How many diapers do I need?
The number of diapers you need ultimately depends on the age of the baby and how long you want to go between washes. We recommend washing every 1-3 days, so you’ll want to estimate how many diapers you’ll use each day and how often you will wash.
Newborns can go through as many as 12-15 inserts or diapers per day, so having 24-36 diapers on hand is usually a good number, to allow you to go 2-3 days between washing.
As babies get older and start sleeping longer periods at night, they often only require between 5 and 8 diapers per day, so you may need fewer diapers in larger sizes or be able to wash less often.
What do I do with my dirty diapers?
Once those diapers are dirty, you need somewhere to put them! There are many great options for each situation. Diaper pails with colorful liners to match baby’s room are a popular option or you can also try a hanging pail in the bathroom or on the nursery door.
Cloth diapers are easy to use outside of the house as well. Just take a wet bag to store the dirty diapers in until you get home and can add them to the rest of your dirty diapers.
What do you do with the poop?
If your baby is fed only breast milk, their poop is completely water soluble and will wash out easily in the washer! No removal required before washing, how great is that? Just put the dirty diaper in your diaper pail and add them directly to your washer on wash day.
If baby drinks formula or is started to eat solids, the poop should be removed before washing to avoid stains or buildup. We suggest using a diaper sprayer to easily remove the solids or you can also use liners to catch the solid waste or use another method to remove the poop before washing.
What do you do with the diapers when you are out and about?
Taking a wet bag along will keep things simple while you’re out and about. You can roll up the cloth diaper and put it right in the wet bag until you get home.
What are the benefits of natural fibers over synthetic?
There are pros and cons to both natural and synthetic fibers and we recommend trying some of each to determine what fits your family best.
Many people prefer to have a natural material against baby’s skin, so natural fibers such as wool, bamboo, or hemp work great for that. Many natural fibers are very trim and absorbent as well as being anti-microbial. Wool, for instance, is naturally moisture resistant and reduces odors! However, natural fibers don’t have the wicking qualities that many synthetic materials offer so your baby may be more sensitive to the wetness. They can also be heavier and generally cost more than synthetic fibers.
Synthetic fabrics, like microfiber, also have a lot of great advantages! They are often a lighter material and are generally less expensive. One reason many people love synthetic is because then can quickly wick moisture away from the skin, making baby feel dry and more comfortable, and in turn reduce diaper rash.
AIO: All-in-One diapers, are one piece consisting of a waterproof outer shell with attached absorbent cloth interior. Inserts can be added to increase absorbency. Available in both natural fiber and stay dry options.
AI2: All-in-Two diapers consist of a waterproof outer shell with separate insert. Soiled insert is changed out and cover can be reused over multiple changes. Inserts and covers are generally sold separately, good rule of thumb is to have 3 inserts for every 1 cover. Inserts are available in both natural fibers and stay dry options for most systems.
Cloth Wipes: Reusable and washable wipes made of organic cotton, fleece, flannel, velour, microfleece, etc
Diaper Cover: Waterproof outer layer used over flats, prefolds, or fitteds. Available in many material types including PUL, wool, and fleece.
Diaper Liner: Liners are used to either create a wicking layer or to make solid waste clean up easier and may be made of fleece or another material. They do not add absorbency but can be used as a barrier between diapers and creams that could damage them.
Doubler: An additional liner that can be added to a cloth diaper to add extra absorbency. Can be laid or placed in any type of diaper.
EBF: Abbreviation for exclusively breastfed. The solid waste from an exclusively breastfed baby can be put directly in the washer without rinsing because it is water soluble.
Flats: Large single layer of fabric. Can be pad-folded and laid into a cover or folded and closed with a fastener. Available in cotton, bamboo and hemp depending on brand.
Fitted: Contoured absorbent cloth shaped to fit baby. No folding required. Different closure options available; snaps, hook and loop or snap less which will require a fastener. Generally fitted diapers are made from natural fibers, a couple brands offer stay dry options.
Hook and Loop: Also sometimes referred to as aplix, this is the generic name for Velcro and is a closure type available on many cloth diapers.
Prefold: Rectangular shaped cloth generally made up of three panels of various layers of fabric. Can be trifolded and laid into a cover or folded and closed with a fastener. Available in cotton, bamboo and hemp depending on brand
Pocket: Waterproof outer layer with an opening for inserts or prefolds to be place inside. Change cover and insert at each diaper change. Generally pockets are sold with microfiber inserts, there are a couple options that offer a natural fiber insert.
