No parent likes having to wake up unnecessarily in the middle of the night – I think I speak for everyone here when I say we’re already tired enough! Truth be told, though, it’s not much for your for baby either.
If your little one ever wakes up at night with soaking wet PJs and sheets, and a soaking diaper, then it might be time to switch to overnight diapers.
With very young babies, most parents are used to using regular daytime diapers during the night. If you’re up every 3 – 4 hours to feed your little one anyway, you can easily change them into a fresh diaper at that point.
Once your baby is sleeping through the night, though, you don’t want to be woken simply because their diaper has leaked – and you definitely don’t want them to wake up in wet chilly sheets too.
Best Overnight Diapers – a Quick Look at Our Top 8 Recommendations
- Pampers Swaddlers Overnights Disposable Baby Diapers
- Huggies OverNites Diapers
- Ecoable Fitted Overnight Cloth Diaper
- Luvs Ultra Leakguards Disposable Baby Diapers
- Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Baby Diapers
- Seventh Generation Baby Overnight Diapers
- Pampers Baby-Dry Disposable Diapers Size
- Sposie Booster Pads Diaper Doubler
Note: When clicking on any of the above links, you’ll go to the product listing pages on Amazon, where you can read further information, see current prices and read customer reviews.
What Are Overnight Diapers?
Overnight diapers are available in both disposable and reusable versions. They’re more absorbent than daytime diapers, and you can rely on them to last for up to 12 hours (well, the good ones anyways).
Usually, overnight diapers have multiple layers to help quickly and efficiently absorb moisture.
They’re often also designed to fit snugly enough to prevent leaks, even if you have an extra wiggly baby.
They do tend to be quite pricey compared to regular diapers, though – but if you only need to use one overnight diaper every night rather than using two or three regular diapers, this will very likely offset the cost on its own.
Plus, you really can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep! Every parent who’s been there and done that will attest to this from first hand experience.
When Should I Start Using Overnight Diapers?
If you find your baby constantly waking up during the night because of a diaper leak or a very wet diaper, then it’s definitely worth trying overnight diapers to see if this change brings better (and longer) sleep for all of you.
Newborns don’t tend to need overnight diapers straight away, so this isn’t something you’ll have to do from day one.
Newborns don’t produce that much pee in one go after all, but once your child is reliably sleeping through the night – perhaps at four months of age or so – then you might well want to switch to having them wear overnight diapers.
When Should I Stop Using Overnight Diapers?
There’s no hard and fast rule on when to stop using overnight diapers, either.
Once you’re potty training your child, you’ll probably want to switch to night-time pull-ups that they can completely manage on their own, so they can wake up and use the potty or toilet during the night without having to wake you up for help.
With that being said, it’s not unusual for children to be school age before they’re reliably dry at night, so don’t feel like you need to rush to ditch night-time diapers or pull-ups all together.
If your child’s diaper or pull-up is regularly dry in the morning, then it’s probably a good time to try going without it. In these cases, many parents like to use an absorbent pad on the bed just in case accidents happen, to protect the mattress.
What Are the Benefits of Using Overnight Diapers?
Overnight diapers are a little pricier than regular diapers, so you might be on the fence about making the switch – we completely understand.
However, overnight diapers have a lot of benefits in store for both you and your child.
Your Child Will Get a Better Night’s Sleep
You want your little one to be well rested and ready for a day of fun ahead – but if they’re woken up in the early hours of the morning by a soaking wet, cold bed, they’re definitely not going to be as well rested as they should be.
This not only means you’ll have a cranky child on your hands the next day, they’ll make sure your day doesn’t go that well either!
An overnight diaper means your child is more likely to sleep comfortably all night long – a win-win for everyone.
You’ll Help Set Up Good Sleep Habits for the Long Term
Babies are creatures of routine, and you don’t want to inadvertently set up a routine that’s exactly the opposite of what you want them to get used to!
The longer this goes on, the more difficult it’s going to be to turn things around and get your little one used to something else.
If your baby gets used to waking up at 3 am for a diaper change and a cuddle with mommy or daddy, that’s what they’re going to come to expect – even if their diaper doesn’t actually need changing on a particular night.
On the other hand, if you give them the means to sleep peacefully through the night, that should hopefully become something they grow accustomed to as well.
You Will Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Let’s face it, this is the main reason most of us think about using overnight diapers for!
Unless you actually enjoy stumbling out of bed in the middle of the night to change your baby’s diaper, PJs, and bedding (who enjoys that, really?) – you’ll want to use overnight diapers.
