Caring for night nappies

A night nappy is a nappy that has been on the bum for 4-5 hours. This could include a nappy that’s been worn overnight or during a nap. Night nappies have a greater absorption capacity than day nappies. This means they can require a little more effort to remove the heavy urine load. A good wash routine will prevent smells and the development of ammonia in night nappies.

Each night nappy needs attention the day it comes off the bum.

Night nappies can be put straight into a prewash cycle the same day, either first thing in the morning, or later that evening. This is a suitable option if using a 60°C cycle that lasts at least an hour, with a good quality detergent. Learn more about our updated night nappy recommendations.

If you do shorter, less frequent, or warm (40°C) prewashes, you’ll need to hand wash the night nappy to limit/inhibit the formation of ammonia. In this situation, hand-wash the night nappy in hot water with a small amount of laundry detergent, spin in the washing machine and dry pail until prewash.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Will adding the night nappy to my daily pre wash work for me?

The daily pre wash option works best in front loaders, as they tend to produce better results than top loaders.

If this option works in your top loader and it is easier, then use this option. Otherwise you will need to hand wash the night nappy and add to pre wash.

Can night nappies and day nappies be washed together?

Yes, the night nappy and all the day nappies can go into the morning or evening pre wash together.

It makes the most sense for water and power use to pre wash all the nappies together.

Why did Clean Cloth Nappies update night nappy recommendations?

We actively look for ways to make things quicker, easier and cheaper for people so that they try cloth nappies and continue using cloth nappies.

Adding night nappies directly into your pre wash cycle saves time and makes using cloth easier. We trialled this extensively before updating our advice.

My child wears a night nappy and wakes up dry, what should I do?

Night nappy treatment is based on the amount of urine in the nappy. If the nappy is dry you can:

  • add it straight in the main wash, or
  • add it to your next pre wash

Keep an eye out for smells and adjust as needed.

I use a day nappy overnight, should I treat it as a night nappy?

If you use a day nappy for overnight and it’s very wet, you may still benefit from night nappy style treatment. This is not likely to be as important as it will be with dedicated night nappies that are designed to take 13 hours of urine.