The 5 Best Overnight Diapers In 2017
Last Updated August 7, 2017
If you’re tired of losing sleep when your baby wakes up frequently in the night after she wets through the diaper she’s wearing, you need a better diaper.
To make sure you both get a good night’s sleep, read our review of the best overnight diapers and what you should consider when you’re looking for a diaper that will keep your baby dreaming until morning light.
Can’t I Use My Baby’s Daytime Diapers at Night?
Babies love to sleep -- it’s pretty much all they want to do for the first couple months of their life. Those first few weeks, you get so excited when your baby is finally awake because that means you get a little interaction time. But when night rolls around, you’d like her to keep those beautiful eyes closed as much as possible. The more you want it though, the less it seems to happen. It’s as if babies can sense our fear about having yet another sleepless night.
There’s multiple reasons why babies tend to wake up so much during the night, but two big reasons are being uncomfortably wet and being hungry (source).
Because being wet can cause an otherwise content baby to wake up, jarring you both out of sleep, you need more than the daytime diapers you use (source). You need to find something that will hold all the leaks your baby will spring during the course of a night. Daytime diapers aren’t made to have that much absorption.
I learned that lesson the hard way. At bedtime, I would rock my baby to sleep listening to my favorite lullabies. I’d make sure she’d had as much of a bottle as her tiny tummy would take. Then I’d carefully place her in the crib and tiptoe out of the room, praying this would finally be the night that she would let me sleep the entire night through. I was starting to look like a zombie by that point because of her constant night wakings.
But sure enough, three or four hours later, she’d be crying at the top of her lungs. I’d check her and her diaper would be squishy feeling and sometimes it was leaking too. No wonder she kept waking up. I’d be uncomfortable too trying to sleep like that.
Finally, I had a lightbulb moment where I realized that if I could find a diaper that could hold more, she’d sleep better. So after a search in which I tried multiple overnight diapers, I finally found the one that worked for us.
Did this story end with me getting to sleep a full uninterrupted 10 hours every night? No, because my baby just wasn’t a great sleeper to begin with. But it did cut back her nighttime wakings to one less every night. That was enough extra sleep to at least make me feel human again.
Things to Look for in an Overnight Diaper
Before you run out and buy an armload of overnight diapers so you can get a good night’s sleep, you should read through this list of things you should consider before you buy them. Not all overnight diapers will solve your problem. Here’s what you need to look for.
How much the diaper can absorb: To keep your baby dry until morning, you need a diaper to be like a sponge, sucking all the liquid away from your baby that it can. If a diaper can’t absorb a lot of liquid, you should keep looking because your baby probably won’t sleep through their skin feeling cold and wet. If a diaper says it has multiple layers, that’s a good indication it will hold up well.
How well the diaper fits your baby: Look for any red marks on your baby’s skin that would indicate the diaper is too tight. A comfortable baby means you’ll both get more shut-eye. You’ll want diapers with a flexible fit around the waist and legs.
If your baby has any bad reactions while using them: Some babies get rashes from bad reactions to certain materials used in diapers. If your baby reacts to a particular kind of diaper, you’ll want to avoid using that again and switch to another kind.
Cost: If you’re on a tight budget, the cost of the diaper you choose is going to weigh heavily in your decision (source). And you might experience some sticker shock when you go to purchase a pack of overnight diapers -- they are more expensive than daytime diapers. Try to remember though that they are worth the extra price because you shouldn’t have to change your baby as often.
What the diaper is made of: If you’re worried about chemicals in diapers, you’ll want to stick with an all-natural type or diaper or a cloth diaper that doesn’t use ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Tips to Make Your Diaper Switch a Success
You’ve found the brand you’re going to try, so you’ll want to use these tips to give yourself an even greater chance of sleeping through the night.
Don’t buy in bulk: It might be cheaper to buy in bulk, but you’ll actually be losing money if you stop using the diapers because they don’t work for your baby or they irritate her skin. To start with when you’re trying a new diaper, buy the smallest pack the store offers. That will let you know if you like them while avoiding a major financial commitment. Hedging your bets is a great strategy when diaper shopping.
Consider sizing up: Using one size bigger than your baby wears during the day is a risky strategy, but it’s one that can pay off (source). A bigger diaper will hold more so it might be just the thing your baby needs to avoid leaking until morning. On the other hand, if the diaper is way too big, it’s going to create leaks. So use your common sense with this tip.
