Daytime diaper leakage isn’t a problem with your baby, but when the sun goes down — all bets are off. Let’s look at why diapers leak and discuss a slew of ideas you can try, so you can spend more time sleeping and less time bleary-eyed while changing diapers, clothes, and sheets.
Does This Sound Familiar?
Of course, you love your baby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get frustrated by the situation. Who wouldn’t? After all, when you find yourself changing a baby, the crib sheets, and diapers every night and washing yet another set of sheets every morning because of a leaky diaper, it’s no wonder you’re getting a tad cranky.
Late-night leaky diapers are (unfortunately) a common problem for new and experienced parents everywhere. It might appear as though it’s a problem without end. Well-meaning friends and relations may tell you those nights will clear up on their own and to enjoy the rest of this special time. That doesn’t particularly bring on the warm fuzzies when it’s 2 AM, and you’re stripping bedsheets.
But, (fortunately) it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you are getting tired of feeling sad for your little one, changing sheets in the middle of the night, going through multiple pajama sets every evening, and getting no sleep — this is the article for you.
With our tips and tricks, you can hopefully get this baby-bathroom-fiasco under control so that your whole family can have a longer, more comfortable night's sleep. Here at Tabeeze, we believe in making things easier. Sleeping and diapers shouldn’t be complicated.
How Many Diapers a Day?
You’ve probably asked yourself this question, standing over your baby’s wardrobe, looking to pack their diaper bag with the correct amount of diapers, or at least not run out of diapers while heading out for Baby and Me yoga classes.
While every baby is unique (but all are equally adorable), diaper use tends to vary by age. From the day your little one enters this world to the end of their first month, they go through roughly eight to 12 diapers a day (six or more wet ones and three to four for bowel movements).
This number tends to decrease over time. By about nine months to a year, a baby will go through eight diapers a day (or 240 a month) on average.
In the first year of life, a baby goes through an estimated 3,000 diapers. With a number this large, you can expect to change a whole lot of diapers. With 3,000 diapers, there are bound to be mishaps and whoopsies — aka diaper leaks.
So, Why Do Diapers Leak?
Diaper leakage, much like a suspicious drip in the back of the fridge, might seem like an unsolvable mystery — but it doesn’t have to be. There are quite a few reasons that diapers leak at night.
Let’s take a look at the most common contenders for a leaky diaper below:
Increased Nighttime Feedings
Your baby ate in the middle of the night: When your baby is hungry, your baby is hungry. Add in growth spurts and learning leaps forward, and the amount a baby eats can seriously increase — and cause a seriously wet diaper in the process.
Your baby is sleeping on their belly or side: If your baby is old enough to roll over, they might be exploring this whole new sleeping style. Unfortunately, that extra movement can add direct pressure to the front or sides of a diaper. Combining that with a lot of nocturnal urination and all those factors could make it more likely for urine to leak right out.
The diaper isn’t placed correctly: This one can take some time to figure out, but it could be a diaper placement thing. Suppose you’ve misaligned the diaper tabs or the velcro that holds a diaper correctly in place. Now, your baby’s movements can make it that much easier for the diaper to slide around and completely stop doing its job.
Lots of movement: Little ones can move around more than we think while they sleep or while they are nodding off to sleep. Even the most secure diaper could leak thanks to the combination of pressure changes in different areas, a full diaper, and misaligned fasteners.
This could also be a sign that your baby’s diaper is a bit too big. In this case, you might want to jump back down a size to try to fix the issue.
Incorrect Diaper Size
The diaper is too small: On the contrary, if your baby’s diaper is a bit too small, it might not be giving them the proper coverage to prevent leaks. Just a little urination can result in a very big leak. If this is the case, size them up, and see how that goes.
In-between diaper sizes: The reality of a growing baby is that they may be between diaper sizes. As much as diaper companies try to create a diverse range of sizes, there’s no way to get it perfect every single time. Your little one might be in-between stages of growth. At least you know it’s only temporary.
Contributing Hormone Factors
Your baby’s body doesn’t make enough antidiuretic hormones: Antidiuretic hormones (ADH) help tell our bodies when to decrease urine production. In adults, these levels are increased overnight so that you aren’t constantly running to the bathroom. Generally, babies’ ADH levels stay stagnant, which can lead to lots of night pees until they get a bit bigger.
How To Stop Diaper Leakage
From diaper sizing issues to heaps of nocturnal rolling around to extra feedings, there are plenty of reasons your little one might be experiencing diaper leakage. Scroll through our tips and mix and match to see what works for your family best.
Go Up a Diaper Size
While that snug diaper might work great during the day, it’s possible that your baby could use a slightly bigger size to make it through the night. During the day, your baby receives a whole lot more diaper changes. A diaper that works well for daytime use may not work so well during the night when those diaper changes are few and far between.
A larger size at night might just be the solution you’ve been looking for. The bigger size offers up more surface area to help absorb those night time bathroom breaks.