Yes, they cost a bit more on the front end, but isn’t it worth it for a solid night’s sleep? I don’t know about you, but getting a good night’s sleep and recharging my batteries for the next day is priceless to me.
Your Baby May Be Less Likely to Get Diaper Rash
While diaper rash isn’t only caused by wet diapers, if your baby spends hours every night in a soaking wet diaper, it’s not going to be great for their delicate skin and is more than likely to contribute to diaper rash.
You might think that overnight diapers would be worse because your child’s wearing the same one all night long, but that’s not the case.
Overnight diapers are specifically designed to get that moisture locked away from your child’s skin as quickly as possible, which – hopefully – means a lower chance of experiencing diaper rash.
Keep in mind, though, that some children are sensitive to the chemicals used in particular diapers.
If your child does start getting diaper rash after a switch to overnight diapers, it might very well be due to certain chemicals that particular brand uses. In such a case, trying out a different brand might solve the problem.
What Should You Look For When Choosing an Overnight Diaper?
There are lots of different overnight diapers on the market for you to choose from, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. Most are disposable options, but there are plenty of reusable ones available too in case you prefer those.
Whatever you choose, here’s a list of important factors you should consider and look for:
The Right Size for Your Little One
Just like a daytime diaper, an overnight diaper needs to be just the right size for your little one.
Some brands do a full range of overnight diapers, leaving you with no shortage of sizes to choose from, but others only offer them in specific sizes. So, do look carefully first to make sure you’re getting the right size for your child.
As well as picking the right size that suits your child’s current weight, you’ll want to check how well the diaper fits around your little one’s waist and legs.
If it leaves red marks, it’s too tight (that’s an obvious sign that you need to go up in size) – but you don’t want it to be too loose, either, or it could easily leak.
It’s probably a good idea to try out one pack of diapers in a particular brand first before stocking up, just to make sure that they’re a good fit for your baby.
Comfortable All Night Long
Unless you’re buying overnight diapers for a toddler who can talk to you and tell you how they feel wearing them, it’s going to be tricky trying to figure out how comfortable your little one feels wearing them.
You could try feeling the material and see whether it seems soft to you, or you could simply observe your child with the diaper on and see whether or not they seem comfortable wearing them.
If they’re wriggling or pulling at it, this might be an obvious sign that it doesn’t feel comfortable to them.
It’s also worth asking other parents in your circle of friends or family how their little ones seemed to get on with overnight diapers back when they were at the same phase you’re in now.
You never know, they may be able to recommend a brand that seemed particularly comfortable and worked wonders for their child! You can also read online reviews to gauge other parents’ views on this particular point as well.
An overnight diaper won’t be of much use if it doesn’t do its job as intended.
In short, you want a diaper that can absorb a lot of pee. While this may not be the only (or even the main) deciding factor for you (for example, you might prefer a reusable or eco-friendly diaper even if it’s less absorbent) – if all else is equal, it makes sense to opt for the diaper that’s most absorbent.
Different diapers achieve this in different ways – but usually, this can be achieved by having extra layers of material.
With reusable diapers, you may be able to add extra absorbency by including an extra piece of cloth inside, which is sometimes referred to as a “booster”.
Suitable Materials for Your Baby’s Needs and Your Preferences
Depending on your baby and your own preferences, you may want to opt for a particular type of diaper.
For instance, if you want to keep your baby in reusable diapers during the night as well as at daytime, then you’ll want to stick to reusable fabrics at night (probably cotton, bamboo, or microfiber). You may also want to use organic fabrics.
If you prefer disposable diapers, you might want to opt for eco-friendly brands that are created from sustainable materials and aren’t treated with chlorine or other harsh chemicals.
You might also find that some materials irritate your baby’s delicate skin, in which case these materials are best avoided.
So, there’s no single “right” answer when choosing a suitable material, but there are so many different options out there to choose from, that you should have no trouble whatsoever finding something that’s perfect for both you and your little one.
Nowadays, there’s really no shortage of options available for everyone’s needs.
Suitable Design for Your Child’s Age
While overnight diapers, just like regular diapers, are often printed with cute cartoon pictures and some of children’s most loved characters – that’s not really the “design” we’re talking about here (although all of that does help, of course).
You want the overnight diapers you’re using to be suitable for your little one, whether they’re six months old or four years old.
In other words, this means that for older kids who might have been potty trained during the day for months or years, you’ll want to opt for diapers that are more like underwear.
They should be “pull-ups” that your child can easily get on and off without your help, so they can easily use the bathroom on their own and don’t feel that they’re still having to wear a “baby” diaper.
