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How to Keep Disposable Diapers From Leaking at Night

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Surprise! Disposable diapers leak!

When I adopted my infant son, I was under the naïve impression that diapers marked "leakproof" were actually leakproof. All was good for the first three weeks... until my little baby boy began sucking down as much formula (and therefore, peeing) as much as a 4-month-old. The doctor was surprised but told me all was good with the baby's health and that I shouldn't worry.

I didn't, except that apparently, a 4-month-old baby's volume of pee does not fit into a newborn-sized diaper. As soon as Little Man began sleeping more than 2 hours in a row, I'd find him covered in baby pee up to his chin. Every feeding required a full wardrobe change, which, when poor mommy is sleep deprived and it's the middle of the night, is not an attractive feature in a baby.

I scoured the internet for ideas and found a few good ones. I also came up with my own. All four methods are written below. Hopefully, one will work for you!

Cut sides off of smaller diaper.

Cut sides off of smaller diaper.

Fold smaller diaper in half with absorbent side out.

Fold smaller diaper in half with absorbent side out.

Tuck smaller diaper strip into front of larger diaper with folded side up.  Keep it under waistband of larger diaper.

Tuck smaller diaper strip into front of larger diaper with folded side up. Keep it under waistband of larger diaper.

For girls or back wetters, fold a small flap down on both front and back of smaller diaper strip and place more in middle or back, as best works for you.

For girls or back wetters, fold a small flap down on both front and back of smaller diaper strip and place more in middle or back, as best works for you.

My Method: Making Double Diapers

The method I made up (in my sleep deprived state) involves two different diaper sizes. You will need:

  • a small diaper (either one your child wears now, or an outgrown size)
  • a diaper a size larger than your child wears or one still a bit big
  • a pair of scissors
  • if you have it, double stick tape (not necessary, but makes life easier)

Steps to my Method

(Edit: Since writing this article, I no longer cut the edges off the little diaper... I just turn the it inside out and tuck in all the "frilly" edges and tapes. This made for a lot less work!)

  1. Take the scissors and the smaller diaper. Carefully trim off the side edges and elastic portion of the diaper. Discard the scraps.
  2. Decide where your leaks are coming from. My boy is a stomach sleeper. This means his front gets all wet. If you have a back sleeper, you may have to proceed differently.
  3. For a tummy sleeper (my doc said it was ok... quit being judgy!), fold the cut diaper piece in half with the absorbent part out. Stick this in the front half of the larger diaper, right under the waistband as shown. Make sure the folded part of the smaller diaper is at the top. This will bring any excess moisture toward the back of the fold You may choose to use the double-stick tape on the bottom to keep it in place (this is good for night changings, when you can't figure out what in the world is going on).
  4. For a girl baby who changes positions, center the strip of diaper and fold just a small section back at the front and the back of the diaper.
  5. For a child who wets out of the back of the diaper, move the strip back and fold a small section of the strip backwards.

Folding the strip of diaper helps redirect the wetness to the bigger diaper after the first is full. Make sure to put the smaller diaper strip so that it is under the waistband of the larger diaper.

Diaper boosters / doublers

Although you can't find these easily in stores, you can find diaper boosters / doublers online fairly quickly. To the side are a few different kinds you can use. These are self-stick pads that can be placed inside a diaper in different positions. They do not have a backing, so once they become full, moisture is automatically redirected into the actual diaper.

Suggestions for use include folding (as mentioned in the diaper strip instructions above) for front sleepers.

Two other ideas

  • Double diaper. Use a smaller diaper, fasten it, and then cover it with a larger-sized diaper. I have not tried this method, but it works for some people.
  • Use one diaper size larger than you normally would. For some babies, this is all it takes.

Night Diaper Leak Poll Extravaganza!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

MarloByDesign from United States on June 12, 2015:

Very creative idea...if it works for you that is awesome (less clothes to wash)!