I remember when I first began seriously considering cloth diapers. My son, Brooks, was 5 months old, and within days, my casual interest turned into an obsession. I spent hours each day during nap times getting lost in a vortex of internet reviews and forums, trying to evaluate my family’s cloth diaper needs. In all that research, the same concerns came up over and over from frustrated parents. The top one?
How do I stop leaks?!
Night time leaks, in particular, are the bane of many parents’ experience with cloth. I’m nearly four years into cloth diapering, and I’ve absolutely had seasons of frustration and nights upon nights of my kids soaking through diapers that didn’t have enough absorbency.
Dawn, the brilliant designer and seamstress behind HumBird Diapers, cares so much about stopping leaks that she made her business motto “Keeps the Wet In.” Her Nebula Overnight Diaper is easily the most absorbent diaper I’ve ever seen.
We’ve spent the last couple of months testing out the Nebula Overnight, and I want to share my findings, especially for those of you being driven mad by nightly diaper leaks.
Anatomy of a HumBird Nebula Overnight Diaper
These diapers have four rise settings and five hip snaps on either side. They have three snaps on each wing with crossover snaps. The shell contains two layers of 55% hemp 45% bamboo fleece, and with a maximum rise of 20 inches, it should fit even the tallest toddlers.
The Nebula comes with a long, customizable insert called a Flare Soaker. This soaker, after washing and drying, is about 30 inches long and is made of three layers of a bamboo organic cotton fleece blend and one layer of organic bamboo velour. The Flare Soaker stays in place with two snaps and can be folded to offer more absorption in the area your child needs it most.
Fit and Performance
This diaper is designed to fit babies and toddlers from around 12 pounds to over 40 pounds, depending on body shape. Some parents find that they don’t get a good fit until their baby is closer to 15 pounds, so keep this in mind if you’re looking for a heavy duty overnight diaper for your baby.
Riley is about 24 pounds now, and the Nebula fits her well on the second rise setting, and we have multiple hip snaps left, so there is a lot of room left to grow. This diaper should last us well through potty training.
I was a bit intimidated by the long soaker at first, but I’ve come to really appreciate the versatility. I like to do a Z-fold with ours to put more layers right in the middle for Riley. I like the feel of the velour, and it seems to pull moisture away from her bottom throughout the night.
Because of its layers of natural fibers, the Nebula requires 8 washes prior to wearing. I was able to get this done in about two to three weeks without running any extra washes. We don’t use fabric softener for any of our laundry, so I just tossed the diaper in with each load, washing and drying it over and over again until it reached peak absorbency. Although it’s such a thick diaper and soaker, I’m glad to report that it doesn’t required any extra drying time.
If you get this diaper and it doesn’t seem to be meeting your expectations, make sure it has been through the recommended 8 washings and dryings to open up those thirsty natural fibers.
Riley’s night time wetness varies from day to day, but we’ve never even come close to having this diaper leak. Plus all those layers give her the fluffiest, most adorable bottom ever.
HumBird Wool Covers
HumBird’s natural wool diaper covers are a great option to hold all that fitted diaper fluff. They’re stretchy and comfortable and can be worn with or without pants since they look like a pair of snug sweatpants or shorts.
They come in two styles, the OF and the F2. The F2 has a larger leg opening, and since Riley’s leg measurements were larger at the time, I went with this option. Little did I know, though, that she was just packing on a little extra weight for an imminent growth spurt. She’s gained an inch and thinned back out, so the leg openings now have gaps.
I was worried it might leak at first, but we haven’t had any! I’ve recently learned that wool covers work just the same as long as the diaper is completely covered. Since the Nebula has thigh elastics to hold in messes, the wool just needs to cover the diaper to prevent it from wicking wetness onto the bed sheets. In fact, the larger leg openings will allow for a little breeze to flow in this summer. Plus, they make really cute shorts!
Wool is a great option for heavy wetters since the lanolin naturally keeps the wetness inside, but it can also absorb up to 30% of its weight before feeling wet. I’ve also really enjoyed having fewer covers to wash since wool is naturally antibacterial and can simply be aired out in between changes without needing to wash for a few weeks. Weeks! No pee smell or ammonia stink, even after all night, and no need to wash unless it gets soiled or until it finally starts to smell like pee.
Dawn also makes wool trousers, shorts, capris, nursing pads, and even adult leggings. The 95% wool/5% spandex fabric is stretchy and smooth (as opposed to fuzzy) and made from OEKO-TEX certified yarn. You can also feel comfortable knowing that the sheep from which the wool is obtained are mulesing-free.
So many of us know what it’s like to do battle with night time diaper leaks. The additional nightly wakeups and extra laundry to keep up on with soaked diapers, pajamas and sheets is enough to make any cloth diapering parent wave the white flag in surrender.
I know it’s hard. But you’re doing such a good thing for your family and the planet.
The first words out of my mouth upon opening up my HumBird package were, “Wow, this thing means business.” If you’re feeling frustrated and desperate to stop the leaks, this diaper and cover combo should do the trick. The Nebula and wool cover combo was more than enough for us, but if you have a really heavy wetter, HumBird also makes an even more absorbent diaper, the Supernova Overnight, rated to hold 42 ounces of liquid. That’s more than a 7-11 Big Gulp!
If you’re struggling with nighttime leaks, I recommend adding 2 to 3 HumBird overnight diapers and a wool cover to your stash, depending on how often you do diaper laundry. You’re also building good karma by supporting an excellent small business owner who prioritizes quality and sustainability from her home in Germany!
You can sometimes find HumBird diapers and covers in stock, but they go fast. Wool pre-orders are available from the 1st to the 7th of each month.
Win a HumBird Wool Cover
One of my readers will win their own HumBird wool cover! Winner will pick the size, and Dawn will send a surprise colour from her hand dyed stock. Enter in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US, 18+. All the winner’s entries will be verified.
Click here to check out my other open giveaways and be sure to follow me on Facebook!
Disclosure: I received sample items for review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.
Samantha Levang is a contributor at This West Coast Mommy, specializing in cloth diaper and baby item reviews. She lives in Washington state with her husband, toddler son, Brooks, and baby girl, Riley. Between diaper changes and loads of laundry, she enjoys landscape photography and the never-ending process of home decorating.