The ultimate guide to using cloth nappies at night

One of the most common questions we get is 'What are Night Nappies?'
Night nappies are simply nappies that have enough absorbency to last overnight without any changes!

In other words, a night nappy can be anything you choose, so long as it has enough absorbency to hold your babies wee output all night long. For some this is a normal day nappy and for others with heavier wetters it may be a dedicated night nappy.

We understand that getting started with reusable nappies overnight can often seem daunting but it is really nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it is really just a matter of finding the right nappy for your baby!

Read on below to get the low down on night nappies and our top recommendations...

The Newborn Stage

During the newborn stage you generally don't need to bother with night nappies. Newborns wake and feed frequently during the night and for the first 6 weeks or so they normally poo every feed which means they will need changing throughout the night. Simply carry on using the same reusable nappies that you use during the day such as the Grovia Buttah Newborn NappyBaby Beehinds Easy All in One Nappy or a Prefold and Cover system.

Note: You should aim to change your babies nappy as soon as you identified that they have pooped, this protects their skin from harmful bacteria and rashes occurring.

Once your newborn has stopped pooing overnight or they are sleeping longer stretches you may need to add a little more absorbency to the nappy with a booster like the Bare and Boho Trifold Night Booster or Bare and Boho Newborn Stay-Dry Booster.

Beyond Newborn

Once your baby has grown out of the newborn stage, sleeping longer (hopefully) or simply not pooing overnight then you may find that you will need to reassess your overnight nappy system.

From around the 4-6 month mark, your babies wee output will start to really increase and peak and this is often a time where parents begin to find what they were using before isn't working anymore.
Not to worry though, read on to find out the different types of night nappies on offer and how to figure out what is best for your baby!

How to choose a night nappy

There is no hard and fast answer to this question, some simply babies don't wee much overnight and some do. The aim of the game is simply figuring out how much absorbency you need for your baby.

Light to Moderate Wetter

If your baby is a light - moderate wetter, you may be able to use a good quality  day nappy with decent absorbency such as an Econaps Convertible Nappy. These nappies have 12 layers of bamboo which make them highly absorbent. If you find a slight leak or wetness in the morning then you may need to add an extra booster such as the Econaps Trifold Night Kit. 

Tips -

  • We don't recommend the use of microfibre overnight, microfibre is not as absorbent as natural fibres like cotton, bamboo or hemp and tends to release liquid when compressed making it prone to leaks.
  • When adding a booster to a nappy, make sure you are still able to get a good seal around the leg to ensure no leakage.

Another great option for a moderate wetter is the Grovia Buttah ONE, this nappy is nappy is a mix between a day nappy and a night nappy as it contains absorbency in both the shell and the inserts making it highly absorbent without the added bulk. 

If you already use a highly absorbent nappy like this during the day and have a feeling that it won't last overnight, or you find that your baby is soaked through then this is a good indication that you may need to move to a dedicated Night Nappy.

Dedicated Night Nappies

Dedicated night nappies are designed specifically for overnight use and contain many layers of super absorbent material to last all night. They are usually a 'Fitted' or 'Two Part' style which means that the whole nappy is absorbent and you use a cover over the top. A two part system gives both the ability to easily add more absorbency when needed and essentially provides two barriers of protection against leaks.

Loved by many and our go-to with our super heavy wetting, tummy sleeping boy is the Baby Beehinds Night Nappy. In our experience it is the most absorbent Night Nappy on the market and our top recommendation for those with heavier wetters or that simply want to purchase a system without having to go through all the trial and error. 

Because Fitted Nappies (read more about different nappy styles here) are completely absorbent you will need to use a cover over the top such as the Baby Beehinds Nappy Cover or our absolute favourite and ultimate solution for the heaviest of wetters - the Merino Wool Cover!

 

Wool Nappy Covers

Wool covers provide a much superior leak protection than any other nappy cover or system which is why they are commonly used at night for heavier wetters. 

Read our Ultimate Guide to Wool Covers here.

Washing Night Nappies

When you start using reusable nappies for longer periods of time for example overnight or nappies with a lot of absorbent layers than you may need to tweak your washing routine to ensure they are sufficiently cleaned. 

Our tips f

  • Prewash daily with either the previous days nappies or in the evening.
  • Use good quality mainstream detergent such as Persil
  • If using plant-based detergent consider using 1.5 or 2x the recommended dose.
  • Ensure you are washing on 40° - 60° cycles.

Read more about washing cloth nappies here.

Tips for getting started with night nappies

  • Don't be afraid, just give it a go!
  • The majority of babies will be able to use an absorbent day nappy without having to have a dedicated night nappy. 
  • We don't recommend attempting to use microfibre overnight, opt for more absorbent fibres like cotton, bamboo or hemp.
  • When adding absorbency to a day nappy, ensure you are still getting a good leg seal. If you are no longer getting a good seal go to a fitted nappy.
  • Don't be afraid, just give it a go!
  • The majority of babies will be able to use an absorbent day nappy without having to have a dedicated night nappy. 
  • We don't recommend attempting to use microfibre overnight, opt for more absorbent fibres like cotton, bamboo or hemp.
  • When adding absorbency to a day nappy, ensure you are still getting a good leg seal. If you are no longer getting a good seal go to a fitted nappy.
  • Customise the absorbency in the nappy for your babies sleeping position. For example, fold in half and place to the front for tummy sleepers/back for back sleepers. 
  • If you have an ultra heavy wetter (out-wetting multiple disposables overnight) then we recommend the Baby Beehinds Night Nappy with a Wool Cover. This has proven to be bomb proof over and over for the heaviest of wetters. Easily add an extra absorbent booster like the Econaps Night Trifold Kit in-between the outside of the nappy and the inside of the wool cover either to the back or the front depending on what position they sleep in.

 

Transitioning to reusable nappies overnight is one of favourite topics, we love chatting to our community so if you have any questions about starting or if you need help troubleshooting a particularly heavy wetter (been there) we are here to help!
Simply chat to us on Instagram or Messenger @tushiestore or email hello@tushie.co.nz

 

 

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