The Best Cloth Diapers for Nighttime

Have you spent too many mornings washing wet sheets? Have you considered switching to disposable diapers at night, just to avoid the hassle? Using one disposable diaper every 24 hours isn’t much, but there’s no need to give up nighttime cloth diapers because of leaks. Even if your baby is a heavy wetter, you can still use cloth at night. The perfect nighttime solution will vary depending on your baby’s body type and wetting patterns, but these tips will help you know what to look for as you search for the perfect nighttime cloth diapering solution.

1. Adjustable absorbency. A diaper with enough absorbency for nighttime use will often be too bulky for daytime use. Adjustable absorbency allows you to add more absorbency when–and where–you need it. Pocket diapers are a good option for this, since you can stuff the pocket with as many absorbent layers as you need. However, you can add more inserts or layers to any type of diaper; even prefolds can be doubled-up for nighttime use.

2. Adjustable location of absorbent layers.  You should also look for a diaper that will hold absorbent layers in place and that allows you to put more layers in specific locations. Generally, boys need more absorbency in front, while girls need more in the back, especially at night, but this will vary depending on your individual baby’s anatomy and preferred sleeping position. Experiment with more thickness in different locations. Pocket diapers are one of the best choices for this option, since the pocket will hold layers still, and you can add inserts in front or in back. All-in-twos, some covers, and many all-in-ones also offer methods for snapping or attaching absorbent layers to keep them in place. You can also fold prefolds and flat folds in different ways to create more absorbency in different locations.

3. A wicking layer next to your baby’s skin.  If you’re planning on leaving your baby in one diaper all night long, then it’s nice to know that your baby’s skin won’t be pressed up against cold, damp cotton for twelve hours straight. A diaper that includes a wicking layer such as microfleece or suedecloth won’t feel as wet for your baby. This will help prevent diaper rash, keep him more comfortable, and possibly even help him sleep better. If you’re using cotton diapers such as prefolds, consider adding a suedecloth or microfleece insert for the inner layer.

4. A well-fitted outer layer or cover.  Even if your diaper has enough absorbency, it can leak if the legs openings of the diaper don’t fit snugly around your baby’s thighs. Adding more absorbent layers can actually contribute to this problem: the layers make the diaper thicker in the crotch, which can cause it to gape more at the thighs. Covers with gussets or adjustable elastic are good solution, as are covers that extend farther down your baby’s legs such as longies and shorties.

5. A leak-proof cover.  Although a waterproof PUL outer layer will work well for many babies at night, some heavy wetters have more success with outer layers that can absorb a little as well. Wool and fleece covers, especially longies, will help absorb potential leaks before they reach your baby’s sheets.

It may take a little experimentation, but you can find the perfect nighttime cloth diapering solution for your baby. If possible, borrow from friends or buy used diapers to try different options as you’re searching for a combination that works best for you.

Guest Blogger:

Lisa C. Baker is a full-time mom and part-time writer in Atlanta, Georgia. She writes about green parenting topics at Organic Baby Atlanta andteaches workshops on cloth diapers and elimination communication.  She’s been a mom since 2008 and has never bought a disposable diaper; she hopes she’ll never need to!

 

 

*Photo by Janelle Hill (http://www.flickr.com/photos/janellehill/) used by creative commons license.*

Jalie Diaper Pattern

This pattern has several types of diapers in size newborn to X-Large.

I love to sew.  I learned how to sew in high school in home ec, where the teacher was one of the students mothers who had a passion for sewing, and shared that enthusiasm with the kids.  I sewed alot of my daughters clothing (she is now 22), and then later turned to quilting.  Now, I am sewing inserts, diaper bags, and diaper accessories.  I have not actually made alot of diapers though.  I have bought alot of diaper patterns though, and I plan to try and sew each and everyone one of them :)

My first one I loved so much, I had to stock it for the DIY section of the store.  It is the pattern by Jalie and it is great value.  It includes patterns for a pocket, AIO, fitted and cover.  I have tried out the pocket in this pattern so far.  I took the plunge after I saw how easy it was with the videos that Jalie had posted on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/user/jaliepatterns

You can find most if not all of what you need to make the diapers from this pattern from the DIY section of Nappy Shoppe.

Braden wearing his Jalie pocket Diaper.

I made the pocket diaper using 2mm PUL and Microchamois.  I use the elastic that I stock in the store and I used the pre-made tabs on most of the diapers I made.  One or two of them, I cut the tabs to shape because I wanted to try out some of the coloured aplix I had on hand.  Following along with the video really helped.  I put it on my phone beside the sewing machine and paused while I did each step. 

The end result was a pocket diaper that has been in Braden’s stash for coming up a year.  I like to use it at night as it is a good sized pocket and I can fit around 3 hemp and microfiber G-Flappers in it. 

Using 2mm PUL, Microchamois, premade tabs and aplix, and elastic from the DIY section of the store.

This pattern makes cloth diapering very affordable if you have the time and the skills to put into it.  In my opinion an absolute beginner sewer may find this challenging, but if you have some good basic sewing skills, you should be able to follow this pattern and video just fine.  It helps to be familiar with your machine.  The first diaper I sewed, the thread kept breaking as I was putting in the leg elastic.  It turns out the timing was off, and the making of this diaper made this issue come to the fore, so I took the machine in to be serviced, and subsequent diapers went together without a hitch.

