Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cloth Diapering a Newborn

Having recently cloth diapered a newborn, I figured that I would pass on some tips to whoever may be considering doing the same.

1) If you are cloth diapering for financial reasons, choose an inexpensive option to start.  There are many reasons that parents decide to cloth diaper-environmental, health, aesthetics, etc.  However, if financial reasons are your main motivators to cloth diaper, start cheap.  As babies grow very fast, and many babies are born large enough to fit into one-size diapers right from the start, do not spend too much money on newborn options.  I would say not to spend more than $100 on a newborn diapering system.  Personally, my baby only fit his newborn diapers for three weeks before moving on.

2) Shop second hand.  As above, newborns grow very quickly, so they outgrow their newborn cloth diapers very quickly.  For this reason, you can find a variety of very gently used newborn cloth diapers online on websites such as Ebay and Kijiji for a fraction of the original cost.

3) If purchasing diapers new, do not purchase too early before baby is born.  Many companies offer warranty for 6 months from purchase date, so if you purchase too early and encounter any problems, your warranty may be void.

4) Buy a variety of cloth diapers.  Mistakenly, I chose only one cloth diapering system for my newborn.  I chose to go with pre-folds and covers, which was definitely a good option, however, I wish I would have bought some flats and fitters as well.  Flats would have provided more coverage than pre-folds for the meconium poop that seemed to just roll off of the pre-fold into the cover, and fitteds would have come in handy for nights as my heavy wetter seemed to saturate the pre-folds at night leading to leaks.

5) Buy extra covers.  If you are using covers, purchase a few extra than you would for an older baby.  Since newborns poop a lot more, I found that my covers were soiled after 1-2 diaper changes when using pre-folds.
Pre-fold diaper with cover
6) Be ready.  Have your cloth diapers purchased and prepped prior to baby's arrival to make cloth diapering just as easy as disposables.

7) Jump right in.  I have found that it is easy to get bogged down in all of the cloth diaper advice available from which detergents are cloth diaper safe, to the proper wash routine.  From personal experience, it is very hard to ruin a diaper, so don't let fear hold you back.

Have you cloth diapered a newborn?  What advice would you pass on to other parents?

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