Many parents who take our Introduction to Cloth Diapering class find that they want to buy one cloth diapering stash to last from newborn through potty learning and are hoping to skip the newborn diaper stage altogether. I have to say that newborn sized diapers will always give you the best fit on your tiny babes, as they are designed for that age and weight range specifically. Many parents also prefer to keep their newborn diapers for subsequent babies, thereby saving even more money, but there are other options if you would like to skip newborn diapers entirely.

So, let’s answer one of our most popular questions, ‘Do I really need newborn cloth diapers?’

In this article, we’ll discuss alternatives to newborn sized diapers and how to pick the right style for you.

Size One Covers

Thirsties Rocket Duo WrapThe first alternative to newborn sized diapers would be a size one cover. The Thirsties size one Duo Wraps are recommended for babies weighing between six and eighteen pounds. Because the rise snaps allow for the cover to be sized so small, some parents prefer size one covers to newborn All In Ones or AIOs as they are more versatile and allow for more absorbency options.

Thirsties size one Duo Wraps would need to be paired with some absorbency to create a complete diapering system. There are a few absorbency options that can pair with your size one cover such as newborn or infant sized prefolds. GroVia newborn prefolds are one example of an appropriate absorbency element to match with your size one covers and generally fit babies from four to nine pounds.

Another absorbency option would be a Thirsties All In Two insert such as the Stay Dry Duo Insert. The Stay Dry Duo Insert comes in two sizes, the smaller size one Duo fitting babies from six to eighteen pounds. This alternative to newborn sized diapers is an easy to clean and easy to use system that allows parents to size up when needed and still get several months of use out of their size one elements.

A third absorbency option would be a size small Sloomb fitted diaper. This option wouldn’t give you as much use before needing to size up as the prefolds or AI2 inserts, but would still be able to be used longer than newborn sized diapers. The weight recommendation for a size small is nine to sixteen pounds, after which you’d need to size up to a medium fitted. However, if size one covers and their absorbency options don’t seem like a good fit for you, I would explore the GroVia Hybrid System next.  

The GroVia Hybrid System

GroVia Hybrid ShellThe GroVia Hybrid System is a great way to transition from the newborn stage to one size diapers. Because they are recommended for babies eight to thirty pounds, most newborns fit in them just fine and many parents are able to use them through the potty training phase. The main difference between the GroVia Hybrid system and the Thirsties size one covers is that the GroVia Hybrid Shells are lined with a jersey mesh, meaning that they can easily double as a swim diaper if you so choose.

The hybrid system consists of one shell and one soaker pad, snapped together to make a complete diapering system. When baby pees, simply remove the soaker pad, snap another one in and you’re ready to go. If baby poops in your hybrid shell, you will need to get both a new shell and a new soaker pad.

The benefit to using the Grovia Hybrid System would be that the hook and loop option fits even smaller than eight pounds and will help eliminate leaks by providing a more customizable fit. The soaker pad method also allows you to reuse your covers more than once, making this system budget friendly as well. My favorite aspect would be that the soaker pad stays in place on even the most wiggly babes and toddlers, and you have the option of either a stay dry or organic cotton soaker pad, making this system even more customizable than many of the others.


BumGenius OS Covers

bumGenius Flip CountessBumGenius One Size covers are recommended for babies eight to forty pounds. Like the Thirsties size one covers, you can use them from birth, but they won’t fit a newborn perfectly like newborn sized covers or AIOs. The main difference between the Thirsties Duo Wraps and BumGenius one size covers is that the Thirsties Duo Wrap is recommended to start fitting babies at six pounds, and the BumGenius OS cover will not fit babies until eight pounds.

The benefit to using the BumGenius one size covers would be that you won’t need to size them up before potty learning. They are designed to fit through forty pounds, so they are theoretically the only cover you will need to buy. However, the absorbency you choose to put inside these covers will most likely need to be sized up.

Like the Thirsties size one Duo Wrap, the BumGenius one size covers can be used with prefolds, inserts and fitteds, but most of those options will need to be sized up at some point. Another alternative absorbency option would be the Flip Stay Dry One Size inserts which can be folded to meet the sizing needs of your baby and never need to be sized up.



Here’s the thing, newborn sized diapers are always going to be the cloth diapers that fit your newborn best. That’s what they are designed for. However, there are other options if you are determined to skip the newborn cloth diaper stage.

Here are some common issues to look out for when using one size cloth diapers on a newborn:

  1. Leaks due to poor fit.
  2. Leaks due to choosing the wrong absorbency.
  3. Diaper rash due to too much time between changes. (Many parents mistakenly assume that a larger diaper means baby won’t have to be changed as often.)

Most of these issues can be fixed with a better fit, like a newborn sized diaper would have, and changing baby more often. Size one covers are also a great option if you would like to skip newborn cloth diapers. Just make sure that you pair the correct sized absorbency with your sized cover. Remember, no matter which route you choose, you will always be saving money by using cloth diapers.

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