So your ready to start cloth diapering your newborn babe using the tips and suggestions I gave you last week, but now you’re wondering what styles and types of diapers you should use. This week, I’m going to tell you about my favorites, and what I used on my new babies.
Newborn size prefolds
Prefolds might seem a little scary because they are the type of diaper that you think about when you picture our moms using cloth diapers. I didn’t try prefolds until my oldest daughter was about five or six months old, but once I did, I was hooked. They really are easy to use (no pins required!), they are so versatile, and best of all, they are just about the most inexpensive option out there!
I buy my prefold diapers from Green Mountain Diapers (I have no affiliation with them, I just love their diapers!) because they have prefold sizes that are the best fit for babies. They offer orange-edge newborn sized prefolds that are a perfect fit for brand new babies.
Prefolds are one type of diaper that I will buy new, first of all because they are so cheap, secondly because they are hard to find used, and they are heavy so shipping costs a lot, and because I know I will keep them and use them for multiples babies, and then when I’m done with them on babies they will make perfect cleaning rags!
How to use a Prefold Cloth Diaper
I usually use a snappi with my prefold diapers. They are quick and easy to put on, and you don’t have to worry about poking your baby like you would with pins.
There are lots of different ways that you can fold prefold diapers, (you can find tons of directions and instructions online, just google it), but I just go with the simplest, and easiest for me.
Fold the diaper into thirds, open up the back and lay the baby on top, fold the front up, bring the wings around the sides, and attach with a snappi. I wish I would have taken pictures/video with Blair when she was still a bitty newborn, but I guess I was still in that newborn fog, so a baby doll will have to do for our model. They’re less squirmy anyway.
After you fold the prefold in thirds, open up the back and lay the baby on top.
Fold the front up and bring the sides around to meet it.
Attach the snappi on the left, stretch it over to the right and attach, and then stretch it down and attach.
Folded this way, the prefold forms a nice gusset around the legs of the baby, which helps to keep messes contained.
A prefold is not waterproof, so you have to use some type of cover. I use both wool covers (more on those another day), and PUL (poly-urathane laminate) covers, which are a light, plastic-like, waterproof material.
This is where I would, again, suggest getting newborn sized covers. I used Thirsties x-small covers with Brenden and they were great. This time around, I tried to use a multiple sized cover on Blair, the Thirsties Duo Wrap, and really didn’t like the fit when she was a little newborn, the leg gussets just didn’t fit right.
This is Blair in a small size Thirsties cover at almost 3 months old. Again, sorry I didn’t take pictures when she was a tiny newborn!
Put a wool or PUL cover over the prefold, and you are ready to go!
Now, prefolds do have to be changed fairly often because they will feel wet against the baby’s bum, and babies pee a lot. But that’s another reason why they are great – you can get a dozen or two of them for a reasonable price, and have enough to make it through a few days of cloth diapering.
There are many, MANY brands of fitted diapers out there, but basically they are all made of an absorbent material like cotton, bamboo, hemp, etc. They have elastic around the top and legs, and they have aplix (Velcro) or snap closures. You put them on a baby much like a disposable, but they are also not waterproof, so you need to use a cover on the outside.
Newborn sized fitted diapers are especially nice because many of them have a snap in the middle that snaps down and out of the way for before a baby’s umbilical cord stump has fallen off.
Fitteds can run anywhere from fairly inexpensive, to way over the top expensive. I bought three used fitted diapers for Blair in cute girly prints, just because I wanted to. They are so cute that it’s hard to resist!
I do love fitted diapers though because they are so absorbent, and they hold in the newborn poo explosions like nothing else! I would recommend having a few (3-6 is probably a good place to start) fitted diapers in your stash, because they are nice to have on hand, and you may find that you really like them.
To help keep the baby’s bum feeling a little drier with either prefold or fitted diapers, and for keeping the diapers from getting stained by the bright yellow breast-fed baby poop, you can put a fleece liner inside the diaper. This is totally optional, but really easy to do. You can either buy fleece liners, or make them yourself by cutting out rectangles from a simple piece of fleece.
Just like with prefolds, you need to use a cover over fitted diapers. Here’s Blair in a wool cover knitted for her by her Grammy Susan.
So those are the basics of using prefolds and fitted cloth diapers on a newborn baby. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions that I didn’t answer here, I would be happy to answer them for you as best as I can! Or if you used fitted diapers on your newborn, let us know which brand you like the best!
Also, be sure to read this post for more information about the basics of cloth diapering.
What was your experience with using prefold or fitteds with your newborn? Or what questions do you have about using prefolds or fitteds and covers?
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