It’s early, too early. I throw back the covers and stumble over to my babbling 4 month old. Even in the dark, I can see the huge grin spread across her face when she sees someone has finally acknowledged her at this hour. No matter how exhausted I am, I can’t help but smile back. Then I reach down, and that sweet moment is erased by frustration at realizing her, her pajamas, sheets and blanket are all soaked.
I’ve loved cloth diapering both my daughters. They’re cute. They save money. But I can’t lie. When it comes to bedtime, I hate cloth diapering. Some nights I just heave a tired sigh, and grab a disposable. But I hate that, too.
I don’t want to change sheets in the middle of the night. I want a bullet proof cloth diaper that will last for 12 hours. I know. Does that exist?
I have two hurdles. The first is that my daughter still wakes up once, okay occasionally twice a night to nurse. The second (and biggest) is she still lies on her back all night. I realized with both my girls, many times they’d leak out the back of the diaper, when the front stayed completely dry. Insert frustrated mommy scream here!
I never found THE solution with my older daughter. I wrapped her in so many prefolds, I could hardly stretch her pj’s over them. I used wool covers my mom made. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. But she always woke up in the morning reeking of pee. It was gross, and eventually I just succumbed to the call of disposables.
When my younger daughter was born, I vowed this time I was going to find something that worked. I didn’t worry about it in the beginning. We were changing diapers night and day. Bumping up one size in prefolds held her for 3 hours. Around 4-6 weeks old though, I was forced to start looking for other options.
First, I used one-size Blueberry pockets stuffed with 2 regular inserts or 1 regular insert and a Hemp insert. For middle of the night changes, I’d use another Blueberry, or if they were clean, one of my GroVia shells with a Soaker pad. This worked OK. Unfortunately, DD’s thighs weren’t chunky enough (even as a 13 pound 2 month old) and the Blueberrys gapped in the legs. Leaks. When I would stuff them with more than just the 1 regular liner, they got too bulky and gapped in the back. More leaks. The GroVia’s were a good option for the last 4-5 hours of the night, but definitely wouldn’t hold up for 8-12 hours.
Here I was, reaching for the disposables again. Enough. I hadn’t spent a lot of money on cloth this time around, using stuff I already had plus a few things I got as baby gifts. I was going to find some solutions. I pulled up Kelly’s Closet and looked at their Nighttime Solutions. The first thing that caught my eye was the KaWaii Goodnight Heavy Wetter One Size Diaper. If it says “heavy wetter” in the product name, it’s got to be worth looking at, right? The reviews were good. The price was definitely right. I decided to order 2. They were so soft! The next night after getting them washed, I put one on DD for bedtime. The fit was perfect! No gaps in the legs or back. Even with two inserts, it wasn’t super bulky. But would it keep her dry? First wake up at 2am…all good. I wanted to test it, so I kept the diaper on her. When she woke up in the morning at 6am, she was happy and still DRY! If there’s a cloth diaper happy dance, I was doing it!
Of course, just one night time solution wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to test other options, too. Next I bought 1 Sustainablebabyish Bamboo Terry flat. Amazing reviews, but a little pricey for a flat diaper. I paired it with a homemade wool cover. Like the KaWaii, first wake up was good. But then DD woke up again around 4am. Wet. So no luck on the first try, but maybe it just needs a few more washes to gain more absorbency.
As long as I have a baby in cloth, I’ll probably always be looking for nighttime solutions. It’s one of the hardest things to figure out, but worth it for me and my wallet!
Kelly is a married, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, full-time working mom. She has a 7-year-old son, a 4-year- old daughter and just welcomed her new daughter to the craziness in March!