Cloth Diapering Mailbox Mondays Overnight Diapering Solutions Stink

Cloth Diaper Advice – Mailbox Mondays 1/16/12 – Night Time Diapers

night time #clothdiapers via @chgdiapers

It’s time for cloth diaper advice! If I’ve received a question, I will answer it on Monday and ask my lovely readers to add their two cents.

Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject, or fill out my contact form for readers, which you will always be able to find on my Contact Page.

Courtney M. says:

My LO is a heavy wetter & for nighttime we have to use Kawaii heavy wetters double stuffed with one or two hemp babies diaper doublers. They are soaked in the a.m. (but no leaks!) and they smell! I need some kind of solution that doesn’t involve ammonia or him being stuffed in a diaper so big he doesn’t move! any tips or suggestions? I’m hoping my days of middle of the night changes are over…

I have been down this path. Night time diapering & detergent were two two biggest pains for me! What works for us is a Knickernappies Superdo insert in a Bumgenius 4.0 pocket diaper. The Superdos are microfiber with hemp in the middle. They are far thinner than two microfiber inserts, but much, much more absorbent. Since they do have microfiber, they get stinky after a while. About once a month I used to bleach my inserts, then rinse rinse rinse. Since I started using a dab of Oxiclean in every load, I rarely have to do that anymore. Bleach does end up damaging natural fibers, so after two years of bleaching, my superdos have developed small holes on the inside/hemp part.

You said you are using hemp babies doublers, but you might consider using a full size hemp insert instead. Sandwiching hemp in between (or just under) microfiber works wonders, since the microfiber absorbs quickly, but the hemp locks the moisture in.

In general, natural fibers (bamboo, hemp, organic cotton) won’t get stinky over time like microfiber. However, when you’re talking about something that has been soaked in urine for 12 hours, It’s going to smell like ammonia when you take the diaper off. Having more absorbency will help, but getting a whiff of ammonia in the morning isn’t unusual when you’re no longer needing to change diapers at night.

So how about everyone else? Have you found a night time solution for a heavy wetter? Do you smell ammonia in the morning?

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • Karolyn Mac
    January 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    This is a problem near and dear to my heart, too. My son would obliterate a BG 4.0 stuffed with two full-sized microfiber inserts with a Green Mountain full-sized hemp sandwiched in between by 1am. We just couldn’t make it work. So we went to a disposable at night and he peed them out. We purchased doublers for the special heavy-duty overnight disposables and he still wakes up wet. *sigh* Major liquid consumption is cut off by 3 or 4pm and we’re still struggling. It’s insanity.

  • January 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Wool is the answer! Not just because I make and sell wool covers, but they honestly are much different than the PUL in that it is a natural fiber and when you pair it with a natural diaper (I use prefolds with a small prefold inside as a doubler, or flannel pocket diapers with a prefold stuffed inside. (they seem to wake less with the flannel, I don’t think it feels as wet). The wool is breathable, so I don’t get that strong ammonia smell in the a.m. I am always taken aback by the smell when I use PUL. To me the built up odor makes me think there’s bacteria trapped inside. Also with a wool cover, especially longies, they might eventually feel slightly damp on outside if you don’t stuff it enough or you have a heavy wetter (or compression wicking) but the bed will be dry. I love the breathability of wool, especially at night.

  • Beth
    January 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    We use a microfiber pad wrapped around 7 layers of hemp (3 layers are long, and then there is a 2 layer that I fold in half toward the front) My son can still move, and it absorbs all his urine even on the heaviest day. Then in the morning, yes there will be some ammonia smells. I always rinse them a few times, and make sure the diaper pail isn’t air tight (it will make the smell much worse and make washing the diapers harder). As long as I do a good rise with them in the morning (I simply put them under warm water and squeeze them out a few times under the water, doesn’t take long, and it works wonders!) then I don’t have any smell issues. Hope that helps.

  • January 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    My almost 3 yr old wears diapers to bed, and if she drinks a lot in the evening, therefore pees a lot through the night I get the ammonia smell. I do laundry just about about every other day so the smell doesn’t seem to settle into them through washes.

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