Change Diaper Brands
It might be time for a change-up. Some brands may work better for your baby’s body at certain times. Your reliable daytime diaper brand might not seal the deal for nighttime use. Play around with other brands.
Sizing across brands isn’t always consistent, so double-check the package to make sure it aligns with your baby’s actual weight. Diaper size is based on weight, not on age.
Keep track of what brand works the best for day and night time use. Then, leave a note in an obvious place. This way, anyone who watches your baby will also have that need-to-know info readily available.
Double Up on the Bedding
Experienced parents everywhere know that diapers sometimes leak. Help keep the mess to a minimum. Cover your baby’s mattress with a clean sheet and a waterproof cover. Then, add another waterproof cover, and top with a final clean sheet. You may need to find extra deep crib sheets to allow for the extra bulk.
If your baby wets through the diaper and onto the sheets in the middle of the night, you can simply take the first set off, change your baby, and head back to sleep. You will no longer need to go digging through drawers to remake their bed in the wee hours of the morning.
Try Night-Time Diapers
Maybe your baby’s regular diapers won’t cut it for nighttime use. Many diaper companies make diapers specific to nighttime use. With more absorbency, these diapers may be a great way to help your baby stay asleep.
Finding a brand that works for you might take some trial and error, but it’s worth a shot. Shop around, try out different brands, and figure out the best way to contain those leaks for good.
Many of them are even created with specific sleeping positions in mind, which helps prevent leakage from literally every angle.
Plan To Change Your Baby
As parents, we are pros at planning ahead. Whether it’s loading up the diaper bag or planning how many toys to take to visit grandma’s house, we’re always one step ahead — preventing problems before they even occur.
Along a similar vein, some parents will schedule their baby’s diaper change for a certain time. For example, if you put the baby to bed at 7 PM, you can preemptively change their diaper at 10 or 11, just before you go to sleep. This can prevent the diaper from getting too full later and creating a mess you’d rather not deal with.
However, as anyone can tell you, it’s not easy to change a sleeping baby. Traditional onesies must be pulled over a baby’s (giant) head, which can result in frustration and tears from everyone involved.
That’s why we created Tabezee: the world’s first bottom-up baby bodysuit. Simply unsnap the fumble-free buttons and pull the bodysuit down, feet first. No stress and definitely no mess.
And perhaps most importantly, if there is an unfortunate diaper blowout situation, the Bottom-Up Baby Bodysuit can be removed from the neck down, so there’s no need to make a messy situation worse.
Try Cloth Diapers
Been using traditional, disposable diapers so far? Maybe try moving to the cloth side. Cloth diapers are built with extra layers and insertables on purpose: these extra features can help make them more absorbent.
Cloth diapers can also be gentler on your baby’s skin. If you feel like snugness could be the issue of your baby peeing through their diaper as well, know that cloth is a lot gentler on their sensitive skin than disposables, so you don’t have to worry about too much snugness.
Look Into Diaper Liners
Are your baby’s diapers too full? If it seems like your baby has too much urine in their diaper, leading to an overflowing diaper, you could look into diaper liners.
Diaper liners get secured across the top of the diaper to prevent leakage and add coverage to your baby’s bottom and back. Depending on which side of your baby’s diaper is soaked in the middle of the night or morning, you can place the diaper liner accordingly.
Add a Waterproof Cover
If the leaking is persistent, try buying a waterproof cover for your baby’s crib. A waterproof cover may not be the cutest thing to happen to your baby’s nursery, but it could be one of the most practical moves you make.
Adding a waterproof cover to your baby’s sleeping set-up can avoid the laundry that comes with your little one peeing through their diaper at night. These covers are easy to clean and offer much more comfortable materials than the super crunchy covers of the past.
Invest in a Washable Mattress
Yes… they exist. Wild, right? It’s almost like so many parents have experienced this issue that someone created their own solution. This is a bigger spend than the other options on this list, but it might just be the right move for you.
If you have the resources, invest in a washable mattress for the nursery. Mattresses can take a pretty big and yucky beating, especially when they’re being soaked every night by your baby. Get a new baby mattress you can toss into the washing machine to get nice and clean without extra fuss.
Double Up on Diapers
It might seem like overkill, but maybe it is the solution you need. If a regular diaper isn’t doing it, maybe try putting your little one in a regular diaper with another, larger diaper over it.
How does double diapering work? Well, the diaper closest to their body will absorb bowel movements, while the outermost diaper is to stop urine from leaking through. We love some good, old-fashioned teamwork.
Beat the Leak
Dealing with a persistently leaky diaper and an upset baby in the middle of the night is frustrating, but you aren’t destined to have a wet-bottomed baby forever. From changing diapers later to doubling up on covers and sheets to sizing up diapers, you’ve got plenty of options.
No matter what option you choose, make sure to include our Bottom-Up Baby Bodysuit. With simple finger tabs that make late-night diaper changes a breeze and a super simple feet-first design, you can say “goodbye” to frustrating midnight costume changes and “hello” to fuss-free dressing.