A question came in today about cloth diapers for overnight use. Of course, cloth is a viable option for long nights in the crib. Think about it, our grandmothers and their mothers had to use something to dress babies in at night to keep them dry and fresh as they slept. I think part of the reluctance to switch entirely to cloth among disposable diaper users rests with overnight usage, although I don't see why that mindset has to keep a mother from trying cloth in the wee (pardon the pun) hours.
Think about it: how many times do you change your baby during the day? How many times do you check on your baby at night? If you smell something, you're going to make a change regardless of whether or not baby is sleeping, yes? Given that it is possible to change a sleeping baby, the idea of using cloth for overnight purposes shouldn't be daunting. Yes, the question of what to use in the stretches when you finally get to sleep yourself do arise, and you'll find the options available to you work just as well - if not better - than throw-aways.
Many parents I've talked to place their bets on a popular cash crop, hemp. Some of you might balk at the notion, even saying to yourself, "Hemp...that's like, marijuana, isn't it? If I buy hemp, I'm supporting somebody's drug habit!!!"
Deep breath. For those not hip to hemp, here's a brief primer. First thing to note is that hemp is not a drug, but a byproduct of the cannabis plant. True, cannabis also yields Cheech and Chong's favorite vice, but that is found in the bud of the plant. Hemp as produced for industrial use does not contain any THC, which is what gives smokers that buzz. So, if you're concerned that your baby may get a contact high from diapers...don't be. Hemp has been used for centuries in the making of paper, medicines, fuel, food, and clothing. More recently, the major cloth diaper brands have offered hemp diapers as a means of further promoting their commitment to green parenting options.
Why is hemp a good choice for nighttime diapering? Hemp has been shown to be more absorbent than cotton and most synthetic fibers. If you know your baby's diaper needs to go for a long stretch before the next change, using a hemp all-in-one or hemp inserts in your current shell increases absorbency. Some mothers like to double up on inserts at night, so if you have two definitely use them! Hemp is also very durable compared to cotton, and the diapers are known to last.
The eco-minded parent, too, can be assured that buying hemp - not just diapers, but clothing and related accessories - helps reduce your carbon footprint. Growing hemp doesn't tax the soil as much as other planted fibers.
If you're looking to test hemp on an overnight basis, we suggest using the Babykicks Hemparoo inserts or Hemp Babies inserts. FuzziBunz also recently announced it will release a one-size hemp diaper as part of its newer line of products.
As you use cloth at night, you'll find it's a viable solution to nighttime comfort for your baby.