Friday, October 4, 2013

Nighttime Cloth Diapering: Our Discoveries


We have had a remarkably easy time in our cloth diaper journey so far. I would even go as far as to say it's been the one thing through motherhood I haven't questioned...until now.

Let me back up and walk you through it.

  1. The 4 Month Sleep Regression is real. 
  2. In this Sleep Regression Billy flipped a switch and became the ultimate heavy wetter of all wetters. Cloth diaper professionals cannot believe how this kid wets at (almost) 5 months old. 
  3. I haven't slept in 5 weeks or so. 
  4. I started to think "Maybe disposables at night would work"
Ok. Now we can continue, since you basically have the whole backstory. 

Previously, I was using our newborn cotton prefolds as inserts in BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers for nighttime diapering. It worked beautifully!
Then the heavy wetting kicked in and I began using BumGenius Freetime AIO diapers for nights. Which worked for....oh, I dunno. One week? 

I started researching what CD moms of heavy wetters use and learned hemp is the ultimate end-all-be-all. So I bought hemp! And we still had issues. 
Then, I discovered a local used cloth diaper retailer, Suburban Diaper, minutes from my home. Thank you, thank you, thank you, God. She had a sale so a friend and I met and went together with our babies. The woman was SO friendly and willing to talk through our heavy wetting issues and offered a few suggestions to try. 

She recommended trying fitteds, but Billy's issues weren't all from absorbency, they were from him waking from feeling the wetness, so I knew pockets were the right answer. The sleep regression was over, but my baby was still waking every 2+ hours at night.

Then she recommended a few different inserts to try but they were $5 each. I was using 3 inserts per diaper and changing diapers 3x/night. I couldn't afford that!! 

At the time, I had just received my Hemp Babies in the mail, so I wanted to give them a shot to see what happened. I bought a few covers and AIOs from the sale and went on my merry way.

At this point, I was using a microfiber insert, a NB cotton prefold (trifolded) and a Hemp Baby doubler in a diaper change at night and it would last 2 hours. 

I tried every combination. Microfiber with hemp little weeds. cotton prefold with a hemp doubler, microfiber sandwich with a hemp little weeds in the middle....EVERYTHING produced leaks or Billy would wake from wetness through the fleece liner of his 4.0. 

The reason? I was overstuffing my pockets and getting leaks because the leg holes were gapping. Once I started using hemp he wouldn't leak urine, but if he had a #2 it would leak. He was still waking to be changed every few hours because he was still feeling the wetness. 
In a state of desperation, I visited my local used CD retailer again and purchased the inserts she suggested. 

Last night instead of 3 diaper changes he only had 1! Can you hear me cheering!? 

After weeks of playing and adjusting and experimenting, I have found THREE night solutions that last about 6 hours for Billy. They are: 
  • Best Bottoms Overnight Insert ($5 - used) w/ 1 Hemp Babies Doubler ($3 - new) in a 4.0 ($11 - seconds sales). That's it! No leaks, snug and trim fit and one dry, happy baby for most of the night. 
  • BG Freetime AIO ($13 - seconds sale) w/ 1 Hemp Babies Doubler ($3 - new) tucked in UNDER both microfiber layers. This is bulkier, but is very absorbent! The hemp is what makes the difference. 
  • 1 microfiber insert ($1.50 ea, used), 1 hemp little weeds ($5.95 - new), another microfiber insert, topped with a fleece liner closest to his skin, tucked into a Blueberry OS aplix cover. This is the bulkiest option but it works really well! With the aplix I am able to get a snug fit around his legs despite the bulkiness of the bottom 
I also purchased charcoal bamboo inserts ($5 ea) to try, as they are said to be as absorbent as the Best Bottoms. 
I'm looking forward to trying the charcoal bamboo tonight! I will be pairing it again with hemp, as I've learned the hemp helps wick the extra moisture away from his skin. 

I've learned that nighttime diapering is not all about quantity (of inserts), it's about quality (of fabrics)!

My new friend Mary from Suburban Diaper taught me that hemp is the most absorbent fabric, but it is a slow absorber, so my tricks with Billy weren't working because I was just using the wrong combination of the fabrics I had.

With these new solutions I have fabrics that are fast to absorb, topping the hemp, which absorbs the moisture away from the microfibers. This keeps Billy feeling dry and holds maximum wetness! 

What a journey! Do you use cloth at night with a heavy wetter? What is your best trick? 

*****UPDATE***** The charcoal bamboo is the winner. It absorbed better than everything else we have tried!! I will be returning to Suburban Diaper to pick up a few more - the absorbency of the bamboo paired with the hemp was a slam-dunk and SOO TRIM! Absolutely love this combo for nights. HOORAY!!!


  1. I have to tell you that while on our honeymoon Greg & I discussed babies and I informed him after listening and reading all about your cloth diaper obsession I've decided that when the time comes we are cloth diapering our children. LOL So don't be surprised is I start racking your brain for more details in the future about this! LOL

  2. First of all, loving the new blog layout! I don't cloth diaper, but we are struggling with the 4 month sleep regression. At 3 months, like magic, he started sleeping through the night. Then BAM! 4 months, waking up 2-3 times per night. Ugh. My pediatrician thinks my milk supply may be decreasing causing Mason to wake up and feed in the middle of the night :( Boo.

    1. Thank you!! I'm very happy with how the new layout turned out.

      I'm so sorry to hear about your supply issues!! The sleep regression is such a bear. I stopped nursing Billy every time he woke, because it seemed it would only encourage him to wake more...which I didn't know was possible!!! So I limit his nursing sessions to twice a night. I hope your supply picks back up again - drink loads of water! Also, I notice a big difference in my supply when my period is due. Keep on nursing mama!! Xo

  3. Yes 4 Month Sleep regression sucks! LOL. Ours is getting better but something is up with her the last three days. I'm thinking maybe a growth spurt. I'm glad you figured out the night time situation. I was still doing disposables at night because I had SO many of my Honest left. Last night I did her Bumkins prefolds and they worked great. I change her when I feed her (which is twice a night) but they really weren't even that wet!

    1. That's great about the Bumkins Sasha!! I read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and learned you "shouldn't" change babes at night if you can help it, so he was going a full 12 hours in one jumping from that to 2-3 hours was such a nuisance! It's a relief to have it figured out, and I've decided books don't know everything. My kid needs a diaper at night and if that means it takes him a few extra minutes to get sleepy again, so be it! He's resilient, he'll be alright :)