Best Overnight Diapers – A More Detailed Look At Our Top 8 Recommendations
Pampers Swaddlers Overnights
From the iconic diaper brand Pampers, these overnight diapers come in three different sizes (size 3, size 4, and size 5).
They’re “blankie soft” on the outside, which means they feel nice against your little one’s skin if they’re sleeping in just a diaper on hot nights. They should also be able to handle twelve full hours without leaking.
There’s a wetness indicator on the outside, at the front, to let you know when the diaper is wet. This comes in very handy if you don’t want to disturb your little one unnecessarily.
Inside the diaper you’ll find a special quilted liner, with a pattern of hearts, that quickly locks away moisture so that your baby’s skin stays dry.
These diapers are also designed to allow sufficient air flow, which is very important. This helps to keep your little one as comfortable as possible by distributing moisture evenly.
If you find they’re not quite absorbent enough and that they’re leaking by morning, you might want to try going up a size (versus the size your child wears during the daytime).
- Great for little ones who tank up on milk just before bed.
- Can hold a lot of liquid without leaking. They’re designed to hold more liquid (and are slightly larger) than other competing brands.
- Comfortable against your baby’s skin, being designed to feel soft like a blanket.
- There’s not that much significant difference between these and the regular Pampers Swaddlers.
- Smallest size available is size 3, so you can’t use these for younger/smaller babies.
Huggies OverNites Diapers
These diapers, like most nighttime ones, offer up to 12 hours of dryness.
They’ve got a special “SnugFit” waistband that’s comfortable on your baby, without letting the diaper leak. If you’ve ever had a wet crib but a surprisingly light diaper, you’ll know just how important achieving a good fit is.
They’re not as bulky as other nighttime diapers out there, which means that you could even use them in the daytime if you wanted. The padding is thicker, but without a lot of extra bulk.
These diapers are both soft and comfy, which is essential when you’re planning to have your baby sleep in them all night long.
They’re particularly good for wriggly babies who move around a lot during the night, so if you have an active little one who flops around their crib, these should still work effectively.
- Great for little ones who pee a lot during the night, since these are more absorbent than some other brands.
- The waistband fits snugly but comfortably to minimize the chance of middle-of-the-night leaks.
- These aren’t as bulky as some other nighttime diapers, but they’re still super absorbent, nonetheless.
- Even if your baby wriggles around a lot at night, these should stay in place.
- If your baby drinks a lot just before bed and during the night, even these probably won’t hold it all in.
- The tabs on these diapers can sometimes tear off quite easily, so you’ll need to be fairly careful when fastening them.
Ecoable Fitted Overnight Cloth Diaper
This attractive cloth diaper has a cute stripy trim and snap buttons so you can adjust it to fit your little one as they get older – It’ll grow with them.
It’s made of hemp cotton, which is very absorbent (essential!) but also antibacterial, making this a great option if your baby is prone to getting a diaper rash.
There are removable hemp inserts that snap into place as well, and you can add/remove these depending on how absorbent you need the diaper to be.
You can prepare and treat this diaper just like any other cloth diaper.
You’ll probably want to wash it a few times before use to improve the absorbency, and you’ll want to keep it in a diaper pail once it’s been used and is waiting for a wash.
- Good option if you use cloth diapers but find they’re not absorbent enough for overnight.
- Adjustable: the snap fastenings and hemp inserts mean it can grow with your child.
- Will hold a lot of liquid – especially once it’s been washed a few times.
- Hemp inserts can be positioned differently for boys and for girls.
- Unlikely to leak, even if your little one is a heavy wetter.
- Doesn’t come with a waterproof cover, which means you’ll need to buy one separately.
- Manufacturer says it’ll stay dry for up to 10 hours (2 hours less than many other overnight diapers) – though you may well find your little one can go longer.
Luvs Ultra Leakguards Disposable Baby Diapers
Available in the full range of sizes 1 – 6, so you can find one that fits your little one perfectly, these Luvs diapers are a budget-friendly option from a well-known brand.
They come in an impressively huge box (offering a one month supply – which at size 1 means 252 diapers), and they’re designed to lock wetness away for up to 12 hours overnight.
You can also use them during the daytime, so if you find it easiest to simply use the same brand of diaper the whole time, you can simply use these both day and night.
They’re quite a bit more affordable than some nighttime diapers as well.
There’s also a wetness indicator on each diaper that turns blue when your little one needs changing. This can be very handy, especially in your early days as a parent when you’re not feeling super-confident about some stuff.
- HUGE box of diapers at a budget-friendly price, making this a great economical option.
