Changing your baby’s soaking pajamas and wet crib sheets in the middle of the night is likely up there on everyone’s list of least favorite things to do as a parent.
Even if you make it through the night, finding your baby has leaked through their diaper in the morning is not a pleasant way to start the day. It can disrupt your morning routine, increase the amount of laundry, and make everyone grumpy.
Although common, it can be frustrating and exhausting to say the least. If you’re struggling with your baby peeing through their diaper at night, don’t worry! We have the perfect tips to help you out.
5 Common Reasons Your Baby is Peeing Through Their Diaper at Night
Before we address ways to prevent diaper leaks at night, let’s discuss the most common reasons your baby is wetting through their diaper. Isolating the possible causes of a leaky diaper can help guide you toward a more successful solution.
Here are the 5 most common reasons your baby is leaking through their diaper at night:
1. Too many liquids right before bed
Timing that last feed, drinking a full bottle, or handing over a sippy cup just before bedtime can lead to a fuller bladder throughout the night, causing leaks.
2. Your baby is between diaper sizes
One size is too small, another size is too big, and none are just right. When your baby is too big for the smaller size and not big enough for the larger size, it can cause fit problems that can lead to overnight leaks.
3. Moving around a lot in the crib
If your baby is a restless sleeper or moves around a lot in their sleep, their diaper is constantly shifting and bunching. Since the diaper isn’t staying put, it can more easily cause leakage.
4. Diaper isn’t positioned correctly
When the diaper isn’t positioned well around the baby’s thighs or the waistband isn’t snug, this can cause gaps that allow wetness to seep through.
5. Your baby is a tummy sleeper
Tummy sleepers have a higher rate of nighttime leaks. When babies sleep on their stomachs, it puts pressure on the diaper in a way that’s more likely to cause urine to leak through.
14 Things to Try to Keep Your Baby’s Diaper From Leaking at Night
Keeping your baby dry and comfortable at night can go a long way in ensuring that they (and you!) get a full night of sleep. Waking up wet, cold, and covered in pee is no fun for your little one, and changing wet bedding and pajamas in the middle of the night isn’t a walk in the park for you either.
In addition to all the health benefits of getting a full night of sleep, keeping your baby dry throughout the night keeps their bottoms healthy too. Sleeping for hours in a soggy diaper can lead to diaper rash, so when wetness can be pulled away from your baby’s body, it can go a long way in keeping them comfortable.
To help ensure that your baby stays as dry as possible, here are 14 tricks to help prevent the dreaded diaper leaking:
1. Limit liquids right before bed
For many older babies, it can be soothing to have a bottle or breastfeed right before bed, but that excess fluid right before falling asleep can lead to a leaky, wet diaper a few hours later. For newborns and young babies, lessening their fluid intake before bed isn’t advisable or practical, as they require shorter, more frequent feedings.
For older babies and toddlers, however, it’s a good idea to start limiting liquids in the evening and slowly changing your nightly routine so that the last bottle or feed is given an hour or two before bed. This will give your child some time to empty their bladder before going down for the night.
2. A diaper change right before bed
Diaper changes at bedtime can sometimes be tricky. Once your little one is calm, drowsy, and ready to fall asleep, it can be disruptive, breaking the mood. This can be especially challenging for babies who are difficult to get down or transition to the crib. But in order to keep your baby as dry as possible, they need to have a fresh diaper just before putting them down.
3. Choose overnight diapers
Regular, disposable diapers are great during the day, as they keep your baby’s bottom dry for a few hours at a time. But during the long hours that your baby is asleep at night, they just don’t cut it. Overnight or nighttime diapers provide extra absorbency, typically 20-25 percent moreso.
While they do cost a bit more, most parents agree that they are well worth the investment!
4. Boost your diaper at night
Try lining your baby’s diaper with a diaper booster pad. I’ll file this under, “one of the coolest inventions since my kids were babies” and pass it along with the confidence that it will be a game-changer.
