Why don’ t you . . . use cloth diapers at night?

This post is a part of the illuminating Why don’t you” series. No judgment! We’re just curious.

This is a subject close to Joy’s heart.  She’s written about it several times on the Green Baby Guide, and we devoted a section to it in The Eco-nomical Baby Guide. Readers have offered commiseration, tips, and product recommendations, but nothing helped contain the leaks or prevent yeast infections.

I, on the other hand, simply used two prefolds inside a larger diaper cover at night and never had any problems at all.

But what about you other cloth diapering parents—do you use disposables at night? Why?


  1. Ugh… yes, I used disposables at night. Why? leaks, leaks, leaks! My son was a heavy nighttime wetter and it seems nothing could contain the wet! I tried extra liners in the diaper, hemp doublers, whatever I could think of but they leaked regularly at night. Normal disposables didn’t work either — I ended up going to Huggies Overnights and even those weren’t 100% reliable. We could have cut down on his evening drinks, but I’m a big believer that if you’re thirsty it means you need hydration, so I didn’t cut back!

  2. Yes, I use disposables at night. I have not found cloth diapers that work overnight, and don’t have the money to keep buying some to try out. I bought some special “night time” diapers, and when they didn’t work, I just went back to disposables.

  3. We have had absolutely no problem with leaks at all for either child, and we’ve used a variety of cloth diapers — prefolds in covers, bum genius, and now flats at night. Our primary problem is diaper rash. Never a problem with our first and a regular problem with our second. When it flares up, we often switch to disposables at night so that we can really grease the baby’s bum up.

  4. My 3rd child is now the last in diapers. To be honest we haven’t even tried cloth diapers on him at night. At first it was because my husband did the overnight diaper changes and he refuses to use cloth… but by about 1 month old he was sleeping all night. He is 5 months now and still sleeps about 12 hours a night. My other children only slept 7-8 hour stretches at night and no matter what brand or style of cloth I used, they leaked. My 2nd child also had yeast diaper rashes that were horrible and using cloth overnight made it worse. I couldn’t bare to worsen what looked horribly painful already, and all the extra laundry from the diapers to the leaked on clothing and sheets every single morning just isn’t worth using one disposable diaper per day.

  5. I’ve always used cloth at night! My little girl is a heavy wetter, and sleeps up to seven hours at a time at night. I use Fuzzi Bunz with two or three inserts, and we have never had a problem with nighttime leaks. She has gotten a few diaper rashes, but I use Burts Bees cornstarch baby powder on them with a diaper liner in the FB at night, and that clears the problem right up without compromising the integrity of the diaper. Bottom line? My diapers are soaked all the way through when she wakes in the morning, but we have never had a leak!

  6. I actually had the opposite experience. My first always leaked through disposables, even nighttime disposables — at least 2-3 nights per week. When I started using cloth, we had some leakage, but after spending some time brainstorming on the phone with Jillian’s Drawers customer service, we came up with some possible solutions, and one worked! Now, my 2nd pees even MORE than my first, and here is what has worked with her: BumGenius stuffed with insert plus TWO hemp inserts and then cover the BG cover with a Thirsties cover (next size up from usual size) b/c the Thirsties is more waterproof. I’ve heard fleece and wool covers work well at night too. We’ve never had yeasty rashes. My sister always switches to disposables with tons of diaper cream when there’s a rash. I’ve had great luck with Burt’s Bee’s with cloth diapers BTW. It’s super thick, stays put, but has no petroleum products and washes off cloth fine.

  7. I also use disposables at night. We probably wouldn’t have to now, but when she was younger we would always have leaks and my sleep (and her sleep) became more important than using cloth at night. I have also been afraid to try and diaper ointment with the cloth diapers, even though I know some are safe, I just couldn’t bear to ruin a diaper!

  8. Shannon F. says:

    My daughter never leaked at night with cloth, but would wake up in the morning with a severe rash 3 nights out of the week. Often it would take the day for the rash to go away, only to wake up with it again the next morning. After she had a rash that was so bad it blistered, I gave in and now use disposables at night. I have no guilt whatsoever about this – it’s for my daughter’s health and it’s one daiper a day. I can live with that.

  9. I did use cloth at night, for at least a year. But as my daughter got older, we had more and more and more leaky nights. And washing nighttime cloth diapers took some work. I tried to troubleshoot. But one day I realized one disposable diaper each night has minimal impact compared to the water I was pouring into multiple wash cycles, and that I would enjoy my beloved pockets more if I could use them during the day instead of trying to make them work for nights.

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