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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

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Ins and Outs of Newborn Diapers

Diapering a newborn should come easily to me as a mother of four, but when you combine the pure lack of sleep with having three other “littles” in the house (I have four children, my oldest is only five), and having not one but two in diapers-it still is a little hectic. These are my findings and my advice for new moms.

I am currently using cloth diapers on my newborn, but she is the fourth child I’ve used cloth diapers on. I didn’t even realize people still used cloth until my oldest was almost ready to potty train and my second born was three months old. I switched, but naturally I didn’t deal with newborn diapering.

When pregnant with my third I stepped tentatively into using cloth on a newborn. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, but due to budget issues she was using cloth part time. Fast forward to the present and my newest baby…who is at present 90% cloth diapered. I prefer cloth to disposables, but unfortunately I have small babies and newborn diapers are not cheap-or used very long.

Overall cloth diapering will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. I know it has our family. However, most newborn cloth diapers cost quite a bit and are not worn very long. We have five different kinds of newborn diapers and I will share the pros and cons we’ve found with each.

We have four Lil’ Joey’s from Rumparooz. They have CUTE written all over them and are an adorable size. However, these diapers are not for everyone. My babies are pretty small by most people’s standards-my smallest was 5 lbs 3 oz and my biggest 7 lbs 1 oz.. My babies are also built thin. Lil’ Joey’s have only fit my (youngest two) children till they hit nine pounds and then they are too small. Considering average babies are born closer to eight pounds and grow often half a pound a week, these aren’t for everyone. We’ve been fortunate to get to use them for about six weeks for each of my daughters.

I have one Happy Heinys Mini one size pocket diaper and it has been my favorite this time around. My daughter couldn’t wear it until she hit about seven pounds without it leaking, but now it is fantastic! The sizing is such that she will be able to wear it quite a bit longer than the Lil Joey’s and it fits her slim figure like a glove. I have another one on order to arrive this week. Can’t say enough good things about it!

I have one Thirsties size one Duo diaper and I also love that it is smaller than our regular one size pockets but started fitting both of my daughters when they hit eight pounds (manufacturer says six pounds, but my girls were both too skinny and it leaked). Thirsties diaper covers with prefolds were how I started cloth diapering, and will always have a special place in my heart.

Rounding out my newborn stash is a Newborn Pro Wrap (the only diaper I didn’t get from Kelly’s Closet) and a Bummis Super Brite Newborn diaper cover. I use a collection of small prefolds with these. I prefer pockets, but when budget matters, this is probably your best bet.

My advice to a first time mom-to-be would be to invest in the Happy Heinys. They are easy to use, will fit (most) newborn babies, and can be used longer than other brands poundage wise. If you are planning on having multiple children, go ahead and invest in a newborn stash as well as one for when your baby gets bigger. If you are only planning on having one or maybe two children it gets tougher…you really don’t know how big your babies will be and often babies don’t wear newborn size anything more than a week or so making a complete newborn stash pretty pricey for the time you’ll use it. However, cloth is always better for the environment and you can always sell or donate any diapers you no longer have any use for.

I probably would not recommend a first time mom to start off with prefolds/snappis/ and covers. Having a newborn has a huge learning curve of its own, let alone a diapering system that isn’t completely easy. Your first few weeks with your baby will be hard enough-getting the hang of nursing, all-nighters, and what her cries mean are challenging enough. Take it easy on yourself. Plus, you want daddy on board with cloth diapers, and trust me, pockets and all-in-ones are the fastest way to a man’s diaper heart.

My final newborn cloth diapering advice would be to get that diaper sprayer and install it while your baby is still small. If you are nursing exclusively there is absolutely no need to use it on your baby’s diapers until they start solids. However, the diaper sprayer also has a learning curve and it is always nicer to learn on a clean diaper than a dirty one that sometimes, when sprayed, the contents of the diaper may hit the wall…or your face…just sayin’.

Jenney is a mother of four and home daycare provider. She blogs about cloth diapering and raising her kids at


Katie said...

I don't think prefolds and covers are all that difficult. I've had new parent friends pick up prefolds easily with their newborns, and a friend of mine taught my husband and me how to do a prefold in a single change each. Do prefolds require more steps than a pocket or AIO? Yes. Are they that much harder to learn? Not really. Especially if, like a lot of new parents, you've never changed a disposable before, either, and therefore, have nothing to compare it to.

I'm nonplussed by the concept that prefolds aren't daddy friendly. While I know a lot of dads may gripe and grumble and use it as an excuse to get out of diapering, that doesn't make it a valid excuse. If you're smart enough to figure out how to put together the crib, you're smart enough to figure out how to change a prefold diaper. And if he likes the cost savings of cloth, he should be even more pleased with the prefold method because it's way less expensive than using AIOs or pockets, especially for a newborn stash that you're only going to use for a few weeks anyhow.

Lara said...

It definitely depends on the build - my daughter was 9 pounds at birth and we used Lil Joeys for at least 4 weeks - I want to say closer to 6.

Momma K9 said...

I a planning to CD my next baby from the start but it is not economical for us to invest in NB diapers. Our last son weighed in at 9 lbs 9 oz at birth, by a month he fit into his one size. So....I researched it and found many companies that offer newborn rental packages! I wish Kellys closet did! You can choose size, swap diapers out as needed and you rent month by month. Just another good option for moms out there. The rental fees are reasonable and the deposit is fully refundable, just double check, some companies give the deposit back as a credit to their store. I also plan to increase our stash with some prefolds and covers to use during the day with the new baby.

Irina Johnson said...

I believe that cloth diapers are extremely good!! my kid is very comfortable always in a mood to play