Some say using newborn cloth diapers are just not worth it due to how quickly newborns grow out of their diapers. I have also read opinions that newborn cloth diapering is too much work, especially since you are exhausted.
I couldn’t disagree more.
Newborn Cloth Diapers 101, For Beginners
Cloth diapers are just as easy as disposables. I tried both disposables and cloth. I preferred the cloth diapers. Let’s take a look at some cons and pros of using newborn cloth diapers:
– A wet diaper is not as apparent as a disposable “blue line” to count the wet diapers needed in a day.
– Cloth diapers need to be washed.
– Changing takes a few seconds longer.
– Less smell when baby pooed.
– Little to no diaper rashes (Motherlove cloth diaper safe diaper balm is AH-MAZING!).
– Softer, more comfortable feel.
– Cost effective and can be used again for your next children.
– No build up of a giant pile of stinky disposable diapers that have to be dumped. (Our cloth diaper pail doesn’t stink! Use Planetwise diaper pail liners + a good sized “breathable” trashcan with a pivoting lid like this awesome Hefty one we have from Target.)
– As much as cloth diapers cost (which is far less than disposables), it isn’t nearly as much as the cost of adding disposable diapers as a nation. Disposable diapers alone add 7.6 billion pounds of garbage each year, are the 3rd largest consumer item in landfills, and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste.
Low-cost newborn cloth diapers
Find a good deal on newborn cloth diapers if you can. Check out clothdiapertrader.com and you can even venture to eBay.
I thought at first that used was icky. It’s not. All our first cloth diapers were purchased used. This way, you don’t have to wash those natural fiber diapers ten times because they’ve already been prepped. Sweet. If you do buy used, I would suggest stripping them for sanitary reasons.
The best place to start looking is Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Facebook baby resale groups in your area (This is where I have seen many whole systems!) Join these right when you find out you are expecting. If you are looking for a specific type of diaper trading group, just go to Facebook and type in the diaper name and b/s/t. There are many! Also, check out the diaper company’s website. They usually have a gently used section.
B/S/T Fluff and Stuff – Facebook
Cloth Cycle – Facebook
Cloth Diaper Addiction Swap – Facebook
Cloth Diaper Trader
Cloth Diaper Swap and Sell – Facebook
Blueberry B/S/T – Facebook Groups
Newborn cloth diapering IS cost effective
I purchased our newborn cloth diapers for about $70 gently used and Mae used the newborn workhorse fitted diapers with the orange stitching (I suggest 20 and 8 Blueberry Capri size 1) for two months. Newborns go through 8-12 diapers a day. I always did about 12, so multiply that by 30 which equals 360. So two months would be 720 diaper changes. You can get a giant pack of Pampers Newborn Swaddlers on Amazon: 148 diapers for about $27.26. You would need 5 boxes, which would equal $136 (plus shipping). She used the next size of Workhorse fitteds (small/yellow stitching) for the next three months. I used the “newborn” diaper covers (Blueberry used to call them size one capris, now they are called newborn) until she was seven months old! I didn’t save a ton cloth diapering our newborn (about $100), but I did save a decent amount (plus, we saved WAY MORE as we continued to cloth diaper). The biggest thing for me was that it was easy.
What type of cloth diapers should you buy?
Why fitteds + covers?
Because your little one has runny poo. Mix that with pee and it leaks. I used several different kinds of diapers and this combo NEVER leaked. Plus, I loved that I could just add a Blueberry Capri size one insert inside her fitted diaper at night when she started sleeping more than a couple hours at a time. So easy!
I did try prefolds as well and since they were was the cheapest option, I really wanted them to work! Along with prefolds, I also tried the old school(ish) way where you fold them over your baby and added the Snappi. To me, they were bulky, leaked and I hated rolling and folding them. This also really sucked when I was in a constant daze of bleary sleeplessness, waking up every forty-five minutes or so. Ironically, when Mae was eating solid foods at around five months, I did end up switching to prefolds (simply folded in half and placed into the cover like an insert – NOT folded over the baby like an old school cloth diaper) + covers and using all those prefolds I had purchased!
