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Newborn Diapering Options For Those First Few Tiny Weeks

Newborn Diapering Options For Those First Few Tiny Weeks

Oh the teeny tiny newborn days.  The hazy sleepless nights with a little human that smells sooo good and pees way more than anyone could imagine. 

Cloth diapering a newborn can be a little intimidating at first.  They are so little and seem so fragile and they often have very tiny little legs that can be harder to fit in diapers well enough to prevent blow-outs. 

But never fear, we've cloth diapered with a newborn three times over now ourselves and have helped MANY families enjoy cloth diapers with their new additions successfully too.  Here are your options with a newborn and why you might pick each one. 

Newborn Prefolds or Flats with Covers
This is an easy and economical way to diaper a newborn and they will FIT, regardless of baby's size at birth.  From as little as 4lbs, you can use newborn prefolds no problem and flats are very customizable depending on how you fold them for any size of baby too.  Our first baby was a whole 4lbs and spent some time in the NICU and it's amazing how small that bum is at birth. 

Prefolds and flats are also super easy to wash and FAST to dry if you're short on time between washes and it's an affordable way to get natural fabrics on the bum to keep rashes at bay on your new human. Don't forget the cover on top to make it waterproof and blow-out proof.  You'll want about 3 diapers for every 1 cover in your newborn stash with about 24-30 diaper changes total if you're planning to wash every second day. 

Newborn prefolds will get outgrown fast, and are a bit of a learning curve to use the first few times, but they aren't too expensive and fit well those first few weeks in a way that's proportionate to baby's size.  Newborn prefolds also make great little absorbency boosters for bigger diapers as baby grows and can easily be used for multiple babies if you plan on more than one child. 

Newborn All-In-One Diapers
Convenience in a small package, newborn all-in-one (AIO) diapers are all one piece and are the least amount of fuss.  If you're on the fence about cloth diapers or have a partner who isn't on board, AIOs are the easiest to use and the most like a disposable diaper.  Wash and wear with nothing complicated about them. Some styles also come in velcro closure so there's no snaps to worry about either.

AIOs will be more expensive comparatively, especially when they are only used for those first few newborn months, but because they don't see too much use or harsh washing, they are almost always able to be used on multiple babies without a problem.  They also fit proportionately to baby's size so they aren't too bulky under newborn onesies and clothing and often feature an umbilical cord snap down feature to clear the cord stump while it's healing. If you have the budget for them, I always loved having some cute little newborn AIOs in my baby's stash.  I found having half prefolds and half AIOs was great for me personally. 

Size Diapers
If you prefer something a little more versatile that will last longer than the first few weeks, but still fits better than a one size diaper at the start, consider a sized system.  With a size 1, size 2, you will get several months if not a year of use out of the first size of diaper before you need to size up. A good example of these is the Esembly System. While they won't be as tiny of a fit on your newborn, they will fit most newborns from the beginning even if it is a bit big until baby fills out a bit.  Esembly is a good system to consider if you're a beginner.  It's high quality and easy to use. 

One Size Diapers
Lastly, you could just go straight to one size diapers.  If you're having a c-section, plan on starting cloth after the first few days when you're settled or have disposables from a baby shower you need to use up, then it might make sense to go one size.  Some one size diapers will fit from birth especially if your newborn is on the bigger side, but regardless, a one size diaper on a newborn will be bulky and baggy.  It will likely sit about mid-chest on baby size-wise, which isn't bad, it's just more fabric, which means you may need to size up clothing to fit a fluffier bum. Once baby hits about 10lbs you'll find that one size diapers start to fit better and this is no longer an issue. 

Hopefully that helps you decide which kind of cloth diaper will work best for your newborn.  Clothing a newborn is a special kind of fun. 

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