If you're looking for newborn cloth diapers, these simple tips will help you to choose the right cloth diapering system for your needs.
When selecting newborn cloth diapers, there are few considerations, which are not really factors for older babies, that you'll want to keep in mind.
Of course you want a good fit at any age, but getting a great fit with infant cloth diapers is particularly important. Newborns, particularly breast fed newborns, tend to have very runny poops that are not at all self contained. For that reason, you really need a cloth diaper that contains poop well when you're diapering a newborn.
Look for elastic around the legs of diapers and ensure you can get a really snug fit around the legs and in the back of the diaper.
Diaper covers come in wrap or pull on styles. A wrap style diaper cover will provide the snuggest fit (compared to pull ons). It is also easy to use diaper wraps because you don't need to pin or snap the absorbent (soaker) layer in place, the diaper wrap cover will hold the soaker in place.
Wrap style diaper covers with velcro (instead of snaps) are preferred by many parents because the velcro allows you a little more flexibility to create just the right amount of snugness. Also, velcro is easier to secure than snaps, which can make night time diaper changes in the dark a lot easier.
You will be changing your newborn's diaper approximately every two hours (usually with longer stretches during naps). That's 8-12 diaper changes per day, including some night time changes. If you're changing that many diapers and operating on limited sleep, you'll want to ensure your diaper changing is as simple and convenient as possible.
If you're changing diapers 8-12 times a day, and you need to wash your cloth diapers every couple of days, you'll ideally want to have 24-36 newborn cloth diapers on hand. Some people manage with less than that and do laundry more frequently. While you may want to watch you initial costs, be sure to balance that with providing yourself with the convenience you need.
Because you change newborns more frequently than older babies, you will need more diapers for your newborn than you will need when your baby is older. For that reason, it will likely be important to keep price in mind when choosing your newborn cloth diapers.
In order to save a little bit of money, you might want to consider buying gently used cloth diapers or cloth diaper seconds. Both options can be good, frugal alternatives to buying new cloth diapers.
A lot of parents like to use prefold cloth diapers on their newborns. Prefolds are one of the least expensive cloth diapering options, and they can be reused as doublers when your baby is a bit bigger.
Fitted diapers are more convenient than prefold cloth diapers; although you still need to add a diaper cover, there is no need to fold the absorbent layer when you use fitted cloth diapers.
While fitted cloth diapers are slightly more expensive than prefolds, fitted diapers are still on the lower end of the price range compared with other types of cloth diapers. If you want more convenient diaper changes (compared to prefolds) with only slightly more cost, fitted diapers may be a good option for you.
Resist the urge to buy every cute newborn cloth diaper you see, particularly if this is your first experience with using cloth diapers. Different systems have pros and cons, and you won't truly know what you prefer (and what fits your baby well) until you've used a system for a while. Buy what you need to get by without being overwhelmed by laundry, then add to your stash once you're sure about what works best for you.