- Diapers are suitable for both daytime and nighttime use, keeping things simple.
- Three absorbent strips will lock away as much moisture as possible.
- Two different cute designs – more attractive than many disposable diapers.
- Wetness indicator lets you know when your little one needs a dry diaper.
- They tend to have a baby powder scent, so if you want to avoid fragrances completely, you might be better off considering a different option.
Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Baby Diapers
If you don’t want to be dealing with cloth diapers but would still like an eco-friendly option, these Bambo Nature diapers might be just what you’re looking for.
They come in sizes 1 – 6, and you can opt to buy a single pack or a whole month’s supply at a time.
Like the Luvs diapers, these are designed for both day and night use. They’re super absorbent, but are also flexible enough for your little one to easily move around in.
The diapers are made using sustainable processes, and they’re free of harmful chemicals and perfumes. This is much better for the environment and also better for your baby, as this means less risk of diaper rash or experiencing any allergic irritations.
Although they’re thin, they’re ultra-absorbent and should work well overnight.
They’re also great for containing more than just pee, so if your little one is prone to rather explosive bowel movements, these diapers should work well to keep everything contained.
- Great eco-friendly option if you don’t want to use cloth diapers.
- The company (Abena/Bambo) is very transparent about their processes and about how the diapers are made.
- Inner lining is very absorbent and also soft against your little one’s skin.
- Good option for babies who get diaper rash easily, as these diapers don’t include any nasty chemicals or allergens.
- Suitable for both daytime and overnight use, which keeps things simple.
- Not the cheapest overnight diapers out there, so might not the best option if you’re on a fairly tight budget.
- May stick to your little one’s skin at times, particularly with breastfed babies who’ve had a bowel movement.
Seventh Generation Baby Overnight Diapers
From environmentally and socially conscious brand Seventh Generation, these diapers are specifically designed for overnight use.
They’re super absorbent and (cleverly!) have a very different design/pattern to regular Seventh Generation diapers, so you can easily tell the overnight from the daytime ones.
If you use cloth diapers but find that they leak overnight, these could well be worth a try instead – especially for larger/older babies.
If you’ve not used Seventh Generation diapers before, it’s worth knowing that all their diapers are a brown/tan color, as they don’t use bleaches to make them white in color like other manufacturers do.
This doesn’t affect the diaper’s effectiveness at all, of course, but it could be a bit of a surprise if you’re not expecting it.
- Environmentally friendly option (if you don’t want to use cloth diapers at all/at night).
- Socially responsible company that has strong credentials and a clear mission.
- Design of the diapers clearly differentiates them from regular daytime Seventh Generation diapers.
- Hypoallergenic – which means they’re a great option for babies with very sensitive skin or who are prone to diaper rash.
- May not be as absorbent as other (less eco-friendly) brands’ diapers.
- Diapers tend to be sized a little small compared with other brands. So, you may find that you’ll need to go up a size on your regular diapers.
Pampers Baby-Dry Disposable Diapers
This huge pack of Pampers Baby-Dry diapers comes in a full range of sizes (1 – 6) and is suitable for both daytime and nighttime use.
They’re great for active babies who move around a lot, and while they’re a little pricier than some other brands, you’ll likely find that they’re very effective at keeping everything in that needs to stay in.
They’ll quickly absorb moisture and lock it away from your baby’s skin, meaning that you’ll probably find that these work well for reducing or avoiding diaper rash.
Although these diapers aren’t specifically designed for overnight use, they should keep your little one dry for 12 hours at night, and they’re a simple option if you want to use the same diapers both day and night.
- Suitable for daytime use, as they’re stretchy and allow active babies to move around easily.
- Great overnight option that should hold enough pee for a full 12 hours.
- High-quality at quite a reasonable price (which is especially the case if you buy in bulk).
- Can handle a lot of movement without the contents leaking.
- You may find they’re not as absorbent at night as some other brands. Again, these aren’t specifically designed for overnight use.
- No wetness indicator (except on sizes 1 & 2), so it can be tricky to tell whether or not your little one needs a change.
Sposie Booster Pads Diaper Doubler
These aren’t diapers – instead, they’re absorbent booster pads that fit inside most brands of diapers, allowing the diaper to absorb up to an extra 8 oz of fluid. That’s a whole bottle of baby milk!
They don’t have any fragrance, they’re not chlorine treated, and they can be positioned for both boys and girls.
If your little one consistently soaks through diapers at night, and you’ve tried out a whole bunch of brands so far, these might just be the answer you’re looking for.
