Thursday, September 17, 2009

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Night-Night, Sleep Tight!

Night-time cloth diapering presented a much greater challenge than I anticipated.

Before my daughter was born, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper her, even if we were only able to do it on a part-time basis once I returned to work. I remember my mother using cloth diapers with my baby brother (prefolds, pins, and vinyl pants) and I was confident I’d be able to figure it out. Seriously—how hard could it be?

And, early on, it wasn’t hard at all. We waited longer than I had planned to start because Charlotte ended up being much more of a peanut than anticipated and I wasn’t really prepared to cloth diaper a 6 pound baby, having listened to the “don’t buy newborn stuff; your baby will grow out of it in 30 seconds” advice. But once we purchased some appropriately sized extra-small Thirsties covers to put over our prefolds or fitteds, we were good to go.

Alas, the one thing I have learned as a parent is that just when you get comfortable, the rules will change. Which is what happened with our night-time diapering routine.

I went back to work when Charlotte was 12 weeks old. For me, it was terrible. But Charlotte seemed to take day care in stride—except for a couple of notable changes… Prior to my return to work, she slept through the night—well, from about 8:00 to 4:00, which, all things considered, was not bad at all. After she began day care, she started to wake once in the night, then twice, until I found myself in possession of a full-fledged reverse-cycler. On the one hand, it’s very nice to be needed and to know that my baby would alter her schedule so that she could nurse when I was home. On the other hand, sleep? What’s that?

Also, when a baby eats several times during the night, yes, they pee more. LOTS more! Suddenly, the prefolds or fitteds and PUL covers weren’t working so well any more. Charlotte would wake up at 2:00 AM screaming for a change. Or, once we began co-sleeping I would wake up at 2:00 AM screaming for a change.

So I went to the trusty Internet for help, and got more than I bargained for.

The first option we tried was using doublers with the diapers we had. It made the most sense, and we could start by stuffing her premium-sized prefolds with infant ones. This solution works for a lot of people, but not for us. Charlotte’s jammies would be dry in the morning, but she would soak through the diapers and doublers, and that, combined with the PUL covers would leave her little bottom red. She also cried when I put the huge diaper monstrosity on her in the evenings. No fun.

After a short hiatus from night-time cloth diaper experimentation (yes, we resorted to disposables for a few weeks while we regrouped), we decided to try our luck with pocket diapers and, after a few nights on the learning curve, found a solution that works for us right now. We currently use Smartipants stuffed with three (3!!!) microfiber inserts. This gets all of us through the night with no changes until morning.

The only problem with our current arrangement is that we have maxed out the diaper. We may try using some hemp inserts to see if that adds some longevity, but it is entirely possible that we will find ourselves in the position of needing to try something new before too long.

The great thing about the cloth diaper world, though, is that there are still options for us to explore. Our next ventures are likely to include wool soakers, hemp diapers, and/or hemp and/or bamboo inserts. I have great faith that there will be a product that meets our needs as long as I continue to ask questions along the way, and I’m looking forward to the journey.

26 comments:

Brena said...

We've had such a hard time with nighttime diapers. Heavy wetter doesn't even begin to describe my son. He has been known to soak through a disposable overnight diaper. We ran out of room to continue to stuff pocket diapers and everything else leaves him too wet and with rashes. I'd love to hear what other moms have done when too many doublers are necessary.

VanderbiltWife said...

I think you'll find once she's sleeping longer stretches again you should be OK. We've always used a BG with the insert and a doubler for night, and she has RARELY wet through, even sleeping 12+ hours.

Jessie

Megan said...

I've had nighttime trouble too. What we use right now is a BumGenius 3.0 with a Superdo insert plus the regular BG insert. He stays dry, but his pajamas stink! What am I doing wrong?

heather said...

ive been having leaking issues w/ my 6 month old lately. so i think we will be trying a wool soaker soon...

hosiewosie said...

we basically went thru the same situation. only I didn't go back to work, we coslept from the beginning, and it was just as she got bigger that she leaked. we resorted to double stuffed pockets under wool pants/soaker because even my pockets have started to leak!

GRL said...

We're still figuring out night time cloth diapering, too. We use a bumgenius stuffed with two microfiber automotive towels (after all, they absorb more than the inserts that come with it!) and it is keeping him dry, but the stink is awful!!!

mommyhoodisgood said...

We use FuzziBunz pockets at night with one microfiber and two hemp inserts on my 8 month old. It's a bulky diaper, but no leaks or wet baby in the morning, either!

Secret Mommy said...

I've had terrific luck for nighttime with bumGenius 3.0 diapers using both inserts that come with the diaper, but my son doesn't wake up at night to nurse anymore, so there is a lot less pee. One thing I've discovered as he's gotten bigger is that Blueberry one size diapers seem larger (and therefore hold more of HIM and his inserts...) than bumGenius one size. I'm also a huge fan of wool soakers, though I've never used them at night. Good luck!

Jill Brown said...

Personally I use a bamboo insert along with a regular insert for my dd at night and it works wonders. She can blow through a regular insert and a doubler at night so the bamboo insert has been a life saver

Tiffany said...

