Sometimes, the caregivers who come into our boutique or attend our Cloth 101 classes have already decided that they won’t be cloth diapering their newborn because it would be ‘too hard’. In my experience, this reply is due to a few things: lack of education about cloth diapering in general, a feeling that cloth diapering a newborn is somehow very different than an older baby and a misconception about the ease of removing waste.

And while we understand that cloth diapering for the first time can be intimidating, it really is much simpler than you think. In this article, we’re going to breakdown the best newborn cloth diapering systems, and share some of our favorite tips for cloth diapering your newborn. It’s a newborn cloth diapering showdown and we’re going to start with newborn prefolds and covers.

Newborn Covers and Prefolds

Newborn covers and prefolds are a favorite in the first few months of life for several reasons. First, because newborn prefolds and covers and sized, they are designed to fit small babies and caregivers typically have less issues with fit and leaks due to an awkward size. You will eventually need to size up both your prefold and your cover, but for the first few months, they will fit great and prevent leaks.

Not only are they sized appropriately, but covers are able to be reused more than once as long as there are no solids present. Simply wipe them out, grab a new prefold and put your cover right back on baby. In terms of budgeting, this means that you’ll need to purchase far less covers than another style, like All In Ones, for example.

At the newborn stage, you’ll want to start with at least 24 diapers, but ideally 26-28 to account for washing and diapers left in your diaper bag. (In this context, we are referring to 24-28 changes, meaning prefolds. You will only need about 8 covers to accommodate this many changes.) Purchasing a full collection of covers and prefolds can cost you as little as $250.00, depending on the brand choices you make and how often you plan to wash diapers.

#Protip: Some parents frankly just want the easiest diapering system possible. I get it. You have a brand new baby and the less steps in your life the better. Enter All In Ones (AIOs).

Newborn Size All In Ones

If you are looking for the easiest way you could possibly cloth diaper, AIOs will be your perfect diaper. In concept, All In Ones are exactly the same as disposable diapers, they just get washed rather than end up in a landfill. In other words, the entire diaper goes on, the entire thing comes off and then they are ready for a wash!

Newborn sized AIOs are designed to meet the needs of a newborn baby and can be stress free for new parents. Some diapers like the Thirsties Natural Newborn AIO come with an umbilical snap that even gives your baby time to heal and room to grow. Others like the Lil Joey Newborn All In One actually start at preemie size and fit babies four to twelve pounds. Lil Joey Newborns additionally come with inner gussets to help keep that newborn poop contained and your diaper leak free.

#Protip: If you like the reusability of covers and prefolds, but the ease of AIOs, All In Ones may not be your perfect diaper. Hybrids, however, will give you the best of both worlds and be easy on your budget too.

One Size Hybrids

Our last style is on our list not because it’s specifically newborn sized (GroVia Hybrid Shells fit babies eight to forty pounds), but because it meets so many different needs at the newborn stage. Hybrid Shells are ideal for multiple caregivers, day care and every day at home.

GroVia Hybrid ShellHybrid Shells have snap in soaker pads that allow you to reuse covers without folding prefolds. They also have the option to be used with prefolds, if that’s your preference. A third option is to use GroVia Biosoakers, which are  disposable inserts, for activities like traveling, camping or long rides in the car. Whichever absorbency option you choose, you can still reuse your cover between two and three times, saving laundry and money.

Hybrids are so versatile, but cost effective too. Assuming you needed a new cover every other change, hybrid systems can range from $440.70 to $466.70, depending on the soaker pad fiber you choose. They also come in two different closure options, snap or hook and loop, both excellent choices for newborns.

#ProTip Hybrids are the middle of the road between the cover and prefold system and All In Ones. The majority of our clients gravitate towards hybrids because they offer so many options in the future and caregivers don’t have to be completely decided on one system or another to find something they love about hybrids.

Tips for Cloth Diapering Your Newborn

  • Change baby every one to two hours. No matter what type of system you choose, newborns will need to be changed every one to two hours to prevent leaks and rashes.
  • Make sure to wash full loads of diapers. (24-26 newborn diapers) Because newborn diapers are smaller, it takes more of them to bulk up your washer enough to run a full load. 24 to 26 newborn diapers is ideal for a full load of cloth diaper laundry. If you don’t have enough newborn diapers to run a cloth diaper load, but you still need to clean your diapers, you can bulk your washer up with small items like hand towels or kitchen towels to get a fuller load.
  • A single cloth wipe can make a perfect booster. Is baby outgrowing the absorbency of your diaper, but not necessarily the newborn size? A single cloth wipe folded lengthwise can make the perfect booster at this stage and doubles as a multi-functional item that can be used through potty training. I could talk all day about why cloth wipes are amazing, but this may be my favorite cloth trick.
  • Use bioliners to dispose of solids quickly and easily. Nervous about solids in the newborn phase? GroVia Bioliners keep solids on top and let liquids move through to the absorbency of your diaper, making clean up quick and easy. No one has to spray out diapers and 200 liners for $11.00 means they are budget friendly too.
  • #Momrealness

    Many of our clients consider skipping the newborn cloth diapering phase and honestly, it’s so much easier than most people think. You’ll notice that many of the issues we discussed are based on outdated information, misinformation or lack of information. More often than not, it’s the newborn phase itself that is a little nerve wracking, not so much the cloth diapering. (Trust me, we get it!)

    You can shop newborn cloth diaper styles in our carefully curated collection of cloth diapers. For more cloth diapering tips and tricks, LIKE us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram at @ArcticBabyBottoms!

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