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The beginner's guide to cloth nappies at night

If using cloth nappies at night fills you with trepidation, check out our comprehensive beginner’s guide to leak-free nights.

Babies (many of them, anyway) are crummy sleepers. Once your baby is settling into longer stretches of sleep you’ll want to make sure your precious sleep is not disturbed by a soggy baby and wee-soaked sheets.

When it comes to trepidation about using reusable nappies at night, you're not alone but there are loads of parents out there making cloth nappies work for them. The secret to leak-free nights is choosing a nappy system with a whole load of soaking power!

Most new babies don't sleep through the night, so while you are waking several times to feed and change nappies, you can continue to use whatever cloth nappies you use during the day. As your baby gets older and starts to sleep for longer periods (hopefully!), you will need more absorbent nappies.

The most popular night-time system tends to be a two-parter, consisting of a very absorbent fitted nappy (such as a TotsBots Bamboozle) with a separate outer waterproof cover (like the TotsBots Peenut).

Top Tip #1: Check no fabric or liners are poking out from the waterproof cover as this can wick moisture from the nappy onto your baby's clothes, particularly if they are in the same nappy for an extended period of time.

Depending on how heavy a wetter your baby is, you may need one or two boosters to increase the absorbency of your nappy.

Top Tip #2: When you start adding extra absorbency there can be a tendency to add so much bulk to the nappy that it starts to come away from the crotch or the tummy. Be sure to check your nappy is fitting well by bending and lifting your baby’s legs a bit to see there are no gaps.

Top Tip #3: If you need extra absorbency you can fold an insert and place it outside your fitted nappy – between the nappy and the cover.

You might also wish to try using all-in-ones, twos and pocket nappies for night time. You’ll probably need to add additional boosters to these to increase the absorbency at night. You can mix and match nappies and inserts/boosters - it’s worth experimenting with different combinations. Bamboo, charcoal and hemp boosters are all super absorbent.

Top Tip #4: As babies get bigger, so do their wees! If you find that your nappy is leaking but is not completely saturated, it may be because your baby has flooded the nappy. This happens when a wee is really big and comes out with such force that the fibres in the nappy don’t have time to absorb it. Try adding a natural fibre as the top layer, or better still add a microfibre booster as the first layer as this will draw moisture away very quickly and stop it from running out of the nappy.

Top Tip #5: You may find that placing your boosters in different locations can also help your nappies last longer. For example, folding an insert in half at the front of the nappy (ensuring you have a snug fit at the waist) can work better for little boys or tummy sleepers. If you have a girl baby, add a folded insert to the middle of the nappy. This will increase absorbency where it is needed.

It can take a little trial and error to find a combination that lasts the whole night without leaking. However, it is worth persevering! Once you’ve worked it out, you’re pretty much guaranteed leak-free nights. Enjoy catching those z’s…….

Need help with night-time nappies?

If you need any help or advice, please get in touch.

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