You are FINALLY getting those longer stretches at night, only to have them be cut short by a soaked-through diaper!
I’m not going to lie: this exact situation used to make me want to cry. Finding out my baby was soaked through also meant realizing that my baby wasn’t going BACK to sleep any time soon. I would have to change their outfit, diaper, and bedding, and then HOPEFULLY we would be able to settle back to sleep (but after so much stimulation, the chances were SLIM).
The worst part being… would my baby even have woken up if they HADN’T soaked through?! While we may never know the answer to that question, I do have tips for you to not only help prevent soak throughs, but to also make the transition back to sleep easier!
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With the right technique, MOST nighttime leaks are preventable!
Find a nighttime diaper that works for you: There are a variety of nighttime diapers out there and everyone swears by different ones! We personally loved Pampers Overnights but plenty of families would prefer Coterie or Huggies. If one brand doesn’t seem to help, don’t stop there! Try a different brand to see if it works better.
Size UP for overnight diapers: We want to have all the absorbency power that we can get with our overnight diapers! Consider purchasing diapers that are a size up from your child’s normal diaper so that there is extra room in there.
Position the diaper right: Placing the diaper a little bit higher in the front for boys, and a little bit lower in the front/higher in the back for girls can be a GAME changer. Boys are more likely to fill the front of their diaper with urine and girls are more likely to fill the middle and back! This gives them a little more wiggle room.
If you have a boy: Point their penis down before fastening the diaper! Where their penis is facing is where the pee will go, so if the penis is up then up and out of the diaper the pee will go!
Fluff out the ruffles: If you look along the leg portion of your child’s diaper, you will notice two layers of ruffles! They aren’t just there to be adorable – they serve a purpose! These ruffles are intended to help hold liquids in your child’s diaper if their diaper does not absorb them fast enough! After your little one’s diaper is on, run your fingers along the sides of the diaper to ensure that these ruffles are fluffed outward and not tucked back into the diaper.
Consider looking into a product like Sposie: Sposie (Amazon Affiliate Link) offers absorbency pads that will help to provide extra protection against leaks! They are easy to apply and stick right on the inside of your child’s diaper.
None of the above working? Double up!: This last option isn’t my favorite because it can get expensive, but it gets the job done! Putting TWO diapers on your child at once can help prevent those leaks! I recommend doing a regular diaper as your first layer, and a sized-up overnight diaper as your second!
Tricks for responding to a soaked-through Diaper.
Keep things DARK and BORING: If your child wakes up with a soaked-through diaper, then the last thing I want you to do is turn on all the lights and provide lots of stimulation. We want this to be as non-stimulating as possible. Only turn on a small light, just bright enough to be able to see what you are doing. Keep very quiet yourself, besides some comforting shushing.
If they don’t usually feed at this time, don’t assume that they need a feed: If your baby wakes at a time that they normally wouldn’t, then it’s okay to assume that they don’t need a feed! Instead, change their diaper and then encourage them to go back to sleep. If after some time they are not able to settle, then it’s okay to offer a feeding, I would just advise you to not jump to this conclusion.
Double layer the bedsheets: Finding and changing the sheets can be a whole task of its own! Instead, consider layering sheets on your child’s bed so that we can respond easily! My favorite technique is to use 4 sheets total:
Bottom layer: Waterproof Sheet (Like THIS one)
Layer 2: Regular sheet
Layer 3: Waterproof sheet
Top layer: Regular sheet
If your child does soak through, then you simply need to take the top two layers off the bed and throw them to the side until you can take care of them properly in the morning.
Have extra sets of sleep clothes ready to go: Every night you should have an extra swaddle, sleep sack, or jammies within arm’s reach. That way we are limiting the stimulation shuffling through a basket of clothes before we can change the baby.
To Wrap Up
Even if you do everything right, your child WILL soak through sometimes. Doing everything to prevent the situation AND being prepared is the very best thing that you can give your baby (along with a few extra snuggles to help them get comfortable again). It won’t always be this way! Eventually, your child will be taking in less liquids overnights and the leaks will be almost nonexistent!