Using Pocket Diapers at Night

Like some cloth diaper users, I assumed that disposables were the best option for nights, but felt conflicted about chucking them into the trash just to buy us a bit of rest.  I posted about the battle between my exhaustion and my eco-guilt here.

A few weeks ago Roscoe solved the problem himself by wetting through his disposables two nights in a row.  Erin, Wendy, and Alissa all submitted comments to my “Nighttime Diaper Dilemma” post that recommended using a pocket diaper with extra inserts.  In sleepy desperation we gave it a try.  The result was blissful slumber and a clear conscience!

Although I was originally a staunch supporter of prefolds with covers, I have come to love our pocket diapers for their convenience and aesthetic appeal. A pocket diaper consists of a diaper cover lined in a moisture wicking layer.  There is a pocket between the outer cover and the liner where you insert a long terry cloth pad to soak up moisture.  Since you insert the pads while you’re folding the laundry, it makes for a more convenient diaper change than prefolds. 

The only downside is that you have to wash the entire diaper every time.  With prefolds you can often just rinse the cover so that it can be used again.  Since we’re trying to lighten the laundry loads we do around here, we use prefolds during the day and save our pocket diapers for nighttime use.

We use three main brands of pocket diapers, all of which I love for varying reasons.

Fuzzibunz: These are legendary among cloth diaper users and have gained increasing popularity in recent years.  My favorite features of Fuzzibunz diapers are their snaps.  Roscoe can’t pull them open himself and they adjust for a variety of waist sizes.  These are a hot item at resale shops and can earn up to half their retail price when sold used.

Happy Heiny’s:  This innovative diaper design adjusts with snaps in the front so that it fits baby for a variety of ages.  You can use the same diaper for babies from eight to thirty pounds and the Velcro is tough enough to prevent my son from being able to take off his own diaper. Happy Heiny’s pocket diaper in cow print is beyond cute!

Bum Genius:  These diapers also adjust for babies from 8-30 pounds and use Velcro for the waistband.  They are great quality and would have a high resale value. They come with two inserts: one for daytime and thicker one for nighttime use.

There are many, many more pocket diapers out there but these three are the only ones I’ve tried so far.  I’ve been impressed with their effectiveness, but mainly I’m just happy to be getting a bit more sleep and feeling a bit less guilt.  We’d love to hear about your nighttime cloth diaper victories!



  1. That’s so great that you found a solution to your nighttime diaper dilemma, thanks to our wonderful readers! I just figured out that you’ll save around $50-$100 (or more?) a year with little to no extra work, since you were using cloth diapers the rest of the time anyway. (Even really cheap disposable diapers cost about $.15 each, and $.15 x 365 = $54.75.)

  2. Hi, Joy! Its Joanne, Eileens sister : ) This is exactly what we have been doing since Gabriel was born. We loved the way they kept his bum dry all night so much we went ahead and got some more, for outings etc. Just wanted to weigh in on the types:
    love the Fuzzibunz, great fit, easy to use
    The Happy Heiney we have almost always leaks, so I am not a fan
    The Bum Genius truly are genius and I don’t know how they do it, but they truly fit all sizes well.
    We have some Wonderworks that are also supposed to be one size, but they don’t really work well in the smaller sizes.
    But, my absolute FAVORITE pocket diaper, is one used Green Acres Design that was thrown in a lot from an ebay auction. Great fit, the trimmest of all (fits like a disposable!) and never leaks. I wish I had spend my wad on more of those!

  3. We just switched to cloth and are using bumGenius and I do love them. My 2 yr old was soaking through her disposables every night and my newborn was blowing out at least once a day now we have neither problem! Hurray!

  4. Hi Joanne! Good to see you here.=)

    I keep wavering on this. My youngest is 4 and he is just using a pull-up at night. Some nights he actually wakes up dry. I just am not sure how much longer we’re going to need these things and the start up costs are significant. I figure I would need 7 because I can’t guarantee being able to do laundry more than once a week. If I’d started out using these, of course it would have been a savings, but now I keep thinking that any day we’ll be all done. Anybody want to go halfsies on the bigger size to be saved for your little one when he’s a preschooler?

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