Like I've mentioned before we started daytime Elimination Communication (EC) at about 1 month. For several months we just changed him at night if he fussed. At that point we were using some work-at-home-mom produced all-in-one (AIO) dipers similar to BumGenius brand. Since they have fleece against the baby's skin they don't feel wet even when the "soaker" inside is wet.
Starting at about 4 months those AIOs stopped fitting so well and I wanted to keep him drier at night, so we went to using Motherease AIOs (a terrycloth cloth diaper that closes with snaps) without their covers. I feel like this gives a quick release for pottying or changing if they do get wet. Our little guy rarely has a bowel movement at night, so that's not too much of a concern.
Gabriel is now nearly 6 months and every night is different - sometimes I'm just so tired all I can when he rouses is plug him on the breast and we both fall back asleep. However, if I'm in a lighter sleep stage I'll usually wake up and try nursing him over the Baby Bjorn Little Potty (BBLP) and see if he'll pee. Seems like he squirms and kicks lightly when he needs to pee then moans and kicks when he's wet, so if I'm fast asleep it's hard to catch early.
Once it gets light out it's a bit more delicate - if I sit him on the potty he'll really wake up and be ready for the day versus just changing him and we all sleep longer. This week we have had a couple completely dry nights and then a couple nights/mornings with 6 wet diapers! First thing in the morning is also when he's likely to have a BM, so I do keep an ear tuned for his warning signs (little farts!)
I think that with babies in general and especially with practicing EC there are always going to be occasional puddles. So for protecting the mattress - I find it is useful to have something other than just sheets & mattress cover. We currently have a "Blue Max" waterproof bed pad but I would not buy it again as it doesn't breathe and overheats us... I have my eye on changing it for the Wool Puddle Pad from http://continuum-family.com instead!!!
The bottom line is that everything changes all the time with the individual baby... if you are thinking of ECing your baby at night you'll need to see what works for him or her this week - or even just tonight!
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