When to ditch nighttime diapers
Photo: Getty Images
Alivia Munro has been daytime toilet trained since she was 22 months old, but it wasn’t until she was almost four that she attempted the switch to underpants at night. The milestone couldn’t come soon enough for her mom, Natasha Munro, who was expecting her second baby. They ditched Alivia’s nighttime diaper shortly after her little sister arrived this past spring. Since Alivia was a potty pro during daylight hours, Munro figured night training would be a cinch. But it hasn’t gone as planned.
“We’ve been failing miserably,” says Munro, from Redwood Meadows, Alta. “Alivia is such a sound sleeper that when I get up with the baby, she’s often already peed the bed.” Now, Munro and her husband trade off night-feeding their baby and stripping Alivia’s sheets.
Nighttime dryness usually happens naturally sometime between the ages of four and five, but it can happen earlier or later (into grade school). A child’s bladder needs to have matured enough to hold urine overnight, or the bladder-brain neural pathway must be sufficiently developed to send a signal that wakes her up to go pee. In general, boys can take longer to toilet train than girls because “the plumbing is a little bit more complicated,” says Alyson Shaw, a paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. And, not surprisingly, kids who wet the bed longer tend to be deep sleepers, like Alivia.
As with daytime training (which comes first), look for signs of readiness before suggesting underpants at bedtime, says Shaw. If your kid wakes up dry every morning for a week or so and is willing to give it a try, go for it, she says.
That’s exactly how it happened for Calgary mom Jessica Harcombe Fleming and her daughter, Felicity, who’s now four. When Felicity was three she had a series of dry nights. “We figured her bladder was mature enough,” says Harcombe Fleming. “Her dad suggested she didn’t need her training pants at night. She agreed.” To set her up for success, they didn’t encourage drinks after dinner, but let Felicity have water if she was really thirsty. They also had her go pee when she brushed her teeth and again right before lights out. Felicity’s parents invested in a waterproof mattress cover and put a potty chair in her room to make it easy for her to go in the night. After three months, she’d only had two or three accidents.
Felicity recently had several wet nights that coincided with her mom’s return to work after maternity leave (her little brother, Remington, just turned one), but such backsliding is normal, says Shaw. Potty training usually happens in fits and starts and regression can be expected, especially during times of transition or change. Shaw does recommend speaking to a doctor if a child has been dry for a long period—say, six months—and then starts having accidents, as it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection.
Ditching diapers at night hints at easier times to come for parents, so waiting—sometimes years—can be hard. But it’s something parents can’t control. Because staying dry overnight is a purely physiological achievement, it can’t be taught in the same way the daytime skill is, says Shaw. Taking away diapers cold turkey, or carrying a slumbering child to the toilet at 10 p.m. for a final visit, won’t speed up the process.
You can get sneaky to keep the momentum going, like Munro did: Alivia isn’t physically mature enough to stay dry all night, but Munro didn’t have the heart to put her back in diapers after touting diaper-free nights as a “big girl” thing. So she got training pants that look like underwear to bridge the gap. “I know we should have waited, but I was so fed up with diapers,” says Munro. “We’re not there yet, but I know dry nights will happen eventually.”
This article was originally published on Oct 10, 2017
Keep up with your baby’s development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners
Potty trainingKidsSeptember 2014
Overnight Diapers: A Guide To The Best Nighttime Diapers
Skip to content.
3 Min Read
What are overnight diapers?
Overnight diapers, also known as nighttime diapers or night diapers, are designed to prevent leakage, blowouts, and over-soaked diapers while baby is sleeping for long periods of time (like through the night- yay!). Created with extra absorbency, overnight diapers can keep your little one dry for up to 12 hours.
When to use overnight diapers?
Once your baby starts sleeping through the night, this may be around the six month mark for your little one, you may notice a need for some extra absorbency from their diaper. A thicker diaper will be able to hold more liquid for a longer period of time. Some families may give their baby’s last nighttime feeding just before bed, so that baby has a full belly or an hour before bedtime, so that baby’s diaper can be changed one last time before hitting the hay. Either way, you know your baby, and your family’s nighttime routine best; just make sure your little one goes to bed in an extra absorbent, fresh diaper to prevent a messy wakeup.
Benefits of overnight diapers
The use of a more absorbent diaper means
- Avoiding soaked leaking diapers after a long sleep
- Preventing baby from waking up during the night due to a soaked-through diaper
- Less cleaning, as you won’t need to clean so many soiled PJs, crib sheets, and diapers
Eco Pea Co reviews
The reviews for Eco Pea Co. diapers are in, and they say that our products are extremely absorbent. Our customers tell us that they find they change their baby’s diapers less when using Eco Pea Co. Our diapers also have a high back in order to prevent any blowouts. The best part? We don’t sacrifice luxurious softness when creating our super absorbent diapers, so not only are the family diaper changers happy, but baby is happy, too! Check out the shop and let us know how your family likes Eco Pea Co.
You may also like…
Nature Parenting Guide
4 Min Read
Can You Use Baby Wipes For Your Face?