Try sticking with your brand: If you have a daytime diaper that works well for your baby, try the nighttime version of that brand (source). If you like one and it doesn’t cause a rash, you might have great luck with the overnight kind too.
You could double up on the diapers: When you have a toddler, an overnight diaper may not be enough because toddlers are bigger and can hold more urine. My kids had diapers that weighed so much in the morning, I felt like I was pumping iron at the gym when I lifted them. I could have done bicep curls using those things. If your child is producing 5-pound diapers and they simply won’t hold all night, you can always use two diapers at once (source).
What’s My Plan of Attack Before Bed?
If you have an infant, there’s no plan or strategy that will help you. All you can do is put the overnight diaper on her as soon as you think she is getting sleepy for the night. Then you’ll give her a bottle to make sure her tummy is full before she falls asleep. Then cross your fingers.
But if you have a toddler, there’s a couple tricks you can do to help set the stage for a full night’s sleep.
Make sure you’re changing his diaper right as he is going to bed: Toddlers are fantastic stallers. You can tell them it’s bedtime, and they’ll find a million reasons why they can’t go in there quite yet. They’ll want a bedtime story, more snuggles or they’ll suddenly get thirsty or hungry. My toddler would do anything to avoid bedtime, especially days that I worked at the office because he wasn’t able to see me for very long before he was marching off to bed. So if your toddler has a habit of delaying bedtime by 30 minutes, make sure you aren’t changing him until right before he crawls into bed.
Make last call for water about an hour or two before bedtime: If you make sure his last big glass of water or milk is an hour or two before bedtime, that will cut down on how much liquid he’ll let loose on those overnight diapers (source). Less liquid means less chance of wetting through. If your toddler is thirsty before bed, just give him a few sips rather than a whole glass.
5 Great Diapers That Will Rock Your World
If you’re still feeling lost and you’d like some recommendations for diapers that are unique to your child’s situation, check out the following reviews.
The Best Overnight Diapers for Heavy Wetters
Heavy wetters have it tough and so do their parents. You feel awful walking into your child’s room every night only to find them crying because they’ve disturbed yet another night’s sleep by wetting through their diapers. You need to find a diaper that can stand up to that kind of volume.
Huggies OverNites Diapers can keep your baby dry for up to 12 hours, but for heavy wetters, I wouldn’t count on getting that long. I really appreciated this brand when I was a new mom. In the mornings I couldn’t believe how much liquid was in these diapers, and I couldn’t figure out how they didn’t leak.
Their SnugFit waistband helps ensure these diapers fit securely, but not too tightly, on your baby. They also have a Leak Lock design that keeps the wetness away from your baby, which means a lower risk of getting diaper rash while keeping that one diaper on overnight. The tabs on these diapers stay put, even after a long night of sleep and a heavy diaper to support.
The diapers are more than just functional -- they’re cute. They have little graphics on them of Winnie the Pooh.
- These control leaks really well.
- Even if your baby sleeps in a wet diaper all night, you shouldn’t have any problems with diaper rash.
- The tabs stay in place.
- You might need a diaper when you buy these because they are so expensive that you might temporarily lose control of your bodily functions.
- They can have a bit of a chemical-like odor to them, which might be bothersome for people with sensitive noses.
The Best Overnight Cloth Diaper
If you want to get a good night’s sleep and save the world at the same time, you can consider going the cloth diaper route. You won’t be throwing away 10 diapers a day, so you’ll be decreasing the waste your baby’s waste creates.
Cloth diapers have come a long way in the past couple of decades. They are now comfortable, absorbent and easy to use.
BumGenius Freetime diapers are your best bet when it comes to cloth diapers that will get your baby through the night feeling dry. They have a leak-proof outer cover.
They use snap closures, which are easy to use and won’t break off like tabs sometimes do. Plus the snaps can be adjusted to expand with your growing baby so one size of the diaper will fit children up to 35 pounds. The elastic gives just enough stretch to this diaper to comfortably hug your babies legs and waist without giving those red marks caused by too-tight diapers.
The absorbency power of this diaper comes from the soft semi-attached inserts that suck up liquid. You don’t need to stuff anything extra into this diaper, and when it’s dirty, you simply take it off your baby and throw it in the washing machine. It’s a cloth diaper that is low maintenance, much like a disposable.
- These diapers have cute, colorful designs.
- You can continue to use this diaper for a long time for your child because of the adjustable snaps.
- No diaper stuffing is required.
- Easy to wash.
One single diaper is expensive to buy, although you’ll be able to use it repeatedly.
