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Don’t Change That Diaper!

Posted by: Andrew on March 14, 2011 | 6 Comments

This tip is about how to help your baby sleep longer and better during the night, and is related to what you do when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night - either to eat, or for any other reason.

Although it is true that during the day, you want to be as attentive to your baby’s diaper changes as possible, at night, it’s a different story.  At night, your strategy to encourage your baby to sleep should be to do only what is necessary and to limit doing anything that will stimulate or wake your baby.  I talked about not making unnecessary eye contact yesterday, well today the idea is to limit nighttime diaper changes.

Because diapers today are so absorbent, it really isn’t necessary to change your baby’s diaper at night unless they have soiled it with stool.  If the diaper is merely wet, today’s diapers will do a good job of keeping the wetness off of your baby’s skin, so there is no reason to change the diaper during the night if it is only wet.  In fact, changing your baby’s diaper will almost certainly wake them up, meaning that both you and them are robbed of much needed nighttime sleep in the process.  Instead of changing their diaper every time they wake up at night, simply check to make sure it isn’t soiled with stool, and if it is only wet, leave it alone to change in the morning.

Now, many parents worry about diaper rash, and many babies are susceptable to this uncomfortable condition.  If you’re concerned, or if your baby is prone to getting diaper rash, then you may want to apply a zinc ozide ointment before bedtime as a precaution and as a way to keep the area dry overnight.

Limiting diaper changes as night by only changing your baby when s/he has soiled the diaper with stool will do wonders to help both you and your baby to sleep better and longer at night.

Andrew Dolbin-MacNab

About the Author:

Andrew Dolbin-MacNab is a father, web developer, and one of the founding members of Pediasleep, a leader in the production of white noise and other soothing sounds to aid the healthy sleep of infants, cosleepers, and parents. Having successfully survived his daughter and son's early sleep problems with the help of white noise, he is also an expert on infant sleep problems and their solutions.

Pediasleep can be found online at

Next article: Try to Relax Yourself
Previous article: Beware of Eye-Contact!


Picture of Hannah

I never would have thought of this idea, but you’re probably right.  I could see how changing a diaper would wake up my baby at night, and with how absorbant diapers are these days, I don’t think my baby would “fill up” his diaper overnight if he’s just peeing in it.  I’m going to give this a shot this next week and see how it goes.  It’s always so hard to get my baby back to sleep after a diaper change anyway, so this might make it easier on both of us.


Picture of Andrew

Hannah, I think you’re probably right that there’s no harm in leaving your baby in a wet diaper overnight.  Unless my son wakes with a “poopy” diaper, I never change it in the middle of the night, and as long as we put him in diapers that are big enough and securely fit before bedtime, he almost never is wet on his pajamas.  If you give it a try, please let us know how it goes!


Picture of Hannah

I tried this all week, and my baby also never wet his PJs by morning when I changed him.  As predicted, he was easier to get back to sleep after his night feedings because I wasn’t disrupting him by changing his diaper.  Thanks for the great idea!


Picture of ana

I only tend to change his nappy if it has leaked. Often my baby does his poo in the morning about 1-2 hours before his waking. He wakes up at about the same time even if his diaper is not soiled.I do not change him as it is close to his waking time and would definitely disturb him.


Picture of Stephanie

I have heard this before. I do not play or sing while I do the diaper change in the middle of the night. I have to change her diaper because it is completely soaked. She is pulling at her diaper because it is so wet. She has soaked through to her pj’s Poor baby. I briefly talk to her because she enjoys the sound of my voice. I have never had a problem with her going back to sleep after a diaper change. Even if so I feed her if she wakes up around 6:00 AM and by then she is hungry. So any suggestions on a diaper? We use huggies snugglers. Oh and if they sit in their pee for too long they are at the risk of a uti or yeast infection. Uti for girls.


Picture of Geneviene

I agree with this, my baby can sometimes fill his nappy like a balloon depending on how much he drinks. If hes sleeping peacefully then ill leave it till he awakes or if uncomfortable or soiled. Definitely change.

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Next article: Try to Relax Yourself
Previous article: Beware of Eye-Contact!

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