- How Sleep Works
- Sleep Disorders
- Sleep Resources
- Sleep Health
- Sleep Medicine
Your baby is finally able to go for longer stretches between feedings at night, and you rejoice at the notion you’ll finally be able to get a (somewhat) reasonable amount of sleep. Then parenthood throws you another curveball. Your baby’s still crying at 2 a.m., and it’s not because she’s hungry. She’s drenched. Just because your baby is ready to make it through the night doesn’t mean her diaper is.
Overnight diapers are the perfect solution when babies make the transition to sleeping longer at night. Unless they have a dirty diaper, which is less common at night, there’s no reason to interrupt precious sleep for a diaper change. Overnight diapers are specially designed for extra absorbency, leak protection and overall comfort needed at night.
In this guide, we’ll outline our top picks for overnight diapers in six different categories. We also have a buyers guide that covers everything you need to know about overnight diapers so you’ll be one step closer to some much-needed sleep.
Best Overnight Diapers of 2018
Editor’s Pick: Pampers Pure Protection
Best Natural for Sensitive Skin: Bambo Nature Eco-Friendly Diapers
Best for Heavy Wetters: Huggies OverNite Diapers
Best Eco-Conscious, Cloth Diaper: bumGenius Freetime Cloth Diaper
Best Bang for Your Buck: Pampers Baby-Dry
Best for Big Kids: GoodNites Bedtime Bedwetting Underwear
Many parents swear by Pampers diapers because of their superior absorbency and wetness protection. Pampers Pure Protection diapers offer everything parents love about Pampers without many of the chemicals often found in disposable diapers. The diapers contain no fragrances, chlorine bleaching, latex, parabens or other allergens. Pampers has also replaced some of the polypropylene in its outer layer with soft cotton and other plant-based fibers.
Pampers Pure Protection diapers are great for overnight use because they’re able to prevent leaks for up to 12 hours. The diapers come in a wide range of sizes, from newborn through size six, and the soft exterior has cute, whimsical prints.
If your baby has sensitive skin, you’ll love the soft feel of Bambo Nature Eco-Friendly Diapers. Headquartered in Denmark, Bambo is committed to manufacturing diapers that don’t contain harmful chemicals and are easier on babies’ skin. They’re free of dyes, perfumes, chlorine and other potentially harmful chemicals. The diapers are dermatologically tested and have also achieved several certifications, including Nordic Ecolabel, Asthma-Allergy Denmark and Forest Stewardship Council.
With three absorbent layers and stretchy side panels for a snug fit, Bambo Nature diapers are perfect for overnight use. They come in sizes one through six, but be sure to check the size chart as it’s written in kilograms. Bambo Nature is more expensive than other brands, but purchasing in bulk can help keep the cost down.
Huggies OverNites Diapers are widely considered some of the most absorbent diapers on the market and a good solution for kids who are heavy wetters. Huggies asserts that OverNites are 25 percent more absorbent than its other diapers and offer 12 hours of protection. They’re also great at preventing leaks. Double grip tabs fasten at four points, rather than the usual two. The waistband is also very stretchy, allowing for a snug, custom fit.
The inside layer is soft and quilted and the absorbent core pulls moisture away from your baby’s skin. The diapers are available in sizes three through six, so they work best for older babies who are 16 pounds and up.
If you’re looking for an absorbent overnight diaper that won’t end up in the landfill, then the bumGenius Freetime Cloth Diaper is the one for you. Many find the Freetime to be just as absorbent as a disposable diaper. It’s an all-in-one, meaning the cloth diaper and waterproof cover are attached to one another so it’s easy to use. All you do is toss it in the wash. It has three layers of highly absorbent microfiber, and two layers are semi-attached so you can overlap them for customized absorbency.
The diapers are designed for babies from 8 to 35+ pounds. All you need to do is adjust the snaps to size up or down. They come in 38 cute patterns and colors.
Pampers Baby-Dry diapers are reliable when it comes to keeping your baby dry for up to 12 hours, and they won’t break the bank. The diapers have three layers of absorbency and pull wetness away to keep your baby comfortable. They also have extra absorbent channels to distribute liquid. Stretchy sides mean that they fit your baby comfortably but stay in place all night.
Because of their affordability and great performance, many parents use these diapers during the day as well. They come in a wide range of sizes, from newborn to size six.
Bedwetting is a very normal phenomenon for many kids, even after they’ve been potty trained. GoodNites Bedtime Bedwetting Underwear is designed specifically for bigger kids, ages three and up. They have an impressive five-layer construction, and the manufacturer asserts they’re 40 percent more absorbent than other training pants. They also absorb odor.
Perhaps most important is that GoodNites look like underwear and come in superhero prints, so they’ll give your child a confidence boost. They come in three different sizes and will fit kids from 28 to 125 pounds.
