Walk down the baby aisle at any grocery store, and you’ll immediately realize how many options there are when it comes to caring for your baby. Especially when it comes to diapers, it’s important to make the right choice for you and your family. In this post, we’ll discuss regular versus overnight diapers, and give you some tips to help figure out what works best for you and your baby.
Can babies wear overnight diapers during the day? Overnight diapers can normally be worn during the day without issue but they are typically more expensive than regular diapers. Since they also tend to be bulkier, active babies that wear pants and shorts might find them uncomfortable or hard to manage.
What exactly is the difference between regular and overnight diapers? And are overnight diapers worth their extra cost? Keep reading to find out!
Is it okay for babies to wear overnight diapers during the day?
All diapers do essentially the same thing: absorb fluid so your baby doesn’t leak everywhere. Even though all diapers work in the same way, there are still dozens of different options for you to choose between.
The nice thing about diapers is that there is no “wrong” kind of diaper; different diapers work better for different babies and different situations. In fact, I’ve written in the past about the best diapers for tall, skinny, and crawling babies if you want to check it out!
Although overnight diapers are primarily meant for nighttime use, their extra absorbency can be helpful during the day. But is it a bad thing for your baby to wear overnight diapers during the day?
Ultimately, there’s not a big difference between overnight and regular diapers, except for the fact that the overnighters hold more. It’s fine for your baby to wear an overnight diaper during the day, if that’s what works for your family. Just be sure to change your little one’s diaper often, so that you can avoid diaper rash, blowouts, or leaks.
With that said, let’s get into a little more detail about the differences.
Difference between overnight diapers and regular
Here are some of the key differences between overnight diapers and the regular, disposable variety:
- Absorbency: This is the key selling point for overnight diapers! While you’ll usually change your baby’s diaper every 3-4 hours as it fills up, overnight diapers claim to last your baby up to 12 hours. Even though the diapers are more absorbent, though, you probably won’t be able to go a full 12 hours before changing the diaper. If you let the diaper get too full, you run the risk of your baby developing a diaper rash.
- Bulk: Even with the latest updates to diaper technology, nighttime diapers tend to be a bit bulkier than their daytime counterparts. While daytime diaper designs tend to lean toward flexibility, overnight diapers are more concerned with how much they can hold rather than how easy it is to move in them.
- Cost: This might be one of the more important differences between overnight and regular diapers. Although pricing depends on the brand, a recent search found that overnight diapers are about 10 cents more per diaper when compared to regular diapers of the same brand. Ten cents a diaper doesn’t sound like much, but when you think about how many diapers your baby goes through each day, it can really add up! The overnight diapers ought to last longer, but you’re definitely paying for the extra amount of time you’re using the diaper.
Are overnight diapers worth it?
As always, diaper decisions depend on the baby and the family. If your baby is waking up in the middle of the night because they’re blowing out their regular diaper, then it probably makes sense for you to test out overnight diapers. They might finally allow you to sleep through the night!
That being said, if your baby sleeps through the night just fine in regular diapers without leaking, then you probably don’t need to spend the extra money on extra absorbency.
If you do decide to test out some overnight diapers, here are some great options for you to try out:
Best overnight diapers for baby
- Best Eco-Conscious Overnight Diaper
Not only can these diapers help your baby stay dry through the night, they’re also better for the environment than traditional disposable diapers. They’re made from wood fluff pulp that is sustainably sourced, which means both you and your baby might sleep better at night!
They also have NO chlorine, bleach, or fragrances to irritate your baby’s skin!
- Best Name-Brand Overnight Diaper
These overnight diapers are extra-absorbent, promising 12-hour, leak-free protection. They also have a quilted inner liner to keep your baby’s skin dry.
- Best Store-Brand Overnight Diaper
Target is a great place to stock up on baby essentials, and their brand of diapers is equally reliable. Their diapers are absorbent, soft, and wonderfully affordable.
Why do overnight diapers start at size 3?
Until they get to size 3 in diapers, most babies simply aren’t eating enough throughout the day to necessitate an overnight diaper. For the first several months, you’ll be woken during the night to feed your baby anyway, so an overnight diaper isn’t going to be as helpful as when you’re trying to sleep through the night.
In fact, your baby might even have dry diapers in the morning until they are a little older!
Because they’re often not needed when babies are younger, most brands only start offering overnight diapers beginning at size 3.
When should you start using overnight diapers?
Although some babies may never need overnight diapers, many begin using them right around the 6-month mark.
At this point, babies are usually adding solids to their regular formula or breast milk intake, and a full stomach usually leads to a full diaper. If your child is waking up in the middle of the night because they’ve filled their diaper, now might be the time to give overnight diapers a try.
How many hours should a baby wear a diaper?
The amount of time your baby lasts in their diaper before a change depends on the age of your baby and the frequency of their bowel movements. Generally, you’ll want to change your child’s diaper every 2-3 hours, especially when they’re younger. If your child develops a diaper rash, you’ll want to increase the frequency of their diaper changes. If your child has a bowel movement, you’ll also want to change them out of the diaper before it can irritate their skin.
If your baby is sleeping and their diaper is only wet, you don’t need to wake them to change their diaper. The goal with any diaper changing schedule is to keep your little one comfortable, clean, and happy.