Best overnight cloth diapers that won’t have you losing your mind with leaks.
Cloth diapering has come a long way from the days of safety pins and folded cloth.. Cloth diaper options available today are easier to use, machine washable, made of adorable fabric and quite absorbent.
But overnight cloth diapering is still an intimidating proposition for many parents. Finding the right combination of absorbency and cover that will last 10-12 hours can be very frustrating, especially if you have a heavy wetter.
Let’s face it, no one wants to volunteer for full outfit + diaper + bedding changes in the middle of the night…that’s why we found you the 5 best overnight cloth diapers.
Read on to learn about different overnight cloth diapering options and the brands that will keep your baby dry and everyone sleeping through the night.
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- TL:DR (too long, didn’t read)
- How to Cloth Diaper At Night [Quick Start Guide]
- The Best All-In-One Overnight Cloth Diapers
- The Best Non-AIO Overnight Cloth Diapers
- The Best Overnight Diaper Covers
- Inserts or Soakers to Add Absorbency for Night Time Cloth Diapering
- What Is An Overnight Cloth Diaper And Why You Need One
- The Different Types of Overnight Diaper options
- How Many Overnight Cloth Diapers Do I need?
- Tips for Successful Overnight Cloth Diapering
- Cloth Diaper Terminology
- The Final Word
- More Reading on Cloth Diapers
How to Cloth Diaper At Night [Quick Start Guide]
Cloth diapering at night isn’t as complicated as you think.
It’s pretty much the same as cloth diapering during the day. Only difference is instead of changing baby every 2-3 hours, you don’t really want to have to change her at all (unless poop happens… or a leak.)
That’s why specialised night diapers were invented – these diapers are super thick, bulky and ultra absorbent. Ready to absorb anything your baby can throw at it. You can even add extra inserts for even more absorbency if you need it or throw a lanolized wool soaker over the top for added leak protection (my fave!)
Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Started With Cloth Diapers Overnight
- Choose one (or more) of our favorite overnight cloth diapers to try with your baby.
- Prepare the diaper according to the manufacturer’s instructions – depending on the brand and type of diaper, you may need to soak, wash or lanolize your diaper first. Cloth diapers become more absorbent after they’ve been washed several times.
- Change baby into a night diaper at bed time – use a disposable diaper liner if your baby still poops at night and is eating solids. If you find his pyjamas are difficult to fit over the top, consider sizing up.
- If your baby wakes at night, check the diaper for poop. If there’s poop, grab another of your night diapers and change baby.
- If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you can pop your cloth diapers directly into the washing machine as their poop is water soluble. If your baby eats solids and poops at night, flip the poop into the toilet and discard the liner in the trash (this should take care of the worst of the poop). Pop the diaper into a bucket to rinse and wash in the morning.
- In the morning, change baby into a day time diaper. Put your used night diapers into your washing machine for a quick wash setting to rinse the urine out. You can then run a warm wash cycle immediately after or wait until you’ve got a
The Best All-In-One Overnight Cloth Diapers
GroVia has several different cloth diapering options that allow for customization, but their O.N.E. diaper is their premium option for overnight cloth diapering.
These diapers work for babies from 10 pound to 35 pounds and are a 1-part (AIO) system. The outside layer is waterproof and comes in 11 adorable colors and patterns. They have both a hook and loop closure system as well as a snap closure option. Inside the diaper, you can attach extra soaker cloths using a snap-in system. The snap-in soaker system allows you to customize the level of absorbency which is especially great for overnight cloth diapering. The GroVia O.N.E. diaper comes with both a large and small snap-in insert.
They are machine washable and are made from 100% Polyester Microfiber, 100% Cotton topped with 100% Polyester Microfleece, and 100% Water Resistant Polyester.
- Not bulky
- Comes with two inserts (small and large)
- “From Birth to Potty-Training” (10 lbs to 35+ lbs)
- Reviewers say the diapers don’t hold poop well and that the snap closure in the back is hard to clean
- Not for use with newborns under 10 pounds
Another diaper that can grow with your baby from 10 pounds to 35+ pounds, the Smart Bottoms Dream Diaper 2.0 has four rise settings. This cloth diaper includes 1 snap in insert. A reinforced pocket gives you the option of adding additional inserts for overnight cloth diapering. The Smart Bottoms cloth diaper has elastic around the back and legs to help prevent blowouts.
This cloth diaper is made of 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton and comes in 35 different colors/patterns. The outer layer is 100% PUL.
- Only need to wash one time to prep for use
- Elastic around back and legs to prevent blowouts
- The hemp and organic cotton interior reduces risk of rash for babies with sensitive skin.
- 10 lbs to 35+ lbs size
- Leg gaps on skinny babies
- Only comes with one insert, may need to purchase additional inserts for overnight use
Best Bottoms are an AIO diaper with a waterproof outer layer. This heavy wetter version has an interior lining with two layers of absorbent bamboo viscose. An additional (included) insert has six layers of bamboo viscose fabric covered with a soft no-pill fleece. There are hidden snaps to add an extra insert for overnight cloth diapering.