Booster pads or liners are extra-absorbent, non-adhesive pads that get inserted directly inside the diaper for extra protection. They’re soft, and smooth, and create an extra layer to prevent leaks. It lays in your baby’s diaper the same way that a pantyliner lays in underwear and can really help keep your baby dry and leaks at bay.
5. Use cloth diapers at night
Cloth diapers, such as these, are known for being more absorbent diapers than their disposable counterparts. Switching to cloth diapers at night can be really helpful in preventing your baby from peeing through their diaper every night.
6. Double up
If you’ve tried a few things and you’re still finding your baby and your baby’s mattress soaked most mornings, try putting on two diapers at night. It’s really one of the simplest ways to prevent leaks… just use two!
You might need to use a larger size diaper for the outer layer to make sure your baby is comfortable, but it can be helpful in keeping your baby’s pajamas, and bedding from continuously getting wet.
7. Switch to a larger diaper at night
Try going up in diaper size at night. Simply putting on a bigger size can absorb more liquid and prevent leaks. You just need to make sure that it still fits your baby’s legs and waist. If there are gaps or it’s too loose, the liquid will easily slip out which just defeats the purpose.
8. Try a different brand
There are lots of different diaper brands out there and some simply work better for certain kids than others. Try picking up a small package of your baby’s current diaper size in a different brand and see if that makes a difference at night. You might find that you like them so much that you’ll switch during the day as well.
9. Make some adjustments
Making a few, small adjustments to the diaper can help prevent leaks. Pull the waistband up a bit higher on your baby’s tummy and be sure it’s secure. This can help quite a bit, as most leaks come out of the front of the diaper.
Be sure to run a finger along the elastic around the legs and make sure nothing is bunched and it’s nice and snug. This little fix can prevent your baby from peeing out the side of the diaper.
Of course, it’s important to make sure that nothing is too tight. If you see red marks on your baby’s thighs or tummy, you’ll need to loosen things up a bit.
10. Use a waterproof mattress pad
Protect the mattress with a waterproof mattress pad. This mattress cover encases the entire mattress, like a fitted sheet, and will help keep your baby’s mattress dry, clean, and sanitized.
Another type of mattress pad lays on top of the sheet and serves as a barrier between a possibly leaky diaper and the sheet. In this way, if your baby wakes up wet and uncomfortable, you can change their diaper and jammies, toss the mattress pad in the laundry, and lay them atop a dry sheet.
Used in tandem, both of these products will help keep your baby’s mattress from being continually soiled.
11. Double up on bedding
If you’ve done all you can and your baby is still leaking through their diaper, it may just be something you’ll have to live with for a while. Like every other phase in parenting, this too shall pass. And while you know that it’s just a phase and it’ll be over at some point, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it easier on yourself.
Make changing sheets in the middle of the night a little less aggravating and double up on bedding. This means extra protection for your baby’s mattress by stacking a mattress pad and sheet on top of each other. So, when you make the bed, lay down a mattress pad and a sheet, a mattress pad and a sheet. If your baby leaks through to the sheet, simply remove a layer for a fresh, dry sheet.
12. Encourage back sleeping
Tummy sleepers leak through their diapers more often than babies who sleep on their backs. This is because the front part of the diaper is lower and can create more gaps through which liquid can seep. The back part of a diaper goes up higher and fits more snugly.
As much as you can, encourage your baby to sleep on their back. This is a safer sleeping option, especially for younger babies, and can help eliminate wet wake-ups.
13. Change your baby during the night
If your baby is constantly peeing through diapers in the middle of the night and they’re sound sleepers, try changing them into a fresh diaper just before you go to bed. Also, be sure to make use of any middle-of-the-night wake-ups and feedings and get them into a new diaper before putting them back down. These steps can help keep your baby and bedding dry as well as prevent rashes.
14. For potty-trained toddlers
For little ones who are potty trained during the day, be sure to have them use the toilet just before bed. Emptying their bladders just before going to sleep can help keep them dry throughout the night.