When you decide to cloth diaper, one of the first questions you as is “When do I start?” Some parents decide to wait until their babies are a few months old while others decide to do all cloth right from the start. Cloth diapering a newborn isn’t harder, but is a little different than cloth diapering an infant. Here are some helpful tips to make cloth diapering a newborn easier.
1. Keep a few disposables around for the first few days. The first days after baby is born they have poop called meconium. This is essential your newborn releasing stuff he/she ingested while still in the womb. This poop is thick, dark and the consistency of tar. Seriously. Save your sanity (and your brand new, unstained diapers) and put your sweet newborn in disposables until the mecomium passes.
**PRO-TIP: Rub some olive oil on your newborn’s bottom after each diaper change and that meconium will wipe right off next diaper change. If not, you will be scrubbing your baby’s bottom hoping the “tar” will eventually rub off
2. Most One-Size diapers will be too big for your newborn. Yes, I know the diaper says “will fit babies 8-35lbs”, but the fact is that it is REALLY hard to get them small and tight enough to be a good fit for a newborn. Shop around, read reviews to see how other parents say which diapers fit newborns best. My best advice, is to look into a cloth diapering newborn pack. This will be a smaller pack of just newborn diapers and should be enough for you to get through the newborn stage. gDiapers makes such a pack and so does Bummis. I recommend the Bummis Newborn Pack. It is around $45 and comes with 12 organic newborn size prefolds and two covers. I love it because it is reasonably priced and you can use the prefolds as a doubler when your baby gets bigger and wets more. (I still use my newborn prefolds all the time!)
3. Don’t stress and transition slowly. If adjusting to having a new baby and trying to figure out your cloth diapers is too much DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Go back to disposables until you are feeling a little more rested. Start out slow. Begin to use cloth when you are at home with your baby. Use one and see how it goes, and then transition into using them more and more at home until you are more confident. Once you get brave enough, use cloth diapers for a short outing and before you know it, you will be using cloth all the time!
4. Change your baby often. Whether you are using disposables or cloth, you need to be changing your baby every hour to two hours. If you are having leaking issues, this might be the reason why. Newborns go through a LOT of diapers. You should probably be using around 10 a day for your newborn. A lot of moms make a habit of changing their baby before a feeding just to make it easy. Most newborns are eating every two hours so that is good pattern to follow to insure you are changing your baby often enough.
5. Breastfed newborn poop is water soluble. If you don’t already know, newborns poop A LOT! If you are breastfeeding your baby, know that your baby’s poop will dissolve in water. Why is this great? Because you don’t have to worry about spraying or getting the poop off the diapers before throwing them in the washer. The poop will not effect your washer at all; no smells, no stains, nothing, because it will all dissolve! For formula fed babies, it’s not too bad, I promise! Look into getting a diaper sprayer to attach to your toilet and just simply spray the poop into the toilet and then to the wash! Don’t worry about getting ALL the poop out, just the bigger parts (Eww! Sorry!)
6. Bleach your diapers in the sun. Sometimes newborn poop stains. You take precautions and sometimes it happens. The best way to get rid of those pesky stains is to put them outside in the sun. Make a clothes line outside and leave them in the sun. The sun will bleach the diapers and, for the most part, remove those stains! Isn’t nature great?!
If you are looking for a good brand of disposables to use for the first few days or until you transition to cloth, my favorite brands are 7th Generation and Honest Co. What advice do you have to new parents that want to cloth diaper their newborns? Leave your advice in the comments!