The adjustable snaps on the front of the diaper fit babies from 10-40+ pounds.
- Materials are PVC, BPA and Lead-Free
- Fits babies from 10 lbs to 40+ lbs
- Includes a thick insert/soaker
- Elastic on back and legs to prevent blow-outs
- Not made for newborns under 10 pounds
- Only one pattern/color available (but it is super cute, right?!)
The Best Non-AIO Overnight Cloth Diapers
One drawback of the All-In-One cloth diaper system is that they take longer to dry after you’ve laundered them. Like, soooo long. This can be problematic if your diaper stash isn’t big enough.
Here are a few other faster drying overnight cloth diaper options that require a cover, as well as our favorite diaper covers.
Made for overnight use, these diapers are Hemp/cotton mix that will wick moisture to keep baby dry. They do NOT have a waterproof outer cover so that will need to be purchased in addition to the Ecoable Fitted Cloth Overnight Diaper. This comes with two cotton/hemp inserts for added leak protection. The Ecoable cloth diapers have many different rise options and work for babies from 10-30 pounds. It includes two snap-in cotton/hemp inserts.
- Hemp decreases diaper rash
- These wick moisture to help keep baby dry
- Comes with two extra inserts.
- Need to purchase a cover (really, no big deal!)
Mother-ease Sandy’s cloth diapers are made from good ol’ terry-cloth (85% cotton, 15% polyester) with an extra layer of absorbent terry cloth sewn to the inside of the diaper. These DO NOT have a waterproof outer layer so you’ll need to grab a waterproof cover. They come in sizes small or large and there are seven different color options. Mother-ease Sandy’s have elastic around the leg holes and on the back to prevent blow-outs. Many reviewers report that these diapers are quite bulky.
- Soft and plus fabric to go against baby’s skin
- Absorbent and comfortable
- Easy to remove with side snaps
- Bulky and hard to place under diaper cover
- Lack of size options
The Best Overnight Diaper Covers
This diaper cover is made of 100% organic double knit merino wool. It comes in 7 different colors and three different sizes (3-6 months, 6-12 months and 12-24 months). The wool is GOTS certified (certified organic products sourced from green supply chains). Wool is an excellent choice for a diaper cover because it can absorb up to one-third of its own weight in water, is breathable, and is naturally anti-bacterial.
You’ll need to make some time to prepare your wool covers correctly by lanolizing them, a process that needs to be repeated every 2-3 weeks (or once they start to get smelly). The best thing about wool covers is they simply need to be aired between uses as lanolin neutralizes the urine.
Wool covers are my personal favorite night time diaper cover solution because they don’t need to be rewashed with every use and it’s so easy to get a great full coverage fit over the top of bulky night diapers.
- Wool covers need only be aired between uses, making them a great time saver
- Made of soft, organic wool
- Lanolin, the natural oil that comes from sheep, neutralizes the ammonia in urine
- Wool naturally wicks the liquid away from baby’s body
- Super easy to get full coverage over your fitted diaper
- Diapers need to be re-lanolized every 2-3 weeks depending on how often you use it.
- Become smelly when ready to wash.
Thirsties Snap Diaper Cover has a PUL outer layer made of 100% polyester with urethane coating. You have the option of choosing either hook and loop or snap closures. The fit of this diaper cover is generous, making it ideal for overnight cloth diapering when multiple inserts or soakers are used.
Thirsties have elastic and gussets around the legs holes for extra leak protection. The inside of the diaper is lined with TPU laminate (a type of film/fabric hybrid) so it can be wiped clean between uses and washed when it is soiled.
- Fabric is pliable, breathable and waterproof
- Generous cut works well for babies with chubby legs
- The newborn, preemie and extra small sizes have an umbilical cord cut out
- The inside can be wiped out so the cover can be reused more than once before washing
- Piping around leg holes is white, so it stains easily
- You will need to buy several different sizes as your baby grows
Inserts or Soakers to Add Absorbency for Night Time Cloth Diapering
Another component of successful overnight cloth diapering is adding additional absorbency through inserts or soakers. Think of these as extra powerful inserts that give your cloth diaper more absorbency to last through the night. Here are some of the best options.
Made of six layers of certified organic hemp/cotton fibers, the Bottom Overnight Inserts can be coupled with a normal insert to add major absorbing power for overnight cloth diapering. It comes in three sizes (small, medium and large) for use from birth to 35+ pounds.
The Geffen Baby Super Absorbers cloth diaper inserts boast 5 layers of 60% hemp, 40% organic cotton fleece. They are thin enough that you can layer them with other inserts for increased absorbency. They don’t have snaps but can be placed in a cloth diaper pocket. These are one size fits all.