They’re a great option if you have a baby who loves to glug down a big bottle of milk just before bed, or a child who simply happens to be a heavy wetter.
While they’re designed to be used with disposable diapers, there’s no reason not to use these with cloth diapers as well. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to throw them in the trash after use, which means you can’t wash and reuse them.
They’re not too bulky, but they’re effective in absorbing extra liquid. If necessary, you can even double them up and put a couple inside a diaper at once for some extra protection.
- Pads can be used with pretty much any diaper brand you want.
- Can be positioned differently for boys and for girls, to make them as effective as possible.
- Great solution if you’ve tried overnight diapers but found they still leak.
- Also handy for long car trips or other situations where your little one might take a long daytime nap.
- Pads don’t currently have an adhesive strip, but a new version is expected to be introduced soon with an adhesive.
- In rare cases, the gel filling may come out of the pads and make its way onto your little one’s skin.
How to Use Overnight Diapers Effectively and Safely
While overnight diapers aren’t too different from regular diapers, it’s nonetheless important to keep a few things in mind when you have your baby wearing one.
Make Sure You Fit the Diaper Correctly
When it’s bedtime and you’re looking forward to unwinding with some not-so-kid-friendly TV and maybe a glass of wine, it’s easy to rush through that final diaper change just so you can get done with it as soon as possible and get a breather.
Needless to say, this isn’t the way to go, as doing this could turn out to be a huge mistake and backfire on you. If you don’t fit an overnight diaper correctly, pee can leak out even if the diaper isn’t nearly full – and you know the rest to that story.
As with regular diapers, make sure you ensure the overnight diaper your kid is wearing is fastened securely, and is neither too tight nor too loose. Check the legs in particular to “sweep” the diaper fringe out so that it fits properly there.
Avoid Using Overnight Diapers During the Daytime
You might think that if an overnight diaper can last for 12 hours, then why not pop one on your child in the daytime too, and cut down drastically on diaper changes?
Even though it sounds logical at first, this isn’t a good idea in practice. It’s important to change your child regularly (probably at least every three hours) during the daytime, so that they’re comfortable.
Overnight diapers also tend to be larger and bulkier than daytime ones, so they may make it trickier for your little one to crawl or even roll over – both of which are important milestones that you’ll want them to be able to meet in due time and at their own pace.
Stop Using Overnight Diapers if Your Child Develops Diaper Rash
If your child develops diaper rash soon after you start using overnight diapers, stop using that brand immediately until you get to the bottom of what’s going on.
It’s probably best to go back to your regular diapers for the time being (if your child seemed to do fine with those). Once the diaper rash has cleared up, you could try again with a different brand of overnight diapers.
While it may not always be the diapers that are to blame, you don’t want to risk making your baby’s diaper rash worse, and you need to start somewhere to figure out what the culprit is.
Don’t Use Overnight Diapers Indefinitely
If you and your child have grown used to using overnight diapers for years, it can be tough to do away with them when it comes time to do so.
While there’s certainly no rush to give up using overnight diapers, and it’s not unusual for children to still pass urine during their sleep even at five years of age, there’s obviously going to be a point at which you will need to stop using overnight diapers.
Once your child is in school, you might want to talk to your pediatrician if you feel they’re still no closer to being able to do without overnight diapers, or simply ditch the diapers and see how your child gets on without them for a while.
If all goes well, then there you have it, you’re good to go! If it doesn’t, then you can always consult with your pediatrician to figure out what you need to do to get on the right track.
While it may temporarily mean a few broken nights (and a lot of extra laundry you’ll have to take care of), giving up these diapers is an important milestone that your child will eventually have to meet.
Wrapping it Up
Many parents find that overnight diapers are just the right solution for their problems, one they had no idea they needed. Sometimes they figure it out by pure coincidence, other times by recommendation from a family member or friend, and other times after doing some research to get down to the bottom of things.
One thing’s for sure, though: a good overnight diaper will (and should) keep your child comfortable all night long – and also ensures that you can get plenty of sleep too.
If you try out a brand that doesn’t work too well for you, don’t be put off and give up straight away – keep trying!
There definitely might be some trial and error to all of this at first, but when you figure out what works best for your baby, the rewards are more than worth it.
Whether your baby is sensitive to the diaper material, or whether it’s a poor fit or not absorbent enough, there’s always going to be something else out there that addresses these problems and offers you a suitable alternative.
With older kids, overnight pull-ups or underwear can be a great solution to wet beds too – though don’t be afraid or ashamed to consult a pediatrician if your child is five years old and still regularly has a wet diaper in the morning!
Product photos: © Amazon.com
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