Overnight diapering is always the biggest hurdle cloth diaperers face. I know many families that cloth diaper only during the day because they are nervous or worried about using cloth diapers at night.
Interestingly enough though we actually sell many cloth diapers to families who are using disposables during the day but need a more absorbent diaper over night! If you use the right overnight diaper you should experience very few leaks and messes.
We have had tons of success cloth diapering overnight with all 4 of children.
What we have learned?
1) Pockets and All in Ones (AIO) are not ideal for overnight (or heavywetter) diapering - even with thicker or more inserts. We have the most amounts of leaks when we use pockets and AIOs at night.
2) Two piece fitted systems work better. Double the protection around the leg and more absorbency from the fitted diaper (+ you can always add doublers!).
3) We sometimes have to change our baby in the middle of the night. We wake up at least once per night with all of our children (bad dreams, cold, feeling sick, just wanting to cuddle) so waking up to change a diaper doesn't change our lives all that much.
What is our recommended night time diapering solution?
1) Mother-ease Air Flow Covers: Leak proof system when this and the Sandy are combined. Two piece systems offer you more absorbency and more protection which means less leaks and messes.
2) Mother-ease Sandy in Bamboo: Bamboo is more absorbent than cotton and will absorb more for overnight.
3) Mother-ease Doubler: Add one or two depending on how much absorption you need. I find that one is usually enough but if you have a heavy wetter you may opt for two.
How many diapers and covers will you need?
That all depends on how often you are washing diapers and how many night time changes you are doing. That being said, we typically recommend 6-8 night time diaper + 2 covers + 1 doubler for each diaper.
How do I wash these diapers?
Wash them with the rest of your diapers or with your clothes. Whichever is easier and more convenient for you. Follow our washing directions at the bottom of our Cloth Diapering 101 Article.
Anything else I need to know?
You may want to add a good barrier cream like our Bum Bum Balm or Anointment Baby Balm to prevent rashes. Overnight diapers are kept on for longer periods without diaper changes and as a result are more likely to cause rashes (don't worry this happens with disposable as well). Cloth diapers are more breathable and will typically cause less rashes than disposables but it is always better to use preventative methods.
Fleece liners are also helpful for wicking moisture away. Simply lay them on top of our diaper or doubler and the moisture will wick away from babies skin making them feel dry - just like a disposable diaper.