Cloth Diapering a Newborn

Cloth Diapering a Newborn

I found out I was expecting baby number two when my oldest was 12.5 months old and I knew I’d be cloth diapering two babies. I spent several months thinking about diapers and trying to figure out how many I would need, how often should I wash and on and on!

One of the big questions was whether or not to invest in a stash of newborn diapers. My first son, Paxton, was 8 pounds 8 ounces at birth and was in our one-size cloth diapers within a month (and probably could have been in them a few weeks earlier, this first time mama was just intimidated!) I figured our new baby would weigh about the same as his big brother and newborn diapers would be a waste.

Weston arrived 9 days early, weighing 6 pounds 14 ounces! He was teeny tiny (at least to a mama whose first baby was 8 pounds 8 ounces!) While in the hospital, I began thinking about cloth diapers and how many weeks it probably would be before Weston could fit into our diapers. I was ready to order some newborn diapers then and there! My wise husband asked me to wait and ask one of my friends if I could borrow her newborn pre-folds and covers to see if I liked them before investing in our own stash.

When Weston was 11 days old, I started cloth diapering with the borrowed pre-folds and covers as well as a few of her different brands of one-size diapers. After seeing how bulky they were, I decided to try a bumGenius 4.0 with the newborn insert on Weston and it fit the best! I was so excited since our diaper stash is almost exclusively bumGenius pockets with a few Econobum pre-folds/covers for Paxton.

At Weston’s 2 week check up, he was up from 6 pounds 14 ounces to 8 pounds 3 ounces (which is an amazing weight gain for a breastfed baby!) So, he was right around 8 pounds when the bumGenius One-Size diaper started fitting.

3 weeks old in a bumGenius 4.0 (he probably weighed around 8.5 pounds)
3 weeks old in a bumGenius Small All-in-One (he probably weighed around 8.5 pounds)

The bumGenius 4.0 fits wonderfully! In fact, snapped on the smallest setting and with the newborn insert it actually fits a little trimmer than our bumGenius Small All-in-One!

A newborn sleeper over a bumGenius 4.0 with the regular insert

These diapers are quite a bit bulkier than newborn disposables but I’ve not had any blowouts in them which actually is saving on laundry since I don’t have to change Weston’s clothes 3 or 4 times a day! At 4 weeks, I’m still able to snap newborn bodysuits and sleepers up with the cloth diapers on him, even with the regular insert in (he’s getting to be a heavier wetter and the newborn insert isn’t cutting it!)

Newborn diapers are precious but think long and hard before investing in them! Pre-folds and covers are very bulky and some of the trimmer fitting ones will probably be quickly outgrown! We saved a ton of money by not purchasing newborn diapers since these bumGenius diapers will fit until he’s potty trained!

My two sweet cloth diapered boys

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responses to “Cloth Diapering a Newborn” 16

  1. Congrats on your new little bundle!! They are such blessings…we have 6 of our own and hoping to add more. Need to learn to simplify things however and get rid of all the excess that doesnt matter first. Cant wait to snoop your site to find out some great tips and ideas! With Love, The Griger Family

    1. Thank you, we're loving life as a family of 4! And yes, they are such blessings, I'm already thinking about number 3 now that number 2 has arrived! And I understand your desire to simplify! We de-cluttered a ton before Weston arrived and we're still at it! It seems the less stuff we have, the easier it is to maintain our home and the more quality time we can spend with our boys!

  2. They are so precious in their cloth diapers!

    That was one thing we (me more than he) wanted to do with number two but where we ended up living we decided against it. Community laundry – I knew someone would likely raise a stink about it! Turns out we made a great choice as we are constantly waiting for a turn in the laundry room and people are not prompt with their loads! That would not work so well with needing to get diapers cleaned before running out!

    1. We love cloth diapering but I'm not sure we'd be doing it if we had community laundry. When we were in college, we lived in student housing and had community laundry and I completely understand the frustrations with that! I can't imagine hauling diaper laundry there every 2-3 days and not being guaranteed a washing machine!

    1. Yes, it's crazy how quickly babies grow! It's hard to believe Paxton wasn't even born 2 years ago and now he's starting to have conversations and is such a little boy now!

  3. I'm so glad you posted this Rachel! I've been frettting over whether or not we'll have enough diapers for our little man when he comes in April. I have 10 newborn BumGenius, and 12 one size Fuzzibunz. Some people have been telling me to get more newborns, but I plan on starting cloth after he is all healed and I don't have to worry about chord stump or Vaseline on the diapers while he is healing. I'm thinking this may put him at 3 weeks-ish, which Molly was about 8-9 pounds at that point. We had some scary stuff happen with Molly when she was brand new– she got dehydrated and was urinating crystals and lost about a pound in four days. It was heart breaking to see her so sick. I had to add in formula when she was four days old, and it only took her a week to gain back that pound! I'm going to be more proactive this time around in watching for the signs of dehydration and know now how to better prepare for breastfeeding after a c-section. (Molly was emergency c-section, and now I have to always have c-sections due to complications… kind of a bummer.) Anyway, I have a feeling I will be getting a bigger, chubbier baby much faster this time around, so I don't see the point in adding more newborns to our stash. I also have four econobums to fill in gaps if necessary while diapers dry/get washed. I am hoping, praying, hoping, and praying some more that Molly will be potty trained by the time baby is born too! Otherwise, I will need to get some more larger diapers. Sorry for the book– there is just so much to think about with two!

