Cloth Diapering Guide for Today's Newborn

Is a new little baby joining your family soon? Whether this is your first baby or maybe just your first baby to cloth diaper, the choices you have for diapering your tiny newborn may seem daunting.

This comprehensive guide will share with you the insights I have learned, answer the questions that are often asked and highlight some of the best of today's products for diapering a newborn. If you haven't yet read the article on Cloth Diapering Lingo 101, I suggest either you start with reading that article or reference it as needed throughout this overview. Also if you function well with dual screen you may want to open up the Newborn Diaper Gallery side by side with this page so you can see the diapers being referenced in the chart below. I have put the images in the same order that they appear in the chart.

Let's begin by looking at the challenges to Newborn Diapering and what can be done to overcome each challenge:
  1. Unknown Baby Sizing
  2. Newborn Poop Containment
  3. Meconium
  4. Cord Care

Unknown Baby Sizing:
Until baby is born his/her weight and sizing is an unknown quantity. Although you can make a decent hypothesis on the likely size of your first baby by determining what your own mother's and maternal grandmother's first babies' birth weights were, and can also make a decent prediction of baby's birth weight based on the birth weight of your own prior children; the reality is your predictions are just educated guesses until the baby actually arrives. To accommodate this great unknown, baby will need a diapering system that has the ability to fit varying weights and body-types.


Newborn Poop Containment:
Newborn babies are generous with their poop all day, all night, just after getting a new diaper, while getting a new diaper...very generous. For the exclusively breastfed baby this poop has a runny, mustard like appearance. To meet this challenge prepare your diaper collection with diapers and/or covers that have elastic around the legs and at the back waist.

If your new baby has been unable to breastfeed his/her poops will be more formed and you may want to consider using a flushable linerf for quick and easy poop removal.


Meconium:
Meconium is the thick, tar-like substance that an infant passes out of its intestines in the first few days after birth. Many new parents are worried about the meconium washing out of the diapers and/or staining the diapers. Many experienced parents who have diapered an infant report that the meconium did not stain at all.

If you are still concerned, you could easily add a folded cloth wipe between the baby and the diaper to protect the diaper from the meconium. This will be the first of many a creative array of uses for those cloth wipes.


Cord Care:
Cloth diapering will not interfere with care of the cord. Just as clothing can be worn over the healing area, likewise cloth diapers may cover the area too. Cloth diapers unlike their plastic counterparts allow airflow into the diapering area. Some diapers do come with a belly button fold down or a belly button dip option; while these options are nice they are not necessary.

Do take precautions against staining if the place where you deliver applies iodine or the triple dye to the cord area. Both of these products can cause staining. Use of a cloth wipe between the cord and your diapers may be an easy solution.

Newborn Diapering Comparison Chart
A good economical choice A convenient, luxurious choice

Diapering Recommendation

Sizing

Containment

Cord Care

Advantages

Disadvantages

Infant Prefolds

Newborn/Standard

A 6# baby would do well in the Newborn Size. For an 8# or smaller baby the Standard Infant prefolds are just perfect. For a 9-10# baby you may be satisfied with the Premium Infant prefolds

Folding the diaper using a basic or angel fold and then fastening with a Snappi will provide adequate containment. Runny newborn poop does escape from a prefold about 20% of the time and then the diaper cover is relied on to contain.

Fold below cord.

Inexpensive and versatile to fit any newborn. Great back-up system for more easier diapers.

Prefolds probably take 45 more seconds to fold onto baby than other types of diapers. Also offer less poop containment than a fitted.

Bummis Prefolds

Preemie/Infant

Infant size is best on a baby but 8# + newborn. For smaller babies consider the Preemie size.

Folding the diaper using a basic or angel fold and then fastening with a Snappi will provide adequate containment. Runny newborn poop does escape from a prefold about 20% of the time and then the diaper cover is relied on to contain.

Fold below cord.

Inexpensive and versatile to fit any newborn. Economical choice for Organic diapers.

Prefolds probably take 45 more seconds to fold onto baby than other types of diapers. Also offer less poop containment than a fitted.

BabyKicks Prefolds

Infant, Small

Are sized to fit smaller babies well.

Folding the diaper using a basic or angel fold and then fastening with a Snappi will provide adequate containment. Runny newborn poop does escape from a prefold about 20% of the time and then the diaper cover is relied on to contain.

Fold below cord.

Highly absorbent for a prefold. They are also made of organic fibers.

Costly compared to other prefolds. May be more absorbency than the average newborn needs.