How many diapers will I need for my newborn?
On average, newborns go through 12-15 diapers per day. We suggest washing your diapers every 2-3 days, so depending on how often you plan to wash; we recommend having 24-45 cloth diapers for your newborn baby. If you are using an option that uses separate inserts and covers, you will need fewer covers since they can be reused multiple times.
I plan to cloth diaper starting at the hospital. What should I bring?
Depending on how long you anticipate your hospital stay to be, you will need 12-15 diapers per day of your stay. If you may have an extended stay, it might be nice if someone can bring your dirty diapers home after your second day and wash them and bring them back to you. You will also need a place to store your dirty diapers. A Wet/Dry Bag contains all odors and hangs nicely from your little one’s changing station. If you are using prefolds, be sure to bring any Snappis or diaper pins you plan to use. If you plan to use cloth wipes, you will need 10-12 wipes per day as well as your wipe solution if you don’t plan to use plain water.
Does the black, tarry meconium poop ruin the cloth diapers?
In our experience, meconium poop can wash out of cloth diapers easily. There is no special treatment for the removal of it from your diapers; however you may want to use a liner to prevent it from leaving a light stain on your diapers.
Do I have to spray my newborn’s poop off the diapers or use a flushable liner?
If your newborn is exclusively breastfed, you don’t need to do anything to remove the poop from the cloth diaper before storing it in your pail or wet bag. EBF poop is water soluble and very easily washes out of diapers so it can go directly in the washer.
Newborn diapers seem like they can be so expensive for being worn such a short time. Is it really worth it?
Depending on how large your baby is at birth, most newborn cloth diapers are worn for 3 months on average. The average disposable newborn diaper cost R1.92 to R2.90 each. For a baby going through 12-15 diapers per day, those first 3 months of diapers can cost between R2,575 and R3,915. You can easily build a newborn stash for far less than that. Also, cloth diapers have a great resale value, so you will likely be able to get a good amount of your money back!
What are some of the lesser expensive newborn diaper options?
Prefold and flat diapers with diaper covers are going to be some of the most economic cloth diaper options for a newborn. You can simply fold your prefold diaper in thirds and lay it in your favorite diaper cover, or you can use a Snappi or diaper pins to hold your prefold on your baby before covering it with a diaper cover. Flat diapers are a one-size fits all option that can be folded many different ways to fit babies of all ages. They also need to be covered with a waterproof diaper cover.
What is better, using a Snappi/diaper pins or trifolding my prefolds on my newborn?
Neither is better, it is just what fits your lifestyle. Some people perfect the ease of simply folding their prefold into thirds, laying it in their diaper cover and wrapping it on their baby. The main benefit to this is that it puts the most layers in the “wet-zone”. Others prefer using their favorite fold (angel wing, bikini twist and jelly roll are some popular ones) and using a Snappi or diaper pins to close the prefold before putting the diaper cover over the top. The main benefit to this technique is that the often explosive newborn poop is contained in your prefold diaper, allowing you to get more use from your diaper covers. Either way, the newborn poop should not escape from your diaper covers with a proper fit.
Help! My newborn looks uncomfortable with the bulk between their legs. Is it hurting them?
We all worry about the comfort of our children, isn’t that our job?! The good news is that the bulk of the cloth diapers doesn’t hurt your baby in any way. In fact, the “splayed” position is actually a desired position for healthy hip development! If you just need to ease your mind, you can always bring it up to your child’s doctor.
Will a one-size diaper fit my newborn?
Most brands of one-size diapers begin fitting babies close to 10 pounds, but that will vary depend on the build of your baby. Any one size diaper is going to be bulkier on a newborn than a sized diaper would since the diaper needs to grow with your baby and fit through the toddler years. If you want an ultra-trim diaper for your newborn, we suggest using a sized diaper option. If you like the convenience of a one-size diaper, look for one that has a sized insert option.
We are choosing to have our son circumcised. How do we handle the care of the circumcision in cloth diapers?
Follow the advice of your baby’s doctor on the care of your son’s circumcision. The only thing that you need to know about caring for it with your cloth diapers is that you will need to use a barrier to protect your cloth diapers from any type or cream or ointment. We suggest using a fleece liner as it will prevent the wound from sticking.
What diapers fits under a newborn’s umbilical cord stump?
Most brands that have a specific newborn size are created with the newborn stump in mind. They will have a gathering of elastic or an actual dip in the fabric in the front of the diaper to fit under your little one’s healing belly button. If the diaper still has too high of a rise, we suggest folding it down to fit.