Newborn Cloth Diapers: Why Use Them and What Types Work Best?

Expecting a new family member?? Eeek!!

Thinking about putting a cloth diaper on that tiny bum?? Double eek!!

The idea of cloth diapering, especially a newborn, may be an overwhelming thought for soon-to-be parents. The video below is a quick overview of why newborn specific diapers are necessary as well as what kinds are tried and true (in my opinion).

Not only are fresh babies tiny and precious, their little legs are super trim. Big and tiny babies are all born this way. One of the biggest mistake new parents (this includes me) is thinking a one size diaper will fit from birth. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but for now we'll focus on the newborn specific diapers. Another reason for newborn diapers are to accommodate the healing belly button.

The most basic style is a two piece system using prefolds and a cover. Bummis is a great example for this style. They make several newborn styles for covers with different weights and price points. 



A comparison of the Bummis covers can be found here. Unsure about how to fold a prefold? Now worries, here is a great overview. As an alternative, you can also use the infant size prefold with a Snappi or a fitted diaper.

Fitted diapers are great at containing runny newborn poop. Several brands make newborn friendly fitted diapers including Mother ease Sandy's X-Small (various materials), AMP Hemp Fitted Small, Tots Bots Bamboozle Size 1 and Loveybums organic cotton fitteds.

AMP All in Two (AI2) and Duo Pockets in size small work pretty good as covers/pocket diapers on newborns. Tots Bots Tini Fits are a welcome All in One (AIO)/pocket diaper for the fresh babes. 


AMP AIOs in size small (both snaps and hook and loop) and bumGenius' Newborn AIOs work well on newborns. 



Pockets and AIOs tend to be quicker for changing in the night. Two piece systems don't require many covers as they don't need to be changed each time. I do recommend having a couple of each style as you may like one or two styes better and you can get more of these (or in the bigger sizes) after figuring it out.

How many do you need?? Well, it depends on how often you wash. The more frequent you wash, the fewer diapers are needed. Washing every other day is quite typical. Newborns average 12 diaper changes per day (average meaning it can be more or less, 14 or 16 changes could occur). Here are a few suggestions for the number needed based on different styles:

Prefolds and Covers: 26-28 prefolds and 4 covers

Fitteds and Covers: 26-28 fitteds and 4 covers

Pockets and AIOs: 26-28

TIP: Exclusively breastfed baby poop is water soluble...meaning you can take the diaper to washer without getting rid of the poop (sounds gross but is awesome). Once solid food or formula is introduced, this changes and poop will need to be put into the toilet in some manner (swish and dunk or diaper sprayer).

Newborn poop (super fresh babies) have merconium which can look like tar. Its thick and sticky and may stain your diapers. Breastfed babies tend to have poop for quite sometime that looks like mustard and stains. Disposable liners may help to keep staining to a minimum and make poop a bit easier to dispose of in the toilet. An easy way to remove the staining is as simple as drying the diapers in the direct sun! 

Did I miss anything? Do you have input? I encourage you to leave a comment about how you cloth diapered your newborn, or why you chose not to. 

Do you receive our newsletters? I'll be sending out a special one very soon with a great sale to kick off summer (I'm ignoring the rain).





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