When choosing an overnight diaper, you not only have to consider your child’s unique needs. You also need to look at how the diaper is going to perform over the hours your baby is asleep. Read on for information about why overnight diapers are necessary and what to look for when choosing a brand.
Overnight diapers might initially sound like a gimmick to get new parents to buy more diapers, but most seasoned parents will tell you they’re completely necessary. Below, we outline the main differences between overnight and daytime diapers:
Choosing the diaper that works best for your baby is difficult enough, and the decision is even more complicated when it comes to overnight diapers. To help you, we’ve outlined the most important considerations to make when choosing an overnight diaper.
The material used in an overnight diaper is arguably more important than in a daytime diaper because it’s going to be in contact with your baby’s skin for longer. Especially if your baby has sensitive skin, you’ll want to find a material that’s gentle. We explore the most common materials below, grouped by disposable and cloth diapers.
|Common Materials||Disposable Diapers||Cloth Diapers|
|Absorbent Core||The absorbent core in disposable diapers is typically made from super-absorbent polymers (SAP), which are tiny particles that soak up moisture. It also usually contains wood pulp to help distribute fluid.||In a cloth diaper, the absorbent core can be a fabric insert or the entire diaper itself. Extra absorbency comes from extra layers of fabric, and the most common materials used include cotton, bamboo and hemp. Cotton is the most affordable but bamboo and hemp tend to be more absorbent.|
|Outer Layer||Most disposable diapers have an outer lining made from polyethylene film and an inner layer of polypropylene. These materials are stretchy and often treated so they’re soft. Some brands used plant-based plastic instead of petroleum-based.||Modern cloth diapers have an outer, waterproof cover. These are either separate pieces that fit over the cloth diaper or are integrated with the absorbent core. Polyurethane Laminate, or PUL, is the most common material because it’s breathable. Nylon and wool are also used.|
Allergies & Sensitivities
Some babies have sensitive skin or allergies to certain ingredients used in diapers. It only takes one bad reaction for parents to know they want to avoid certain materials at all costs. If your baby has sensitivities, you may want to look out for these ingredients:
Appropriate sizing is important not only for your baby’s comfort but also for leak protection. Some brands only carry certain sizes, so it’s important to check what’s available, especially as your baby grows. And because overnight diapers tend to be geared toward older babies who can sleep for longer stretches, it can sometimes be difficult to find smaller sizes.
Be sure to choose a size that fits snugly without being too tight. Indentations around the waist and legs are a sign the diaper is too small, while constant leaks might indicate your diaper doesn’t offer enough absorption, and it’s time to size up.
Absorbency & Leak Protection
Most overnight diaper brands will tout their unique absorbency and leak protection capabilities, but how do you know what’s important and what’s just talk? Look at the number of layers in the diaper. Typical disposable diapers include two layers in their absorbent cores, but a good overnight should contain three or four. Leaks often occur around the legs or waist, so a good overnight diaper will account for this. Look for one with stretchy and adjustable tabs so you can get the perfect fit. An extra leak guard right inside the diaper is also helpful.
When it comes to cloth diapers, layering is still key. Cloth diapers tend to be fairly customizable, so you can either fold diapers for extra absorbency or add absorbent inserts. Certain materials, like wool, are also extra absorbent. It’s important, too, to look for a cover that’s highly adjustable so you can get a snug fit.
As mentioned above, fit is key for comfort and leak protection. Look for diapers that are very adjustable and secure well. Some diapers don’t include much stretch around the waist or legs, which can either lead to a loose fit or can be too tight on your baby. Be sure to pay attention to the tabs as well. If a tab doesn’t secure well, it won’t matter how absorbent the diaper is.
Diapers are one of the top costs when it comes to having a baby. While performance and comfort come first, there’s no need to pay for diaper features that don’t matter to you. Eco-friendly diapers and those made for sensitive skin tend to cost more than basic diapers. If your baby doesn’t have skin allergies, a budget diaper brand may work just fine. Cloth diapering can have a higher upfront price tag but actually cost less than disposables over time, especially if you wash them yourself.
Many parents are concerned about the environmental impact of diapers, and for good reason. Disposable diapers lead to a lot of waste in landfills and require a great deal of resources to make. While no diaper is entirely sustainable, there are more eco-friendly options.
Some “green” disposable diapers use plant-based plastic instead of petroleum-based plastic in their outer layers. Some even claim to be at least partially biodegradable, though this claim is somewhat questionable if diapers end up in the landfill. Diapers that are free of chemicals like fragrances, dyes and chlorine also have a smaller environmental impact and may be better for your baby’s skin. Cloth diapers are often considered a more eco-friendly alternative to disposables, though the impact is dependent on how they’re laundered.