nAPPIES FOR NIGHT-TIME

When your baby starts to sleep longer at night, you need a super-absorbent nappy.  If they wake for a feed (or many feeds) but they're only wet so you don't want to have to change their nappy (and risk waking them up completely), the nappy needs to be really reliable.  This is especially true for older babies who pee larger volumes and still pee a lot at night.  The best type of nappy for wearing at night is a two-part nappy with a separate wrap.  (These are also called fitted nappies, shaped nappies and night nappies.) The reason for this is that the nappy goes right round the baby, not just between the legs, so there is more absorbent fabric and it covers all of the bottom area.  If baby decides to sleep on their side, or sat up in the the corner of the cot, the nappy will still catch the wetness.  These nappies will also be useful whenever you need a nappy that will last a good long time without leaking - on a long car journey, for example, or going on holiday by air. 

You will need to have 5-6 of your night-time nappies to allow time for washing and drying: one on the baby, one clean spare in the drawer, yesterday's nappy in the bucket waiting to be washed, and one or two washed nappies hanging up still drying.

I don't think there's a huge difference in performance between the different brands of bamboo two-part nappies.  The LittleLamb bamboo ones are inexpensive and very effective.  They come in three sizes and size 3 is big enough to fit a chunky toddler.  Their only downside is that the fabric goes quite crisp in hard water unless tumble dried from time to time.  Bambinex nappies are another good all-bamboo nappy.  They come in two sizes and size 2 fits from about 9 months right up to 45lb.  They're a good shape for a tall slim child.  The fabric they're made of stays fairly soft as it ages.  TotsBots Bamboozles are another popular brand.  They're made of the same bamboo fabric as the Bambinex ones but they have a layer of microfibre in the middle so maybe not quite as reliable as pure bamboo. (All TotsBots nappies are made of this sort of bamboo and microfibre sandwich.)  All types of bamboo nappies take about the same amount of time to dry - it's the elastics round the legs that makes them so slow, as this traps the wetness.

The alternative to bamboo is cotton or hemp.  Hemp is very fashionable at the moment because of its mystical absorbent qualities - but it is extrememly slow to dry and it is inclined to go out of shape and a bit stiff when it's been washed a few times.  The BumHUGGER by Ella's House is said to be an amazing nappy for a heavy wetter.  Cotton is similar to bamboo in performance - maybe not quite so absorbent - but there's not a lot in it.  Bamboo is thought to be a better fabric environmentally because it takes a lot of water and pesticides to grow cotton.  But bamboo is more highly processed.........

If you don't want to buy a product that's made in China, you'll have to avoid bamboo rayon as it's all made in China (where the bamboo grows).  Organic cotton fitted nappies from LittleLamb, which are made in Turkey, would be a possibility, or BrightBots cotton terry squares, which are made in Pakistan.

traditional terry squares

An alternative to two-part nappies are traditional UK nappies called terry squares, which are 60 or 70cm squares, made of a sort of cotton towelling, that you fasten with a Nappi Nippa.  It's a bit of knack to fit these neatly but they have the huge advantage of being much quicker to dry than fitted nappies - and they're really cheap!  About £2 each.  They're also indestructible - they can be washed at 90C, boiled, soaked in Napisan and hung on hot radiators, If used with a decent waterproof cover on top, they fit quite neatly and they're very absorbent.  Bamboo&cotton ones are available, which are even more absorbent, but they're not so indestructible.  This type of nappy can be boosted like any other nappy, by laying a booster inside the folded nappy.  Hemp boosters are very good or a foldable bamboo booster can give lots of absorbency while being quicker to dry.

If you decide to go for terry squares don't buy really cheap ones.  They're thin and manky and not quite square, which makes them hard to fold neatly.  BrightBots or Muslinz bamboo&cotton are good.

Nappy covers = wraps

You will need a waterproof cover over a fitted nappy or terry square.  Most people use PUL wraps.  Wraps with leg gussets (like the Bambinex, LittleLamb, Muslinz and Motherease Rikki ones)  fit better than the ones without, though some people swear by Motherease Airflows, which are really baggy and have no leg gussets, but are said to be great for babies and toddlers with thunder thighs.

An alternative to PUL wraps are wool wraps which have to be lanolinised to make them waterproof - Disana make them.  If you want to go completely plastic free, these are the way to go. I've never tried them.  Some people find fleece wraps work well for night-time.  They aren't completely waterproof so it's a mystery to me how they're supposed to work so well!