Night Nappies: A Complete Guide To Using Reusable Nappies Overnight

Close Pop-in wraps are a great choice overnight

Choosing reusable night nappies

For most parents choosing reusable nappies to use in the day is easy, but night nappies pose more of a challenge. Modern cloth nappies are easy to use being much the same as disposables to fit, easy to wash, reliable and super cute. But what if you want to use reusable nappies full time? Can you get reliable, leak free reusable nappies that work overnight?

The simple answer is YES! It can sometimes take a little trial and error to find out what works for your baby. Sometimes this can be as simple as adding more absorbency to your existing nappy, or you may need to look at a specific nappy system to work overnight.

If you are a reusable nappy beginner it is far easier to get the hang of using reusable nappies in the day. There are more opportunities to practice getting a good fit and the nappy will be changed more frequently. If you need help with reusable nappy jargon and abbreviations, check out our blog post >HERE<. And if you are needing a quick and simple guide to starting with cloth nappies, check out our guide >HERE<.

Petit Lulu fitted nappy has lots of absorbency

Leak proof night nappy

If you are looking for a leak proof night time nappy then our guide should help you make the right choice. The difference between a reusable nappy you would use in the day and one you would use over-night is all down to absorbency. This is the nappies capacity to absorb and hold on to wee. A night nappy needs to hold a lot of liquid for a long time.

How many night time nappies will I need?

This will depend on how often you want to be washing and your drying facilities. Highly absorbent night nappies, by their nature, usually take a lot longer to dry. Having 3-5 dedicated night nappies will be sufficient if you are washing every 2-3 days. It may be helpful to have some super absorbent boosters as back-ups to convert a day nappy into a night nappy if they haven’t dried in time.

Newborn reusable night nappies

Newborn babies need changing throughout the night for the first few weeks so you probably won’t need the extra absorbency of bulky nappies at this point. Once baby (hopefully) starts sleeping for longer stretches of time its worth investing in 3-5 night nappies that will last all night. Find out more about using reusable nappies from birth in our guide >HERE<.

Newborn Grovia reusable nappy

Why does my baby’s nappy keep leaking overnight?

If your baby is still feeding through the night this can all add up to a LOT of liquid – what goes in, must come out! Nappy leaks are most often down to absorbency capacity or fit. With a night nappy that is totally saturated when you take it off in the morning you will need to add more absorbency with an extra booster (see below).

If there are dry patches and the nappy has still leaked it will be down to fit. Added extra boosters can add extra bulk which can make the nappy gappy and leak. Try adding your boosters to the outside of the nappy and choose a good sized wrap for a great fit. A faster absorbing booster made from microfiber might also do the trick if you have a baby or toddler flooding their nappy first thing in the morning. Find out more about nappy leaks in our troubleshooting guide >HERE<.

Can a reusable nappy last all night?

A good reusable night nappy with plenty of absorbing power will last all night. Our top choice for a nappy that lasts all night with no leaks would be a fitted nappy and a waterproof outer wrap. This is sometimes called a two-part nappy (find out more about the different types on nappy in our easy guide >HERE<).

A fitted nappy is made up entirely of absorbent fabric, this is usually cotton or bamboo. It will need a waterproof outer cover or wrap to keep your baby’s clothes dry and hold the liquid within the nappy. There are several options for waterproof wraps. We recommend those with a double gusset, or a pull-up wrap such as Petit Lulu. There is also a wool pull-up wrap which is loved by experienced reusable nappy parents. These are extremely reliable, but require a bit of extra care to look after them.

Tots Bots Peenut wraps are a reliable cover for Bamboozle fitted nappy

Super soakers – boosters for night time heavy wetters

So you have a heavy wetter that out wees their night nappy? Adding extra boosters will probably help. A booster is an absorbent pad of fabric to add extra absorbing power to your reusable nappy. These can be put inside your fitted nappy, but adding too much bulk can cause leaking around the legs. This can be solved by adding your extra boosters to the outside of the fitted nappy, between the nappy and the wrap.

Another tip is to concentrate the absorbing power of the booster at source. A folded booster is helpful at the front for male genitals, whereas a folded booster in the middle is often helpful for female genitals.

Do you have a back, front or side sleeper? Again, by focusing the booster or boosters where they are most needed will help prevent leaking.

Petit Lulu Fitted maxi night nappies come in a variety of absorbent fabrics to suit your needs.

What are night boosters made of?

Getting to know your absorbent materials will help with choosing boosters for your night nappy. Generally speaking, the materials that have the highest absorbency capacity, absorb liquid the slowest, and will take longest to dry:

  • Hemp – highest absorption capacity, slow absorption rate, slow to dry
  • Bamboo – high absorption capacity, slow absorption rate, slow to dry
  • Cotton – medium absorption capacity, medium absorption rate, medium drying time
  • Microfibre – low absorption capacity, high absorption rate, quick drying time

If you have a heavy wetter that is feeding several times in the night it’s a good idea to add extra absorbency in the form of hemp or bamboo boosters. If you have an older baby or toddler who holds their wee and then floods their nappy early in the morning, microfibre and cotton boosters are a good choice.

Petit Lulu pull-up wraps are very roomy to accommodate a bulky night nappy

Which nappy is best for night time?

All the brands at Babipur have been rigorously tried and tested by parents. Here are our top picks for reusable night nappies that perform particularly well:

Tots Bots Bamboozle with a Close Pop-in Wrap

This is a very popular combination that performs brilliantly for most babies. The Bamboozle is a highly absorbent fitted nappy made from bamboo fibre. When combined with the trusty double gusset Close Pop-in wrap is a reliable night time option. A great night time cloth nappy for toddlers is the Size 3 Bamboozles.

Tots Bots Bamboozle. A super absorbent two part nappy.
Petit Lulu Maxi Night Nappy and Cover

Another fitted two part system that is gaining a great following as a reusable night nappy of choice. Designed to fit from 7-16kg, with soft ruffle edges that are comfortable and gentle on babies skin, all night long. This highly adjustable night nappy will need a waterproof cover. Team up with a standard Petit Lulu wrap, or a pull-up wrap with super soft leg fleece. Wool wraps are also available which allow the fitted nappy to breathe. This evaporation reduces its moisture content, making them a great choice overnight.

Petit Lulu fitted maxi night nappy and wrap is a great combination over night

If you are looking for a hybrid or pocket overnight option many parents have great success simply by adding extra boosters to their existing nappies. It is worth experimenting with hemp boosters inside a Baba & Boo pocket nappy, and night-time boosters in Pop-ins. You may find this way you don’t need to invest in a whole new nappy system.

Tots Bots reusable nappy. Image credit Kim Pascoe
If you have any other questions about reusable night nappies, pop it in the comments below, or get in touch with our friendly customer service team who are on hand to help with any reusable nappy advice.

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