Really enjoyed this post as I am trying to figure out a good bed-time CD solution myself. Thanks for the tip!

Upstatemomof3 said...

I love bamboo and hemp for extra absorbency. I would consider trying one oor two (or three) of those in place of the inserts you are currently using. :)

carla said...

my collection consists of prefolds used with blueberry PUL covers, blueberry and smartipants pockets. during the day i generally keep her in the prefolds w/ covers. when my husband changes her he gravitates torward the smartipants for obvious ease of putting on issues. the blueberry pockets however are reserved for longer outings and definitely night time. baby girl does sleep through the night and the blueberrys do the trick. when i remember i will put in a small doubler but that doesn't always happen. i have to say that i am very hapy to have invested in the very absorbent blueberry :)))

Cloth Diaperer Extraordinaire said...

GRL and Megan: If your inserts stink it's most likely because they need to be disinfected. We strongly recommend bleaching the inserts (inserts only) periodically - to keep the stinkies at bay. Otherwise, regularly hanging the diapers outside to dry for a few hours is also very helpful!

Megan said...

My problem isn't that my inserts stink. It's that his pajamas stink in the morning after being in cloth all night. It's weird because he's dry....the diaper doesn't leak wetness just stink! I just have to wash his pj's after each night, but it's a bummer. I never had to do that with my daughter. She could wear the same pair for a few nights in a row.

Rebecca1217 said...

I love my smartipants diapers for overnight we use one of there inserts and a hemp doubler and it works great. Good Luck.

Cloth Diaperer Extraordinaire said...

Megan: That's odd! The only time we've had issues with smelly pajamas was because the stink from the diaper/inserts permeated through and caused the pj's to be smelly too! So if you're inserts don't stink at all - I'm a bit stumped as to what's causing the smelly pj's!

dannyscotland said...

Maybe you will find that as she gets bigger and doesn't need to nurse as often at night, you will also not have to alter your routine...unless maybe to go down to two inserts or maybe just one. For my daughter, who is 9 months old, she sleeps through the night from about 8-7. I put a prefold, a microfiber insert that I made myself, and a Kissaluvs doubler inside a Wonder Wrap cover, and she never leaks. She sometimes soaks the whole thing, but she never leaks. But it took me a while to find a combination that worked. I had my share of 2am changes, both her and me! Hang in there.

Coupon Mama said...

My bullet proof night time diaper is a BG 3.0 pocket double stuff with a preemie prefold as a doubler as well!

Longcor Family said...

I am having a hard time with night time also. We have tried a BG with both inserts and a bamboo doubler. Seems to work ok on leaking but it is so big and heavy. I have thought about doing disposables at night but I am not ready to give up yet!

dotcomkari said...

For my mean green pee machine of a son.. (he is three and Autistic)..we use a Bum Genious 1.0 with the two inserts that it comes with .. and a Bedtime Buddy OBV 3 Part Soaker laid inside and a FLEECE cover at night. Since I have tried this it has worked wonderfuly and he has slept through the night with no leaks!

I know A LOT of people have had wonderful experinces with FLEECE at night.. worth a try for you

Jennifer said...

I too have had problems with overnight diapers. Currently we're using BumGenius 3.0s with the one-size microfiber insert and a joeybunz hemparoo insert or just two joeybunz. I'm thinking of switching to the super-do though...

MommyCharland said...

I have been looking into cloth diapers since we found out we woul dbe having our first baby in Jan, I have read a lot about the night time deals many baby have, and by reading this and others on kellys clotset i have decided i am going to try the BG 3.0 with a OS pocket insert and a super do hemp teryy inset.
But i was wondering, When do you normally have to start using extra things during the night, when do the first start to leak, or at what age ?

Serena H. said...

We use 1 Joey Bunz hemp insert with 2 MF inserts for nighttime, and it works pretty well for our toddler, who sleeps 12-13 hours a night.

TeamOSM said...

I love that you can get THREE inserts in the Smartipants! I haven't even double stuffed yet, but I have heard some people complain that they are hard to stuff with more than one insert. Glad to hear that is so not true! =)

Anonymous said...

I had prefolds on my now 7 month old daughter. That wasn't working for varieties of reasons. I found SmartiPants and I only have O/N leaks when her father does her diaper. He only uses 1 liner whereas I use 2. During the day and at night. No leaks. I also like how she can have her #2s going up towards her tailbone and it doesn't come out. I have absolutely no problems with Smartis and refer to everyone who need diapers.

EarthMama said...

I cannot even begin to describe the trouble we had finding a nighttime solution for my extended sleeping super heavy night wetter. Disposables never worked at night for either of my kids they always leaked. But after so much trial and error I finally found the perfect solution for our nighttime needs.
Try a happy hempy's fitted diaper stuffed with a bumgenius one-size microfiber insert and a swaddlebees one-size hemp doubler, and then covered with a sugar Peas Fleece Cover. It's bulky, but it works.
Another diaper that has worked for us without any extras are the Starbunz (specifically the AIOs, but they're all great).

Every babies different, but if it worked for mine it just may work for you. Best of luck!