My last post on overnight cloth diapers sparked some great conversations and inspired me to write about Side Sleepers- that is, babies who sleep on their sides. If you are experiencing leg leaks overnight it could be because your baby is a side sleeper, or a fast wetter. These helpful tips and tricks can help slow down pee and lock it in the cloth diaper. You can utilize the flexibility of flat diapers, boosters and liners to make your fitted diapers bulletproof overnight! Adding a wool cover on top is not as intimidating as you might think, and will really hold everything in for a dry night.
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Microfibre and Microfleece
For fast absorption, you need a quick wicking material like microfibre. But unfortunately, microfiber on its own doesn’t hold large volumes of urine for long periods of time, and it is prone to compression leaks as well. A small microfiber insert that has a built in microfleece top will work well inside your hemp fitted. Hemp on its own is too stiff to catch urine from side sleepers.
Bamboo is another option that absorbs fairly quickly and holds more pee, for longer. Mother-ease makes a great one called Sandy’s Bamboo fitteds. I love them with a stay dry liner added. The Sandy’s have gathered leg ruffles, which are perfect for side sleepers. They come in several different sizes based on babys weight, and be sure to choose bamboo not the cotton version.
But just a fitted on its own likely won’t last the night, which is why people add boosters or inserts. A good solution of course, but not without its complications.
Avoid Inner Bulk
One fatal flaw of fitted diapers is that adding inserts or boosters inside to achieve enough absorbency for overnight, can push the fitted outwards. That creates gaps around the legs which, in turn, means leaks for side sleepers. The trick is to put your bulk OUTSIDE the fitted.
Jelly Roll your Flats
For extra absorbency you can put on a flat diaper overtop of your fitted! I use the Osocozy Bamboo Flats and my favourite Flat Diaper fold for overnights is the Origami Fold. It provides lots of absorbency in the center and gives you huge wings to close everything securely. When fastening the flat diaper around the fitted, you should Jelly Roll your wings around the legs. As you pull the wings closed over baby’s legs, you roll them inwards repeatedly creating an extra seal for wetness or poop. I’ve gone into detail on how to do this in my video below. Make sure your flats are right into the crease of baby’s inner thighs.
Finish with a Wool Cover
Wool covers are breathable, soft, naturally antimicrobial, and bulletproof. If the cost and care of wool seems overwhelming, remember that they can be used every night for 2 weeks before they need washing. This means you don’t need to buy many! Disana makes a great budget friendly wool cover that has nice long leg cuffs, perfect for side sleepers.
The Disana cover sells for around $22 and I found the sizing to be generous. My extra small has stretched enough over time that it still fits my 10 month old. You will need to buy Lanolin to treat the wool after washing and keep it waterproof. We’re still on one container of lanolin after 8 months of use.
If you don’t want to use a wool diaper cover, choose a regular PUL diaper cover with double leg gussets. You will also want one that is two layers of PUL instead of one. Best Bottom covers are perfect for this. Choose the new Bigger Best Bottom if your baby is already over 14lbs – just to ensure longer use. Buttons Covers are also great!
A video of this topic
Here’s my little video where I discuss all these tips.
What works for you?
Do you have success with dealing with a Flooder or Side Sleeper? Comment below with your experiences to help other moms.
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Marie Lowther says
Thank you for sharing this with us! We use thirsties NAIO with 2 hemp organic cotton doublers. Sometimes they still leak. I may need to use some of these methods you shared thank you!
Try the microfleece liner! Or a wool cover over the NAIO would work great! or even invest in some Wool Longies – wool pants to use as pajama bottoms. Disana makes the pants too at great prices. Otherwise Sloomb playwoolies would work.
Leigh Kitchens says
A really thorough post on this subject! My LO is a heavy wetting tummy sleeper who has worn a THX bamboo fleece fitted under a Thirsties sized cover, Blueberry Coverall, or Sweet Pea cover successfully for 10 months for 12+ hrs. with no leaks! We just this week began adding a large Thirsties Duo Hemp insert to the outside of the fitted since the fitteds were so completely saturated. Thank you for such great ideas for overnight diapering successfully.
kathy downey says
Thanks so much for sharing any tips are always helpful.Hope your having a good day !
Thanks for this helpful information it may really help with all our routine nightly leaks!
Jessica Martinez says
Thanks for sharing this! We currently use sposies at night because my girl is really sensitive to wetness but this makes me want to try some other things.
Leigh K. says
After reading some posts like this one I have come to appreciate microfiber for it’s quick absorption, & then use it’s compression tendencies to my benefit. I found some great microfleece topped microfiber boosters at Diaper Junction on sale. I put one on top of hemp cotton & it absorbs the flood without adding a lot of bulk. When the MF compresses it spreads the wetness out to the majority of the hemp below. Before, the hemp would be saturated in the wet zone but no where else. This trick has allowed us to extend wearing time & still have a stay dry feel!
Erica Peak says
I have a big 2 year old will that flat fit big toddler she also is tummy sleeper I have bought the nickies Bamboo fitter and no wool cover
They osocozy bamboo flats are 27 x 27 and would probably fit your toddler well. They can be adjusted based on the type of fold you do and I recommend trying a Google search for Toddler Flat Folds ?
Leigh Kitchens says
Now that LO has sized out of his THX bamboo fitteds because of height I am getting more interested in other options like XL bamboo flats or Geffen XL hemp cotton prefolds. Thank you for helping me think outside the box.
Dandi D says
I use flats all the time with my heavy wetter! I double them up and do the origami for nap time, but it doesn’t hold for night.
Have you tried one flat origami folded and then one more flat padfolded on top of it? That way seems to work well for us, with more layers in the wet zone.
Cheryl Levin says
I absolutely have to second your tip to use a flat origami fold on the OUTSIDE of the fitted with a wool soaker over it all. It took me a year of trial and error to stumble upon on to this solution for my heavy wetting little man and it’s been a Godsend. No more nighttime leaks