Cloth Diapers for Newborns?

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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.
Amanda Hearn
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67 Comments

  • I think most new moms are scared to use cloth, however if as a gift they get a few covers and prefolds or set of cloth to get started (3) they will be apt to try them because its not money out of their pocket and if it fails then its no big deal to them. So as a shower gift a few changes is a great
    idea….

  • I would try and tell moms to be how simple cloth diapering is. I have already gotten a few friends cloth diapers as a prebaby gift and now three of them are cloth diapering full time. They just need something to get them started and support along the way. I cant wait to cloth diaper my newborn son in May.

  • I want to use cloth right away. I have every intention of making sure every doctor and nurse knows that my baby is not to be out in to a disposable diaper. I haven’t bought any diapers yet…just researching a lot. I want to make sure that my baby gets off to a good start! πŸ™‚

  • I always try to discuss things openly with any mom to be or new mom I meet. What works for me will not always work for other people. But I do try to make myself available for any questions they might have about cloth diapering, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, not circumcising, car seat safety, etc. because I always do a ton of research when it comes to making decisions about my kids. This means I can give them what I know, and then direct them to places where they can do their own research.

  • Nervous and excited about cloth diapering my first baby right from the get go – thanks for all the tips and info!

  • I just recently found your website and love all the advice and tips on here! I’m so ready to cloth diaper our little girl, unfortunately right now none her diapers fit her (she was born at 5lbs). I’m so thankful for the friends that I have that use cloth and can’t wait to share my experiences with other moms. I always try to give honest answers when new moms ask me about my experiences and let them know that if they ever need anything I’m available.

  • This is a very helpful post – wish I would have had these tips on hand for my newborns. I cloth diaper, but didn’t use them until after the first couple months with each baby. I use the fitted one-size diapers that are way too big for the newbies and didn’t realize I needed a separate set. If there is a third baby, I’ll definitely start cloth on day 1!

  • I would be encouraging to new moms about cloth diapering and other advice and help out with a couple.

  • I am so excited about learning more about cloth diapering our first newborn later this year! It makes way more sense to have a stash so we can use it for the next ones πŸ™‚

  • I don’t see any reason for not cloth diapering, they are more safer on baby skin, save our wallet and to the environment.

  • Many moms planning to use cloth find their standard cloth diapers are too large for their tiny newborn. I was lucky enough to borrow a newborn stash from a friend and also bought a few of my own that I am loaning to the next new mom.

  • I think the biggest help for new moms is just letting them know that cloth isn’t pins and rubber pants anymore. I have had a few friends act like I was crazy for considering cloth then later on make the switch once they realized it wasn’t anything like what they thought. I love talking about diapers and people look at me like Im weird

  • I think recieving cloth diapers as a gift would be more incentive for new moms to try cloth. also being available to help trouble shoot when issues arise. I know that I will be looking for advice as I start my adventures in cloth diapering this summer

  • I’m 7 months pregnant with my first baby. I know that cloth diapering will be a huge step, but with so many pro’s, I don’t see why I should even consider using disposables. I plan on using them from the moment my son is born, until the day we potty train him. And I know that it’s a lot less expensive in the long run, even with a newborn stash, but it seems slightly overwhelming when you have to buy a whole stash of JUST newborn ones before he even gets here… and that’s so soon. This giveaway would be super helpful to my family.

  • This will be my second time cloth diapering but my first time using cloth with a newborn, thanks for the good info!!

  • Our tradition is to have a big family baby shower for the parents-to-be to hopefully outfit them with everything they’ll need. Unlike other families though, it’s highly unusual in our family to have a shower or sprinkle for a second/third/fourth child.

  • We didnt use cloth for our little man in his first month but really wish I had! He is 12wks now and have been using cloth for 2months and I love them, they are much easier then I thought they would be.

  • I try to bless new moms by serving them, whether it be bringing them a meal or two, running errands, housework, whatever they need.

    Getting ready to cloth a nb in three months – I could really use this win!

  • I would try and help spread awareness about the benefits of using cloth diapers. Since my husband and I are poor graduate students, I feel that we could reach to other families like us to show that it is not only economical to use cloth, but preferable! I’d try to help out when I could!

  • Thanks for the info! I didn’t star cloth until my second daughter was a bit older but I am preparing to use cloth from the beginning this time!

  • Very interesting post! It hadn’t even occured to my to try to cloth diaper in the hospital. I figured they wouldn’t let me, for some crap reason…

  • I started CDing my son when he was older so I don’t have any newborn or small diapers for our little one who’s due in July. I would love to win this!!

  • I would give her my phone number and be sincere when I say she is free to call me anytime, 24/7 if she needs anything from someone to vent to to someone to come over and hold the baby so she could relax.

