The best cloth diaper for overnight is a diaper with a good “fit” and adequate absorbency. This may require adding boosters in order to achieve enough absorbency to last through the night. Fitted style diapers work well overnight because they are 100% absorbent with built-in boosters and elastic legs and waist.
If you are having trouble with your baby’s diapers leaking through the night, then you likely have a poor fit, or the diaper does not have enough absorbency. The solution for overnight cloth diapering is to achieve maximum absorbency while maintaining a proper fit.
How To Get A “Good Fit” Cloth Diaper
So what exactly does it mean to have “a good fit”? A diaper that fits properly will be comfortable for your baby. It won’t be so tight that it causes significant red marks or indentations. This would indicate a diaper that is too small. On the other spectrum, a diaper should not be too loose. If the inner materials, such as a prefold for example, have enough room inside to shift around, bunch up, or sag, then the diaper is too big.
Gapping is another sign of a poor fit. If there are any gaps between the diaper and the baby’s skin, then there will be leaks. Gapping can happen around the waist or legs. This can be caused by a diaper that is too large, but it is also commonly caused by overstuffing a diaper with doublers.
Often times when parents are looking for an overnight solution, their first inclination is to stuff a ton of extra absorbency into their baby’s diaper. The problem with this is that it can cause leg gapping. If you overstuff a diaper so much that the elastic around the baby’s legs is no longer snug, or there are openings between the elastic and baby’s skin, then pee will leak out of those areas.
While it is certainly part of the solution to add doublers and other layers of fabric into the diaper to increase absorbency, it is important not to compromise the fit of the diaper in doing so.
How To Increase Absorbency In A Cloth Diaper
There are all kinds of fabrics and options available for boosting the absorbency of a diaper. Hemp and bamboo are two very absorbent fabrics that you can incorporate into your absorbency arsenal.
Cotton is a fast-absorbing fabric, and therefore a good option for flooding issues. Flooding happens when a child pees a considerable amount, very quickly. The fabric cannot absorb the urine fast enough, and so it leaks out of the diaper.
Microterry is even faster absorbing than cotton. These fast-absorbing fabrics are good to place as the top layer of absorbency (next to baby’s skin), with slower absorbers, like hemp, underneath. If you do opt for a microfiber, like microterry, you will need a stay-dry layer on top of it, as microfiber cannot go directly against the baby’s skin.
AppleCheeks makes an insert that has microterry on one side and a stay-dry microfleece on the other. The microfleece side is safe to put against the baby’s skin.
Inserts, doublers, prefolds, or flats are some of the many options to choose from when customizing absorbency.
Here’s a rundown of some of the best overnight cloth diapering solutions. These systems will keep even the heaviest of wetters from waking up with wet clothes and sheets.
Best Overnight Diaper Covers
Unless you are using pocket diapers or All-In-Ones, you’re going to need a diaper cover to go over that big, bulky, bullet-proof overnight diaper. Here are some great options.
Disana Wool Diaper Cover
Whenever I bring up wool & diapering, people either turn tail and run in disgust (if you are one of those people just skip down to the PUL cover), or they listen intently, amazed at the wonders of what wool can do. Wool may not be for everyone, but there is no disputing the fact that it makes for an awesome overnight cover.
Wool is breathable, naturally anti-bacterial, odorless, self-cleaning, and virtually leak-proof. Because wool is so breathable, it keeps the baby cool in the heat and warm in the winter. It repels water and absorbs it too. Unlike commercial wool, which can be rough and itchy, the wool used to make diaper covers is wonderfully soft. It doesn’t need to be washed often unless it gets poop on it. It may only need to be washed once a month!
Wool is indeed an amazing material to use for diapering. The only hurdle to overcome in order to make the switch to wool is learning how to prep, and care for the fabric. It is a simple process if you are willing to take the steps. Wool should be hand-washed and air-dried. You will need to lanolize the wool initially. You will be able to wash the wool many times before needing to lanolize it again.
There are some great YouTube tutorials that show you exactly how to prep and care for your wool. It really isn’t too difficult, and it is well worth the extra effort, given the many benefits using wool, has to offer.
I have used these Disana wool covers and they work fantastic. I love the quality of the material, especially for the price!
Blueberry Capri Diaper Cover
The Capri makes a great overnight cover. It is nice and roomy and will fit very well over a big diaper that is packed with extra absorbency. It’s made in the USA.
Material: 100% polyester. This diaper cover has a nice feature of stay-put flaps, which help keep inserts or pad-folded prefolds and flats in place.
Best Fitteds For Overnight
Fitteds are a great choice because not only is the entire diaper very absorbent, but you can also add lots of extra absorbency, all while keeping a great fit. They are not waterproof, however, so you will need a cover to go over them. Fitteds have elastic around the waist and legs, so you get a double barrier from the fitted’s elastic as well as the cover’s elastic.
I have a 22-month-old boy and for overnight, I have been using a Mother-Ease One-Size fitted with a Snap-In Absorbent Liner, and a medium Cloth-eez Prefold pad-folded inside, all wrapped up in a cover. This combination has been working wonderfully for us.
Here are three more terrific overnight fitteds in three different fabric options.
Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Diaper
Material: This fitted is made of 100% cotton or 100% organic cotton. Available in both snap or no-closure version. It has a built-in flap style doubler. The Workhorse was designed to be the fitted form of a cotton prefold diaper, so if you love cotton prefolds, but you also like the fitted style, then this is the diaper for you!
Sizes: These sized diapers come in newborn, small, medium, large, and extra-large.