4 Min Read
Leaky Diapers: How to Prevent Diaper Leakage
5 Min Read
Tapping into baby’s five senses
4 Min Read
When To Start Potty Training Girls
5 Min Read
Your cart is empty!
Which diapers are better for the night?
Parents should approach the choice of diapers seriously, because not only the health of the baby’s skin, but also his mood can depend on it.
It is especially important to choose diapers for a night’s sleep.
They face many more challenges than «everyday» diapers, which a mother can change almost at any time, for example, they must absorb more moisture and stay dry longer, take into account the distribution of liquid when the child is in a horizontal position, not slip and not deform and fit snugly to protect bedding and clothes.
Which diapers are best at night? Russian mothers answer this question ambiguously: Pampers, Merries, Moony, Huggies, Goon, Libero and many other brands.
But there are a number of problems that they may encounter when choosing diapers.
At night, babies can sleep for more than ten hours, even during feeding they rarely wake up.
Therefore, most mothers prefer not to wake their baby unless it is absolutely necessary to change their diapers at night.
In general, parents use the same brand of diapers, both during the day for walks and active games, and at night.
For example, many consider Pampers Active Baby a good option at any time of the day, while others have to look for other diapers at night.
Regardless of age, a baby can fill up completely in a few hours, so for some children, diapers one size larger may be the best option, which can absorb much more moisture.
The delicate skin of babies may become irritated or chafed when exposed to moisture for a long time.
A sure way to protect him from such ailments is to refuse diapers altogether, but most mothers are not ready to change diapers or change clothes of a child 5-8 times a night.
Sometimes powders and creams can be used in conjunction with diapers to maintain skin health, but most prefer to do without them.
Japanese diapers (Merries, Moony, Goon) are recognized by many parents as the best overnight diapers that keep baby’s skin dry without the use of baby cosmetics.
But this brand is in a high price category, so most people prefer the usual Huggies or Libero.
And some people have to sort through more than one brand to choose good night diapers for children.
Dirty bed linen
There are two problems that can cause bed linen to get dirty in a baby’s crib:
- A puddle will end up on the sheet as a result of a wrongly worn diaper. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully study the instructions in order to be aware of where it is necessary to tighten, what to straighten and with what density to fasten.
- Wrong size (i.e. large) can cause fluid to leak out of the diaper due to loose elastic bands. Choose them based on the weight of the baby, but pay attention to the fact that the diaper does not press or rub.
Whether to change a diaper at night
Disposable diapers are designed to stay in them for up to 6 hours.
Most babies sleep much longer, so many mothers think about changing diapers during sleep, because such manipulation can wake up the baby, who is quite problematic to get sick in the middle of the night.
Most of today’s experts are sure that there is nothing to worry about, that the child will stay in a diaper longer than the required period, because a good and long sleep is the key to his health.
The main thing is to choose reliable night diapers that keep the skin dry.
It is also necessary to remember about the mother, who, no less than a child, needs rest after an active day full of caring for the baby.
Nappi Reusable Diapers — How often should a reusable diaper be changed at night
In this article you will find the answer to the question of whether it is possible for a mother to have a good night when the baby sleeps in a reusable diaper.
— We use reusable diapers and love them. We wear almost constantly …, only at night we have disposable ones. We also wear disposables for walks, and also during feeding, because we often poop and I don’t feel like messing around with washing reusable ones at all,
— So when do you wear reusable diapers?
— Well, right after we take air baths after disposable ones.
— And how long do you wear it?
— We wear it for 10 minutes a day! But it still doesn’t work anymore, because my son immediately pisses in them.
— Pissing so what?
— He writes and changes. I read on the manufacturer’s website that they should be changed immediately after the child pee.
From the “sandbox conversation” cycle
It always surprises me when I read the phrases in the instructions for reusable diapers on the websites of manufacturers or online stores: “Change a reusable diaper immediately after getting wet.” In my opinion, such phrases confuse beginners very much and even scare them away. A picture immediately appears to me: in pitch darkness, exhausted from fatigue, the mother sits next to the baby, guarding his nightly sleep, waiting for him to pee, touching the child every minute so as not to miss the moment “as soon as, so immediately” … No, in reality is much simpler and easier.
After spending more than two years with reusable diapers, I have come to the conclusion that changing a reusable cotton diaper at night with a wool coating on it is almost always possible no more often than you would change a disposable diaper.
Of course, if you notice that the baby is wet (not the diaper panties are wet, but the baby’s clothes are wet through the diaper pants) or he poops, then you need to change the reusable diaper, regardless of the time.
You don’t buy changing panties and changing pants in order to change the design as soon as the baby gets a little wet in the diaper. You buy a complete set — the absolute analogue of a disposable diaper, if you want. In a reusable diaper, as in a disposable one, there is a top layer that does not allow moisture to leak out (this is wool), there is an absorbent layer (this is muslin, flannel or other natural material), there is even a layer that can give the baby’s bottom a feeling of dryness (a woolen liner or synthetic insert). So why should your natural diaper hold moisture better than a disposable one?
In general, I urge everyone not to be afraid that reusable diapers will bring restless nights into your home. It will not happen. I promise.
