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Cloth Diapers for Newborns?

For parents considering cloth, or for those who have the opportunity to use cloth on a newborn for the first time, it can be quite the dilemma. While cloth diapers are generally the same, no matter the age – cloth diapering a newborn is a bit of an unknown, and questions about cost, ease and time management come into play. For a first time cloth user, half of the battle can be educating your partner, parents or other family members about the benefits of cloth.

While it’s not necessary for your family to be on the same page as you – it’s your baby after all – the support of family can go a long way to promoting a good atmosphere and ‘vibe’ for you, baby and the whole family. My post “Cloth Diapers : The Good, The Bad, The Honest” is a great place to direct anyone ‘on the fence’. It talks about some of the pros, cons and questions that most of us have about cloth. Additionally, my printable cloth diaper guide provides a more in-depth look at cloth if you find that anyone wants to learn more but isn’t sure where to start.

Another dilemma that cloth diapering parents face once they have settled on cloth is regarding the hospital stay : to cloth or not to cloth?

While there is no “right” answer, these are my feelings on the matter.

  1. Meconium – i.e. baby’s first poop – is not scary. I have seen many parents over the years worried about the meconium. I’m not sure where this myth originated but it’s a strong one. Meconium is truly no more scary than any other baby poop. Yes, it will stain a little bit – but really no more than any other poop. With a few washes and a line-dry or two the stain will be gone. It’s nothing to fear, I promise!
  2. It’s easy! When babies are first born they consume a very small amount of milk because their tummies are just so tiny. During the short hospital stay it is typical to expect far fewer diaper changes – around the 5-6 day old mark baby will start to dirty their diaper with more frequency. Their first few days should be enough of a grace period that most people can easily use cloth at the hospital without being burdened with a ton of dirty diapers. Bring a wet bag and have your loved one toss them into the wash when you get home. Simple.
  3. It sends a positive, but gentle message. If you plan to use cloth you already know and love the benefits of it. What better way to share that knowledge by sending the gentle message of example. You don’t have to preach to the doctors, nurses or other moms. Their preconceived notions about cloth will begin to drift away as they see your adorable baby in that sweet new print from your favorite modern cloth diaper company. I love this method of leading by example – not force. In my opinion, there is no louder message.

Cost is generally always a factor. After all, newborn babies are only small for so long and most one-size diapers won’t fit a tiny baby, which makes a “newborn stash” a must for cloth diapering. First and foremost : a newborn diaper stash does not have to be expensive. A quality stash of prefolds and covers can run under $100, and be of great use for months or years to come – and don’t forget that you can sell your used diapers to recoup some of the expense, no matter what type of diaper you choose to go with.

If you are considering cloth for your newborn, here are a few posts that can help make your buying decisions a bit easier.

  • Cloth Diapering a Newborn – While not complete, this is a large and comprehensive list of newborn diaper brands, complete with pictures of little ones in them so you can know better how to expect them to fit!
  • Cloth Diapering at the Hospital – In this post I share my experience cloth diapering our baby girl at the hospital, my thoughts and a few tips to help it run smoothly.
  • Prefold Folds – If the cost of a newborn diaper stash is a deciding factor, prefolds are a great way to go! They work well and can be used for extra absorbancy throughout your child’s cloth diapering years. Check out my prefold photo tutorials or prefold video tutorial series to learn about the different folds and see what works for you.
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