties, and find them to be wonderful, especially because they're more breathable than PUL. I wonder though, aren't they too hot for summertime? I guess PUL is hot, too, but I just wonder...

Ashley said...

I've never heard of the fleece covers, but just looked them up and there are lots of cute ones!

ih0ney said...

You know, it took me a while to get nighttime cloth diapering a go. My DD is a heavy wetter so I didnt wanna chance leaking and her soaking in pee :( I did purchase a superdo insert and a fuzzi bunz OS and it turned out to be a success everytime, no leaks. Just a happy, sleeping, dry baby :)

Christina C. said...

I do love my unbleached Indian prefolds so I am definitely going to have to invest in a fleece soaker now! Thanks for the post!

Brittany said...

Interesting! I will have to looking into these as my daughter is a heavy wetter, day or night.

The McDougles said...

I have never looked into fleece soakers before. I'm going to have to look into those now. I have always been too anxious to use cloth at night but would love to start.

Jenney said...

I have a question about overnight diapering. I use cloth overnight, and have a leak-proof method that works for me...however the ammonia smell in the morning is so bad it makes me ill. Literally burns my throat. How do I get that to stop?

Ally said...

I love using fleece soakers. I use them doing the day mostly and then over a BG 3.0 pocket at night(keeps sheets dry in case of leaks and fingers away from the velcro!).

I love that there isnt any elastic rubbing my youngest's thighs. They are easy to make too using Katrina's Quick Sew Soaker pattern. =)

Anna said...

Glad to hear you finally found a solution that works for you!

Liketohike said...

Thanks for the advice about fleece soakers. I haven't heard much about them, but I'll be keeping them in mind!

Senior Family said...

great post ! i need to get some fleece soakers :)

michellebaker said...

My son sleeps 8-10 hours a night and I've only ever used a bumgenius pocket diaper with an extra booster. I don't think he is a very heavy wetter, though. I think a fleece insert would be nice for long car trips, where I'd like to avoid an accidents!

a2editor said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I will keep this in mind as my "super-soaker" daughter gets older and I see if prefolds and covers can still do the job.

Laura C

laurakcowan/at/gmail/dot/com

Lisa said...

I too have tried many different options for nighttime diapering. I read many reviews from moms who would swear by their diapering combo, but after purchasing several different inserts for my pocket diapers, I still have not found a completely reliable combo. Some mornings my daughter wakes up totally dry, and other mornings her clothes are wet. Then again, sometimes even a disposable won't hold everything, so I think my daughter is just a very heavy wetter. I have been considering fleece covers though since I've heard good things about them.

Jennifer said...

I don't know where my post went, so I'll post again darn it! Someone please school me on how to use the fleece soaker correctly. I have two and I like them, but I've read that they will wick moisture onto pajamas, so how is that supposed to work??? I don't have any baby t-shirts for my almost-5-month-old, and am not feeling like going out to buy any... so what is the right way to use the fleece??

Mary @ parenthood said...

I'm confused. Do you used a fleece soaker without a prfold or ay kind of insert? I have polar bummis as well as super whisper wraps and I find them about the same to change at night. They both have velcro and two parts to them. What did I miss???

I'd love a diaper that is less bulky and comes on & off more easily. We're doing the "natural hygiene" thing so the same thing goes on and off, but we're not good enough at it yet to consider going entirely diaper free.

Brie H said...

I haven't tried fleece soakers... I will have to now!

Marin said...

Thanks for the advice. I just purchased a couple bamboo fitteds from KC, so I've added a couple Bummis fleece covers to my wishlist!

Cloth Diaperer Extraordinaire said...

Jennifer!
Fleece wicks away moisture. Therefore, the use of fleece as a diaper cover is meant to help draw the moisture away from baby and out through the fleece. Usually people have 2-3 layers of additional fleece in the "soak zone" to help prevent dampness/compression wetness.

When using fleece pants/soakers you should NOT put pajamas over the fleece. Fleece is meant to be used alone. Otherwise you'll end up with a damp/wet baby in the middle of the night/morning (depending on how heavy your little one wets).

The beauty of fleece is primarily how easy it is to wash - you can simply wash it with your regular laundry.

I hope this helps clear things up!
-Serena

Cloth Diaperer Extraordinaire said...

Mary: Fleece soakers are intended to be used over a fitted, flat, or prefold diaper. Some people even opt to use a fleece soaker over a pocket diaper for backup protection. However, you would use the fleece with a diaper underneath (usually people use prefolds or fitted diapers).

-Serena

Cloth Diaperer Extraordinaire said...

Jenney!

The ammonia smell is most likely from a buildup of bacteria. Please visit the following post about smelly diapers:

http://www.theclothdiaperwhisperer.com/search/label/Smell

Essentially you'll want to disinfect your diapers/inserts. The most effective form of disinfecting is, dare I say, bleach. Essentially you would only bleach the inserts (not any pocket diapers) - take the clean inserts and run them through a hot water wash with 1/2 cup of bleach - this should immediately resolve the current stink issue. Then you'll bleach them periodically when you notice the stink issues returning (however, the overnight diapers still might be a little more smelly than average since it's several hours worth of urine)!

Also, if you're able to sun the diapers/inserts this will also help kill bacteria.

I hope this helps!