Overnight Solutions for Cloth Diapering

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Many cloth diapering mothers use disposables at night because of heavy wetters. I can understand. For the longest time we were having leaks at night until I asked around and got some good advice from other cloth diapering mothers. I’ve actually tried several different diapering options and all of them have helped my babies to stay dry all night. Here they are:

Hemp Prefolds: Pair a Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefold and a Thirsties Hemp doubler in the cover of your choice (you can find Thirsties products at Kelly’s Closet, Nicki’s, Sweetbottoms Baby and Diaper Junction). Geffen’s hemp jersey prefolds and inserts can also be used alone or as boosters in your current system.

Best Bottom: Not only are the Best Bottom PUL covers very sturdy and thick, but when you pair the overnight insert with a regular insert (especially the hemp or bamboo), the combo is very absorbent. Nicki’s sells the Best Bottom line. They have TONS of prints and colors!

Diaper Rite AIO: Another budget-friendly option is the new Diaper Rite bamboo All-in-One. Reasonably priced at just $15.95, it contains 10 absorbent layers of bamboo terry.

Fitteds: Every part of a fitted diaper (front, back, wings, center) is absorbent, which is why they are a natural choice for heavy wetters. The Nicki’s Overnight Bamboo Fitted is a good choice for smaller budgets, butdon’t overlook the “miracle diapers” from Sustainablebabyish. They are well-known in the cloth diapering world for their overnight soaking power. You can get them with or without snaps. Pair a fitted diaper with your favorite PUL or wool cover. Another of my favorite nighttime fitteds is the Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch Fitted. It is the softest, silkiest diaper in my stash. You can find a very diverse selection of fitted diapers at Nicki’s and Kelly’s Closet.

Pockets: If you have a pocket diaper with a generous opening, stuff it with two microfiber inserts, or 1 microfiber and 1 hemp. Make sure the hemp is under the microfiber. Microfiber will pull the moisture in quickly and the slow and steady hemp will lock it away.

One of the cheapest night time diapers on the market (about $12) is the Kawaii GoodNight Heavy Wetter, which has worked great for us.

Wool Works: Actually, it’s probably superior to PUL when it comes to overnight diapering. It’s super absorbent and breathable and doesn’t have to be washed very often. One good wool cover is equal to several cheaper PUL covers. Kelly’s Closet has a good selection, including EcoPosh and Sustainablebabyish. Nicki’s has also added its own branded affordable line of wool covers. Not sure about wool or worried it’s too complicated? Read my Wool 101 post!

Some more helpful tips:

Rashes: If using natural fabrics to get your baby through the night, you might want to consider adding a stay-dry liner because your child’s skin is going to be pressed up against that wetness for possibly 12 hours or more. For many babies this can be irritating and they’ll wake up with a rash in the morning. Alternately, you can apply a thick layer of cloth-diaper safe cream if your child seems sensitive to excessive wetness.

Too Much Bulk: Be careful about doubling up prefolds (or even tripling!) because too much bulk can cause your cover to “gape open” at the legs or waist, thereby letting leaks slip out. If you want to double up prefolds try pairing an infant prefold with a preemie prefold instead.

Placement: How and where you place or fold your diaper can make a lot of difference, especially for boys. As a mother, you’ll learn over time where they wet the most by looking at the diaper each time you change them. Make sure your doubler or your thickest layers are in that spot for night time. As a general rule, boys need more absorbency up front and girls need more in the back. Little boys also tend to wet towards one side or the other, which you’ll discover by finding leaks out of just one leg opening. Make sure he’s always pointed straight before fastening the diaper.

Here’s to a good night and a DRY morning! Please share your night time diapering solutions below in a comment.

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  1. Yes, that picture is just perfect! And it’s sad to say that I go to sleep late so hubs put the baby to bed every night and uses a disposable. Good thing is that she hardly wets it now since she started potty training.

