When To Double Diaper Your Baby? Causes, Tips, & How To Double Diaper

Have you recently noticed your little one leaking through their diapers? Do you wake up only to find them wet due to leaking overnight?

One way to solve such a problem is to double diaper them up. It is the easiest way to help your child stay dry overnight and help them get good sleep.

The leak you’re observing in your baby could just be a normal phase, or it could also be due to DDH (developmental dysplasia of the hip). Twenty-eight babies in the double-diaper group (84.8%) and 20 babies in the single-diaper group (54.1%) improved to having bilateral Graf type IIa hips. Double diapering helps maintain a baby’s hip flexion and abduction posture, but the efficacy of double diapers in hip development has never been verified.

Let’s dive deep into how you can handle the double diapering situation and in which cases do you need to double diaper up your little one.

Need for double diapers

There are times when you would wonder how to handle a situation down there, and double diapering might come up as a resolution.

Here I’ll list a few cases when you would need double diapers and explain how to do so depending on the situation you are facing.

1. After surgery

A double diapering system is recommended by surgeons, depending on the child’s age and the type of surgery. But also because some patients have catheters or stents left in for drainage.

Double diapering is helpful in preventing tugging or pulling on tube and surgical site to keep the tube from coming out.

How to put two diapers on?

A young mom is double diapering her infant son.

You would need two diapers. The inner one is for your child’s bowel movement and should also be the size the child usually wears. The outer is to absorb urine that should be one size larger.

Place the first diaper on your child, gently bring out the catheter out of the leg or over the top of the inner diaper and place it into the outer diaper. Remember to always position the catheter, so the urine flows downhill.

Do not cut a hole in the inner diaper to pass the catheter through!

The outer diaper should be changed every 3-4 hours or sooner if wet, and the inner should be changed when it is wet or soiled with stool or at least three times a day.

2. Diaper tab rips

Mom is changing her infant son's diaper because his diaper tabs ripped again.

That diaper tab can sometimes give you a tough time! Sometimes, that diaper tab just won’t cooperate and end up ripping out in the middle of your baby running a marathon around the house.

But worry not! Just grab another one and layer it over the previous diaper and close the tabs on it.

After a few hours, when you know the inner diaper must be full, just take that off. Clean your baby and powder them up, then use the outer diaper as the single normal diaper.

This is a great way of saving the diaper, which was deemed a waste when the tab rips open.

3. Swim lessons

Mom is teaching her infant son how to swim in a pool.

It’s summertime, and you enroll your baby into toddler swimming lessons, but what about the situation down there? How to handle that?

The disposable swim diaper keeps the pee-pee from leaking out in the pool. There are special swim diapers available to use while swimming.

You can also use a reusable diaper with elastic bands at the belly and the legs to contain the poop situation your baby might face. They can quite helpful in controlling the number 2 accidents in the pool. While the inner diaper is for number 1, the outer handle number 2 situation.

4. Nighttime leaking

Leaking during the nighttime is one of the most common reasons for a double diaper situation you might face. There are many times when you would wake up only to find your baby has leaked through their diaper.

Not only is it an inconvenience to your baby, but it can also cause them to fall sick due to the wetness they sleep in unknowingly.

This is the reason why using 2 diapers at a time might come in handy. The inner diaper is the actual size your baby wears, and the outer diaper is one size larger than the inner one.

But if you observe leaking frequently, you should definitely consult your doctor.

What is DDH

Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), sometimes also called congenital hip dislocation, is a condition where the ball and socket joint of the hip does not properly form in babies and young children.

DDH may affect 1 or both hips, but it’s more common in the left hip. Also, more common in girls and firstborn children.

Maintaining the hips in flexion and abduction posture is a common recommendation to facilitate hip maturation in infants, which is why many parents opt for double diapering.

Graf type IIa is more common has a lower rate of spontaneous normalization and a higher rate of treatment in newborn girls than in boys. It is recommended to pay more attention to type IIa hip in newborn girls.

Causes of DDH

Developmental dysplasia of the hip has no single causative factor, but familial predisposition, prenatal and postnatal mechanical factors, racial predilection, and gender are some well-known predisposing factors.

Diagnosing DDH

Your baby’s hip will be examined as part of a newborn physical examination within 72 hours of being born. This examination will involve gently moving your baby’s hip joints to check if they have any issues or discomfort in doing so.

An ultrasound scan will reveal if they DDH.

Type IIa hip frequently has the potential of maturation until 12 weeks of age. However, at least one follow-up is needed in such a hip at 12 weeks of age at the latest to not miss a failure in the expected maturation.

Babies diagnosed with DDH early in life are usually treated with a fabric splint called a Pelvic harness.

Role of double diaper in DDH

A study was conducted where 33 newborns were allocated to the double-diaper group and 37 newborns with the single-diaper group. The double diaper group had a greater increase of alpha angles in 1 month than the single-diaper group.

The amount of improvement may not indicate double diapering as a treatment for hip dysplasia, but its effects in immature hips are noteworthy in reducing further clinical and ultrasound follow-ups.

Caution against double diaper in DDH

This is why the use of double diapers is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which defined this therapeutic intervention as an inappropriate one and as a cause of delay in treatment if positioned in hip dislocations.

Double diapers are sometimes inappropriately seen as an alternative solution to the various abduction splints, mainly because it is considered psychologically more acceptable.

To summarize

A leaking baby through a diaper can be a nightmare for a lot of parents. It’s a situation where you don’t know how to handle the situation. It is always an inconvenience for both the baby and the parents. But double diaper is a tip that might help you resolve this issue.

But this, not the only situation where double diapering might come in handy or is required. Taking your baby to swimming lessons or the accidental ripping away of the diaper tab are also situations where using a double diaper at a time is a helpful tip.

And although it is not recommended to use a double diaper for a baby with DDH, it hasn’t been completely ruled out.

It is not rocket science to learn how to double diaper your baby. It has proven to be a useful tip for babies who suffer from a nighttime leak daily. So, try using a double diaper if your baby is suffering from a nighttime leak, and let me know if you found this little tip helpful!

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As a writer for 1happykiddo, Saumya wants to help new parents and older siblings help raise the newest member added to the family. Her parenting tips come from her experience of being 15 years older than her youngest sibling. When not writing, you can find her reading novels, traveling, and cooking nutritious meals.

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