I have quite a few friends that are pregnant right now that have been taking the dive into contemplating cloth diapering. I wanted to touch on a few things - words of encouragement (!!), advice, and just some general info on cloth diapering from the newborn stage as opposed to diapering an older baby. First of all, hats off to you, mama, for taking the plunge into even thinking about cloth diapering, let alone newborn cloth diapering. For whatever reason it may be, whether it be the chemicals in disposables, the money you will most definitely save, or the landfills piling up with tons of poop (literally) - you WILL face adversity, you WILL face skeptics, you WILL face the downright looks of disgust from your neighboring mamas.

However, this is my time to say, "Well done."

You are trying to do something different for your child that is for the betterment of their health and environment. I am most certainly not knocking disposable diapers (we still use disposables for various reasons), but I AM saying, you are taking a plunge into something relatively unknown, and I believe in you that you can do this.

newborn cd

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I will have to say, though, that most people who are greatly against cloth diapers have NEVER seen a modern cloth diaper. They are generally thinking of flat diapers that you have to fold to find the best absorbency, wrap onto a squirmy baby, pin the diaper on (hopefully without pinning baby), and pulling some bulky plastic pants on.

This is NOT modern cloth diapering.

THIS is a modern cloth diaper, in all its [cutest] glory:

 

Some concerns that people have in regards to the newborn stage:

1. How many diapers do I need?

To diaper a newborn, we generally say you need approximately 36 diapers. This is you having enough diapers to launder every two days (as you are generally changing baby every 2 hours - or 12 times a day).

If you go with a prefolds/flats, you need 36 diapers (the absorbency part) and 4-6 diaper covers to waterproof the system.

flats and covers

If you go with pocket/AIO diapers, you need 36 diapers total.

2. Where do I store?

You have two options here: either buy a diaper pail from Wal-Mart/Target/Something Similar and use a pail liner to line the diaper pail OR get a hanging wet bag.

pail liner wet bag

Both of this options are lined with waterproof material so no wetness gets out of them. Wet bags generally zipper, while pail liners just line the pail (hence the name) - so I find that wet bags hold the smell in a bit better. Both are great options.

I recommend having two of whatever system you go with - if you're washing one wet bag with your diapers, you have another wet bag for while you're washing.

3. How do I launder?

Laundering is much simpler than what you think. Really, it is. Newborn breastfed poo is water soluble, so it does not require any sort of rinsing before it is put into the washing machine.

Once baby starts solids, you will need to invest in one of three options: a diaper sprayer, flushable liners, or some rubber gloves to "dunk and swish" your dipes yourself.

  • Diaper sprayer? Basically a bidet that connects to your toilet. When baby poos, you take the diaper to the toilet, spray off the poo, throw it in the wet bag. Simple.
  • Flushable liners? Line your diaper with a flushable liner, baby poos, remove the flushable liner and throw into the toilet, throw diaper into wet bag. Simple.
  • Rubber gloves? Pretty self-explanatory.

ds collage

After the dipes have filled your wet bag, head over to your laundry room. All pocket diapers need to have their respective inserts removed before washing, and every other system is pretty set to go. (Velcro? - affix to the "laundry tabs" the creative Diaper Creator has put on her diaper.)

  1. Throw diapers in washing machine.
  2. Cold rinse.
  3. Add cloth diaper safe detergent (lots of options, my favorite: Rockin' Green)
  4. Hot wash/cold rinse.
  5. Rinse again
  6. Throw into dryer. (I recommend line drying covers and machine drying inserts. However, you can throw everything into the dryer if that makes it easier for you.)

That's all folks!

4. What about the poop??

Again, newborn breastfed poo is water soluble, so it does NOT require any sort of rinsing before it is put into the washing machine. Once baby starts solids, you will need to invest in one of three options: a diaper sprayer, flushable liners, or some rubber gloves to "dunk and swish" your dipes yourself.

  • Diaper sprayer? Basically a bidet that connects to your toilet. When baby poos, you take the diaper to the toilet, spray off the poo, throw it in the wet bag. Simple.
  • Flushable liners? Line your diaper with a flushable liner, baby poos, remove the flushable liner and throw into the toilet, throw diaper into wet bag. Simple.
  • Rubber gloves? Pretty self-explanatory.

5. What are the essentials?

You absolutely need: a baby (duh), cloth diapers (duhx2), and cloth diaper safe detergent. You don't want a detergent that has any enzymes, optical brighteners, fabric softeners, etc. Here is a great site to find out if your detergent is "safe."

6. Are there babysitter friendly diapers?

Yes. All-in-One (AIO) diapers as well as Pocket Diapers (once stuffed) are probably the closest-looking to a disposable diaper as they come. My favorites for one-size options? The bumGenius Freetimeย AIO (check out our review), the Blueberry Simplexย AIO, and the bumGenius 4.0 Pocket diaper.

diaper collage

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I understand this is a TON of information - we Mamas (especially new ones) can become overwhelmed. But have no fear! Be encouraged in your quest to do what you feel is right for your family and baby. You are not alone! I can promise you that :)

I also had a previous post in regards to newborn cloth diapering and what my wish list would be!

Please feel free, as always, to leave comments/questions/anything and I will answer anything!

In between tweeting, reading books to my daughters, and [not] burning mac n cheese, I am the Founder + Creative Director of Blessed is She women's ministry + community.