Are you planning to start cloth diapering right from day 1? We've got information on using newborn cloth diapers, including some of our favorite brands for brand new babies.
If you plan to start cloth diapering on day 1, you may want to
consider buying newborn cloth diapers. Most parents find that fitted
size small diapers and one-size diapers don't fit a brand-new newborn
You might be thinking, "I thought they were called one-size - as in, these diapers are supposed to fit from birth until potty-training..."
Please note: We've split our Newborn Cloth Diapers section into two articles. This article discusses all-in-ones, while a second article discusses newborn diaper covers, prefolds, and fitteds.
If you ask any experienced parent (ask one that recently had a
newborn because they'll remember better!), they'll tell you that it's
important that your diaper offers a snug fit for newborns! You want to
have a diaper that is snug around the back and across the back to
contain runny newborn poop.
Since most newborns have skinny legs, it can definitely be hard to get a good fit, especially with diapers that have been designed to fit toddlers too! Lots of parents struggle to get a good fit with one-size, or even sized diapers during the first month (or more!)
It's not that you can't use one-size or small sized diapers with newborns, but they may not be as reliable because they may not contain every mess! If you can't get a snug fit, you will have to be prepared for a few leaks. The occasional mess doesn't bother some parents.
Don't totally rule out one-size diapers though. If you don't want to buy special newborn diapers, there are some one-size options that seem to size down to work better for newborns than others. If you don't plan to use newborn cloth diapers initially, click on this link to skip down to our recommendations of one-size cloth diapers for newborns.
Newborns need to be changed at least every 2 hours, so you will need more cloth diapers at this stage in your baby's life than any other stage! By one month of age, many parents can get away with a stash of approximately 20 cloth diapers if you plan to do laundry every day. With newborns, you will need 24 (or even more) diapers - unless you want to do laundry every day!
Of course, the answer to this question depends a lot on how often you plan to wash your cloth diapers! That said, if you plan to cloth diaper a newborn, you'll probably use more cloth diapers than you expect.
I washed every 2 days, and I found I needed close to 3 dozen diapers. We used 12+ each day, and it took a long time for some of the all-in-ones (especially our Lil Joeys) to dry. I usually ran everything through the dryer once, and then hung anything that was still damp out to dry. You can get away with less diapers, but you may need to wash more frequently, or put the occasional disposable on if you fall behind in cloth diaper laundry.
The cost of two full sets of diapers can be daunting for parents who
consider buying a set of newborn cloth diapers and then a second set of
sized or one-size diapers later on. Since newborn diapers typically
last from 6 to 12 pounds, they aren't usually used for more than a
couple of months, and some babies may outgrow them even sooner. A set
of 24 fitted, pocket, or all-in-one cloth diapers in a newborn size can
add up fast!
For many parents, a set of infant size prefolds and 6 to 8 wraps (I prefer newborn Bummis Super Brites) or wool covers can be a cost-effective option. If you decide to upgrade to pocket diapers when your baby outgrows the infant size, the prefolds can be used as inserts, or even burp cloths.
Lots of new parents don't switch to cloth diapers immediately. I know, because I was one of them. The first few weeks as a new parent can seem overwhelming at times. With my first son, I found it much easier to transition to cloth diapers when my little man was about a month old. By then, I wasn't breastfeeding every hour, and I felt I had a bit of time to get familiar with washing and folding diapers. By then, he had also gained a few pounds, and filled out his cloth diapers much better!
That said, there are some great reasons to consider cloth diapers right from the beginning. With my second, I started with cloth the day we left the hospital.
If you do want to use cloth diapers on your newborn but don't want to invest in a complete set, you may want to look into:
Below are some of the most common questions about cloth diapering a newborn:
Read our article on Where to Buy Cloth Diapers here.
GroVia All-in-One Newborn Cloth Diapers
If you're not sure which newborn brand to buy, try out a few. Kissed by the Moon, a California-based retailer that offers newborn cloth diaper rental programs, sells a mixed pack of the gently used rental newborn diapers for much less than the original prices. Since newborn diapers aren't used for long, these diapers are in great shape, and it's a great way to experiment!
Rumperooz Lil Joey All-in-One
WAHMies One-Size Pocket Diapers
Softbums Echo One-Size (All-in-Two)
This is a 2-part series on newborn cloth diapering. Continue reading about Newborn diaper covers, prefolds, and fitteds.
Go to top of Newborn Cloth Diapers
Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own, and your experience with the product may differ from mine. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, see our Disclaimer and Copyright.
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Cloth diapers don’t have to be hard, but with so much information available, they can seem overwhelming! My name is Celeste, and I've created this website to help you find the information you need to get started with cloth diapers. [More]