Leaky, Leaky, Soiled, & Stinky: Great Ways to Avoid Diaper Leaks at Night

Toddler boy peacefully sleepingIt is no fun pulling a soggy baby from their bed only to find that the sheets, pillows, and bumper pads are soiled with pee from a leaking diaper. Not only is this not healthy for the baby, it means extra work for mom that has to be done before naptime! What a horrible way to start the day! There are some things you can do to help avoid this mushy mess until the beautiful time when your toddler is officially potty-trained!

Realize that most moms don't feel that nighttime diapers or pull-ups are very effective at preventing leaks. They don't seem to be designed to hold in 10 hours worth of pee, no matter how expensive they are. While some brands are better than others, you will most likely have to take extra steps. One good first step to prevent the leaks is to use the thick cloth underwear either under or over the diaper. This will provide extra absorbency and, if used underneath, they are a great way to help children realize when they are wet. They are easy to wash and dry and will actually motivate your child to potty train!

Another solution for the bed soaking blues is to order specially made, plastic-backed bed covers. They are rather inexpensive, will save the mattress from getting wet if leaks occur, and they are easy to throw in the washer and dryer. The nice part is that they don't have that plastic feel or noise like many do. If you check out online bedwetting sites, you can choose from a ton of sizes that will make sure the entire bed is covered and dry in the morning. Another benefit is that these are designed, much like hospital pads, to draw the moisture down so that your baby is not lying in a puddle all night.

If none of these seem to help, there is the option of changing clothes during the night. Most moms would not want to do this because as the old catch phrase says, “let sleeping dogs lie,” however, if no other solution can be found this may be the only way to avoid it.

Obviously, part of the problem if your child is leaking through their diaper at night is that they are drinking too much before bed. According to pediatricians and dentists, many children clinging to bottles or sippy cups are actually drinking too much in the evening hours. Since there is no way for their small kidneys and bladder to process it quickly, they will urinate often throughout their sleep. If the problem is persistent, chances are the only way to avoid it will be to limit drinking around 2 hours before bedtime. If your child is old enough, encourage then to use the potty during those 2 hours. Some children actually hold their urine because they are so busy, and with careful prodding you can make huge steps toward potty training by encouraging them to use the bathroom. For all purposes, limiting evening drinking is the best solution!

There has not been any one type of diaper or pull up that is completely leak resistant, especially when exposed to extensive amounts of urine. This problem can plague parents for years and using the combination of the solutions above may be the best way to stop it. If nothing seems to work, then using diapers made for older children who bed wet or even grown-ups may prove effective as they have a higher percentage of absorbency. They may be a bit difficult to put on, but they should effectively reduce the chances that you will wake up in the morning to a wet baby and a load of laundry!


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Leaky, Leaky, Soiled, & Stinky: Great Ways to Avoid Diaper Leaks at Night

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  1. Stanley says:

    Hello. This is what I do for myself. I wear diapers because of urinary incontinence from a spinal injury. I am a heavy wetter. My insurance company doesn’t provide for very good diapers. So what I do is I get a razor blade and cut several rows of slits along the plastic backing. Then I put that diaper on, and then another I have not cut slits in on top. This way when the first diaper gets full, it flows through the holes into the second diaper. I don’t see why this wouldn’t work with a baby size diaper. Can give it a try at least. When I want even more absorbency I throw in a parents choice brand size 6 overnight baby diaper. Someone actually filled one with water and found the size 6 overnights held 6 cups which is crazy considering it’s a diaper intended for a baby. But with two of my adult diapers (one with a slit cut in it) along with the parents choice baby diaper I can go 6 hours between diaper changes even with being such a big heavy wetter. Hope this is of some help. 🙂

  2. Jessica says:

    I cloth diaper & my baby is a heavy wetter all the time. I typically don’t have trouble with leaks unless he’s going through a growth spurt. I usually use a hemp prefold with a microfiber insert on top of it, closest to his skin with a micro-fleece liner on the insert & use a Thirsties Duo wrap for the cover. This typically holds up for 11 hours (baby loves his nighttime sleep). If he’s going though a growth spurt, then I use the hemp prefold & a two-layer insert made out of Zorb, cover with the Thirsties cover & put a wool cover over the whole thing. I’ve heard of some moms using wool or fleece diaper covers over disposables for nighttime & long trips.

  3. Lara says:

    As a mom of a newborn, we kept having to replace clothes at every change. My two best tips received are: put the penis pointing down and make sure the skirts of the diaper are lifted.

  4. Sarah says:

    I finally figured out the work around for my son who is 25 months. I had tried the overnight pull ups- resulted in a very wet, very unhappy boy 3 hours after changing him. That was a bust because he weighs about 25 pounds, too much gap.
    Then I decided to try going up a diaper size to a size 4, still had to change him around midnight to avoid changing all of the bedding and a soggy boy.
    I discovered Huggies Overnight Diapers. THEY WORK!!!
    He has his water or juice with dinner, and will have some more before his evening bath around 8:30 & gets his Huggies Overnight Diaper. He has his “snack” in the crib- usually a couple marshmallows and some milk.
    He’s been dry all night long- as in no leaks or full out drowning of the diaper for a month! Cutting out his 4oz bottle of milk was the best thing I could do for us all. Of course it helped when his last 3 nipples got holes. Bye bye bottles!
    Good luck ladies

  5. This is working flawlessly for me right now:

    My child gets a bottle right before bed, so he used to leak through every time. Now I get pampers overnight diapers, roll the top of the front side down =in towards his body= (very important!) about 1-1.5 inches. Then I put a cheap brand-x diaper that is a size larger overtop of it. Check that the outer one overlaps on the legs so it can help catch there too. No more leaks! Sometimes the outer diaper is dry and I can just remove the inner one. Sometimes its quite full! I don’t consider it a waste of money at all, since my other alternative would be to change him in the middle of the night anyway.

  6. Jennifer says:

    My lil girl is 3 and she wakes up totally wet. So I’ve been putting 2 pull-ups on her at night and it does work..

  7. mommy nhoj says:

    Oh, true enough! My little one drinks to the minute before she sleeps. Though her nighttime diaper can hold up to 14hrs max 🙂 she wakes up at least once for feeding.

  8. my oldest is 2 years old and he pee’s a lot but he does not keep a bottle or sippy cup all the time…he don’t use a bottle period anymore anyways but still he drink’s water more then anything and he doesn’t drink two hours before bed and it still don’t work :/

  9. some times i put two diapers as weird it might seem everyone looks at me like im crazy …now i know im not alone lol


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