  • I try to reassure that cloth diapering is not a lost cause if you can’t start immediately. If you’re worried about meconium, or fear it will be a battle with the hospital staff, just let it slide for the first few days and enjoy your new baby. I brought a copy of Changing Diapers and a couple of my cutest all in ones and just left them out w/out forcing the issue. Some of the nurses thought it was silly, but every single one at least leafed through the book and asked questions about the diapers.

  • I am so excited to cloth diaper our next baby from birth. I want to get pregnant just so I can start buying a few of the options I have researched. πŸ™‚

  • Email is a great way to encourage new moms when speaking by phone isn’t possible because y ou can offer encouragement, advice & tips (I’m a mom of 7) in the middle of the night!

  • I would love to give these newborn diapers to my sister in law who is expecting and due very soon. Loved the info. Thanks!

  • I liked cloth diapering a newborn. I used prefolds and covers. I look forward to trying a few other types next time.

  • Decided to use cloth for upcoming second baby and was scared about bring cloth diapers into hospital. Might reconsider…

  • I’m with Michelle–figuring out what to do with newborn twins. Also a first time mom who has changed exactly one diaper in her life so has little knowledge of disposables or cloth.

    • I posted this above for Michelle too.. You should check out Julie from Cloth Diaper Geek. (http://www.clothdiapergeek.com) She has written several articles about this topic on various sites. A quick google search will give you a whole list of them and if you need more info I’m sure you can reach her on her facebook page or blog. Julie is so sweet – she has posts on her blog about raising twins as well πŸ™‚

      Google : http://bit.ly/Ync0aU

  • I started cloth at 6weeks with my first–but I should’ve just dived right in. Hubby and I had no problems! I lend friends diapers for a few days (I wash them) so they see the options and can show hubby. After that, they’re sold! So try to borrow first!

  • This is so reassuring! I want to CD, but was very nervous about doing it for the first month or so… Not so nervous now!

  • I love bringing a hot, healthy meal to new moms. That blessed me so much after having my daughter, so I love being able to bless other new moms that way!

  • I started cloth diapering my daughter when she was 2 weeks old. I was mostly scared of the laundry piling up on me those first couple weeks. I will for sure cloth diaper from the very beginning with the next baby.

  • I wasn’t able to cloth diaper my first as a newborn and am determined to start from day one with #2 in September. I’ve shared my current stash with friends that wanted to check it out. I’d love to do the same with a newborn stash! πŸ™‚

  • I think the hardest part of diapering a newborn is fit. I love the diapers that have the snap or fold down for the cord too!

  • we’ll be CDing the baby I’m due with in august, I’ve started my NB stash already πŸ™‚ we didn’t CD our other child til he was 11 months old but I love it! I would never go back.

  • I’m going to be cloth diapering a newborn with this baby. I started my older son around 2 months old. Definitely looking forward to the teeny tiny diapers πŸ™‚

  • As a Mom of 3, almost 4, I would help a new Mom by bringing a meal or groceries and then being on baby duty while she takes a much needed shower! I think a great gift would be a trial of cloth diapers of course but another idea would be to have their house professionally cleaned right before the baby arrive!!

  • We live in a small town in the South where people are constantly astonished at the idea of using cloth diapers (even though their families did it before the invention for disposables!) I’m a little worried about bringing in cloth diapers to the hospital. Also for us even $100 seems very pricey for something that could possibly only last us a few weeks. But this post does make me wonder. Hopefully I can find some decent used diapers? So hard when nobody nearby uses them!

  • Thanks for this info. I started using cloth when my daughter was about 7 months old, but I’d like to start from the beginning with my next baby!

  • Thanks for the encouragement – I’m hoping to use cloth right from the start with my next baby.

  • Wow, that was incredibly concise, and had so much good information in one spot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a helpful post on Cd-ing. Honestly, I have read a lot, I think I will send my recently converted sister to this site as she will begin cloth diapering for the first time in a few short months her newborn. Thank you!

  • If I have another baby I will use cloth for my newborn. I didn’t start clothing my son until he was 2 and I wish I would of started earlier, but at least I already have a large stash of one size cloth diapers in the event that I do have another baby πŸ™‚

  • I am from CA and am about to host a Cloth Diaper party with a lady that sells them. I have never cloth diapered, i want to but just never knew where to start. Hence the party idea and there are alot of mamas out there in the same boat. Have you ever thrown one? what did you do? could you please give any info., advice, tips on how to throw a successful party so we can raise awareness and help other not feel that its beyond them

    Thanks Emily

    • I did host a party once, and I’ve held several classes. Healthy refreshments and snacks are always a big plus, and the ability to provide some information. Your co-host should have some great information to share with attendees and natural conversation will help as well. You might want to take a look at my printable guide to get familiar with cloth, and maybe even print out a few for attendees to take home (save paper by printing double sided).

      https://theecofriendlyfamily.com/2011/05/share-cloth-love-with-printable-guide/

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