Baby Stuff: The Quest for the Ultimate Cloth Night Nappy

So far cloth nappying has been a breeze. That or I’m so sleep deprived that all challenges I have faced have been lost in the fog. In any case, I am now in a pretty good rhythm with my laundry routine and for the most part they are easy to clean, dry and use and we have no more wee or poo leaks than the next person.

During the day.

The nights are another story. Now don’t get me wrong. The need for a night nappy is not a function of W sleeping for prolonged periods – that’s a rant for another time – but rather a function of me trying to keep him as sleep ready as possible throughout the night wakings and nothing says “Party time!” quite like a nappy change according to our little wannabe nudist.

So, what have I tried?

Itti Bitti Boo

I bought these in the small size at a time when W was probably ready to move into mediums but I was in denial about him growing up. The design is trim and they are not significantly bulkier than the regular Itti Bitti D’Lish SIO except for the need to put a cover on them (more on cover options later). They snap apart for quicker drying, like SIOs, but given their higher absorbency they are slower to dry.

With a polyurethane laminate (PUL) cover, we initially had some success, but as he grew and his small SIOs started to leak in the day, so did his Boos. We never got anywhere in a fleece cover.

By the time I acknowledged he needed medium SIOs, I had already bought various other night nappies and I hadn’t been so convinced by the Boos ability to last the night out, so I haven’t bought any mediums. It’s on my to do list – unless I find something better.

Bambooty Easy Nights

This is a great looking trim nappy and doesn’t need an cover as the outermost lining is waterproof. The design is an all-in-one style but the layers of absorbent bamboo are separate for quick drying.

I wanted so much for this to be the night nappy. It looks great and doesn’t make W’s bum the size of a small hippopotamus, but unfortunately we have had a pretty high leak rate with this, even with an additional two boosters, after about 6-7 hours of wear. Not enough to get us through the night.

On the plus side, the customer service has been phenomenal. I accidentally ordered and then pre-washed the wrong booster (designed for a different nappy) and they replaced it with three of the correct boosters without a fuss. Brilliant! Just wish the nappy didn’t leak! I’ve emailed the company again to see if they have any tips for me to get this to work.

Baby Beehinds Night Nappy & Bamboo Fitted Nappy

I ordered the Baby Beehinds Night Trial Pack a month or so ago and it was about this time I realised I was become a little fixated on finding the nappy. While both nappies seem to go the distance (still mostly in PUL and I’ve successfully braved the wool cover twice) the sheer size of the nappies is something to be reckoned with. I wonder how W doesn’t get reflux from them as he is essentially tilted head-down all night. These babies are huge!!

The other thing with these nappies is that while we haven’t had any leaks, on more than one occasion I have changed him out of a sodden nappy at about 4am as he’s crying but not hungry and the change seems to have settled him. So, I’m thinking that while they absorb a lot of wee, they maybe don’t feel that dry to the wearer. A steeping in your own wee all night isn’t too nice. Even if you are just a baby. So the sheets stay dry but either the wetness or arse-in-the-air position seem to get my W out of sorts by the early hours of the morning.

Bubblebubs Good Night Sleep Tight Nappy – Heavy Wetter Version

So by now, I figure I have a heavy wetter on my hands who doesn’t enjoy a wet bum. Enter the Bubblebubs Good Night Sleep Tight. A nappy they challenge your baby to “outwet”. It also has a stay-dry microfleece lining. Ah ha! This will do the trick! So again, it’s, well, enormous, but it seems snug and comfortable and W doesn’t look quite so ridiculous in it. The nappy has a booster inside the main nappy and then an extra booster on the outside for the heavy wetting version.

Cloth Night Nappy 2

Bubblebubs Good Night Sleep Tight with a PUL cover.

I’ve used this with a PUL cover and we have never out wet it, even when leaving the ‘heavy wetting’ extra booster off. The sodden cold nappy issue seems less problematic too. We’ve had one episode of changing the nappy in the early hours with a happy baby afterwards… but it was just once and it might have been coincidental. The nappy didn’t seem that wet. Further trials are required.

The main thing preventing me from investing in a stash of these is (a) W is still not sleeping well at night and I’m still wondering if the nappy issue is a contributing factor; (b) the best sleep he’s ever had was while we were travelling and he was in disposables at night time and (c) it’s huge!!

Night Nappy Covers

Apart from the Bambooty Easy Nights, all the night nappies I’ve tried require an additional waterproof or water repelling cover. The three options are PUL (which is plastic), synthetic fleece or wool. I have tried all three.

PUL works in terms of keeping the sheets dry (assuming that the nappy’s not overcome by inordinate amounts of wee beyond it’s capabilities and that the cover is fitted properly). The main downside is that it doesn’t breathe, so your bub is potentially marinating in everything all night.

Synthetic fleece covers work by repelling the water rather than being strictly waterproof. This means a heavily soaked nappy will push water through the cover. We’ve had this happen on several occasions and now I tend to stick to PUL as a result. Will retry the fleece once we’re sleeping well as I like the idea of the breathability. The benefits of fleece over wool is ease of care. Fleece just gets chucked in the washing machine with W’s clothes. I bought some super cute covers from Fleecy Little Lambs as they were both made in Australia and a lot cheaper than the ones I could find in the cloth nappy stores online.

My understanding is that wool covers are similar to fleece in terms of the way they work. We’ve not had any leaks with the wool cover I have (Baby Beehinds) but I’ve only used it a few times. The cover is aired after use rather than washed and then one has to lanolinise (if that is a word) it every few weeks. As I’ve only used it three times I haven’t looked into this or done it yet, so can’t really comment. In an ideal world, I’d use wool covers for night nappies as it’s a natural fibre and requires the least washing (i.e. water and power), but I’m not ready yet. We need the right nappy first!

So…

The quest for the ultimate night nappy continues. I await a response from Bambooty about my Easy Nights issues and I ponder the purchase of a few more Bubblebubs Good Night Sleep Tights. In the meantime, I’ve put W to bed tonight in a disposable wondering whether it’ll be the difference between a night of wake ups and a long, peaceful sleep.

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