When I think of using cloth diapers at night, I think of Nighttime Diapering: The Final Frontier. Often I’ll talk with parents who have switched to cloth diapers but still use disposables at night. I’m here to tell you, though, it IS POSSIBLE to use cloth diapers at night without leaks. What throws most people for a loop is that you can’t necessarily use your daytime cloth diapers at night. Take our family, for example. We put John Paul (3 months old) in all-in-one’s during the daytime: either BumGenius Elementals, Bummis EasyFit’s, or Bottombumpers. We like AIO’s because they’re easy and they’re trim. At night, though, they’re just not absorbent enough for a baby who is nursing – and wetting – all night long.
Sometimes if you use pocket diapers, you can make them work for nighttime by adding an extra insert (or two) into the diaper. The problem you can run into though if you do this, is that the diaper gets so stuffed with absorbency that the leg elastic sticks out and won’t fit snugly around the baby’s legs. When this happens, you get leaks.
My go-to recommendation for nighttime diapering is a very absorbent fitted diaper with a separate cover on top. We like the Tiny Tush Trim with an extra doubler (here: http://www.babiesbottomsandmore.com/tituonesifid.html), or the Happy Hempy’s one-size stuffed with several hemp, cotton, and/or microfiber inserts (here, buy inserts separately: http://www.babiesbottomsandmore.com/hahewifl.html). Both of these are one-size fitted diapers, meaning you have to use a cover with them.
For the cover, usually a regular PUL cover like the Thirsties Duo Wrap, Bummis Super Whisper Wrap, or Flip cover works fine but for ultimate bulletproof protection, wool is your solution. We had a couple nights with small leaks around the legs with John Paul, so I tried putting him in a Tiny Tush Wool Soaker (here: http://www.babiesbottomsandmore.com/tiny-tush-organic-wool-soaker.html). Magic! His diaper lasts through the night with no leaks now. The wool is waterproof after I treated it with lanolin spray, and we just air dry it each morning and it’s ready to go again at night. Wool is odor-resistant so you don’t have to wash it until it starts to smell – usually about every 3-4 weeks if you’re only using it at night.