Can you use flat cloth diapers overnight? The answer is yes, and way back when I originally wrote this blog post I over complicated it. Since then, I’ve learned that cloth diapering looks different to many families, and for some there is a simpler solution that this crazy overnight diaper trick.
— if you’re exploring overnight cloth diapers, I definitely recommend starting here with flat diapers because they are low cost and easy way to explore how much absorbency you need. I don’t believe you need to buy a fancy cloth diaper to overnight, I do think that you can experiment with different products you already own to figure out what might work best for you. There is no one diaper that works for all families overnight. Even disposable diapers fail families.
I am an online content creator and do use affiliate links to support this blog and my shop. If you’re looking to shop cloth diapers in Canada, Nest & Sprout has a small collection, but retailers like Cloth Diaper Kids will get you on a strong path. Reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Who can use flat cloth diapers overnight?
If you’re child is a moderate or heavy wetter, flats will be perfect.
If you’re child is a light wetter, flats will be perfect.
Flat cloth diapers work for a variety of children at different outputs because we can customize this diapering experience, just like we can customize almost any diapering system.
What works for my family at the time of this post
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. Seriously, Geffen Baby hemp inserts are the best on the market offering a high percentage of hemp, and durable weave.
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
When I wrote this blog post originally for the flats challenge I presented myself with a few options, this time I’m going to do the same, but with a few different options.
- Use a flat diaper with an insert
- Use multiple flat diapers together
- Purchase a luxury or premium flat diaper designed for higher absorbency.
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)
Premium flats like the Blythe Life Fixed Flat or the Nicki’s Knickers EFlat can also offer a premium absorbency with the benefits of the flat diaper. These were not originally mentioned in this blog post because of the flats challenge and time. But they are valid options you can consider.
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.