Accepting all the mess and stinkiness that come with dirty diapers is one of the first major hurdles new moms face. Once you jump that hurdle, you're still in for all sorts of surprises, including nighttime diaper leakage as your little one twitches about in her sleep. It's not all bad news, however -- you can save yourself and your tyke a morning mess by taking a few simple preventive measures.
Choose the right fit -- nighttime leaks often indicate a too-small or too-big diaper. If using disposable diapers, always consult the weight and fit chart on the package. In addition to leaks, red marks on your baby indicate small diapers while gaps around the waist and thighs are a surefire sign of baggy bottoms.
Secure the diaper properly. Although it may sound simple, poor fit and improper usage are among the most common reasons for diaper leakage, whether at night or during the day. When you change your baby into her day's last diaper, make sure it's straight and symmetrical, not crooked or hanging at an angle. The diaper's waist should come just up to your baby's waistline, not above or below, and the diaper should completely cover her hips and backside. These essential principles apply to both disposable and reusable diapers.
Turn to overnight diapers for added leakage protection. Compared to regular disposable diapers, these bottoms typically have a more snug fit, stronger closing tabs, a longer recommended wear time and more capacity for absorption. For toddlers, use thick cloth underwear under or over the diaper to prevent wet sheets and help encourage potty training.
Insert a diaper liner for even more leakage prevention. Available in most diaper aisles, these pads -- which come in both disposable and reusable varieties -- go inside your baby's diaper. They add additional absorption, which helps your child get through the night more comfortably, and prevent wet pajamas in the morning.