One positive of hemp inserts is that they seem to minimize baby rashes. This pack of hemp diaper inserts are doublers for overnight use. They are made of 4 layers of 55% Hemp, 45% Cotton. They come in one size fits all, and have no snaps. They will need to be placed in the diaper or in a diaper pocket.
What Is An Overnight Cloth Diaper And Why You Need One
The main difference between cloth diapering at night and cloth diapering in the day is absorbency. You want to have an absorbent insert that will last through your baby’s entire nighttime sleep.
Purchasing diapers/inserts/diaper covers that are specifically made for overnight use will ensure that you are maximizing absorbency (and sleep!) for all.
The Different Types of Overnight Diaper options
- All-in-one (AIO or 1-system) overnight cloth diapers: These cloth diapers have everything you need in one easy to use package. A waterproof outer layer with an absorbent liner plus an insert specifically made to last all night long. One major benefit of AIO diapers is that you have everything you need in one diaper and can customize the insert to the level of wetness. The main con is that they are thick and slow to dry after machine washing.
- Diaper Cover + overnight insert: Although they have more “moving parts”, a diaper cover plus overnight insert combo is a great option because you can customize the cover and inserts very specifically for your baby. Choose the fabric, colors and style you want for the diaper cover, then select overnight inserts that have the absorbency and features that you need.
- Diaper Cover + fitted diaper + inserts (as needed) – with a fitted diaper the entire diaper is made of absorbent fabric. You need to use a waterproof diaper cover with this option and you can add additional inserts as needed.
How Many Overnight Cloth Diapers Do I need?
Depending on the age of your baby, you may need more or less overnight diapers.
For a newborn or young baby, you’ll want to have around four overnight diaper solutions. This will allow you to launder them every 1-2 days and have a couple to spare on any given night. Note that you’ll need to wash or at least rinse your overnight diaper each day as the amount of urine these catch will damage them if left to sit. Overnight diapers also can take more than a day to air dry… so it’s good to have spares!
Once your baby stops pooping at night (when this happens varies greatly between babies), you can probably get by with just 2-3 overnight diapers.
Tips for Successful Overnight Cloth Diapering
- Prep your diapers for best absorbency: Some cloth diapers and inserts require that you wash them multiple times before using them at night. Fibers like cotton, hemp or bamboo have natural plant oils that inhibit absorption. Many manufacturers recommend you wait until natural fiber cloth diapers or inserts have been washed at least 10 times before using them at night. However, you can get around this by soaking them initially and washing 1-2 times before use. Just be mindful they may take a few uses to reach full absorbency.
- Size up: Go up one size in pajamas to allow for the bulk of an overnight diaper with extra inserts
- Be flexible: Not every cloth diaper/cover/insert will work for every baby. Be willing to try different combinations until you reach the best solution for overnight cloth diapering.
Cloth Diaper Terminology
If you are new to cloth diapering, the lingo might seem like another language! Here are key terms to help you as you shop for overnight cloth diapers.
PUL – A waterproof fabric (usually polyester, cotton or a polyester/cotton blend) that has been heat laminated (or stuck) to a layer of polyurethane. This makes the fabric durable, lightweight and waterproof.
Rise – In cloth diapering, the rise refers to the height of the diaper in the front. Many cloth diapers have multiple snaps in the front so that you can adjust the diaper rise to fit your baby better.
All-In-One Cloth Diaper (also called AIO or 1-part system) – Cloth diapers that are made with a waterproof outer layer (usually PUL) with a soft backing like polar fleece. In the AIO diaper, absorbent layers are built into the diaper.
All-In-Two Cloth Diaper (also called AI2) – These cloth diapers have a waterproof outer layer with an inner layer of microfleece . A snapping component or pocket is inside the diaper for adding absorbent inserts.
Diaper Cover – If you aren’t using an AIO diaper, you’ll need a diaper cover. These provide the protective, waterproof outer layer to your cloth diaper. They are often made from wool, fleece, waterproof nylon, PUL or polyester and aim to keep bedding and clothing from getting soaked.
Inserts (also called soakers or doublers) – The fabric or material placed inside the diaper to absorb waste. These are many different types available, made of different materials. Some attach with snaps, others are folded and placed inside of the diaper or a pocket of the diaper.
Hook and Loop – Velcro-like closures to secure the diaper on the baby. Since Velcro isn’t very soft, may diaper makers use softer versions of a hook and loop closure.
The Final Word
Thoughfully choosing an overnight cloth diaper will help you and your baby get a better night’s sleep. Overnight diapers will ensure maximum absorbency so that your baby can sleep dry and comfortable (and so you don’t have to do a complete diaper, pajama, sheet change).
The clear winner for ease of use, style options and size range is GroVia O.N.E. all-in-one diaper. Not only does it have amazing reviews, it also is quite customizable, can be paired with many types of snap-in inserts and will easily grow with your child.