I know that many parents change their reusable diapers at least once at night, some even twice. On the Internet, I often see recommendations about the need to change a diaper at night. I didn’t. Not once, starting from the second month of my daughter’s life. However, in fairness, I want to point out that at night we landed and put on a reusable diaper for only 5 hours (from 2.00 to 7.00), until this time, from the moment my daughter fell asleep, I landed her (from 22.00 to 2.00), picking up signals. So full nights in a reusable diaper (from 22.00 to 8.00) were rare for us. But they were! In those moments when I was very tired, sick or my daughter was sick, when I was too lazy to get up at night or just wanted to relax, I put a full-fledged reusable diaper on the child and she slept peacefully all night. Sometimes it went on for weeks. In order to argue our words with numbers, we conducted a survey in our group. Many thanks to all who responded! Here, look at some interesting results:
The vast majority of parents who use reusable diapers at night sleep through the night rather than constantly changing them. Well, given that another quarter of the respondents change reusable diapers only once a night (during the neonatal period, babies pee a lot and can poop at night), then the vast majority of parents who sleep peacefully all night.
Swaddling panties after a night in a reusable diaper, we were always wet through, but the bottom was always warm and healthy, by the way.
Now in some forums I see all sorts of advice from inexperienced mothers (I don’t want to offend anyone, but often it is). When asked by beginners about how many reusable diapers a six-month-old baby needs, they immediately answer: “Take at least 10 pieces on the velcro of the swaddling panties, and another 5 pieces on the buttons, well, two woolen panties per change so that you can change everything after every pee. » When I read responses like this, I’m always surprised how people aren’t afraid to take on the responsibility of giving advice like this! Do not let yourself be fooled, but listen to the experience of others. He might be useful. However, keep in mind that things may be different for you.
In this regard, I would like to appeal to all those who have doubts and seek advice about the number of diapers: apart from you, no one knows how many diaper panties your child needs. First, read my article Reusable Diapers — some tips for beginners. Secondly, in order to make an informed decision about the number of reusable diapers and not throw a lot of money down the drain, never buy a complete set of diapers from one company at once — it may happen that the baby cannot wear even the most expensive and natural diaper panties, or you decide that reusable diapers are not for you. Thirdly, when you buy different diaper panties, then use them at least 10 times. After several washes, you will understand which diapers are the softest for your water, how long they take to dry. Only after that you can buy everything you need and need. In addition, you should never forget that inspiration can suddenly visit you and you will sew the diaper panties yourself and knit the diaper panties or entrust this to your grandmother. This way you can save a lot. Only here the material for the diaper must be selected appropriate and merino wool too.
Some of you may be thinking, “Wow! Is it that my child has to lie in a warm compress of urine all night?”. I will answer: “Yes, it will be so … Unless you have studied the rhythms of your baby.” Here are two interesting facts.
First, according to a publication in the German magazine «Children» in 2009, European scientists came to the following interesting conclusion: a newborn baby who eats breast milk will not experience discomfort from warm wet diapers, since being in the aquatic environment is natural for him (remember how he lived nine months before he was born). On the contrary, a disposable diaper, due to the presence of an absorbent in it, “takes away moisture” from the baby’s body, prompting you to spread a cocktail of creams, powders, ointments, and the contents of wet wipes on the thinnest and most delicate skin to get rid of peeling and irritation. This, I tell you, is unnatural!
Secondly, around the end of the second month of life, the child has already established its own discharge regimen and you need to show only a drop of attention (it will take one or two nights) to determine when your baby is peeing. Some toddlers poop at night. Then there are no options here: a reusable diaper (as I wrote above) should be changed, and the sooner the better. But also disposable you have to change! If you do not change, then in the morning you will get very strong irritation.
Many babies pee before (during, right after) nighttime feedings. That’s when, during the next feeding, you may find that the reusable diaper is too wet and evaluate whether it is worth changing it for a peaceful night’s sleep. I will note this: imagine that the child is sleeping in a disposable diaper — sleeping, sucking, pissing, and the gel contained in the diaper swells more and more, retaining moisture. As a result, it turns out that by the end of the night, another small bag filled with a wet substance (the size of a quarter of his body) “grows” to your child’s pope, which the child’s body is forced to additionally heat. Of course, this “piece” will cool much faster than the child’s body can warm it. That’s why in disposable diapers, the butt is often cold in the morning. In addition, a disposable diaper has limited absorbency — it will leak when you do not expect and the child will lie in a puddle. If a reusable diaper leaks, the baby will be protected from hypothermia by woolen panties. Of course, I can’t resist recommending Nappi’s two-layer changing panties for the night.
Yes, I do. All of the above is true if you are well prepared. Moreover, here you can go in two ways — to pick up good liners in the existing diaper panties or buy special diaper panties of greater absorbency. Well, even in the second case with a grown-up baby who cannot be dropped off at night, you will most likely have to use additional inserts in changing panties, as well as get two-layer changing panties from the closet, which will not only prevent the baby from getting cold, but also perform an additional moisture barrier function.