Sleep like a baby when using cloth nappies at night

When using cloth nappies at night, there are some extra steps and considerations to make to ensure that you get a good performing nappy and hopefully a good night’s sleep!

During the day, cloth nappies are changed frequently (every 2-3 hours). The reality is that when using a cloth nappy at night you want to nappy to last 10-12 hours if you don’t plan to change during the night.  I don’t know about you but the more I can do to not interrupt baby’s sleep, the better success with sleeping (in theory!). I speak with a lot of parents who opt to use disposable nappies for the night time. Night nappies seem to be the last hurdle people come up to and complete their full time cloth nappy use.  

We’ve put together some commonly asked questions and some little gems of insights so you can give night time cloth nappies a go with confidence. 

Can I use my regular everyday cloth nappies?

During the first six months, you will most likely be able to get away with boosting your current nappies, that is, adding extra absorbency either inside a pocket nappy or on the outside of a fitted nappy before adding the cover.  

As your baby gets older and may wet more frequently, it is a good idea to invest in a dedicated night nappy to ensure a good fit and no leaks. 

How does a night nappy differ from a regular nappy?

Night Nappies are more bulky and contain more layers of absorbent material. These generally require their own  waterproof cover.  It is important to ensure that the cover fits over enough to get a seal against the skin of the groin/legs area, and around the tummy to prevent leaks.  Sometimes it is best to size up the cover if extra boosting is making the nappy bulkier.  

Covers that can be use are PUL waterproof covers or wool covers. 

Wool is a breathable fabric and waterproof when lanolised.  To lanolise a wool cover, dissolve a small amount of lanolin in lukewarm/tepid (not hot) water and soaking the cover for 4-8 hours.  Dry flat and after each use, be sure to air out and ideally rotate between different covers between nights. The lanolin in the wool neutralises the urine, meaning your cover self-cleaning. You only need to wash your cover if it becomes soiled, smelly or dirty, or when it requires re-lanolising.

There are some night nappies which are all in one however can be bulky on larger children and you might find it difficult to get as good of a fit.

Dedicated night nappies 

As night nappies are thicker, these will require a bit longer drying time.  Having 2-3 dedicated night nappies will allow a good rotation. A popular award winning night nappy is the Baby Beehinds night nappy which comes in medium (5-11kg) and large (10-16kg).  This night nappy will need a cover. 

If you use Bubblebubs Candies, you can purchase a night time booster with more absorbent layers and fits into the existing Candies shell.  

My child is toilet during the day trained but still needs a nappy at night.  

Toddlers may decrease their wetting overnight as they night train and can potentially get away with a training pant.  The Baby Beehinds training pants have a snap in booster which can be tailored for boys and girls. These training pants fit on like undies with elasticised waist and legs.  If you find that the toddler needs more absorbency, you may need to go back to the dedicated night nappy system. During the day, these training pants can have the extra booster removed to act like absorbent underwear. 

Washing and care

Night nappies will need to be rinsed first thing in the morning as ammonia will break down the materials and elastics.  If the nappy is heavily soiled, you can soak the nappy for an hour with detergent and warm water, then dry pail. 

If you are only using one or a few nappies, read more about washing just a few nappies.

For more information on washing, download our 5 step guide on how to wash cloth nappies 

Good luck in making a night nappy working for your child.  And if you do get leaks, tweak by adding more absorbency and try different materials until you get the winning combination. It will be worth it in the end to complete your cloth nappy efforts. 


Want to speak to a cloth nappy expert? Book a 1:1 consultation with cloth nappy expert Emma to ask questions and see different nappies demonstrated. >>Book here<<