Please welcome a guest writer to our site, Sophia Nguyen, owner and founder of “Healthy Baby Happy Earth” blog. Today she brings us her perspective on how your baby’s sleep can be impacted by wet diapers.
If there was something you could do to improve your baby’s sleep, would you do it? Of course! Then again, there are no guarantees that your little one will be sleeping through the night at six months of age even if you do “everything right”. Some people, babies included, miraculously thrive on less sleep than what the experts say is ideal.
However, there are two factors that you have control over when it comes to encouraging your baby to sleep better at night. These two things are creating a sleep routine (also known as a sleep ritual), and putting your child in the right kind of diaper.
One of the most important things you can do for your baby is to create a sleep ritual. A ritual is a series of events you do, in a specific order, that will help your child prepare for the night. In order for it to work, you need to practice the ritual consistently.
A part of your sleep ritual will include putting a clean, fresh diaper and pajamas on your baby. Whether or not you bathe, read a story, and sing a song is up to you.
The other important part of sleep includes creating an ideal environment for your baby. Ideally, the room should be quiet, dark, and a comfortable temperature. White noise, such as a fan, can be useful to muffle outside sounds and circulate air.
Wet Diapers Equal Bad Sleep
It’s pretty obvious to think that a wet diaper can wake up your baby in the middle of the night. You can imagine how uncomfortable it would be to lie in a soaking wet diaper, wet pajamas, and a wet bed.
Beyond ruining a good night’s sleep, a wet diaper also promotes the development of rashes. Even if your child manages to sleep through a soaked diaper, lying in a urine-soaked diaper can cause major skin irritation for baby’s sensitive skin. And rashes and irritation can make for a grumpy baby.
Sleeping in Diapers
There are the usual suggestions you can follow in an attempt to avoid a dripping diaper.
First, start with putting your child to bed in a fresh, dry diaper. This may seem obvious but sometimes if baby falls asleep earlier than normal, it’s easy to let them be, rather than waking them up to go through their regular sleep ritual and putting on a clean diaper.
You can buy the best fitting, most absorbent diaper you can find for your baby. You may need to experiment to find the best diaper. What works for your friend’s daughter may not work for your son.
You may even need to go up one diaper size in order to gain extra absorbency. Of course, you’ll have to ensure that a bigger diaper still fits properly. Although it may offer more absorbency, it can still leak if it’s too loose at the leg or waist openings.
Improve Cloth Diaper Absorbency for Night
If your child is in cloth diapers, you can double up on diapers or add an extra liner. If that doesn’t work, try a disposable diaper just for the night. Again, experiment with different brands and sizes until you find what works. GroVia makes soaker pads and boosters for cloth diapers.
Diapers at Night
During the night, only change your baby’s diaper if absolutely necessary.
Use the touch test. If the diaper feels like play dough at the front for boys or between the legs for girls, you will need to change it. When you get skilled at using the touch test, you won’t even have to remove pajamas to know what a wet diaper feels like.
By about 4 months of age, most children should be able to go through the night without a diaper change unless they’re waking frequently to eat. Follow the sleep rituals before bedtime and keep the lights off or as low as possible when you need to be up during the night.
The less stimulated your baby gets by bright lights and routines that should be saved for daylight, the quicker your baby’s body will adjust to nighttime routines which signals the body to produce less urine.
If your baby is still young and only on breastmilk or formula, withholding liquids after a certain time of day isn’t a good idea.
However, if your two-year old’s diaper keeps leaking and waking her up at 3 in the morning and she’s otherwise healthy and eating well, it may be time to eliminate unnecessary liquids an hour or two before bedtime. Sometimes switching to water is enough to limit the amount of liquids they consume.
If you’re struggling with getting your baby to sleep, there are a few things you can do to improve your baby’s sleep.
Firstly, make sure your baby is not bothered by an uncomfortable, ill-fitting, and soggy diaper. Yes, a poor diaper can very well affect your child’s sleep.
The next thing you can do is create and consistently enforce a predicable set of sleep rituals which includes putting on a dry diaper. Only change your child’s diaper during the night if they are very wet or dirty.
What is one thing you can do tonight to help your baby have a better night’s sleep?
Sophia Nguyen is the founder of “Healthy Baby Happy Earth” website. She is a blogger, and she loves writing about babies and helping the parents by providing only the most useful information. Follow Healthy Baby Happy Earth on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.