  2. Love this Anne!! I use Pf with a fleece liner to stay dry!! And a cover such as a flip, Thirsties wrap, oeko popo, or BG 4.0 double stuffed

  3. I need to try adding a hemp insert to my pocket diapers! Right now I just use 2 microfiber inserts for overnight…

  4. My little guy doesn’t sleep that long, usually from around 6 hours at his biggest time block, so we have had zero leak issues with him so far. My toddler holds it all night, and then opens the floodgates though! We are trying to potty train him but he’s really uninterested. Like pees without even realizing it. At least that is how it seems. I do use a couple Thirsties hemp prefolds for my night time diapers though. They work really nice!

  5. I made my daughter a fleece soaker and we pair it with microfiber inserts and bamboo or hemp under. It works great and keeps her bed dry.

  6. I’ve heard fleece soakers over the entire night ensemble are great! i’m asking a friend to lend me her pattern so i can knit some of my own.

  7. We use the use the best bottom liner and doubler soaker. with any cover available since she cant fit in the best bottom ones anymore and my daughter is a very heavy wetter and it works great the only time she leaks it is if she has the diaper on for over 13 hrs.

  8. Great tips! We use fitteds and a best bottom insert at night. The fitteds are cotton so we add the best bottom on top to make it stay dry and add some absorbancy. We always use wool covers at night. They are AMAZING!

  9. Thanks for this post. We are due with our first in September. We will be cloth diapering for sure. Talking with other local moms they always suggest I consider disposable during the night. I dont want to so this post is great! Thanks for all the suggestions and sharing it is possible 🙂

  10. I love using a wool cover or even wool pants for night time. My Little one is 22 months & I think he drinks more at night, he is soaking when he wakes up. Great Solutions!!

  11. Thank you for sharing so MANY possible choices. As you know babies can be so different. It is also great that you listed places these diapering items can be found.
    Gladys Parker

  12. We chose to the pocket route with two inserts for my son. We use bumGenius though. We have NEVER had an issue with leaking or anything like that, but he is not a heavy wetter regardless.

  13. Thanks for the info- so helpful! We’ve been successful with a pocket, 2 microfiber inserts and a Joeybunz Premium hemp insert, but I feel like baby girl won’t stay dry with that as she gets older. I was afraid to try fitteds because I had no idea what to buy for overnight diapering, but you’ve given me some ideas! Thanks again!

  14. We use a Thirsties fitted with a hemp doubler and a smarti pants cover (they run really huge). Works well for us.

    Also I’ve used a yard of flannel with a flannel receiving blanket both origami folded at night. That works too, although it’s bulky and does leave rash issues. I think next time I try that again I’ll use a fleece liner.

  15. I love this post! I’m just starting with cloth during the day, and I’m a little scared about using it at night because I have a super heavy wetter. This will help me a lot! Thank you!

  16. I usually use a fitted with an extra doubler but I’ve been wanting to try the KaWaii Goodnight diaper. Thanks for the tips on where to get things.

  17. We have actually started using bamboo and we love it. But we also love our oeko poppo. I just need more. 🙂

  18. I love using fitteds but they are hard for me to get clean, the build up I get in them gives my baby ammonia burns. I am thinking of trying flats as inserts in a pocket diaper because I have heard that they are really easy to clean.

  19. Thanks for your tips, i usually use just two bamboo insert at night and they work really well

  20. Thank you for all this info. Great thinking out of the box mixing things up. Going to try some of these ideas!! Great post!!

  21. Thanks for the tip on using hemp under the microfiber. We currently use a MotherEase fitted doubled up, but I’d like to try hemp or bamboo because the terry cotton gets so bulky!

  22. This is a nice list of options. We figured out a pretty simple system that works for our first, but I will bookmark this in case we need something else for our next!

  23. Thanks for the info. I have ben having some trouble with finding something that works…I will be trying some of these tips. Hopefully I will find a working idea with in the info you gave.

  24. Now that my son is getting older, he’s turning into a heavy wetter. I really need to look into those hemp fitteds!! Thanks for thesuggestion

  25. I’ve heard hemp is wonderful and the absolute best overnight solution. Going to have to give it a try once he’s born!

  26. I haven’t actually started cloth diapering yet, but I was wondering if there were any good tips for overnight. So glad I read your helpful tips. I’m going to bookmark this page! It’s good to know you can mix inserts and liners together. Thanks for all the helpful information.

