Wetting the bed through a diaper
November 3, 2016 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Our almost-three-year-old is regularly soaking through her diaper at night, to the point where she often wakes up in the morning with a completely wet diaper, wet pajamas, and wet sheets. We've tried different diapers and none seem better than the others -- can anyone recommend particular diapers that are especially absorbent?

We've tried Pampers, Huggies, the store brand, and overnight pull-ups -- she wears a size 6. I'm mostly looking for diaper recommendations, but also open to other suggestions. We're working on potty training, and she's doing great during the day, but we're probably not very close to night-time potty training. She already uses the potty (successfully) before she goes to bed. We don't cut off fluids at a particular time, but she doesn't drink much in the hour or two before bed. Has anyone experienced this? Any tips?
posted by cider to Shopping (29 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Three years old? They have overnight-specific pull-up-type diapers (but not really diapers) for this exact thing.

There are two schools of thought on this: 1) Use the most absorbent "diapers" possible so that there is less mess to clean up; 2) Use something lighter-weight so that the kid feels it and wakes up to go to the bathroom.

My kids are 8 and 6. The 6yo still soaks his overnight pull-ups most nights, and the 8yo is just now starting to not wet the bed every night, yet they were both potty-trained during the day way ahead of average schedule. There are ways to work on this, but that isn't what you asked.
posted by TinWhistle at 6:11 AM on November 3, 2016

I have a baby and not a big girl like you, but we love Bambo diapers and have found them to be more absorbent than other brands.
posted by notjustthefish at 6:24 AM on November 3, 2016

At that age, what kept my son from wetting the bed was to take him to the bathroom again right before I went to bed, after he had been asleep for a couple of hours. He stayed mostly asleep when I hauled him to the bathroom and stood him in front of the toilet to pee. As long as I did that, he'd stay dry the rest of the night. I don't know if that would work for your kid, but it might be worth a try.
posted by Redstart at 6:26 AM on November 3, 2016 [5 favorites]

In my experience, Huggies Overnight diapers (not pull-ups) were the most absorbent. But also, we went through a time where I'd do a late-night/midnight diaper change to be sure to not have an overfill/leaking diaper in the morning, as well as going straight to the bathroom on morning wake up. (Sometimes it's the morning one that the diaper can't handle.) Once we started night training, I'd pick up my sleeping kid and bring him to the bathroom for a midnight go. We stop liquids after dinner, except for sips of water.
posted by xo at 6:27 AM on November 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

Just spitballing here, but what about a pull up with an absorbent diaper cover over it?
posted by areaperson at 6:29 AM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I deal with an incontinent senior and we do what areaperson suggested with doubling-up the (regular, adult) diapers.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:34 AM on November 3, 2016

When my 3-year-old had the same issue, we would put booster pads (made for adults), like these, inside his diaper. I bought them at a local drug store from the section that had adult incontinence products.
posted by ShooBoo at 6:35 AM on November 3, 2016 [4 favorites]

At that age with my oldest, he'd go through a few weeks like this. So sometimes we'd wake him up enough to go pee during the night. As in, if he went to bed at 8 and we went to bed at 11:30, we'd get him up long enough to pee in the toilet and go back to bed. He never fully woke up enough that getting back to sleep was a problem. It seemed to help some. It wasn't often we did this, but it did help during particularly consistent weeks of wetting.

Also, highly recommend overnight pull ups. We used the Huggies brand and generic brands, and neither seemed to make a difference in working better. But making sure we specifically used overnight ones did compared to regular ones.
posted by zizzle at 6:40 AM on November 3, 2016

IKEA makes a great absorbent mattress pad. We use it with our four year-old and have since he was 3. It makes cleaning up in the middle of the night or morning much easier.

Is she holding her pee during the day, or actually going to the potty on her own or with someone regularly and peeing during the day? Perhaps try upping the number of times she's brought to the bathroom during the day and give her a reward for a successful pee. Maybe, stickers or a little gumball machine type trinket? Maybe she gets an extra book before bed, or something?

Cut off all beverages after 6. I fought this for awhile because I felt guilty but it was night and day, the difference it made, before he had the muscle control to go all night long without peeing.

I'd also put a little potty in her room and wake her up once before you go to bed to pee. Quick on, quick off. There might be some wailing and gnashing of teeth at first but it sounds like she just doesn't yet have the muscle control to go all night. That's totally normal.

Good luck.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 6:44 AM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

She may be drinking more than you think she is in the hours before bed. My kid used to wet the bed every night unless we more or less cut him off from liquids basically at 5:30/after supper. He drank tons in the mornings and during the day so there was no issue with him complaining of thirst or anything. No liquid after supper and BIG pee before bed (with exclamations of congratulations and pride the bigger/longer his pee was). This worked great, everyone was happy, but then it started back up again and we couldn't figure out why. Turns out after he brushed his teeth he would "rinse" his mouth out a few times, but rather than spit it out he swallowed the water. Wasn't a ton of water but it was enough to be too much.

