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Do Overnight Diapers Make a Difference?

Imagine this scenario: your baby wakes, crying in the middle of the night. When you check on him, you find that he has wet himself, soaking his jammies, swaddle, and crib sheet. In your bleary-eyed state, you not only have to change his diaper but also all his bedding. Enter the overnight diaper. If your little one is sleeping long stretches at night, it is absolutely worth it to avoid the scenario above. 

What is an Overnight Diaper?

As the name suggests, an overnight diaper is a type of disposable diaper that brands market for nighttime sleep. They are more absorbent than traditional disposable diapers. Many overnight diapers offer double leak guards to ensure your little one stays dry for up to 12 hours. 

Overnight diapers tend to be larger up the front and back as well. For example, a size three overnight diaper will sit higher on a baby’s tummy and lower back than a traditional size three diaper. This is helpful for tummy sleepers to prevent leaks at night even if they soak a diaper. 

The downside of overnight diapers is that they are more expensive than your regular disposable diaper. It will vary by brand and often you can find deals, but here’s a quick rundown for reference. A quick search of the same size diaper by the same brand and the same count shows overnight diapers cost about $10 more than non-nighttime diapers.

Does My Baby Need to Use an Overnight Diaper?

If you are contemplating whether your little one needs an overnight diaper, the main things to consider are how long he or she is sleeping at night and if baby is consistently leaking through regular diapers.

Newborns are often up every two to three hours overnight to feed. If a diaper change is part of your middle-of-the-night feeding routine, then you do not need an overnight diaper. It is highly unlikely that your newborn will leak through a traditional diaper in just a few hours.

In fact, most brands do not make overnight diapers in newborn sizes for this very reason. The smallest size for nighttime diapers typically starts around size 3, or 16 pounds. 

An overnight diaper may save you time and extra loads of laundry if a) your baby is sleeping long stretches at night (think 6 hours or more) or b) if changing a wet diaper is not included with nighttime feeds. For example, many moms dream feed their babies without unswaddling or changing them before turning in for the night. The goal of a dream feed is to not fully wake baby but offer an extra feeding to stretch sleep. A diaper change could be too much activity to make a dream feed effective.

RELATED: When to Night Potty Train: Our Top 5 Tips for Keeping Your Child Dry at Night

Brands of Overnight Diapers

Huggies Overnites Nighttime Diapers

Huggies Overnites are the brand’s most absorbent diaper and available in sizes 3 to 6. The diapers have double leak guards and extra absorbency for up to 12 hours of protection for your little one. Huggies Overnites are hypoallergenic and free of fragrance, lotion, and parabens to protect baby’s skin.

Pampers Swaddlers Overnight Diapers

Pampers Swaddlers Overnight Diapers also promise to keep baby dry for up to 12 hours. The diapers are extra absorbent but offer breathable liners to soothe and protect baby’s sensitive skin. Pampers Swaddlers Overnights are hypoallergenic and free of parabens and latex. 

The Honest Company Overnight Diapers

Made of eco-friendly and sustainable materials, The Honest Company’s Overnight Diapers also offer extra absorbency in its plant-derived materials to keep baby dry. These nighttime diapers hold 17 times its weight in fluid for advanced leak protection. The Honest Company’s products are made without latex, chlorine processing, fragrances, and lotions. 

Luvs Triple Leakguard Diapers

The most affordable of the bunch, Luvs Triple Leakguard Diapers also offer up to 12 hours of overnight protection for your little one. It has three absorbent areas and can hold 20 times its weight in fluid. 

Seventh Generation Baby Free & Clear Overnight Diapers

Best for babies with sensitive skin, Seventh Generation Overnight Diapers are the brand’s most absorbent diapers. Made with sustainably sourced wood fluff pulp, Free & Clear Diapers contain 0% chlorine bleaching, lotions or fragrances.

RELATED: Best Overnight Diapers – Keep Baby Dry and Sleeping Overnight

Final Word

Each baby is different and whether your little one would benefit from an overnight diaper depends on how long they sleep, how much they pee at night, etc. 

For my family, overnight diapers have been game changers starting around 4 months of age. Once my daughter started sleeping on her tummy for more than 8 hours at night, overnight diapers made a big difference in keeping her dry. At 2 years old, she is still sleeping in an overnight diaper. 

Katie Scott    

Katie is a wife, mom and journalist living in Southern California. She has reported on everything from politics, natural disasters and major sporting events. Katie's best assignment to date has been raising her toddler daughter with her husband.

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