Sustainablebabyish Overnight Bamboo Fleece Fitted Diapers
Material: This fitted is made with 70% vicose from bamboo and 30% organic cotton. Each diaper comes with a double-length 3-layer snap-in fleece soaker, which can be folded to customize the absorbency right where your baby needs it most. Also included is a separate extra lay-in 3-layer fleece doubler. It has snap closures. Pair this fitted with a Sustainablebabyish Wool Cover and you’ll have an unbeatable overnight solution.
Sizes: Available in 5 different sizes from XSmall to XLarge. This diaper will fit babies from 5 to 32+ pounds.
You can purchase this fitted here.
ecoAble Hemp Night Fitted Cloth Diaper One-Size
Material: This fitted is made of 55% hemp and 45% cotton. It comes with 2 hemp snap-in inserts and has adjustable snap closures. ecoAble also makes very cute and compatible wool covers.
Sizes: This is a one-size fitted that fits babies from 10 to 30 pounds.
You can purchase this fitted here.
Best Flats For Overnight
Cloth-eez Birdseye Flats
Flats make great overnight diapers because they can absorb a ton of liquid. You can even double a flat for more absorbency by laying two flats together and then using whatever fold you normally do. They are also great doublers for any kind of diaper.
I use Cloth-eez flats for diapering, burp cloths, blankets, changing pads, and nursing covers. I have used mine with 3 babies now and they are holding up wonderfully. These flats get amazing reviews, and they totally deserve them. They also stay very square after shrinking, which makes folding much easier.
Material: Made of 100% cotton or 100% organic cotton birdseye, these flats are a pliable, flexible one layer fabric. This makes them super easy to wash, and incredibly fast to dry. You could seriously hand wash these things, though I would much prefer to use my washing machine.
Sizes: The Birdseye Flat comes in two sizes. Size “Half”, and size “One-Size”. Size Half is good for preemies or small newborns from 4 to 8 pounds. It also works well as a doubler for any size baby. It shrinks to about 16×27 inches. Size One-Size will fit babies from 6 to 35+ pounds. It shrinks to about 27×27 inches.
Best Prefolds For Overnight
Geffen Baby Fleece Prefolds
These prefolds are incredibly absorbent. The extra-large can hold up to 24 ounces! A Geffen Baby Prefold pad-folded in a waterproof cover makes for a super simple overnight diaper. You could also add a Geffen Baby Absorber for additional absorbency.
Material: These prefolds are made of a proprietary blend of 60% hemp and 40% organic cotton. Most other hemp companies have a 55% / 45% blend. Geffen Baby Fleece Prefolds are 4 layers of ultra-soft, knitted 60% hemp / 40% organic cotton fleece.
Sizes: Available in XS, S, M/L, and XL.
You can purchase these prefolds here.
Best All-In-Two For Overnight
Bottom Diapers with Overnight Insert
This diapering system is very simple, effective, and also customizable. The Best Bottom Shell is a one-size waterproof cover that will fit from birth to 35+ pounds. It is available in both snap and hook & loop closure. This product is made the USA.
Best Bottom Inserts snap into the shell. When the insert gets soiled, snap it out, and then snap in a clean one. The shell is wipeable and can be used multiple times before needing washed.
Best Bottom has 4 different insert options to choose from, as well as 3 different overnight options, and microfiber doublers. The overnight inserts and doublers snap into the shell, and then the regular inserts snap on top of them.
Material: Let’s look at the 3 overnight insert options.
- The Hemp/Organic Cotton Overnight Insert is 8 layers.
- The Bamboo Overnight Insert is 8 layers of Bamboo Viscose.
- The Microfiber Overnight Insert is 6 layers.
Sizes: Best Bottom Inserts are available in sizes small, medium, large, and extra-large.
You can purchase the best bottom system here. Don’t forget your inserts!
How To Keep Baby Feeling Dry With Cloth Diapers
If your nighttime issue is that your baby wakes up because of wetness, or that baby’s skin is sensitive to wetness, then you need a stay-dry solution.
Babee Greens Wool Diaper Liner
This wool liner can be used as a nighttime stay-dry. The wool goes next to the baby’s skin. It is important that the wool stays snug against the baby, and doesn’t sag, otherwise it won’t work properly. This is because wool naturally resists moisture, so you want to make sure the wool is pressed right up against the baby so the pee will go through the liner, and not roll off of it. You do not need to lanolize these liners if you are using them for stay-dry purposes.
Material: Oeko-Tex 100 certified Merino Wool.
Green Mountain Diapers Stay-Dry Hemp Doublers
These doublers add absorbency and keep baby feeling dry. Also made in the USA.
Material: 3 layers of 55% hemp / 45% organic cotton and topped with a layer of virgin Malden Mills 200 weight polar fleece. The fleece allows the moisture to go through but keeps the baby’s bottom feeling dry.
Sizes: Small, Long, and Night
Best Doublers For Overnight Cloth Diapering
What good overnight solution would be complete without a great doubler? Doublers offer a super easy, quick, and effective way to boost absorbency.
Geffen Baby Super Absorbers
These are the only boosters you’ll ever need. Super absorbent and made of natural fibers.
5 layers of 60% hemp / 40 % organic cotton fleece and made in the USA.
You can purchase these doublers here.
Sloomb Doubler Sets
Sloomb doublers are 70% viscose from bamboo / 30% organic cotton. Made in Denver, Colorado these doublers come in packs of 5
Thirsties Organic Cotton Doublers
4 layers of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, also made in the USA
You can purchase these doublers here.