How To Diaper Baby at Night for Optimal Sleep

Get tricks and tips for how to diaper baby at night so wet diapers do not wake baby up and you can get baby sleeping longer stretches at night.

Baby getting diaper changed

Sometimes, your little one will start waking in the night all because of a wet diaper. The diaper will be overly wet, making your baby uncomfortable and unable to sleep.

This can happen even in the young newborn months when your baby isn’t sleeping long stretches at night yet. Sometimes you little one will get so wet he will leak through the diaper and get his clothes all wet.

I always hated that the most because not only did you have a diaper change, but a wardrobe change as well, which really wakes baby up.

Over the years, I learned some simple things to do to prevent diapers from being an issue at night.

How To Avoid Wet Diapers from Waking Baby in the Night

Here is how I avoid diaper issues at night.


First, I keep a couple pairs of pajamas on the changing table at night just in case I need them. Diaper leaks are going to happen at times despite your best efforts, and it seems they happen much more often with boys than with girls.

The change of clothes makes it easier on everyone because you don’t have to turn on the light and search through a drawer all while holding a crying baby.

I do this until baby dosen’t wake up wet anymore on a pretty regular basis.

P.S. Use pajamas that have a zipper or are fast to get on. Pajamas with buttons or snaps look cute, but are very impractical for diaper changes in the night.

Is baby waking in the 5-6 AM hour each night? See this post for tips on how to stop the 5-6 AM night wakings and get baby sleeping through the night.


In order to prevent nighttime leaking, I always change the diaper at the dreamfeed until baby sleeps from dreamfeed to desired waketime.

The more baby eats, the more baby pees. By changing the diaper at the dreamfeed, I usually don’t have to change the diaper at the night feed if there is just one night feeding. However, in the first few weeks, I change the diaper at every single feeding.

If you have a sleepy newborn, changing the diaper between sides or halfway through the bottle can help rouse baby to hopefully take a full feed. If your baby is completely roused by a diaper change, do it before you start the feeding so you can put a sleepy baby back in bed rather than a wired baby.

I like to do this because I am already up with baby at the dreamfeed anyway. This way, baby will hopefully only wake when hungry without adding wet and cold to the mix.

Once our little ones were sleeping through the night, we loved Huggies Overnites for keeping them dry.

Read: Ultimate Guide to Stopping Baby Poop at Night


Put a bigger size diaper on your baby at night than he needs in the day.

It will keep baby less wet and prevent waking for that reason (if he is prone to do so). It will also prevent leaks.

At night, I put the next diaper size up on baby if baby is close enough to the upper weight limit of the diaper.

Let me explain in case that is confusing.

Say baby is wearing size one diapers during the day. Say size one diapers are for 8-12 pound babies. While baby is 8-9 pounds, I leave baby in size one for the night. A diaper too large will cause leaks more often than one that is the right size.

But pretty soon baby is 10-11 pounds. Baby is still in size one range, but very close to size two range. At this point, I put baby in size two just at night.

This works very well to keep baby comfortable. And a great thing is that you won’t be wasting diapers because your baby will be in a size two some day (believe it or not). You do not risk wasting money on buying a diaper size your baby won’t wear, so this is a simple thing to do.

But take note to not do this if your baby is at the small end of the diaper scale. So if baby is 15 lbs. and the diaper is for 15-25 lbs. you shouldn’t need a bigger diaper. Once she reaches 20 lbs. though, it is probably time.


I also hear from a lot of parents who say they love Huggies Overnites, so that is an alternative option to the larger size at night. We love them, also. We often go one size up and in the overnights if the baby is a super-peer at night 🙂


Remember to put your favorite diaper ointment on your baby’s bottom at that last diaper change of the night to protect the skin. I have tried several, and my top three are Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Desitin Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Paste, and Burt’s Bees Diaper Ointment.

You will find different ointments and pastes work better with different babies. The Burt’s Bees worked best on McKenna with eczema. The Butt Paste was great on Brayden and Kaitlyn–who had normal skin. Brinley had normal skin but the Desitin worked best on her.


These simple tips can prevent a wet or leaking diaper from waking your baby up in the night. Baby can sleep longer through the night and so can you!


4 steps to diaper baby for night sleep

This post was originally posted on this blog in January 2010.