Overnight nappies for baby to toddler – disposable or cloth nappies

Baby yawning which in bed wearing an overnight cloth nappy

Getting the right nappy setup for overnight can be tricky at all ages.  Young babies will generally cluster feed before bed and or continue to feed during the night.  This can increase the amount of urine their bodies will produce overnight.  You need to remember, what goes in will come out.  So, your nappy changes may be different each night depending on how much your child has had to drink.

Parents mainly start having issues with keeping baby dry overnight once they start to sleep 6 – 12 hours at night.  But keeping baby dry at every stage can help give everyone a better night’s sleep.  Parent certainly need those extra few hours a night and a wet cold baby will certainly interrupt the night.

So to help keep your baby dry throughout the night, I have covered the main ages/stages for overnight nappy use.


They will be waking for a feed regularly anyway, so it’s best to change their nappy at each feed during the night.

Their skin is very delicate and even if there isn’t a poop you should change their nappy if it’s been on for 2 hours of more. BUT don’t wake your newborn just to change their nappy (unless they have done a poop, always change a poopy nappy when you notice it, day or night).

If you’re using cloth nappies, generally you’ll need to add 2 inserts into the nappy or boosting absorbency once they start sleeping longer than 3-4 hours.

3 months + & feeding overnight

If your baby is still feeding during the night, you should change their nappy at each feed or at least 1-2 times during the night. Remember what goes in, will come out and you don’t want to risk their nappy filling up and leaking and waking them up early. This can be a delicate balance as you don’t want to over stimulate and fully wake the baby to change their nappy.

When feeding or changing baby overnight, keep the room as dark as possible only using a dim light to see what you’re doing. Don’t play with baby or talk to them during the night, this can fully wake them.  If you or your partner can change baby while they are feeding this can help keep them in a sleepy state. If your baby is bottle fed, you can try propping the bottle up so they can feed while you do a quick nappy change, then pick them up to finish the feed and resettle.

Boost your overnight nappies with extra inserts once they start sleeping more than 3-4 hours. You may also need to look into a special night nappy or night time absorbency booster.

Disposable nappies may need to be a size bigger or a different brand at this stage for overnight use.

3 months + & NOT feeding overnight

Congratulations and enjoy the sleep :) If you’re using cloth nappies you will need to make sure you have enough absorbency to keep baby dry for the 10 – 12 hours they are sleeping. You may need to use 2 inserts inside the pocket plus the night booster on top.

Disposable nappies you will need to be on top of the sizing, if the current nappies are getting a little snug or fully wet overnight, switch to the next size up for overnight, the larger nappies can absorb more.  If you still have the smaller ones left, these can be used during the day.


If they are still feeding throughout the night or having a large amount of milk before bed, overnight nappies can be tricky because of their larger bladders and higher output.

If you have a heavy wetting toddler you may need to use disposables for this stage, even then some children will out wet the disposable nappies during this stage overnight. If this happens, you can add in the cloth night booster insert to the disposable nappy for extra absorbency. When the night booster gets full, the wee then goes into the disposable nappy.

If you have a larger baby or toddler, you may need to go up to a larger size nappy for overnight. The larger nappies both disposable and cloth can absorb more. They will also fit higher up on body which can help if they sleep on their belly or side.

Getting overnight nappies right is very important to help your little one sleep longer. The biggest thing to remember is it’s something that will continue to change as they grow.  And can be different each night depending on how much they drink.  Sometimes just a few little changes can help your little one’s nappy hold longer and keep them dry and sleeping long throughout the night.

We are here to help, please feel free to contact us if you need help with overnight nappies

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