They do look bulkier than disposables.
Diaper ointment can stain these.
The Best Overnight Diapers for Tummy Sleepers
As all new moms should know, it’s safest for a baby to sleep on her back, but once your baby learns how to roll over on her own, all bets are off. Even if you position your baby on her back, at some point in the night she may roll onto her belly and sleep that way.
That different position presents a challenge when trying to keep a baby dry.
Baby Dry diapers have a wetness indicator on the outside of the diapers, but only on the N, 1 and 2 sizes. The indicator changes color when your baby’s diaper is wet, which puts an end to the days of you trying to squish your baby’s diaper to see if it is soaked.
These Baby Dry diapers have three layers, while many diapers only have two. They offer up to 12-hour wetness protection. They use a big UltraAbsorb layer to add to their leak protection.
One of the reasons these diapers hold so much wetness while still feeling thin when they’re dry is because of the absorbent gelling material inside them. The gel, when it is dry, looks almost like hard little pebbles. When the material gets wet, it softens and increases in size.
These feel soft, both on the interior and exterior of the diaper. With flexible leg and waist openings, you’ll be able to find a comfortable fit for your baby.
- These offer long-lasting leak protection.
- Fairly cheap for an overnight diaper.
- The tabs are elastic, not rigid like some other brands.
- If the diaper becomes overfull, the absorbent gel material can break through the diaper, leading to a mess.
- The sizing seems to run a bit small, so you might need to size up.
The Best Overnight Diapers for Boys
With a boy it can be challenging to find a diaper that’s strong enough to contain everything he’ll unleash. But here’s a tip: You’ll want to make sure his boy part is pointed downward when you put the diaper on, because it will increase his chances of staying dry.
These diapers have special leg gatherings with a leak barrier to stop moisture from exiting the diaper. The leak guard core also sucks up moisture quickly to keep your baby dry overnight.
Luvs are one of the more affordable big brand diapers, and they always feel so soft. The stretch tabs can be refastened, which is a nice touch not all diapers have. If you don’t get the best fit the first time you put on the diaper, you can just peel the tabs back and try it again.
These are cute, nice-looking diapers that are good performers. As added protection, Luvs offers a money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with how the diaper holds up. You just have to send your receipt and UPC to Luvs within the 45-day timeframe. All moms love a money-back guarantee because it takes the risk out of trying new products.
- Affordable overnight diaper option.
- These open really well when you are doing a diaper change.
- Tabs can be refastened.
- Like Pampers, these diapers use gel material too. It can sometimes leave gel on your baby’s skin if the diaper is overly wet.
- No wetness indicators.
The Best Overnight Diapers for Toddlers
Toddlers can hold more liquid in their bladders than babies can. That means you need a heavy-duty diaper for night. To complicate things though, toddlers are like mini escape artists. They can shrug and tug their way out of almost anything that feels uncomfortable to them. So you’ll need to focus on finding a soft, absorbent diaper to get the job done.
These diapers offer an environmentally sound method of diapering your baby while providing great absorbency to avoid overnight accidents. They’re made out of pulp from bamboo trees using a sustainable forestry method where for every tree that is cut, more trees are planted.
So if you are concerned about finding a nighttime diaper that is more natural and doesn’t have all the chemical ingredients other diapers have, you should enjoy Bamboo Nature.
Kids with sensitive skin won’t have to worry about using these because they been tested by dermatologists to ensure they don’t cause irritation or skin allergies.
They are breathable, on the thinner side and soft, and they can be used both day and night to control messes. But even though they are thin, they still manage to offer a lot of absorbency that won’t have you changing your baby’s clothes and sheets at 2 a.m. each day.
- No chemical odor from the diapers.
- Very soft on baby’s skin.
- Absorbent, even for overnight.
- They run small in size -- you’ll want to size up.
- Occasionally you’ll run into a diaper with defective tabs.
Our Favorite Overnight Diapers
These are all quality diapers, but I especially love BumGenius Freetime cloth diapers. These things are great for both day and night because they have terrific absorbency and they are super soft against a baby’s skin.
Freetime diapers will hold up well wash after wash and they’ll fit your baby for a long time because of the adjustable snaps. They’re easy to clean, and there’s no chemical ingredients stuffed inside each diaper. As an added bonus, you’ll sleep easier at night knowing you’re doing something that’s great for the planet.
The initial investment to buy enough of these diapers is considerable, but you’ll save money with these over the long run.