The real deal-maker of cloth nappies for me was the idea of not having to change my baby at night, once he had passed the newborn stage. This appealed to me a lot, since I absolutely dreaded the night change when we used disposables. The massive leaks which meant a full nappy-clothes-blanket change was necessary, the grouchy and extremely wriggly baby who would be awake far longer after waking up wet, and the parent who was so tired they could barely raise their hands or stand up straight. Sound familiar?
I only needed to do a bit of reading and talk to a few parents to figure out which nappies to try and how to get the perfect system, and now a leaky night nappy is a rare sight in our household. This is extra amazing considering Rawrie still guzzles what seems to be a gallon of milk overnight (only slightly exaggerated).
For anyone who is looking for tips for using cloth at night, this post is definitely for you. I’ve picked up the five most important things to think about (plus I’ll tell you which brands I use and why I like them) and once you’ve got these tips down, it’s plain sailing from there on out.
It’s all about absorbency
Seriously, it is. You’ll choose a nappy material that completely depends on how wet your baby usually gets at night. Rawrie is a mega heavy wetter, so any nappies made of hemp or bamboo are the ones for me. They are so absorbent and will last the longest, but do bear in mind that ultra-absorbent nappies take the longest to dry. Best bet is to get 3-5 night nappies so you always have spares while your others are line drying.
My stash is mainly made up of Tots Bots Bamboozle nappies, which are made of lovely soft bamboo. Nearly all of them are second-hand from other mums, and they still have so much life left in them. I also pushed the boat out and tried out another popular night nappy, the Petit Lulu night nappy. Being a combo of bamboo and cotton, this nappy proved just as good as our bamboozles and was well worth the money. When Rawrie was a newborn, we loved our Little Lamb size 1 bamboo nappies, kindly gifted new by my grandparents.
Boost, boost, boost!
Great thing about cloth nappies in general is you can adapt them so easily to be more/less absorbent. If you have a kid who seems to save all their pee for nighttime (I sympathise enormously), then boosters are the way to go. Most fitted nappies come with a booster already, but all manufacturers have extra booster packs you can buy. I love my Tots Bots Peenut Pads and Baba and Boo hemp boosters and I usually put two boosters inside my nappy. For heavy wetters, try this trick: if you’ve got a boy, fold one booster up and place it towards the front of the nappy. If you have a girl, fold in half and place in the middle.
Line with fleece
Even if your nappy system is as absorbent as it can be, your baby could still wake up because they feel uncomfortable against a soaking wet nappy. Fleece liners are so soft against your baby’s skin and they help to wick moisture away so baby is far less likely to wake up because of a wet bottom. Bonus point about fleece liners is that, after they’ve gone through a 60-degree wash with your nappies, they are pretty much dry from the start and just need to be hung up for thirty minutes tops before being put away. I absolutely love the fleecy liners from Little Lambs, which came as part of their bamboo nappy pack of five.
The perfect fit
Without going into too much written detail (I always feel like writing about how to fit a nappy around a baby is a bit pointless as everyone needs a visual), the golden rule about fitting a two-part nappy system (your absorbent inner nappy and waterproof outer wrap) is to focus on fitting around the thighs. If your baby sleeps on their back, make sure the inner nappy is not sticking out of the back of your wrap, and vice versa if your baby sleeps on their tummy. In both situations, a tight fit around the thighs is vital. If you manage to fit more than one finger in between the wrap and your baby’s thighs, it’s not tight enough.
My favourite wraps
To me any outer wrap will be good for night time, if it has a double gusset (a double elastic layer around the thighs). I have two night-time wraps. Our Little Lamb wrap works every time. I also decided to try a Petit Lulu pull-up wrap and managed to find one second-hand for a good price. Honestly, this wrap does not look like it’s going to contain anything- the wrap is lined with fleece cuffs and the size that fits Rawriebest (the large size) seems really loose. And yet every night we use it, Rawrie’s nappy is completely contained and it does the job spot on.
What’s your favourite night nappy system? I feel like everyone uses a different mix of brands so I’d love to hear yours.