Rylan, at 5 pounds in the newborn pocket.

My friend Ashley has made a few diapers from this pattern too.  She started out in my sewing room trying out the pattern, but loved the pattern so had to get her own :)  She even made some of the newborn size ones, and they work great on her newborn.

She also made the largest size for her older son who is 30 pounds and it was big on him, so if you have a larger baby, this pattern will cover that size too.

Replacing Aplix on Bum Genius Diapers

Has the aplix died on your Bum Genius diapers? It has on some of mine, so I replaced it, and now these diapers are back being used again as intended. For a while there I was using one of my Nappy Straps to hold it on. It is pretty simple to replace the Aplix. The longest part was actually removing the old stuff, (and chasing the baby around the sewing room who kept getting into mischief). This will also work on diaper brands which have a similar closure.

Hook and Loop Die Cut Aplix diaper tabs
Hook and Loop Die Cut Aplix diaper tabs

I used the aplix die cut diaper tabs that I sell in the DIY section of my store. But you could use strips of hook and loop tape cut to size.

 

 

 

 

 

Cut off the old tab close to the PUL.
Cut off the old tab close to the PUL.

To start with I cut off the old tab near where it is attached to the PUL of the diaper.  Be careful not to cut the PUL.  I found doing this made it easier to remove the old tab.

 

 

 

 

 

The end of the tab cut off.
The end of the tab cut off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insert scissors into the tab and cut as far in as you can.
Insert scissors into the tab and cut as far in as you can.

I then inserted scissors into the hole left from cutting off the tab and cut down as far as I could.  This made it easier to get my seam ripper in to remove the stitches. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a seam ripper, remove the old stitches.
Using a seam ripper, remove the old stitches.

Take your seam ripper and carefully cut the old stitching until you have removed the old tab.

 

 

 

 

 

Sandwich the tabs on each side of the PUL
Sandwich the tabs on each side of the PUL

This part is important.  You need a hook tab and a loop tab.  Sandwich them on either side of the PUL.  You will want to make sure to do a test closing of the diaper to make sure that the hook side is grabbing onto the large strip of loop on the front of the diaper and close it.  You don’t want to sew this part the wrong way around, as you will be unpicking your stitches!

 

 

 
 

 

Line up the tabs on the old stitching lines.
Line up the tabs on the old stitching lines.

At this point you could use a pin to hold the hook and loop tabs in place.  Be warned the aplix is thick and it can be tough to stick a pin through.  You could use a bulldog clip to hold it in place too.  I just very carefully moved it under the foot of my sewing machine and lowered the needle into place when I was satisfied everything was lined up ok. 

 I just lined the tabs up on the stitching lines of the old aplix.  The diapers were faded enough that it was easy to see and do this for me.

 

 

 

 

Start stiching in the center on the PUL.
Start stiching in the center on the PUL.

I found it best to start stitching in the middle on the PUL where shown in this photo.  That way you had it tacked down in place before turning corners etc.  If you have needle up/needle down on your machine, this feature will be useful here. 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to stitch both tabs together.
Be sure to stitch both tabs together.

 

I did a straight stitch the first time around, and the went around the whole lot again using a small zigzag.  Be sure to go all the way around the edges so you sew both of the pieces of aplix hook and loop together. 

 

 

 

 

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Dying gDiapers

gDiapers do come in a good choice of colours, but sometimes just not the colour that we really want.  Some colours are only offered for a very short time, like red and black.  So one option is to dye one of your existing pants.  This is also a great thing to do for those pants that are starting to look faded.

TJana, a fellow gmum, has posted wonderful directions on how to dye them on her blog.

http://sunglassesforthemasses.blogspot.com/2009/08/ghacks.html

Dyed gDiapers by TJana

Dyed gDiapers by TJana

Replacing Shot Diaper Elastic

Cloth diapers are wonderful for the environment and your budget because they are re-usable.  But over time some components of a typical cloth diaper are apt to wear out.  And often it is the leg elastic that is first to go.  Once the elastic is shot, that leads to leaks as the leg will gape and out shoots the contents. 

If you have simple sewing skills, Deann, a mum who also cloth diapers, has posted a great tutorial on how to replace it.  She has wonderful easy to follow instructions and photographs.

http://bloomingbums.blogspot.com/2008/06/tutorial-elastic-repair-casing-style.html

If you are looking for elastic, I do sell it in the DIY section of Nappy Shoppe.  Also be sure to use polyester thread and not cotton thread.

Elastic being repaired on a diaper

Elastic being repaired on a diaper

 Don’t sew?  Then Deann does repairs, as does my friend Ashley Pollock.  I will also do repairs for customers local to me.

Bum Genius Snap Conversion Tutorial

I found this wonderful tutorial by another cloth diapering mum called Deann.  She shows with great pictures how to convert your aplix closing bum genius diaper to snaps. This is great for when the aplix dies, or if you are tired of the aplix trains in the wash.

http://bloomingbums.blogspot.com/2009/10/bumgenius-snap-conversion-tutorial.html

Don’t have the ability to add snaps?  The girl who did the tutorial can do it.  My friend Ashley Pollock will do it as well.

Bum Genius Converted to Snaps

Bum Genius Converted to Snaps