Jan 17 2011

Are newborn cloth diapers worth the cost?


We started cloth diapers with my son (now 2 years) when he was 6 months. We went straight to one-sized diapers, and also Thirsties Duo size 2 covers (for 18-40 lbs.) so we had no experience with cloth diapering a smaller baby. It was around that time that he started eating solid foods, so that made his diapers extremely gross. We used Bummis liners and that helped somewhat. I might go back to disposables for Vivie during that stage.

I thought we’d try cloth diapers on our daughter a bit sooner. I bought, borrowed and was gifted a variety of newborn and small-sized diapers.

Newborn sizes:

– 4 Prorap covers

-3 Bummis covers

– 3 fleece covers

– 6 Kissaluv fitteds (These are really hyped up for being great with explosive newborn poops, but I wasn’t a fan of the fit and I decided I don’t like fitted diapers anyway. You have to touch the soggy diaper part to change them and that’s more than I want to mess with)

– 1 WAHM fitted

– 20 Happy Heiny pocket diapers

Small sizes:

– 5 Bummis covers

– 1 Prorap cover

– more Happy Heiny pockets

– prefolds

Overall, I paid $89 for these diapers (remember, some are borrowed and gifts). I don’t know what I was thinking. Well wait, yes I do: I thought that since Jonathan was a little baby at 6 lbs. 5 oz. that I could expect another small baby. I was measuring small this time, too. He was in newborn sizes until about 6 weeks.

I also thought I could use the stash again for future children and that’s still a possibility. But more likely, I will try and sell all the newborn-sized diapers and keep the smalls.

Vivienne was 8 lbs. 2 oz. at birth. Technically she could fit in the small-sized diapers and even the one-size, but I found those to be a bit too big around her legs for a few weeks. She’s not due for a weigh-in for awhile, but I think she’s getting close to 10 lbs.

The small diapers fit her well right now. These are for the 8-15 lb. range, though of course your results will vary. I’ve also had her in the one-size Flip and Econobums with a reasonable fit.

Overall, I wish I didn’t buy all those newborn-sized diapers. Even a tiny baby won’t be in them for that long. It does make financial sense if you think several children will use the diapers, but even if you only use them for one child, it could still be worth it if you resell them and get much of what you paid.

But, if you are using cloth diapers for your children for reasons beyond financial, then itty bitty diapers are a good thing.

Your thoughts on cloth for newborns? And to those of you who start at birth, what in the world do you do to protect the diapers from the meconium?

Posted under Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Are newborn cloth diapers worth the cost?”

  1. I have mixed feelings about the newborn diapers too, we didn’t start using them on Josiah until he was about 9 or 10lbs, only because the newborn covers that I had were uncomfortable looking (prowraps and Bummis Super whisper wrap). I put them on him a few times and he just fussed, so I associated it with the diaper. once we could use the flip cover i started using the diapers we have, which are fitteds that my mom made. I absolutely LOVE them and wish that we could have used them from birth (they fit and were comfortable but the covers didn’t.) He’s got to be up near 12bs now (has tiny legs) and is barely fitting in the newborn diapers. He fits in all our onesized pockets but i still prefer the newborn diapres. One thing I do is carry the diaper to the pail in the cover, then I don’t touch the diaper. although, even when i don’t touch it i still wash my hands after changing a diaper, so not a big deal.

    oh, and if you don’t have one, get a diaper sprayer or make one. it helps with the nasty diaper stage. well worth it. We use it for cleaning out the little potty during potty training too.

  2. We started cloth diapering at 3 weeks because Jude came early, and I hadn’t washed my diapers yet! It was 3 weeks before I got around to the cloth diapers. By that time, the newborn sized prefolds and covers were too small already (he was 7lb 8oz at birth).

    I did get a lot of use out of the size 0 Kissaluvs (I don’t really mind unsnapping the pee-soaked diaper) and small Thirsties covers. I also LOVED my small Happy Heineys.

