I have been cloth diapering for over 12 years now. I’ve cloth diapered newborns six times! (The first two switched to cloth after their newborn stage.) So, I have quite a bit of experience and have tried a great many methods and products for newborns. Since we just had our eighth baby, I figured it was time to revisit newborn cloth diapering.
Newborns are cute and sweet, but man do they have explosive diapers! I was reminded a couple weekends ago how awful using paper diapers on newborns can be. Cost wise, you’ll likely spend about the same amount to cloth diaper one newborn or to paper diaper that one newborn. The real cost saving with newborns comes when you start cloth diapering that second baby, then the third, then the fourth… you get the picture. Plus, cloth diapers contain newborn poopsplosions SO much better than paper diapers.
There are a lot of options out there for cloth diapering. I’m not going to go into all the options, I’m just going to tell you my favorites. Can you use something else? Absolutely. I’m just here to share my personal experience.
By far, my favorite newborn cloth diapering combo is:
Muslin Half-Flats from Green Mountain Diapers
Boingo Diaper Fastener
Rumparooz Newborn Cover
This option is cheap, easy, and washes (and dries) quickly with no fuss. I fold the half-flats like a paper airplane and secure with a single Boingo. Put the cover on and you are good to go!
What makes these particular choices work? The Muslin Half-Flats wash and dry quickly. They are super soft and absorbent, while also being very thin. They are a little fluffier than a Birdseye flat, which I really like. I was unsure about the size at first, but it fits perfectly! Sue Ellen is over 11 pounds now at almost 6 weeks old (tomorrow) and the half flats are till fitting like a dream. You can fold them to fit a newborn so well. You do need to prep cloth diapers, and the muslin flats seem to take a little longer to prep. Prepping cloth diapers just involves washing them and drying them multiple times before using them. These took 5 cycles to prep to a usable absorbency and about 8 to perfection. (Unbleached prefolds prepsimilarly. Birdseye and white flats and covers tend to prep quicker.) I have 3 dozen half-flats and can wash diapers every other day without worrying about not having enough.
The Boingo is similar to a Snappi. It just holds the diaper on really well and isn’t as big as the Snappi. I like the two point closure better than three. I just secure the left and right sides of the diaper over the center and it holds well. As baby gets bigger, you just use two (two come in a pack). You only need one pack. You could use Snappis or diaper pins. (If you buy diapers fro Green Mountain Diapers, you get free diaper pins! So, you may want to give them a try since they are free!)
Rumparooz newborn covers are the perfect size. They fit a tiny under 6lb. newborn and they fit a 15 lb. bigger baby. The fabric on these is softer and more breathable than other diaper covers. It will leak if they have an abundance of pee and you don’t have enough absorbency. But they don’t get as hot or feel as bulky as other covers. (And I never have leaking issues if I’m aware of absorbency and change the baby regularly.) The one-size Rumparooz are also nice and will fit an 8lb. baby up to a toddler. If you have bigger babies, the One-Size might work just as well for you as the newborn size. Sue Ellen was 8 lbs. 6 oz. at birth and fit into both the newborn and One-Size covers. I like the newborn covers better for the smaller size because they are trimmer. However, if I usually had bigger babies (Sue Ellen was an anomaly for my babies.), I’d be perfectly fine with only One-Size covers. I have a lot of covers, but you only really need 6 if your washing every other day. You can always wash a cover in the sink in a pinch.
I do also like Thirsties covers. I’ll do a whole thing about diaper covers here soon, but Thirsties are a good option. Their size one covers are not as small as the Rumparooz and they are thicker and not quite as soft. But they work well and I do like them. You also don’t have the same leaking problems, but they aren’t as breathable, so it is a trade off. The size two Thirsties will definitely NOT fit a newborn. They advertise fitting at 18 lbs, I think it is more like 15– but still way too big for any newborn.
If you need diaper cream for a newborn and you’re using cloth, I recommend the Motherlove Diaper Balm. It also works well as a preventative if you like to use diaper cream for every diaper change and not just when they get red. You can also use it with paper diapers. Most diaper creams are not “safe” for cloth diaper use. (Really, you’ll just have to wash the devil out of the diapers if you use it.) Motherlove is cloth diaper “safe”.
All in all, I do think cloth diapering a newborn is well worth it. The outfits saved alone is well worth it! Plus, it is so stinking adorable. I know it sounds weird, but it is so satisfying to fold that perfect diaper. Don’t believe me? Try it.
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