Cloth Diapering for Newborns

So you want to cloth diaper your newborn? Afraid to get started? Here are some of my best tips for cloth diapering during the newborn stage.

I have been cloth diapering since my first baby was born, and I am still using cloth diapers with baby #3. I have cloth diapered newborns, toddlers, potty trainers, small babies, and big babies. In our experience, we have tried basically every type of diaper style out there. As a doula, I have worked with many clients who have cloth diapered and most become pretty passionate about it and fall in love with fluff butts.

Cloth Diapering Your Newborn

As you are probably well aware, newborns can be so tiny! Their diapers are so small, yet some babies fit better into certain types of cloth diapers more quickly than others. In my experience, my favorite method of cloth diapering for newborns is to use prefolds and covers.

I love using prefolds and covers on my newborn babies because you can fold your prefold diapers to fit any size baby. The folds can grow and change with your baby’s needs as they get bigger and put on more baby fat. You can find a fold style that works for any baby, even very little babies. These can be a little more work than putting on an all-in-one or pocket style diaper, but the extra effort can really pay off.


You can get through the entire first few months at least using about 24 prefolds and 8 covers. I have found this count to work for us, but it depends how much you do laundry. Because we have had 2 kids in cloth diapers for years now, we wash pretty frequently. This should get you through 2 days or so. Covers do not need to be washed unless they are really soiled.

You will also need 2-4 snappis. Snappis are small stretchy clips that pin the folds of your prefold diapers together. Alternatively, you can use a newspaper fold and forego the snappis altogether. You can purchase prefold diapers in a few different sizes. There are newborn sizes out there that are very small, and slightly larger ones that fit babies 7-15lbs.


Another choice for newborns are fitted diapers. You can find fitted diapers that adjust down to 7lbs to use for the newborn days. These will fit inside a small diaper cover similarly to a folded prefold. The benefit of using fitted diapers is that they are highly absorbent and you don’t have to learn to fold anything or remember snappis. My only issue is that I found that fitted diapers were still a little too big for my smallest newborn.

Fluff Love University is a great resource to use to learn about different types of cloth diapers for newborns. Also, you will want to check out what type of washing machine you have at home and research the best cloth diaper wash routine.

Some families prefer to use disposable diapers until their babies are big enough to fit into all-in-one or pocket diapers. Also, you may choose to use disposables until your baby has passed meconium (their first poop! It will be tar-like, very dark and sticky). Some families find that the meconium stains their cloth diapers, however I have not found this to be the case with my babies.

Cloth Diapers in Buffalo

Another option to consider is a diapering service. In many locations, cloth diapering services are available that can provide you with a regular supply of cloth diapers and handle the laundry for you. If you are in the Buffalo area, Buffalo Baby Bums can provide local diaper services.

Have you used cloth diapers with your newborn? What did you use?

Leave a Reply