I also recommend buying a few Thirsties velcro newborn covers and fitted diapers. I don’t recommend velcro because eventually it won’t be as sticky anymore and it’s an absolute pain to wash. The velcro always seemed to get stuff permanently stuck in it no matter what I did! But honestly, having a few of these for those late nights when your eyes are too bleary to even see straight, helps. For us, my husband liked to grab these because they were quicker.
How many newborn cloth diapers should you buy?
You will be changing your newborn 8-12 times a day. We changed her before we fed her, every time. I recommend doing laundry every other day for the longevity of your diapers and to make sure to keep any smell away. And trust me, it will!
Below, I made a complete list of everything you should need!
*Note: I have a few with velcro below because it’s really nice to have them on hand, especially in the middle of the night when you are super exhausted. If you don’t want to do velcro, just swap those out for the Blueberry covers and the Workhorse fitteds.
– 20 Workhorse Newborn (orange stitching) fitteds
– 6 Blueberry newborn size 1 capri Covers
– 4 Thirsties newborn fitteds (with velcro)
– 2 Thirsties newborn covers (with velcro)
– 2 packs Blueberry Capri size one insert (for night-time)
– 1 roll of Diaper Liners (to use the first week or so when baby is getting all that meconium out. I used these again when Mae started solid foods around 5 months and didn’t have to buy a diaper sprayer.)
– Etsy Wipes (style: no preference)
– Small Spray bottle (To spray on the wipes and clean your little baby’s bum in lou of wet wipes. Some people use different essential oils in their water and we tried things like Lusa Organics Baby Wipe Juice which smells amazing but we just ended up using plain ol’ water because other stuff seemed to irritate her skin.)
– 2 Planetwise diaper pail liners
– 2 Planetwise travel wetbags
– Diaper Pail (has revolving lid for “breathability”. Essential to help prevent odor)
– Allen’s Naturally detergent (this stuff is amazing!)
– Cloth Diaper Safe Diaper Balm
– Wire Shelf (used for hanging the covers, pail liner & travel wet bags)
– Clothes Pins (used for hanging the covers, pail liner & travel wet bags)
How to cloth diaper your newborn at night
Simple. Buy a Blueberry Capri Size One Insert. If you are using the cloth diaper system I recommended above (Blueberry Capri Newborn + Workhorse Fitteds) then just place the insert inside of the workhorse fitted diaper and snap it together. Add the Capri “newborn” Cover and you’re done! Why Capri Size One inserts? I scoured the internet for the insert that soaked up the most liquid used in overnights. This one came up over and over. They aren’t cheap! But buy one set and you’re good! My baby is over a year old and I still use these two capri inserts for overnights!
PREPPING (before use)
Every type of cloth diaper has instructions on how to pre-wash. It is best to stick with what the brand recommends. Also, remember to keep natural fibers separated from synthetics (at first). The natural fibers have oils on them that take a few washes to get out.
MY WASH ROUTINE
There are various ways people wash their cloth diapers. A washing routine depends on personal preference and your washing machine.
- Dump ALL diapers in, including the diaper liner. RINSE CYCLE WARM + 1/2 PUMP DETERGENT.
- HEAVY CYCLE HOT + 1 PUMP DETERGENT. (My washer does a HOT/COLD: a hot wash and cold rinse)
- RINSE COLD (add an additional rinse)
I hang dry the covers and the Planetwise pail liner (by just throwing them on this wire shelf from Target – when you have so few covers, you don’t usually have to tediously hang each one with clothespins!) and then toss all the other inserts and fitteds into the dryer. You may have to dry them twice but that’s it! This one of the MAIN reason I did fitteds + covers. You don’t have to hang a zillion covers or take a ton of time stuffing them after they are washed. Presto!
Cloth diapering beyond newborn
In the post here I go into detail about cloth diapering beyond the newborn stage as well as more details about cloth diapering if you are looking for more info! I wish you the absolute best on your cloth diaper journey and let me know if you have any questions! <3