Swaddlebees Organic Velour Fitteds

NB

For an 8# or smaller baby this will fit well long enough to get your use out of them.

Great containment. Elastic at legs and waist.

Belly button snap down feature

Gorgeous, soft, absorbent. Will be a fantastic fit for a newborn. Beautiful colors. Perfect for babies first diaper!

A pricier option. A smaller diaper so it won't last as long as other newborn diapers.

Heiny Huggers

NB or S

For an 8# or smaller baby choose the NB size. The small would work for larger babies.

Excellent containment. Elastic at legs and waist. Ruffled legs seem to contain newborn poo well.

NB has belly button dip

Stretchy fit should allow for an extended use. Economical fitted diaper.

Generally, a fitted and cover is a bulkier option than a pocket or AIO.

Kissaluvs

0

Great sizing for fitting most any newborn unless a 10lb+ baby at birth. This diaper fit our baby until ~6 months and 15+ lbs.

Excellent containment. Elastic at legs and waist. Ruffled legs seem to contain newborn poo well.

0's have belly button snap down

Stretchy fit should allow for an extended use. Economical Fitted diaper. Dependable containment and cute colors too.

Generally, a fitted and cover is a bulkier option than a pocket or AIO.

Bummis Super Whisper Wrap

NB

Great sizing for fitting most any newborn unless a 10lb+ baby at birth. The cross over hook and loop closure allow the cover to fit a wide range from tiny to chubby.

Leg and back elastic

An economical, cover that should function well for several children. Has laundry tabs for hook and loop closures and cross over tabs.

Baby's with extremely chubby legs will fit better in the Imse Vimse Covers. Larger size range means the cover will have a poochier fit.

Bummis Super Brite Wrap

NB

Great sizing for fitting most any newborn unless a 10lb+ baby at birth. The cross over hook and loop closure allow the cover to fit a wide range from tiny to chubby. The NB size is one of the smallest fitting covers.

Leg and back elastic. Desirable leg gussets to aid in containment

Slight gathered dip in front to go below cord

Comes in cute prints and white. Has laundry tabs for hook and loop closures and cross over tabs.

This diaper cover has the shiny PUL layer viewable on the inside of the cover.

Imse Vimse Covers,

Preemie or NB

The Preemie size covers are perfect sizing for an 8.5 lb or smaller baby. Choose NB for a larger newborn.

Leg gussets do a superb job at containing runny newborn poo.

This cover will look good without being too bulky. Leg gussets are great for fitting all sorts of leg sizes. Cover is soft and flexible as if putting fabric on baby not plastic.

Cover will look better if hung to dry. Does not have laundry tabs for hook and loop closure.

Thirsties Duo Covers

Size 1

Great sizing for fitting most any newborn. Adjusts to fit from 6-18lbs.

Excellent containment with leg and back elastic. Gussets add to the protection.

Elasticized dip in front

Hook and Loop Closure is easy to use. Laundry tabs for closures. Fantastic colors. Snap closure also available

This diaper cover has the shiny PUL layer viewable on the inside of the cover.










Blueberry Mini Deluxe

Newborn One-Size

Designed to fit from birth to 15 lbs

Elastic around back waist. Adjustable rise settings will allow for a snug fit around legs.

Offers a better fit and less bulk than traditional one-size diapers for the newborn stage.

Requires you to stuff with insert before using. Because it is a one-size it won't look quite as trim as a true newborn sized diaper.













Rumparooz PocketOne-Size

This diaper has great adaptability for fit. It is one of the smallest fitting of One-Size Pocket diapers 6-35lbs.

Great elastic around legs and at back waist. Has an internal gusset system to hold in poo.

One-sized. This diaper should fit from 6 to 35 lbs. Comes with 2 inserts. Really fits newborns and eliminates having to buy diapers to fit before the OS.

Can be bulky on an infant but not as bad as many OS.

BumGenius AIO,

XS

Cross-over tabs allow great waist flexibility. Ample elastic at the legs accommodates both skinny and chunky legs.

Great elastic around legs and at back waist.

Trim, extremely easy to use. Great for when away from home or easy overnight changes.

Drying time for this diaper is a bit long.

Lil Joey

Great sizing for fitting most any newborn. Fit 5-12lbs

Great elastic around legs and at back waist. Has an internal gusset system to hold in poo.

Belly button snap down.

Trim, extremely easy to use. Great for when away from home or easy overnight changes.

Drying time for this diaper is a bit long.