So yeah, def. monitor liquid intake a little more closely. It may not solve things, but it could help.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:44 AM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

My BFF had a good experience with the similar problem using DryNites.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 6:50 AM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nthing huggies overnights. Imho, these hold twice what other overnights we've tried hold. You can also buy booster pads if that is somehow not enough.
posted by Kalmya at 6:55 AM on November 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'd found that the extra protection/overnight pampers actually worked best for us. But I've also resorted to disposable mattress pads to help cut down on the laundry and protect the mattress.
posted by machine at 7:15 AM on November 3, 2016

Try to make sure she gets enough to drink during the day, so you can start to limit fluids around 5. And then, get some underjams. My daughter used to wet through every other diaper, but these contain it 95% of the time.

Another "trick", if wetting through is waking her up, is to put her in fleece pajamas or consider putting a thick fleece blanket on her mattress over the fitted sheet. The fleece feels mostly dry even when wet, and they are more likely to sleep through.
posted by defreckled at 7:20 AM on November 3, 2016

We used specific overnight diapers, and I also bought plastic diaper covers to put over them. I also had pull away mats that were sticky on one side that I would put on top of his covers. It all sounds excessive but I had the same issue a while before my son was totally potty trained and even still, at 5 years old, he sometimes has overnights like this too.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 7:20 AM on November 3, 2016

We use Goodnights bedtime underwear for our 4-year-old. They are made for bigger kids so work great. We get them at Target. I agree with the other posters that limiting liquid intake (even more) will help, too. My kid wakes up dry maybe 60% of the time.
posted by LKWorking at 7:29 AM on November 3, 2016

We used diaper inserts or diaper boosters, it's like a maxi pad but without the plastic backing. We used those for about a year with my older kid. Just started using them with my 1.5yr kid so it looks like we'll be using them for a year or so with him.

When my older kid was p-t I used to keep the little potty next to his bed and I would get him up for a "dream pee" right before I went to bed. That helped.
posted by vignettist at 7:41 AM on November 3, 2016

These booster pads worked well for our oldest
posted by jeffch at 7:48 AM on November 3, 2016

Nthing Goodnights bedtime "underwear" (which is just a pull up designed for bigger kids). We also use a Peapod mat which makes for super easy bed changes in the middle of the night, because the mat goes overtop of the sheets instead of underneath.
posted by rozee at 8:21 AM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

My son wet the bed until he was about 6. What finally solved this issue for us was a Metafilter suggestion that we double up overnight pullups but first slash or cut the outer shell of the inside diaper, so the liquid could leak out of the first diaper and into the second.

Diapers are designed not to leak. so the doubled up diaper doesn't do much unless the liquid can get through the first one into the second.
posted by anastasiav at 8:30 AM on November 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wool diaper covers are the trick used by cloth-diapering moms, and they work over a disposable too. The wool is antimicrobial and absorbent while also breathable and my kid hasn't had a leak since we started using them. They don't have to be washed until they're either soiled or smell, which is weeks, so you only need two. The wash routine can be a hassle, but it's a big savings over disposables especially since you can resell the covers when you're done with them.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:33 AM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Pampers makes an "Extra Protection" diaper that I've never seen in stores. I accidentally ordered a pack instead of their "Baby Dry" version, and I do think that they are more absorbent. "Baby Dry" works for us 95% of the time and have a nicer texture, so I'm sticking with those, but they might be worth a try for your daughter (my daughter never complained about the texture, that was just my take on them).
posted by Kriesa at 8:59 AM on November 3, 2016

my nephew has had luck with diaper boosters, basically a maxi pad made especially for this purpose. there are a bunch of different brands, not sure which is best.
posted by sabh at 9:42 AM on November 3, 2016

We definitely doubled up and used Huggies overnights. The issue might be that she's in 6s. I liked to use the correct size for the bottom layer and then a size larger over that. Maybe you could do a size 6 overnight covered by an overnight pull up?

And, to anastasiav's point, the diapers you currently have are leaking, so the idea is that the second diaper catches what was leaking ... in other words, it is important that the leg hole area is getting the best coverage.
posted by freezer cake at 10:18 AM on November 3, 2016

Huggies Overnights have been working great for my almost-three-year-old.
posted by beandip at 11:05 AM on November 3, 2016

Yup, maxi pads. You can buy the cheap ones , too, SO MUch cheaper than specific products for this.
posted by tristeza at 5:18 PM on November 3, 2016

Thank you, everyone! We'll try the Huggies Overnights to start, and move up to the pads and other suggestions if necessary.
posted by cider at 5:26 PM on November 3, 2016

I read through this entire comments section, and I am surprised that nobody asked whether you have had your child tested for diabetes or possibly another health situation (kidney issues, or hormones which affect the concentration of urine) which can cause a person to urinate excessively. Please look into this possibility, if only to be certain that is NOT what it might be.
posted by itsflyable at 8:42 PM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you get the Huggies overnight diapers, conventional wisdom on my moms list is to buy one size up.
posted by potrzebie at 12:07 AM on November 4, 2016

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