I didn’t start cloth diapering until my second child was 4 months old, so my third child was my first experience with newborn cloth diapers.
I’d done lots of research, and had started collecting diapers here & there before my son was even conceived, and I so often heard moms say that their favorite diaper for a newbie was a prefold & cover. I assumed the reason was mostly the cost factor. A full stash of “fancy” (lol) newborn cloth can easily cost more than using disposables for that time period. However, I knew that two friends would be able to use them when I was finished with them, and after that I could save them for another baby, donate them, or even re-sell them (newborn diapers tend to hold more of their value than other diapers.) My second child was so sensitive to disposables, I was afraid to try them on baby #3. Plus, I needed very little for baby #3, so I figured I could justify a little splurge to make newborn diapering easier.
The problem is that each baby is so different in weight, size and wetting habits, it’s hard to tell which diaper will work for your baby as a newborn until s/he is here. Then, as soon as you figure it out, something changes and/or s/he grows out of newborn cloth!
My son was born at under 7 pounds, and was around 6.5 pounds at his lowest. The very first diaper we put on him was a Rumparooz Lil Joey, because he was just so, so tiny. Had you asked me the first day of his life, I would have said those were my favorite diaper because they just fit him so well , but within a day or two, he was soaking right through them!
My new favorite was the GroVia newborn AIO (though I wish they’d had the stay dry version when I bought mine!) They didn’t quite fit under his umbilical cord stump as easily as the Lil Joey, but they were more absorbent. I had high hopes for the Fuzzibunz XS pockets, but my son’s legs were just too skinny. If they had a snap overlap/leg snap they probably would have worked better.
My absolute favorite diaper in the first week or two was the Bumgenius newborn/XS AIO because they fit his teeny legs, and the hook & loop closures made them so easy to use. The problem was that they covered his cord stump, and it wasn’t staying dry. At the time, there was a great sale on the diapers, so I ordered a bunch more since I was struggling to keep up with all the diaper laundry. By the time they got here, my son was soaking through those as well!
He was still far from fitting in most one-size diapers, but he was soaking newborn sizes. Newborn size fitted diapers were better, but the extra step of covering them was enough to make me choose them last! My salvation were dual-sized diapers like the Thirsties Duo Diaper Size 1, Applecheeks Size 1, Tots Bots Tini Fit, Happy Heinys Mini One-Size and Blueberry Mini One Size (with hemp inserts.) They were teeny tiny, but had far more absorbency than a newborn diaper.
Unfortunately, by the time I figured this out, it didn’t make sense for me to buy more. If I had another baby, s/he could be bigger, smaller or not as heavy a wetter, and different diapers might work. If I had another baby today, I’d probably snag some tiny hemp doublers to try to make the diapers I have work well for a heavy wetter, perhaps cutting a “pocket” in the XS Bumgenius so I could add absorbency & keep the stay dry effect.
If I could get a “do over,” I’d have more Thirsties Duo Diapers and Applecheeks in my stash, as well as Thirsties Size 1 Duo Wraps, Swaddlebees Capri Size 1 Covers (hook & loop closures!) and prefolds to trifold.
My dream diaper would be a Bumgenius mini one-size…a diaper the size of the XS AIO, but with an umbilical snap down and/or more than one rise setting, with a pocket, hemp insert and hook & loop closures. I’d buy a whole stash of those puppies!
If you’re interested, I threw together a post compiling my opinions of newborn cloth diapers I’d tried after using them for a month. Not the best post since it was written in my sleep deprived stupor and photos were just quick snapshots, but each blurb about the diaper has a photo of my son in it, as well as a link to my photo review with measurements etc.
Have you cloth diapered a newborn? What was your favorite diaper and did your favorite change over time? What would your dream newbie stash look like?
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I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links.