Updated: Mar 3
Do you really need newborn diapers?
Maybe you’re wondering, what if you have a 15 pound baby and the diapers don’t fit? Chances are you won’t and they will. Don’t overthink this. All of the newborn diapers I tried fit my daughter and she was 8 pounds 10 ounces. Most continued to fit her for quite a while. Sure, maybe OS (one size) would have worked out but I hate super bulky diapers and a one size fits all doesn’t necessarily mean a good fit. I’m going to break down which types of diapers and which brands worked best for me. Plus I’ll share where you can buy some of these brands and give you a discount code to use! Take this with a grain of salt — this is what worked for me. All babies are different and there is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to cloth diapering.
Should I wait until baby fits into OS?
You could certainly wait, but in my opinion starting right away makes the most sense. Whatever your reason for cloth diapering (environment, cost savings, cuteness, etc), it definitely applies to the newborn stage. Babies use the most diapers at this age. For such tiny people, they produce a lot of poop and pee. So why wouldn’t you want to use cloth at this time to help the environment and your wallet?
With our first daughter we decided to jump in a few days after she was born (and used newborn diapers with her) because we were afraid if we didn’t just go for it we never would. So we went for it and never looked back. To this day, my husband still says he’s glad we started when we did or we might have kept putting it off. I tend to do that sometimes and he knows it.
My favorite newborn diapers
Here’s the meat of this post. Some of you are here just to read my list of favorites, but I would suggest reading the next section too to find out how many diapers you really need. You could buy some of the best diapers out there, but if you don’t have enough or you’re constantly doing laundry it’s an added stress. You‘ll see my favorites are here on my site under the shop tab. I even have a discount code for you to use to help build your newborn stash: CDBLOG
Bare & Boho newborn covers are beautiful and super soft. They work well with the umbilical cord because they sit lower on baby’s belly. My only issue with them is that they don’t fit for very long. They are the smallest covers I tried and probably aren’t worth the money. By the time baby is 10 pounds, it’s a super tight fit. But if you think your baby will be on the smaller side, these have a great fit early on.
Bebeboo petite flex covers are my favorite covers. This is my number one recommendation for a few reasons. They fit well with the umbilical stump and are definitely roomier than Bare & Boho at this age but not bulky like OS would be. Being larger, that just means they will last longer too. My daughter is 8 weeks and still has a lot or room to grow. They are double gusset which is a huge plus for newborn poop explosions and will contain everything. There’s a front panel to prevent leaks and that also makes it easy to tuck a prefold inside, if that’s what you choose to use.
Thirsties duo wrap size one are pretty nice with their hook and loop (velcro) option. This allows you to get a perfect fit and not be limited to where the snaps are placed. This is especially helpful with newborns, who often have teeny tiny legs and are in between snap sizes. You do need to be careful when washing them since the hook and loop feature can catch on other diapers and inserts. These diapers are also only one layer of PUL whereas all the other diapers in this post are two layers. They can leak a bit more easily because of this.
All in Two (AI2)
Diaper Rite newborn AI2s are my number one recommendation in this category. They are very trim, easy to get a good fit, and have good absorbency. My only problem here is that my daughter started over saturating the insert after about an hour when she was about 3-4 weeks old. I was able to solve that issue by using a Pannolino Bambino cloth wipe under the insert to boost the diaper. Another plus is the insert is long and can be folded in different areas (front, back, middle) depending on where baby pees the most. These are really nice to have on hand but baby will likely outgrow the absorbency before they outgrow the size.
Econaps OS are another AI2 that I tend to reach for. The absorbency in these is great and comes with 2 inserts, so start with one and add the second when baby gets older. These will last you until potty training. They’ll be a little bulky at first but by 4 weeks (see photo above) they provided a nice fit. For absorbency alone, I have to recommend these.
Pannolino Bambino forever fit AI2 diapers really are a forever fit. Pictured here is my daughter at 4 weeks and there’s still plenty of room to make it tighter. These also fit my 2 year old. You can stuff them with whatever inserts or prefolds you already have or buy the Pannolino Bambino prefolds and/or inserts. By week 4 these became my favorite diapers to use on my daughter.
So, How many diapers do you need for a newborn?
This is a super common question and it’s hard to answer. It all depends on how often you want to do laundry and how frequently your baby poops. For me, I wanted to do laundry every 3rd day to keep me from being overwhelmed. I also wanted some covers and some AI2s to see what I liked best and to provide different options for day/nighttime. So with that goal in mind, here’s my recommendation:
12-15 diaper covers
20-25 inserts- this can be prefolds, fitteds, or whatever you decide to use within the covers. For me it was cloth-eez prefolds, Pannolino Bambino prefold and/or inserts, and cloth-eez workhorse fitteds for bedtime. The fitted workhorses are so absorbent, highly recommend.
Lots of cloth wipes! Those newborn poos use a lot of them!
I hope this post helps to make newborn diapers a little more manageable! Don’t forget you can use the code CDBLOG for a discount!