Did you wake up to a wet bed this morning?
Sometimes that happens. I’ve been cloth diapering for over two years, and blogging and engaging about it for that same amount of time, and I still wake up to wet leaky pyjamas because sometimes it’s almost impossible to gauge how much your little person will pee overnight.
So don’t freak out and buy the most heavy duty of night time diapers when you get your first wet, leaky morning. Take a Breath, and let’s take a look at the leaky cloth diapers.
Step 1. Is it maxed out or is it a leak?
What do I mean by this? I mean is absorbency in the diaper soaked or somewhat dry?
You can tell what is wet and what is dry based on discolouration. You should notice a line where it’s darker and wet.
- If the entire diaper is a darker colour than it’s probably a lack of absorbency.
- This means you need more, or better, cloth diaper absorbency.
- If the diaper is half dark, half light, it’s probably a fit issue or a performance issue.
- sometimes the issue is the material is incapable of performing the way you need it to be, and honestly there isn’t a cut or dry answer here because many different textiles perform differently based on blend, weave, and more.
- sometimes the issue is fit and pee is escaping the diaper.
It’s Maxed Out! I need MORE absorbency.
You can choose to add absorbency or you can choose a new cloth diaper. This is where absorbency lists come in handy. They come in handy because they help you understand where the product you currently use lines up to other products. Say, you max out the LHK Supreme… find a diaper with an absorbency rating above it.
- Try a Booster because it can be a low cost commitment. Boosters can be fancy hemp blend like Geffenbaby or they can be simple cotton socks and wipes. You’d be surprised the power of something tiny.
- Try a Different Absorbency Combo – I think about how I use a GeffenBaby hemp insert with my GroVia ONE because it gives me a better fit and performance than the inserts it comes with. Sometimes playing around with the order of the inserts/boosters, and the products between brands can give you the desired outcome.
- Try a New Cloth Diaper – if you can’t make what’s in your stash work, then try something you don’t have. The first instinct you might have is to buy the fanciest gizmo and fitted cloth diaper, but you don’t need all those things. You can start simple and small
- Start with a repurposed material like a receiving blanket or cotton t-shirt, both of these materials can hold upwards of 15-20 oz depending on the size and quality.
- Try heavy wetter approved diapers – but know that terminology is vague and nobody has an industry standard of what it means. Here are some diapers that worked for me with my light wetter and for my heavy wetter.
- Prefolds can be a great starting point, they are cheaper per ounce and can work with pockets, covers, and more. Hemp prefolds can be a great choice, here’s a comparison of the Geffen Baby and Smart Bottoms prefolds.
- All In One diapers tend to be a better choice for light wetters as they max out around 10-12 ounces.
- Pockets can be customized, you can replace the inserts with flats, prefolds, or a combo of inserts.
- Fitted diapers – these are a great choice for heavy wetters. They can be costly, but might be worth the adventure. Check out how the Nuggles and Sloomb Fitted diaper compare. Or maybe check out the super affordable Pooters Diaper.
- Reach for support with your cloth diaper retailer, brand, or support group to help find a cloth diaper strategy that works for your family. Many minds can make light work.
It’s leaking! Maybe a better cover?
Finding a better fit isn’t always the easiest task. It can mean fiddling around with the fit of the elastics, and shape of the diaper. Consider how some cloth diaper covers are better suited for fitted diapers, and some do not. Sometimes a diaper can handle the bulk of the inserts, sometimes you need an extra gusset or better design. Not all diapers work for all situations.
Sometimes it’s the elastics. Sometimes it’s the PUL/TPU.
PUL/TPU keeps things dry, but if a lot of moisture is heavily pushed against the material it will absorb and get wet. As soon as the exterior cotton of the diaper gets wet, the whole thing begins to leak and get wet. The gaol is to keep the liquid inside the diaper at all time.
Find a better cover, better pocket, better elastic gusset, or consider using fleece and wool.
- Wool or Fleece Covers/Pants: Wool & Fleece won’t fix significant absorbency problems, but they will help keep your bed dry. Wool catches about 30% of the absorbency with a solid lane layer, and fleece will also help create a water barrier between baby and the sheets.
- Humbird Interlock Wool covers are my go-to solution for fitted diapers at night.
- Fleece PJ’s: It’s not going to solve a massive saturation of your diaper, but if you just get the occasional dampness on cotton PJ’s, Fleece PJ’s will keep that dampness of the sheets.
- My Bummi’s AIO night time combo is like exactly 100% saturated when she’s had a high fluid intake and the seams begin to get a little leaky, but the bed doesn’t get wet if I put her to bed in a fleece sleeper.
- Peapod Mat: For those times that life happens, you need a peapod mat. Whether it’s a cloth diaper or a disposable, accidents happen. Whether its diaper related or other gushes of bodily fluids, wet does happen. A Peapod mat is the best purchase you can make. I have zero regrets. Now instead of fighting with sheets, I just wash the mat. And in the middle of the night, I take it off and go straight back to sleep.
Perhaps the most obvious: Check your Fit!
If your diapers leak or make the bed wet sometimes it’s just a matter of fit. If there’s a gap between the diaper and the child, that’s a hole pee can escape from.
Sometimes finding the right tight fit for your child’s body isn’t’ as easy as you might expect. I do believe all diapers fit all kids with the right tricks; not everyone can get a seamless fit.
Too much bulk will lead to leg gaps. Trying to find a more absorbent and trimmer option will help cut down the bulk of the legs. This is why people love flats or fitted diapers. The same absorbency can be spread thruout the diaper when folded or snapped on.
Opening rise settings too early can lead to leg gaps. Finding the perfect rise snap can be a little bit of a challenge when combatting bulky diapers and gaping bum cracks. You might find the rise settings in your overnight diaper different than your daytime diaper. When in doubt pull up those wings. I know, I hate a wing lift, but it does help keep the gaps off the thighs.
There are many other things that can lead to a poor fitting and be leaking diaper. Feel free to share with me your best example. There’s nothing like waking up wet because someone put a diaper on backwards, or forgot to put the diaper in the crease of the legs.
So, whats your next step for a leaky overnight cloth diaper?
Will you try some wool or a fitted diaper? Need more specific advice leave a comment below.
I know tonight she’s going to bed in fleece jammies because who knows if she’ll max out that Nuggles Fitted tonight. She didn’t last week. If she keeps doing it, then I’ll look at adding a booster or trying a different fitted cloth diaper.