Using pocket nappies at night

When you’ve been around cloth nappies long enough you see some pretty weird myths and misconceptions. Who else remembers when it was all the rage to clean your nappies with dishwasher tablets, or wash them with teeny tiny doses of washing powder?

There’s one doing the rounds at the moment that appears fairly harmless. It’s quoted as fact - that you can’t use pocket nappies as night nappies. Now OK, it’s clearly wrong - but does it really matter? Is the reason it winds me up because Baba+Boo only makes pocket nappies?

Well here’s the thing. Yes, it does matter. And no, the reason it frustrates me goes far beyond my loyalty to Baba+Boo.

“Pockets don’t work overnight” is often said with absolute certainty. My eldest was born before pocket nappies even existed, so it wasn’t until my third child came along and I was gifted a Baba+Boo nappy that we experienced the faff-free wonder of a pocket nappy.

But, when I was finding out more about these little beauties, I came across the inevitable statement that you need two parters for night time. My lovely husband is a creature of habit and he found the idea of chopping and changing between pockets and two parters off-putting and confusing.

So we did what many other parents do - we used single use nappies at night.

It was pure chance that Eve (the founder of Baba+Boo) and I were having a conversation about what to do with old nappies, and she was really concerned and worried that I hadn’t been able to make pockets work overnight.

At which point I - somewhat sheepishly - admitted I had never tried. I had seen it written as fact that you can’t use pockets overnight, so I had accepted it as fact.

Needless to say, Eve gave me some charcoal boosters and within three nights my husband and I had found our ideal booster combination. No leaks, even after 13-14 hour sleeps. (Yes, we do know how lucky we are.)

So all’s well that ends well, yes? Well, no. Because by that point I had thrown away literally hundreds of single use nappies.

Our reason for not using two parters was that it made reusables hard - it was confusing and complicated for my husband. And if it made it hard for us, on our third cloth bum, with access to all the knowledge and know how that we are privileged to have, then what is it like for a first-time parent who is new to...well, everything?

Nappies should be - and are - simple, and this myth that you need certain nappies for certain situations only reinforces the notion that reusable nappies are hard. And until that myth is disbanded, reusables will not become normal.

No one ever says “You can’t use Brand Z of single use nappies at night-time”. Sure, some people may say “Brand Y doesn’t work for me overnight” - but that is never interpreted as it can’t be used. And the same should stand for reusables. There will be some people who can’t make pocket nappies work for them overnight. But that doesn’t mean that is the case for the majority.

Saying that pocket nappies don’t work overnight means that they aren’t up to the job. Which makes reusable nappies look inferior to the “Lasts 12 hours” single use nappies.

And the reason it goes beyond frustrating me? There are lots of people who use reusables because they need to keep their costs down. It’s just plain wrong to tell someone who is cash strapped that they need to spend more money.

Anyone who’s ever been in the Baba+Boo Hang-out knows that many, many parents use pocket nappies overnight. And, fingers crossed, everyone who reads this will realise that it’s time that the myth about not using pockets overnight gets put firmly where it belongs - kicked into touch, to take its rightful place alongside dishwasher tablets and quarter doses of washing powder.


Thinking of switching to pockets overnight?

-Use the pocket that you get the longest spell from during the day. In my case, I have a couple of brands of day time nappy and some older style Baba+Boo nappies. They’re all fine for daytime, but don’t last as long as new style Baba+Boo, so the only pocket we use overnight is new style Baba+Boo.

-If you use one bamboo booster during the day, you may find using two bamboo boosters works at night. If you use two bamboo during the day, you may want to experiment with combinations of hemp, charcoal and bamboo.

-Wrapping one bamboo booster around a charcoal or hemp booster can work well, so that you have all the bulk in the place where it is needed the most - eg fold it at the front for a boy, or around the middle for a girl.

-There is no ‘right’ combination - it really is about finding what is best for your baby.

-You can get in touch with us any time if would like advice. We’ll happily talk nappies all day long.

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