  27. I still have not found a night time solution but after reading this there are a couple of brands that I am going to look at! Love how you broke it down an offered different solutions, thanks so much 🙂

    • Britni, I’ve only ever tried the Disana pull wool cover and loved it, so I can definitely recommend that one! You can get it at Little Spruce Organics for 20% off coupon code ZH20.

      Thanks for your question!

      • Update – the Organic Caboose covers are great, too, and they are “wrap” style. Also available at Little Spruce. The new coupon code is ZH15. ~Anne

  28. I’ve bookmarked this page to come back to, when I get to diapering (LO due 9/1) this is thorough and educational, THANK YOU!

  29. Till today i didn’t know that hemp should be placed back of microfibre , very informative post, thanks

  30. I love your ideas. I also use felted delanolized wool that I place 2 cotton pieces of cotton flannel on top and on beneath and sew them together. I place this behind any of they stay try liners in cloth diapers sometimes I even place 2 of these doublers in the diaper because wool holds so much liquid with out getting saturated

  31. Thanks for the post. After trial and error we found that Thirsties fitted with a Duo wrap work great for us.

  32. I had 2 heavy night wetting children. What worked for mine was an indin cotton prefold, a Thirsties hemp doubler, and the Thirsties Duo wrap…no leaks, EVER!

  33. We actually do not cloth diaper at night because of the strong ammonia smell by morning, regardless of how wet the diaper is. During the day I have great success with Bumgenius and prefolds with Thirsties covers. I am just not sure what to try at night that won’t smell so terrible by morning.. any suggestions are very appreciated!!

    • Hmmm, sounds like there might be build-up in your diapers, Nicole. Fitteds and thick prefolds can be harder to get clean because of the multiple layers and highly absorbent fabrics. You might try a good diaper stripping with Dawn, and then do a few hot washes with multiple rinses. You might also try flats because they wash so easily and are not as prone to build-up. Feel free to use the Contact Me link at the very top of my website if you need to chat more. Thanks for commenting! ~Anne

  34. Nicole, that’s EXACTLY what happens to us.

    I’ve stripped, used RLR, hot wash, more soap/less soap, more water, daily washing, different soap brands, vinegar, put them in the sun, etc….nothing seems to work. As much as I hate the smell of disposables (not to mention the other stuff about them…), my husband just won’t go with the smelly cloth at night. I can’t wait to hear what works for you!!

    And, I must say, it does make for a rather nasty nighttime nursing session when he’s stinking up a storm. 🙂

    (We use prefolds, IttiBitti, and FuzziBunz. They all smell at night. )

    • Hi Katie,

      Wow, you’ve tried a lot of things, too! Have you considered flat diapers since they are only 1 layer and don’t hold onto odors? Bamboo inserts might also help since it’s naturally antimicrobial. And although it takes a little more care, wool is pretty amazing at neutralizing odors, even when it gets wet overnight. Feel free to use the “Contact Me” link above if you have any more questions or just want to chat!


  35. I will need to implement this with my night time wetter. I have tried a pocket and cover which does work- but sometimes I forget to put on a cover. The AIO’s are thicker. and tend to work better. I haven’t tried hemp yet. 🙂

  36. This is a very helpful post! I’m bookmarking it for when baby comes. Seems like hemp is really the way to go. I’m very interested in the Best Bottoms covers too.

  37. We love fitteds for night time… but i may try a geffen baby prefold in a bigger size soon. They just absorb sooo much. It may work 🙂

  38. Thanks for all the tips!! I am currently struggling with our nighttime cloth diaper routine because my 2nd kiddo is SUCH a heavy night wetter (due to the night nursing)!! We’ve resorted to a disposable at night just so the bed isn’t soaked in the morning! I would like to not use the disposables at all. I think I just need to break down and try the wool!!

    • Ashley, I can understand your hesitation with wool. And how using disposables can be a really good option when you just can’t find the right solution with cloth. Feel free to use my contact link above if you want to troubleshoot some more, and I can give you some suggestions based on what hasn’t worked for you thus far. ~Anne