This post is from the 2016 Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. This post was updated in 2017 because I got better at the blogging thing and wanted to share with you one of my favourite lessons from the flats challenge. Flat Cloth Diapers are an amazing absorbent material and two of them at night is great for those kids who pee 24-28+ ounces. Check out how this works for us in this dated but awesome post.
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Overnight cloth diapering is a serious challenge. I struggle with it just like many parents. For some parents opting to use disposable diapers or disposable inserts helps cope with the large volumes of pee overnight. That’s totally fair, and you are more than welcome to take that shortcut because of parenting isn’t’ all or nothing. For the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, we are challenged to try using flat diapers overnight. As a lover of fancy overnight cloth diapers, this task seemed impossible, but that’s why challenges are fun.
I might not race in a marathon, but I’m for a little risky cloth diapering.
At the moment my son is a moderate wetter who continues to breastfeed during the night. He’s actually a terrible sleeper and boobs all the time.
Last week we used a GroVia ONE with the large insert and a Geffen Baby Fleece Insert. For me, the large insert isn’t’ enough absorbency, and the smaller insert is too bulky for a good fit. Geffen Baby inserts are incredibly thin and versatile and worth every penny.
Because he nurses at night, nighttime cloth diaper can be unpredictable. Some nights this combo isn’t enough, and other nights it is. It’s tough to tell and I feel flustered and overwhelmed with the cloth diapering situation. I guess growth spurts and liquids at night don’t help.
Bedtime is around 7, and I keep him in the same diaper until he wakes around 6:30. This means we need a solid 12 hours of absorbency to last the night when cloth diapering.
Overnight Flats Options
There are a few options to consider for this challenge (the Flats & Handwashing Challenge):
- Use what we have.
- Buy awesome flats.
- Use something completely different.
Using the Flats we Have!
I didn’t want to buy anything new, despite the temptation to try all the flat cloth diapers. My current cloth diaper stash is well established and nothing new needs to come in the door. This is udder crap, of course, you need new cloth diapers to science on.
In the week leading up to the challenge, I was ambitious in deciphering the perfect overnight solution with flat cloth diapers. It wasn’t easy, but it was for the science of cloth diapering.
I typically put a flat diaper on (folded – I prefer kite folds for nights), then a PUL cover (something suitable for Fitted Diapers like this post might work), and then wool pants (I’m now in love with Humbird, but I used Disana back in the day)
I tried out these 5 Combinations
- Just a receiving blanket – LARGE Recieving blankets only hold 12-14 ounces on the best of days, so this was doomed to fail, unless you have a light wetter fairy princess baby.
- ALSO FAIL Osocozy Flat & FST – I changed this combo with the FST (Flour Sak Towel) in the middle of the night because he wouldn’t’ go back to sleep from being uncomfortable.
- Maybe Kinda: Receiving Blanket folded into an Osocozy Flat– I padfolded a receiving blanket and put it inside a kite fold of an Osocozy Flat. I use the flat on the outside because it holds better with a snappi fastener. Soaking thru this combination seems to be a fluke night because this is a fair amount of absorbency at around 20oz.
- Overkill: Receiving Blanket, Daytime Flip & Flour Sack Towel (FST) – This night I thought I would just try it all. Between the Daytime Flip Insert, the Flour Sack Towel AND a receiving blanket, I could barely get this diaper on him and comfortable. I also thought I’d combat some of the night waking with a stay dry layer. Bulk isn’t always good or helpful, that’s why folding a flat can be a better solution.
- Double Flat Fold: Lay both flat cloth diapers together and fold them onto the baby. In this picture, I did the Origami Fold, a similar fold the Happy AntEater. For some reason, this fold did better for us in controlling leaks and heavy wetting at night. It also fit well. Using an Osocozy Flat on the outside mean I could use the Snappi Fastener with ease. This strategy worked great for us.
- NEW! Double Receiving Blanket. This is the strategy I adopted as my son got older and started wetting the bed even more. I skipped the Osocozy Flat and just used two receiving blankets. This let me get an exra 4-6 ounce of absorbency without about the same bulk (or lack thereof)
I cannot guarantee that my overnight flat cloth diaper solution is going to work for you. Each child has different needs at night, but I hope one of these will work. The Best part about cloth diapering with flat diapers is usually they are cheap. A cheap cloth diaper is a win for any parent on a budget. The stash of receiving blankets I use cost me $1.25 a blanket. Osocozy Flats are a little more and Flips even more, but these are luxuries in the flat diaper world. T-shirts and other cotton materials can be just as efficient for cloth diapering.