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How to Stop Overnight Diaper Leaks
Updated on
September 11, 2023

How to Stop Overnight Diaper Leaks

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How to Stop Overnight Diaper Leaks

Changing the crib sheet at 2 a.m. ranks pretty high up on the list of “things that are no fun when you become a parent.” Overnight diaper leaks soak sheets, interrupt sleep and make you—and your baby—unnecessarily grumpy.

There has to be a better way, right? Right! These five simple hacks will stop overnight diaper leaks in their tracks. (Really. We promise.) Here’s to drier nights and catching more zzzs.

1. Overnight Diapers Are Your BFF

Your average disposable diaper is designed primarily for daytime use. It’s thick enough to last a few hours between changes but not nearly absorbent enough to make it for a 10-12 hour stretch. Enter the overnight diaper, your new BFF.

Overnight diapers are exactly what they sound like: diapers designed for the overnight hours. They’re constructed with extra absorbency—usually with a capacity that’s around 20-25 percent more than regular diapers—and should keep your baby dry for up to 12 hours. They’re a bit bulkier than regular diapers but are still comfortable for your baby and leave plenty of room for moving around.

Switching from regular diapers to overnights should be your first move if you’re beginning to notice that your baby is soaked by morning. Experiment with a few different brands before committing to a mega-pack, and make sure you’re fitting the diaper correctly.

Huggies Overnights Diapers - Size 3, 80

2. Size Up

Half the battle of preventing leaks is making sure your baby is wearing the right size diaper. When it comes to preventing overnight leaks, though, you’ll need to go against the conventional diaper wisdom.

Always bump up one size when buying overnight diapers for your baby—even if they don’t meet the weight requirements quite yet. This means if your baby is wearing a size two during the day, you’ll want to buy overnights in a size three. The diaper should still fit snugly around your baby’s waist but will have an extra boost to ensure your little one stays dry throughout the night.

3. Add a Pad

Even if you’ve found the right overnight diaper and sized up, leaks happen. Sometimes you need an extra layer of absorbency to keep your little one dry and comfortable while they sleep.

Diaper booster pads are a new parent go-to for stopping nighttime leaks. The non-adhesive pads slip right into your baby’s diaper and have a universal fit that works with most diaper brands and sizes, upping the absorption factor by almost double. The pads are especially useful right around six months old when you start adding solids to your baby’s already robust diet of formula or breast milk, resulting in a much greater volume of liquid and food intake throughout the day—and a much fuller diaper.

You’ll want to play around with the positioning of the booster pad to find the right fit for your baby. Some parents use the pads horizontally across the top of their baby’s diaper, while other parents find they work best vertically. Try a few different placements to figure out what works best for you.

Sposie Booster Pads - Size 4-6, 30

4. Don’t Forget the Bedtime Diaper Change

This one seems pretty straightforward, but when you’re running low on sleep and can’t remember the last time you took a shower, sometimes a nice reminder is helpful.

Putting on a fresh overnight diaper should always be the last thing you do before you put your baby down for the night. Stack the beginning of your bedtime routine with a bath, books, nursing, a bottle or whatever it takes to get your little one ready for bed—but save the diaper change until last. Every second counts when you’re on a quest to stop overnight leaks.

5. Limit the Liquids

This tip applies to the toddler set only!

Go light on the liquids later in the day in order to reduce the chance of overnight diaper leaks. If your toddler is accustomed to a sippy cup of milk before bed, try serving it either during dinner or immediately afterward instead. Be mindful of how much water they’re drinking as the day wears on. You always want to keep them hydrated, of course, but make sure they’re drinking because they’re actually thirsty, not just out of habit.

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