    I will start baby #2 in cloth earlier, but I definitely don’t plan to start until the meconium is all gone. Totally not worth the trouble – plus I have disposable newborn and size 1 diapers left over from my son.

  3. We definitely have a sprayer! And a diapers-only spatula. And even then, sometimes it’s still icky.

    For people wondering, Jes’s son Josiah was born on Nov. 25 and is 7.5 weeks old.

  4. We had our baby girl in November and as first timers, we opted for disposables for the first two weeks to make our homecoming easier. I was more worried about my sleep than about laundry! We were lucky enough to have a huge stash of newborn disposables from our hospital birth class and our stay in the hospital. I think I only had to buy 1 40-count pack to get us through. After that we switched to cloth prefolds with a Thirsties Duo cover (in size 1). We are using Diaper Rite brand prefolds and the newborn size was perfect for her as we started. Delaney was 8 lbs. 4 oz. at birth and fit into the Thirsties Duo size 1 covers on the smallest setting with a newborn prefold until about her 2 month birthday. She was long (24 inches) and lean (10 lbs. 11 oz.) at that weight check and we were just about ready to transition to the medium rise setting on the Thirsties covers and moved to the small size prefolds. We have a diaper sprayer and for some reason touching the wet diapers doesn’t freak me out too much. It’s a small price to pay for inexpensive diapers that are good for her skin. We only bought the newborn and small prefolds to start and may switch to pockets or AIOs when she gets bigger and more mobile. I’m not sure how the prefolds and covers will work with a crawling baby. For us, prefolds (even new) were the most economical way to start with cloth.

  5. I started cloth on Savannah when she was 8 weeks old because of everything going on in our lives around the time she was born. I don’t remember how much she weighed then, but she fit into the Baby Kangas just fine, and they start at 10lbs. I hope to start cloth with our next kid from birth, but we’ll see. I only have four size 0 Kissaluvs fitteds for now… not sure if I will get any more, or if I will go for the cheaper prefolds.

  6. We certainly spent too much money on the newborn Happy Heineys for them to make financial sense, even though we bought them all used. We didn’t have them with our first. He had tiny chicken legs at 7.5 pounds streched over 21 inches, so he didn’t fit in the smalls until about 5 weeks. With our second I was measuring even smaller right up until week 40, so I bought the newborns thinking we’d use them for 6 weeks or so. Nope. She was 9 pounds and only 19 inches! We used the newborns for about a week (starting after the merconium).

    However, we hope to have more babies that will use them for 1-6 weeks each. Also, they saved us from having to buy disposables for our son who was still in diapers when our daughter was born. I would not want to mess with 2 different diaper systems while adjusting to a newborn. If our babies continue at about the same spread, we’ll see that savings again, too.

    My recommendation: I’m a purely Happy Heiney’s mom. If you want to go the same route, you could buy the small adjustable pockets that cover the newborn and small sizes. While the normal adjustable Happy Heineys snap down to the small size, there’s all that extra bulk to fit in the tiny outfits. I really liked the 2 small adjustable dipes we had because they didn’t have all that extra. And we used them for 3 days to 6 weeks (with a very large baby). I don’t know if any other brand has a small adjustable diaper.

  7. To me, newborn sizes are a total waste.
    If you have prefolds, you can always fold them down if they’re big- which is how I get away with only buying two sizes. We use disposables for a few weeks (4 this time), but that’s more because I’m too tired to keep up with extra laundry in the beginning.

    Just throwing this out there, based on what other people have written. You know that as long as baby is exclusively breastfed, you don’t have to rinse poopy dipes prior to washing them, right? Breastmilk is completely water-soluble- they can go straight in the wash.

    This is why I love cd’ing young babies so much- so easy.

  8. My son was 9 lb 4 oz at birth, and he fit right into the Flip one sizes! (Although it did take us a couple of weeks to get started.)

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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