This post was originally published on November 11, 2015, when I was a new mama of one and experiencing my toddler peeing through her diaper overnight for the first time. Now, as a mama of three, I have since learned all of the tips, so this was updated on April 22, 2020, to include everything I recommend for leaky overnight toddler diapers.
Have you ever heard of the expression: when it rains it pours?
Well, I’d love to add to it: …and it soaks through your super-absorbent diapers, through your child’s pajamas, sleep sack, and sheets, and all the way to the motherloving mattress.
Ladies and Gentlemen, at 14 months old Marlowe was a bedwetter who was sleeping in a regular diaper. LOL! You experienced moms out are probably laughing over your lattés right now, like, “this poor fool, why didn’t she know all the STUFF?! BAHAHAH!!!”
Well now I do know all of the stuff, and I’m here to share it!
Marlowe had been using the same old diapers all year, upping the sizes as she grew, and we never had any problems. The occasional leak or blowout of course, but nothing major.
Then suddenly, Marlowe started wetting the bed every single night. The poor thing’s diaper would leak completely and soak her from the neck of her PJs all the way to the ankles – not to mention all of her sheets, loveys, sleep sacks, etc. It would wake her up super early (of course), but even worse was the discomfort of being soaking in cold pee. It absolutely broke my heart to go in there and see her so uncomfortable. Also, having to change out all the linens in her entire crib every single morning wasn’t…ideal.
I had tried everything: I googled toddler peeing through diaper overnight which led to testing out every brand of “overnight” diapers in existence, trying to go up a size in our regular diapers, we even tried reducing her night time bottle by a couple of ounces, yet nothing was making a dent in our little bedwetter’s nighttime experience.
At this point, I was feeling so anxious every night before bed, wondering if my sweet baby girl would wake up in a yellow flood at 5 am, so I called in the troops!
I emergency-texted Marlowe’s night nurse, Pam (who was also my postpartum doula) to ask for some advice and I ended up learning that between the ages of 12-16 months, many toddlers (read: most) begin to wet through their diapers at night.
As it turns out, everything we were going through was totally normal, but now: what to do about it?
How To Troubleshoot Leaky Overnight Toddler Diapers
1.) Start With A Solid Overnight Diaper
Every kid is different, so every diaper is going to fit them differently. The first step to troubleshooting leaky overnight diapers is by trying out a solid overnight diaper. I recommend purchasing in both your child’s size as well as the next size up. The brands I have had the best experience with were:
The Honest Company Overnight Diapers
The Honest Company
Honest Diapers are my favorite diapers overall. They’re hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and they never irritated any of my kids’ skin.
Pampers Pure Protection
These may not be labeled as ‘Overnight Diapers’ but they are! They’re known for being super absorbent, like other Pampers, but without the chemical additives. These contain no fragrances, chlorine bleaching, latex, parabens, or other allergens, and can prevent leaks for up to 12 hours!
These are widely considered the most absorbent diapers on the market, and I used them with great success.
2.) Introducing Your New Best Friend: Diaper Liners
Diaper Liners are a soft insert that goes inside your regular or overnight diaper to add extra protection and absorbency…kind of like a mini maxi pad! There are a number of these on the market to choose from, but my personal favorites are:
Sposie Booster Pads Diaper Doubler
These are the diaper liners I used with Marlowe and Major and they worked great!
Naturally Nature Overnight Diaper Doubler Booster Pads
Natural diaper liners like these weren’t around when I needed them for Marlowe and Major, but I might give them a try with Mateo. These are hypoallergenic, made with cruelty-free materials, and are 100% free of fragrances, latex, chlorine, and phthalates.
3.) Doubling Up On Diapers
This may sound nuts, but it really works! Try putting a regular diaper in your child’s size on first, then put another diaper in the size up on top of the first. Another tip is to put an Overnight Diaper as the exterior diaper over a regular diaper for an extra dryness boost. I used Marlowe’s regular daytime Honest Company diaper underneath a Huggies Overnight diaper, and it was bulky…but it WORKED!
My favorite regular diapers to double up with are:
The Honest Company Diapers
The Honest Company
As I mentioned earlier in this post, Honest Diapers have always been my go-to. Layering two sizes was a bit bulky but stopped the leaks!
Seventh Generation Sensitive Skin Diapers
These are another one of my favorite Diaper brands. They’re ultra-absorbent and contain 0% chlorine bleaching, lotions, or fragrances.
4.) Invest In Waterproof Crib Mattress Pads & Spare Crib Sheets
It’s so important to treat yourself with kindness when you’re going through a tough parenting challenge, and I think the kindest thing you can do for yourself is to reduce the amount of extra work you’re obligated to do.
Invest in a waterproof crib mattress pad cover, and as many crib sheets as you can store in a linen closet so you don’t have to rush to wash the linens every single morning like clockwork.
My favorites are:
Crib/Toddler Bed Waterproof Mattress Pad
Pottery Barn Kids
This crib mattress pad is made from 200 thread count 100% Cotton Percale, with a waterproof inner lining. It’s machine washable, which is good…because you’ll be doing a lot of that LOL!
American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib and Toddler Protective Mattress Pad Cover
American Baby Company
This has almost 6,000 5-star reviews, and it’s under $20!
Kyte BABY BAMBOO CRIB SHEET
I’ve mentioned here before how much I love Kyte Baby. These crib sheets (and pajamas! They make the best pajamas! And sleep sacks!) are made from a special type of natural rayon that comes from bamboo and are super soft and breathable.
Burt's Bees Baby 100% Organic Cotton Fitted Crib Sheet
Burts Bees Baby
These are awesome cotton crib sheets that come in every color and are super affordable.
Initially, I ordered the diaper liners right away, and while I waited for them to arrive, I doubled Marlowe’s diaper at night. I used her regular daytime Honest Company diaper underneath a Huggies Overnight diaper, and it was bulky…but it WORKED! A few days later, the liners arrived, I tried one of those inside an Honest Company Overnight diaper, and that worked also! I was so thrilled to have options.
With Marlowe, I ended up using the diaper liners inside the Huggies Overnights the most, just because it was less bulky. That solved her overnight diaper leaking problems for good! With Major, I used the diaper liners with the Honest Company Overnights and they worked just as well!
If any other mamas have other tips to add to this list, comment below!