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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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Things I Have Learned about Cloth Diapering a Newborn

Things I have learned about cloth diapering a newborn. When my son, HB, was five months old, I had to put away all his newborn diapers. As I did this, I kept thinking about all the trials and errors that I’ve had with cloth diapering. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned:
  1. Gussets are awesome! Because breastfed stool is so runny, it can easily squish out of a diaper.
  2. Your Birdseye prefolds aren’t really prepped until there’s very little lint in your dryer.
  3. You don’t have to fold diapers but you might want to so that you can put them on the baby correctly in the middle of a long sleepless night. You avoid lots of accidents and get more sleep that way.
  4. Prefolds must be all inside the diaper. Any part of it sticking out leads to leakage. And make sure that all-in-ones or pockets haven’t folded over in the back. This can also cause leaks.
  5. Get a supply of inserts or doublers, which are really the same thing. I had heard you needed them at night for older babies, but never realized that because newborn stool is so watery it can seep through the prefold into the cover.
  6. All-in-ones don’t seem to dry completely in the dryer so they may still be wet in the evening. It maybe worth it to use prefolds with a cover or prep a pocket diaper for night time instead. They dry better.
  7. You are not a horrible parent if you diaper pail stinks when you open it. The odor will only get worse.
  8. Babies can outgrow newborn sizes so quickly. Investing in an adjustable diaper or diaper cover is a good idea, but many will only fit babies 10 lbs or more. Thirsties duos are the exception.
  9. If it says it will fit 8 lbs plus, go ahead and buy the smaller size (5lb-10lbs) because they will fit better and leak less. Refer to number 8 if money is tight.
  10. Snappis are great! HB managed to wiggle his prefold out of place if it was laid inside the diaper cover.
  11. Read the fine print on detergent. I didn’t realize that it had a built in fabric softener.
  12. Even though newborns grow at lethal speeds, you will still need a lot of diapers in the smaller sizes because you will go through a lot of them in the course of a day. They can always be used on another baby or can be resold if they are in good shape.
  13. A good rule of thumb for buying covers is that you buy a cover for every three or four prefolds you purchase. Since you will probably need three dozen prefolds to get started, that means you need 9-12 diaper covers. This is if you are washing every other day. If you have a small budget, you can buy less and wash more. If you have a bigger budget, you can buy more and wash less, but I would not go more than three days without washing diapers.
  14. Men can learn how to change a cloth diaper. My husband can use prefolds very quickly now. You just have to show them how and be very patient.
  15. Make sure you remember to put on a diaper cover. Keep it close to you while changing the baby, and you might have a better chance of remembering it when your really really tired.
  16. White diaper covers do get dingy. The inside of diapers or prefolds will stain. Don’t stress yourself over having a bright white look on your baby’s bottom. Get diaper covers will colors instead and hang the prefolds outside.
By Laura W.


Anna said...

Great post! I learned some of these things with my first baby, but with baby #2 arriving this week, it was a great reminder for me! Thanks for your insights. :)

Amber Liddle said...

We started cding our daughter at age one so going right from day one with baby number two is a little daunting! I am loving any article like this that gives newborn pointers :)

Meg said...

Thanks for this post! I'll be CDing a newborn in about 15 weeks, so I'm glad for any tips I can get!

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

I was amazed at how fast he grew out of the newborn diapers! He was fitting into his one size BGs at a month old, I couldn't believe it! And not because of his's because he was so tall and the rise on the newborn ones were so short!

Caroline Marin said...

Something I learned and will use with the next one:


There are plenty of little bitty baby-sized all-in-ones and pockets that will fit right away, along with fitteds.

There is zero chance we'd cloth diaper from day one if we had to use prefolds, which is why we didn't with our first. Now I know better and have already started building our newborn stash of XS AIOs for #2...before I'm even TTC. That spreads my cost over plenty of time and guarentees we'll have them in house when the time comes.

Ballerina Baller said...

love it. something i learned... it is almost worth it to get the smallest pack of sposies for that first myconium (spelling? sorry) it too us forever to get that stuff out of our fluff!

Kristina said...

What an awesome post! Thanks for all the tips! Our first is due in December, and I can use all the advice I can get, as nobody I know cloth diapers.

Diaper Dad said...

Number 14 is just silly and a little offensive.

Selina said...

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Diaper Dad said...

I should clarify, so I don't just post a harsh comment and walk away.
Cloth diapering can be daunting to anybody at first, not just husbands. Mom's can be impatient as well, especially when just starting to CD their little one.
No matter who you are, or how prepared you think you are, 5 minutes figuring out how to put a diaper on your newborn seems like it is taking a lifetime and patience can run thin quickly.

Dads dig prefolds, maybe not as much as AIO's, but anything is better than stuffing small sized pocket diapers.

Laura W. said...

Diaper Dad- totally not meant to give offense. I'm sure that there are a lot of dad's out there who can cloth diaper just fine. My husband wasn't one of them. But then again some of my female friends struggle with it too. So it's applicable to both sexes.

Kelly said...

I love the list. I CD'ed all three kiddos from birth and found that infant prefolds and covers were my best bang for the buck. I still use my infant prefolds for overnight stuffers in pockets now that my little ones aren't so little anymore :(