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Cloth Diapering a newborn, is it worth it?
If you’re expecting a new baby you may be wondering if cloth diapering a newborn is worth it. You may also be trying to figure out the best cloth diapers for a newborn. There are so many to choose from! Today we will discuss 3 reasons for cloth diapering a newborn, and what I recommend for the first few weeks.
So, is cloth diapering a newborn worth it? There are three factors to consider. Cloth diapering for sustainability, cloth diapering to save money and cloth diapering to avoid using chemicals on a baby as much as possible.
Cloth diapering for Sustainability
First of all, from a sustainability standpoint, any time you use a cloth diaper is great! Even if you only use cloth diapers on occasion, that keeps diapers out of the landfill and that’s a win. Disposable diapers might be marginally easier to use, but cloth diapering gets easier the more you do it. Cloth diapering at any stage is better than not cloth diapering at all.
Cloth Diapering to save money
But what about from a monetary standpoint? Does cloth diapering a newborn save money? As someone who has cloth diapered two newborns, the short answer is yes!
The downside to cloth diapering a newborn is that the “one-size” diapers typically do not fit their skinny little legs. One size diapers are great from a few months on, but you’ll need newborn diapers at first. The good news is that you can re-sell your newborn diapers when you’re finished with them. They have an excellent resale value and you can almost get your money back. Keep reading to the bottom of this post for my personal cloth diapering recommendations.
Cloth Diapering for the baby
Let’s talk about the chemicals in disposable diapers. There are disposable diapers that are more baby and earth-friendly than others. 7th generation has decent diapers and they aren’t terribly expensive. Another option is using cloth diapers that can be used with disposable inserts. I used gDiapers with my oldest and hated them. Grovia Diapers with disposable inserts are another option.
I personally think that using cloth with disposable inserts is a giant pain, but I know some people who thought it was a good option. When my youngest was a baby, he really never wore disposables. I just always took everything that I needed with me.
Lots of new babies get rashes and the first thing parents think of is rash cream. Sadly, many of these creams have even more toxic chemicals in them, which isn’t good for skin. Using cloth diapers is a great way to avoid diaper rashes on the sensitive baby skin.
You do need to make sure that you’re washing the cloth diapers correctly, but both of my younger (cloth diapered) kids barely had rashes while my oldest had plenty of them as a baby.
One bonus benefit to cloth diapering a newborn
I didn’t know where to put this because it’s basically a benefit for you. You know how newborns have those explosive poopy diapers up their backs? That really doesn’t happen in cloth diapers. Cloth diapers and covers have elastic on the back that holds everything in 100x better than disposables. That alone is a good enough reason to cloth diaper a newborn. 💩💩💩
So is cloth diapering a newborn worth it? Absolutely! Cloth diapering a newborn is better for the baby, better for the planet, and it saves tons of money!
The best cloth diapers for a newborn
My favorite newborn diapers for my daughter were the more “expensive” all-in-one diapers. If you’re confused about cloth diapering lingo, check out my post on the different type of cloth diapers. With my youngest, I used the same diapers in combination with some prefold diapers and covers. These are a more economical option and you can use them a little longer.
I wish I could tell you that XYZ is the best type of cloth diaper for a newborn, but you may have to experiment. I hated prefold diapers with my daughter and loved them with my son, so it really does depend on the baby and your preferences.
Prefolds + covers
Prefold diapers and PUL covers are great options for newborns. Don’t go reaching for the Gerber prefolds that you might find at Wal-Mart/Target, those don’t work. Prefold diapers have weird sizes but most brands use the sizes “Infant” and “Premium.” Premium is larger, so you’ll want to go with the infant size for a newborn. I bought a bunch of Osocozy brand prefolds from Amazon 7 years ago and I’m still using them for cleaning rags. 😉
If you’re using prefolds, you’ll need to be snappi fasteners. Don’t worry about using pins, I don’t think anyone uses those anymore. Using a snappi is very easy and you won’t poke the baby.
There is one more option that I recommend for those looking for the best cloth diapers for a newborn. I didn’t use these as much, but I did use them occasionally. Fitted diapers can be used under a cover. It’s a little more work since you do need to use a cover, but they work very well, especially at nighttime. The best fitted diapers are by Cloth-eez.
The best cover, in my opinion, is by Thirsties. You can use one with either snaps or aplix (velcro) but I find aplix is best for the beginner.
Cloth Diapering Accessories for a Newborn
In addition to the cloth diapers, you’ll need a few other cloth diapering necessities. The first is wipes. When I cloth diapered my oldest I never even considered cloth wipes. As it turns out, they actually work so much better than disposable wipes! It really makes sense to use them because then you don’t have to separate the diaper from the wipes. It also produces less waste! Flannel wipes work very well and are inexpensive.
You might also enjoy: 7 reusable items to reduce waste and save money
You will also need a place to put your dirty diapers. I recommend using a 5-gallon pail and a pail liner. It’s also nice to have a couple of wet bags to keep in the diaper bag. These bags will contain the soiled diapers until you make it back to the diaper pail. Wet bags are very handy for when you’re on the go.
How many cloth diapers do you need for a newborn?
I would recommend having about 2 dozen if you plan to wash every other day. I always did all my “baby” laundry in with the cloth diapers for the sake of simplicity. Babies spit up, drool, etc, so I found that I would be doing laundry whether I washed diapers or not.
I would recommend buying a dozen all-in-one diapers and a dozen prefold diapers and 2-3 covers to start. You can always sell anything that doesn’t work and replace it with something that does.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be! Cloth diapering a newborn really isn’t difficult and it’s very worth it. Buy some all-in-one diapers, use them like you would disposables, and wash them. It’s really that easy! Do you have any questions about cloth diapers? Let me know in the comments! What would you like to see next in this cloth diapering series?
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