Overnight leaks — they kind of suck. Besides soaking the sheets, pajamas and even socks with pee, overcapacity diapers give baby a cold, soggy wake-up call. Though you can’t prevent leaks completely, there are ways you can cut down on them.
“The biggest mistake parents make is using diapers that are too small,” says Satya Narisety, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Rutgers University. “During the day, follow the weight range and stage that matches up with your baby. But you don’t have to do that at nighttime. If baby is in stage two diapers and he’s soaking through them, go up to stage three.”
The type of diaper you use could also help keep baby drier at night. For example, organic diapers tend to be less absorbent than traditional disposables, which could mean more late-night changes, Narisety says. Cloth diapers hold less urine, so double up on them before tucking baby in for the night. Overnight diapers can also do the trick, since they’re thicker and more absorbent, but they’re designed for babies over 16 pounds, so they might not be available in your baby’s size.
Since the amount of urine baby makes is based on how much liquid she’s drinking, some parents may be tempted to push up the time of the last feeding. Big mistake, says Narisety. “In order to limit the amount of liquid in the bladder overnight, you’d have to stop feeding two or three hours before baby goes to bed,” she points out. “And limiting feedings aren’t recommended for babies.”
If nothing’s working, make it easy on yourself. One trick: Put a waterproof pad on baby’s mattress, then a fitted crib sheet — then another pad and another crib sheet. If baby soaks through the top sheet and pad in the middle of the night, simply take those two off, and put her back down. So much easier than replacing the crib sheet in a sleepy haze.
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