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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

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The Whisperer Answers: What diapers do I use on a newborn?

The birth of a new baby is an exciting time for parents. I am amazed at how quickly newborns grow as I can't even believe my baby is almost 5 months already. I am emailed frequently on what are the best choices for a newborn. Newborn cloth diapering is more of a challenge to parents for the following reasons:

1) A newborn baby has the umbilical cord area that needs to be taken care of. This influences diapering choices.
2) Newborns grow very quickly and are in and out of sizes like a flash!

3) For the first few days baby has meconium- a thick, tar-like black substance for bowel movements.

I recommend the use of 3 different systems (or a combination of any of the brands):

1) All in One Diapers- If you want the easiest to use system I would recommend the bumGenius All in One Diaper in size X-Small or the Thirsties Pocket All in One Diaper in size X-Small. The bumGenius is much, much smaller cut than the Thirsties diaper and is wonderful for those first few weeks when you are getting used to a new baby, taking care of the umbilical cord area, and getting up every 1.5-2 hours to feed and change baby. With a newborn baby almost every change has a bowel movement so you are changing often so have the most absorbent diaper at this point really doesn't have to be a consideration. The bumGenius AIO Diaper in x-small is cut low enough that it doesn't interfere with the umbilical cord area.

The other option once baby is past the first couple of weeks and/or your baby was born at a higher than average birth weight is to use the Thirsties Pocket AIO. Both brands are quick and easy to change and makes changing at nighttime much, much easier than a 2 piece system. They are also ideal for those especially messy first few days of meconium bowel movements as the bowel movement doesn't stick as much to the suede cloth area that is touching baby's skin.
We used both of these brands on my son when he was a newborn. Pictured above is Riley 13 days old in a BumGenius All in One Diaper in size X-Small.

2) Fitted Diapers with covers- I feel the #1 newborn fitted diaper is the Kissaluvs in size 0. This truly fits a tiny baby, is super soft, and has a special v-notch at the top of the diaper to accommodate the cord area. Paired with a Thirsties Diaper Cover in X-Small this is a wonderful system. You can even make it more "fun" by getting the diapers in rich sherbet looking colors.

3) Chinese Prefold Diapers with covers- I would recommend this system for parents who are on a budget or just don't want to invest a lot of money in the first few weeks of diapering. This system is ideal for daytime use however I wouldn't recommend it for nighttime use just because it is harder to use than an all in one or fitted diaper. When you are sleep deprived the last thing you want to worry about is folding a prefold diaper and putting a cover on.

Note that the whatever system you use they will grow out of them very quickly! If you are worried about investing a lot of money into the newborn stages I would recommend the following:

1) After baby has outgrown the diapers you can sell them on the FSOT (For Sale or Trade) at Diaper Swappers. This way you can use the funds towards the next size up. Note-Used All in One Diapers have a higher re-sale value than fitteds or prefold diapers.

2) Do a combination of the above systems. Get a couple dozen prefolds and covers for daytime use and only 4-5 all in one diapers for nighttime use. The newborn prefolds make wonderful burp cloths or great inserts for pocket diapers at a later time.

3) If you plan on having more children remember that you can store your diapers in a climate controlled room and use them for the next baby!
Have any great tips on how you cloth diapered your newborn? Any questions on newborn diapering? Leave us a comment! We would love to hear from you.


Angela said...

I started cloth diapering after she was one week. I showed what I used over at my blog It was a combination of ones that I made and BumGenius one-size. It work out great for us. I did not start earlier because the hospital loaded us up on diapers and I wanted to use those up first.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Angela,
Wow! You are so handy. I can't sew a button on a shirt...really!

danica said...

Storing diapers in a climate controlled room -- Why should I not store them in, say, my garage? This grabbed my attention since I'll be retiring my newborn's diapers soon (sooner than I'd like to think!)

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Danica,
Any diaper that contains elastic should be stored in a climate controlled area. If it isn't the extreme influx in temperatures can ruin the elastic in the diapers (can cause elastic to dry-rot). If you are just storing prefolds or flat diapers you don't need a climate controlled area.

Megan said...

THnaks for that. Newborn diapering is the biggest thing on my mind before LO comes.

Heather said...

This is a great post for a first time expecting mom! I'll be showing my husband (who is still not 100% sold on cd'ing).

Carl and Tracey said...

Glad I came accross this! I just did 3 weeks of disposables because I had no idea even where to start with a newborn!