    1. Yes, there is so much to think about with two! But, once he arrives, all these worries will melt away! I'm already learning how God gives you grace to handle your situation! I never dreamed of going out alone with two and I've already done it a couple of times! 🙂 As far as diapers go, if Molly is potty trained (and hopefully she will be!) you definitely should have enough! I'm washing every day and a half right now with my two in diapers and the most in a load is typically 22 diapers!

  4. Thanks Rachel! We cloth diaper a bit more old school – prefolds with covers, but you have helped me to get a better idea of how many diapers Rita might be going through at the time that our baby arrives. I have determined that we are going to need a few covers for the beginning…because I accidentally shrank our beautiful wool cover for nighttime! And I don't want to get stuck with a newborn breastfed baby pooping without a cover over his/her diaper! We have recently ordered from Sweet Bottoms (I mentioned your name with my order) and are awaiting our first pocket diaper – the Kawaii Baby Goodnight Heavy Wetter. We are praying it solves our nighttime diaper changing trend with Rita!
    Congrats on going out and about with two! I bet you will have some fun memories from those first outings!

    I recently posted about diapering with prefolds! Check it out at our blog:

    1. I'm glad you found this helpful! I plan to write a post sometime soon on cloth diapering two! It's not too hard but between diapers and regular laundry, I feel like that's about all I do! I've been calling myself the Laundry Fairy! {For the boys & my husband it's always magically done!} So sorry you shrank your wool cover…but it will work for the new baby, right? {That would make it less upsetting!} I hope the Goodnight Heavy Wetter works for y'all, it's really worked wonders for us, Paxton wakes up dry every morning now!! And I've been out a few times by myself with them both but it's hard work and I pack about the same amount I used to pack for weekend trips it feels like! 🙂

  5. I defintely feel ignorant b/c i didnt know there was a difference betwen the one size (the ones that grow with snaps etc) vs newborn cloth diapers. Which newborn cloth diapers would you suggest, assuming the one size ones that grow would be too big? Also, ive hear suggested to use disposable diaper the first cpl weeks due to the tar like poo (sry to be and because its almost impossible to get out of cloth? suggestions? first time soon to be mama in less than 2 months and definately new to cloth diapering…

    1. I actually have never owned any newborn cloth diapers. I recommend just using disposables for that first month or so until baby can wear the one size diapers for savings! Weston was able to wear the one size bumGenius on the small setting right around 8 pounds which was 2 weeks for him. If you think your baby is going to be small, it might be worth investing in newborn or small diapers but babies grow so, so fast typically that you use the newborn diapers for a month or two and then you have to store them or bother selling. That's just my opinion though!

  6. I just wanted to thank you for this post. I have been doing cloth diaper research for 7 months, I'm due in Jan. I find myself constantly revisiting this page to reassure myself about my stash decision of getting all one-size bg. My husband doesn't want to deal with prefolds, and I can't believe some women buy a whole stash of all-in-one NB dipes….I can't even fathom how that makes sense. I don't care if he looks "bulky" or "fluffy", the point is to save cash. Thanks again for this post, great pics and very informative.

  7. Rachel, thank you for the post. I have about 4 wks left till my due date and can't decide what to do! I have 10 4.0's. But when we went to a cloth diaper store they told me he wouldn't fit in them for about a month. So I bought 30 prefolds and 5 covers at their urging. I'm now second guessing my decision to buy the prefolds and wondering if it was just a sales pitch. And if I should take them back or not and finish out my 4.0 stash. I have been so indecisive through this entire pregnancy, and I can't afford to just throw money around to "experiment" or use something that will only last me a short amount of time. Also, do you use a wet bag in your room or a diaper pail with liner?

    1. Congrats on baby! So exciting! As far as baby fitting into the diapers, it really depends on the birth weight. In our experience, the 4.0s fit our babies around 8 pounds. With our newest baby, I'll probably use disposables for the first two weeks or so before starting to cloth diaper.(Just to keep things simple as we begin to adjust!) If baby ends up being tiny and stays small, I'll probably continue using disposables for a few more weeks until hitting 8 pounds and fitting into the 4.0s. For me, spending a lot of cash on newborn diapers/prefolds/covers just hasn't made sense. You have to pay for the diapers and then either bother with selling them or storing after only a month or so. (But, this is all my opinion, based on my experience with my past 2 babies – there's no right or wrong way!) I have a diaper pail in the bathroom, it doesn't have a liner, I just rinse the pail out between washes.

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