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Sunday, November 2, 2014

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Tips for Choosing Newborn Cloth

I love the feeling of committing to cloth diapers from the get-go. We used disposable diapers in the hospital while I recovered from my c-section, but I had little organized bins of newborn cloth diapers waiting for our return home. I knew my mobility would be limited, so I suggested disposables to my husband. To my delight, he said, “No. Let’s just go for cloth.”

We tried cloth diapering from birth using one sized diapers with our last baby. Even though he weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs 11 oz and 23 ½ inches long, one sized diapers proved bulky and unwieldy on his long, slim frame. Our 2 year-old was also still wearing one sized diapers and separating the sizes or adjusting with each change proved challenging.

When baby fever hit the fourth time, I started planning ahead by watching for sales of new and gently used newborn diapers until I had a nice selection. These included AIOs, AI2s, pockets, and fitteds with covers. I already knew prefolds were not for me (but a route many prefer for newborns), so I didn’t bother purchasing any. I also selected both aplix and snap closures.

Purchasing newborn diapers might not be realistic for everyone’s budget, but I believe they hold good value if well cared for because they are used for such a short time. Plus, if you use them on multiple babies, you will undoubtedly save over the countless newborn disposables a baby uses in the first month.

I’ve learned that not all newborn diapers are created equal and that simplicity is key when it comes to fumbling, late night diaper changes and little ones who cry with each change. If you’re considering newborn diapers, here are a few details I would recommend:

  1. Pay attention to the beginning weight on diapers. I have larger babies and many newborn diapers were roomy on my 8 lb plus newborn.
  2. Look for photos of a product on newborns to see how they fit. A notch for the umbilical cord is nice, for example, but not necessary. Some diapers, like the bumGenius newborn AIO, fit lower on the belly.
  3. Go for aplix or a single row of snaps. Complicated rows of snaps for precise fitting seem appealing in the box, but a squirming newborn and tired parents just want the quickest change possible.
  4. Some newborn diapers will fit past the newborn stage and actually give you a “small” fit as well. The Smart Bottoms newborn fits snug on a new baby, but has one row of adjustable rise snaps for a longer-fitting diaper.
  5. Go AIO for pure simplicity. Easy to use, easy to clean. My preference by far.
  6. If you do decide to go with a one-size diaper, an AI2 with a very small setting is a good choice. The multiple changes a newborn goes through can put a lot of wear and tear on diapers, unless you have a large number of them. If I were to go the one sized AI2 route, I would use the SoftBums Omni. The unique leg elastic makes for the smallest diaper I’ve ever seen. The inside pods can be changed out and the cover reused multiple times.
Can you use one size diapers on a newborn? Definitely. Can you postpone cloth until you make it through the newborn stage. Yes, you can. But I’ve loved my investment in newborn cloth this time around. Our little one is comfortable and rash free, he looks adorable in well-fitting diapers, and we’re avoiding those pesky, sleep deprived, disposable diaper runs.

Have you used newborn cloth diapers? What was your experience?

Bio: About Mindy Farmer, The Inquisitive Mom: I'm a gal from the Pacific Northwest, living in the Midwest, mom of 4, writer, optimist, striving to be eco-conscious and hoping to defy stereotypes. Visit me on my blog The Inquisitive Mom and you'll find musings on motherhood and life, mixed with enthusiastic cloth diaper posts, eco-friendly living ideas, as well as reviews and giveaways.

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Shilo Wheatley said...

I'm expecting my 4th baby January 6th 2015... I used cloth diapers with my 3rd from a couple months old so I have no experience with newborn diapers or cloth diapering a boy! But I'm very excited to start cloth from the very beginning... I have a large newborn stash of BG AIO, Fuzzibunz, GMD prefolds, GMD workhorse, Softbums, and even some Tiny g's with disposable inserts that I plan to use in the hospital! I've read so many different opinions on what works best for newborns and most have been prefolds but I'm nervous having never used them before so it's good to see someone else actually had success with AIO's! :)

crluv22 said...

I'm curious on how many you would suggest having in the newborn size and then once you switch up how many do you get of those ?