Cloth Diapering a Newborn

Cloth Diapering a NewbornCloth diapering a newborn can be a bit intimidating. Today the cloth diaper options are so diverse and can give you anything from cute and stylish to plain and practical. Styles run from fashionable to simplistic, as do price ranges.

Some of the options available to parents are whether to use pocket diapers, All-in-ones, or prefolds. Pocket diapers are just that–the waterproof shell is lined with fleece or flannel and has a pocket for the liner pad. The diaper can be stuffed with microfiber, bamboo, hemp or flannel pads. All-in-one diapers are similar to pockets but the liner pad does not come out.

Prefolds are large cotton diapers that can be folded to fit the baby. You can use these with a Snappi or pins to help keep the diaper snug. These are not waterproof and need to be worn with a diaper cover–either a waterproof PUL cover, fleece or wool. There are also fitted diapers that fit the baby snugly and are used with a cover. Another option is choosing Velcro or snaps on our diapers. Oh the choices!

The biggest thing to keep in mind when cloth diapering a newborn is to mind the umbilical stump and to make sure the fit is snug. Newborns tend to blow out diapers and wet small amounts quickly, which sometimes can leak in diapers that do not fit right. A simple trick is to put a tissue in the diaper to help see if they have wet. To help protect the umbilical stump, many newborn diapers come with an extra fold down snap to help leave the area uncovered.

Cloth diapers need to be washed about every two days, so with newborns going through 10 to 12 changes a day, you will need 24 to 36 diapers at first. A diaper pail, pail liner and cloth-diaper friendly detergent will also be needed. I find using cloth wipes is a natural step in cloth diapering a baby–if you’re already washing diapers, why not just add the wipes too?

Cloth diapering is both frugal and addictive! The styles and fashions, plus seeing the cute fluffy cloth bums is a fun way to show your style in your baby’s diapers.

Pia Watzig is a cloth diapering enthusiast and lover of all things fluffy butts. She lives in Portland Oregon and has three sons aged 5, 2 and 2 months. 

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