baby looking at camera on blanket with mom smiling and looking at baby

Using Cloth Diapers From Birth

Newborn Cloth Diapers

When that wonderful moment arrives that your little one is safely delivered into this world, you will be fascinated by everything about them. Those little fingers and toes will captivate you. I spent hours transfixed by my daughter's ears. And what about that little bum? It's so cute and squishy, but will soon start producing some of the nastiest substances known to man. What diapers should you use? There are lots of different ways you can go.

The Options

There are diapers that are sized to fit those sweet, tiny tushies. They are only used for a short amount of time, usually just until the baby is big enough to fit into "one size" diapers, usually around 2-3 months old.

Save on Cloth Diapering 

Since you will only be using this system for a little while, you obviously don't want to spend an arm and a leg on it. That's one reason why the Newborn is one of my favourite options. These covers are specifically made for newborns and feature an umbilical cutout and leg gussets that will hold in even those fantastic liquid newborn poops. Prefolds are an incredibly flexible, absorbent and affordable option. Don't worry about folding - you will master it within a couple of diaper changes. Two of these kits is all you need to get started - which is less than $100. The Bummis newborn prefolds and covers do fit very small, however, so are best for small babies, preemies and multiples. With larger newborns, you may find they become tight fairly fast.

Photos are worth a thousand words

Newborn all-in-ones are super cute, and a really easy solution. We have a couple of these in our newborn stash for easy middle-of-the-night changes, and they were absolutely adorable in our newborn photo shoots.  Newborn All-in-one are all oh-so-cute. Unless you have lots of money to spend on newborn diapers (in which case, come buy me shoes!) I wouldn't suggest buying a whole stash of these, but one or two of them is a great addition to your collection!
One definite "pro" to buying your own newborn diapers is that you can use them for multiple kids, and since they are generally only used for a couple of months, they hold their resale value well. Also, prefolds are super handy to have around to use as doublers, naked bum cloths or cleaning cloths!
If you don't want to buy the newborn diapers, we have a Newborn Rental Kits, used cloth diapers, that gives them to you for two months, which is plenty of time to let your wee one grow into their one size diapers.

Go straight to a one-size (or sized) system

Some of the one size systems will truly work right from birth. Best Bottom, Applecheeks Size 1 and Omaiki Hybrid all can fit perfectly on a sweet newborn bum. While other one size systems don't fit very well until baby is up around 10 pounds, these 4 systems are great, even on tiny babies.
The Applecheeks is a sized system (meaning it comes in two sizes) with the Size 1 cover fits from about 7 lbs. The fit is very adjustable to get a great fit around even wee little legs.
The other systems mentioned all have an extra row of rise snaps that allow the diaper to be snapped down very small, and have snaps/hook and loop that allows you to adjust the waist and legs to give you a leak free fit even on a newborn.
This is a great way to start cloth diapering right from birth, as you don't have to buy a set of diapers just for the newborn stage.

Start with a Diaper Service

If you want to use cloth from day one, but are concerned about how to manage extra laundry and a newborn, a diaper service is an option to consider. Although it is more expensive than wash-at-home diapers, some people do find it really handy to have someone else do the washing in the early days!
If you are in the Ottawa area, take a look at Sweet Peach in Carleton Place. Not only do they give excellent customer service, but when you are nearing the end of your 10 week service package, you can try out Bumbini's diaper trial kit, which has all the diapers we carry. You can try them all on your squish, and know for sure which ones work for you!

Start with 'Sposies

No one will judge you if you decide to use disposables for the first few weeks. Really. Getting used to having a baby in your house can be a challenge, so survive it and forgive yourself for whatever concessions you make to do so.
Just a warning - some people do find it difficult to switch from using disposables to cloth. If you are determined to use cloth, this won't be a problem, but if you are hesitant, it can be really hard to get started. The apprehension about how difficult using cloth will be is much worse than actually using them is. Within a couple of days, you will be so happy you made the switch. Especially when you can breeze down the diaper aisle at the grocery store without having to spend a chunk of money!
My suggestion is to buy a couple of cloth diapers that you are super excited about and give them a try as soon as the baby is big enough. This will give you encouragement to start, and once you see how easy it is (and how cute a fluffy bum is!) you'll be sold.

Common Questions About Diapering Your Newborn

What should I bring to the hospital?

It depends on how long you will be staying. With my first, we were there for two days, while with my second we were only there for two hours after he arrived!
I would recommend bringing at least 15 diapers for each day you are intending to stay, plus wet bags large enough to store the dirty ones. If your hubby (or another family member) is able to pop home to do laundry, then you can get them to do a load every 2 days or so. If this isn't feasible, it might be easiest to use disposables while in the hospital. You've done some hard work, mama. Give yourself a break and start fresh when you arrive home!

Will the meconium ruin my diapers?

Nope. Meconium is pretty nasty looking (it looks like tar) but it doesn't last for long. It may stain the inside of your diapers, but after a few washes and some sunning, those stains should come out. If this is a big concern, you can use some fleece liners for the first few days.

What about the umbilical cord?

My doctor's advice was to keep the umbilical cord nice and dry until it falls off. Just make sure that the diaper (cloth or disposable) sits low enough on their belly that it doesn't cover their belly button.
Newborns are pretty shockingly tiny, but it is incredible how fast they grow. Before you know it, this phase will pass! Enjoy it and get tons of pictures!!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.