New Baby, New Diapers? Part Two: What kind of diapers can you use for newborns?

Note: This is part of a series on newborn cloth diapering. For part one, please click here.

If this isn’t your introduction to Cloth Diapering, then you know are a lot of different methods of cloth diapering your child. If it is, here’s a link to familiarize yourself with different styles of diapers.

Even though there’s a wide variety of systems, a lot of parents prefer prefold diapers and covers for the newborn stage. There are a few reasons: 1. They tend to be the most inexpensive diapering system because of the versatility, price and number of covers you need. 2. Many parents prefer pockets because they’re easier to spray but during the newborn stage, that’s not a problem here. 3. There are multiple assurances against poop-splosions from both wrapping the prefold around the baby and the double gusset systems that most covers use.

Another popular choice are newborn sized All-in-One diapers, because everything is sewn in and it is the most like a disposable diaper. These are a great, easy system to use for this stage! The only catch that I find is that all-in-one diapers tend to be pricier because everything is attached. Here’s a price comparison using the least expensive options from Green Mountain Diapers: 24 prefolds and 8 covers [($26 x 2 = 56) + ($9.99 x 8 =79.92) = $135.92 total] vs. 24 all in ones ($16.95 x 24 = $406.80 total). This is if you’re washing every other day, by the way. You’d need a bit more if you want to go longer between washes. Of course, you can always use a combination of systems as well!

What did I use?

I used a mix of fitted diapers and prefolds with covers. Below, I’ve detailed the different diapers I used for the newborn stage and how I felt about them.


saying goodbye to my newborn covers
  • Thirsties duo wraps, size one: These were my FAVORITE diaper covers for newborn hands down. They had the best fit around baby’s teeny chicken legs and kept the mess in for otherwise explosive poops.
  • Nickis NB snap covers: I do not recommend for skinny legged babies. The leg elastics don’t come nearly as close so there was a gap in the legs for around two months, making poop leaks common. If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have gotten them. HOWEVER, the nickis newborn pull on covers worked really well and I liked to use them with fitted diapers.
  • Wool (in general): I would not use newborn wool again. I wouldn’t use wool until the pooping slows down because wool needs to be hand washed. If you do, I recommend a fitted under it to help keep poo away from the cover and getting a wrap style cover rather than a pull on.
  • Nerdy Mommas: Last year, Nerdy Mommas released a newborn-sized cover. My baby was too big for them when it dropped, but I did use the one-size covers while we exclusively breastfed and it kept the runny poop in well! So I do recommend trying the NB cover!*

Absorbency (Green Mountain Diapers unless otherwise stated)

  • Prefolds: I had both small and newborn sized prefolds (I also had Nickis brand XS which were outgrown very quickly). Even after baby became too big to wrap the prefold around, I would padfold and lay it in the cover which makes them more absorbent! Prefolds are my most recommended option for a new diapering parent because they are more affordable than a fitted and there’s less of a learning curve than flats.
  • Fitted diapers: I had the Green Mountain Diapers snapless fitted diapers. These were great for nights because they could last all night without leaks and and were the easiest to change. They were the easiest to learn to use because they are shaped like a diaper. However, fitteds can be expensive and aren’t the most economical choice.
  • Flats: I had One Size Muslin flats, which were much too bulky for my newborn and wouldn’t snappi into place. We didn’t really use them until baby was about 3 months old. If I had to do it again, I’d get half flats, newborn flats or newborn preflats. However, I did use them as a changing mat and would also lay them on the bed/crib as a precation against poop leaks.

Need help building your stash?

There are plenty of things to consider when trying to figure out what to get: budget, how often you’ll wash, the anticipated size of your baby, and the kind of diapers you want to get. The most helpful thing for me when I was deciding what to get was looking at the experiences of other parents who cloth diapered. r/clothdiaps on Reddit was the most helpful online community of regular parents. It was the easiest to sift through the information without being bogged down by a lot of misinformation that tends to circulate and complicate diapering.

My favorite online resources for cloth diapering are: Jay’s Nest, ClothDiaperPodcast, and NerdyMommas. All of them make cloth diapering really easy and uncomplicated. There’s been a lot of rules and gatekeeping perpetuated in the cloth diaper community for some reason and these three women shy away from that to show you how easy and accessible cloth diapering can be. Be sure to check them out!

Here’s a playlist (again from Jay’s Nest) on newborn cloth diapering. This was really helpful for me in deciding on my newborn stash.

You’re also more than welcome to contact me for advice, too! Find me on Instagram or send me an email and I’ll be happy to help you. 🙂

That’s all I’ve got! I hope this has been helpful for you in deciding what diapers you want to use and whether or not you even want to cloth diaper your teeny newborn. Happy Diapering!

* I am a brand rep but I really like NM products the way I like Thirsties products and I’m not a rep for Thirsties. If you’d like to try Nerdy Mommas: use Zelle10 for a 10% discount!


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