Monday, October 4, 2010

Cloth Diapering the Newborn Baby

For the first three months your newborn will eat, sleep and poop. As new parents we often focus on the eating and sleeping and just want to forget about the pooping. Whether to use cloth diapers is now an added decision for many new parents that want to make the right decision not only for their baby, but for the environment too.

My 1 week old son wearing a size small
Happy Heinys pocket diaper

Cloth diapering the newborn can have its own set of challenges when compared to diapering an older child. Once you have decided on cloth diapering your newborn, the only thing left to do is figure out how to do it and what products to choose (and of course choosing the products is often the most difficult as there are so many to choose from!).

First, select the style of diaper for your newborn. If your priority is to save money you will want to go with prefolds and covers for your newborn or a system such as the Flip system from Cotton Babies which is very economical. The functionality of this option lies in the quality of covers, therefore, make sure you get a good quality cover and prefolds with at least a 6 layer middle thickness.

If selecting a fitted diaper, you will also want one with a good fit around the thighs to keep any messes in the diaper. With any two part system like this, you can expect your baby’s bottom to be quite larger so you may need larger sleepers or pants with an elastic waist.  You can also get the Onesies Garment Extenders which are quite handy.

If you want a trim fit, you will want to go with a pocket style diaper or and AIO or AI2 system. You can choose either a sized option or a one size pocket diaper, but keep in mind that a one size will be bulkier and you may not get as good of a fit around the thighs than with a sized diaper. Newborn leaks tend to happen either out the thighs or up the back of the diaper, so make sure to choose a diaper with elastic around the back waist and a good fit around the thighs.

If purchasing diapers before your baby is born, you should consider going to an information session to get all of the information and seeing the various diaper options before you purchase.  You may also consider a cloth diaper “trial” package where you get a variety of diapers to try on your baby. These variety packages whether you purchase or rent, allow you to learn which diaper you like better, and which style of diaper will work best for your child’s body type. When you are shopping, factor in the benefits you get with a more expensive diaper and if it will be worth it to you to spend the extra money. If you sacrifice fit for a lower price you may end up getting frustrated from a poor fitting one size diaper that you may give up on cloth diapers completely.

Here are some of my favorite diapers for the newborn baby ...

Prefold diapers
Bummis prefolds, infant or preemie size (a little bulky)

Fitted diaper
Bamboozle size 1 (especially at night) (bulky)

Thirsties Duo Wrap
Stacinator So Simple for night once you stop changing your baby at night (look like little shorts :)

Pocket diaperHappy Heinys mini one-size pocket
FuzziBunz one-size pocket (I prefer the one-size over the perfect size)
bumGenius one-size pocket 4.0 (this one will be bulkier)

All-In-One diaper
Definitely the AMP Stay Dry AIO
TotsBots Tini Fit AIO

All-In-2 diaper
By far the SoftBums AI2 with a mini pod (one-size but shrinks down really tiny)
Flip system with stay dry inserts if you are going for economical (a little bulky)

You should aim to have a minimum of 24 diapers with a newborn baby up to approx. 4 months of age to be able to wash every 2 days.  Other useful accessories to consider to make your cloth diaper experience successful:  A pail liner or waterproof laundry bag to store your soiled diapers, wetbag to store your dirty diapers on the go and a good cloth diaper safe detergent.  You may also consider using cloth wipes instead to disposable wipes.  You can wash these with your diapers.
Good luck!


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