I know of SEVERAL people (friends and family) who are expecting a new little bundle of joy in the coming months and a few of them will be new to cloth diapering. I have had "cloth diapering a newborn" on my brain lately, so I thought I would write up a post for all those with questions and wondering what to get, how to do it, and how much of each item they will need.
Many people will wait until their baby is a bit older to start cloth diapering, but in my opinion, when they are newborn is the easiest to cloth diaper. This is when you will save the most money as well, since you go through so many diapers with newborns. At this stage they are only eating breast milk or formula and both are water soluble, so there is no need to rinse diapers after they are soiled. The dirty diaper simply goes into the wetbag or pail, and then straight into the washing machine.
When using cloth diapers on a newborn, another pro is that you will have far less blowouts. This is thanks to an elastic waist and gussets in the legs that act as barriers to keep everything contained. You may still have an occasional blowout to clean up, but everyone I have heard of that has cloth diapered says they can count on one hand the number of blowouts their child has had. Boston had two. Now, that I can handle.
So the next thing you are probably wondering is, "So, what do I need to get?"
You will need:
*10-12 diapers (if you plan to wash daily), or 20-24 diapers if you would rather wash every other day (I highly recommend doing laundry every other day. Especially with a newborn).
*4-6 diaper covers.
*2 X-large hanging wetbags or pail with liners (I prefer the wetbag that can just be zipped closed and carried to the washing machine). I recommend Monkey Foot Design wetbags...they are VERY durable and have a high quality PUL with a heavy duty zipper to contain all smells.
*24-36 cloth wipes, or disposable wipes.
For newborns, the diapers I suggest are fitteds with covers. It is an extra step to put on a cover after a fitted, but it is easier to get a good fit around those skinny newborn legs to contain messes than it can be with an AIO. I recommend Kissaluvs size 0 fitteds with Proraps size Newborn covers, or Thirsties Duo Wrap Cover size 1 if you're looking for that "cuteness/color" factor. Both of these have gussets in the legs and I suggest getting them in Aplix (velcro) for a newborn as it makes for a quicker change with having the extra step of putting a cover over a fitted.
If you would like to get a couple of different kinds of diapers, I would suggest the majority be fitteds with covers and then get a handful of AIOs like Lil Joeys. They take a bit of prepping (washing) to reach their full absorbency, but when they do they were my #1 go to diaper when they were clean.
There are also a number of sites that offer newborn cloth diaper rentals, such as at Jillian's Drawers, Sweetbottoms, or Kissed By the Moon .
For nighttime, I suggest placing a stay-dry liner in the diaper so that baby won't feel wet. Also, a bamboo doubler to increase absorbency. Sustainable babyish bamboo fitteds are amazing! They have been dubbed the "magic diaper" because they work through the night for everyone. They have a bamboo insert, plus a 3-layer bamboo lay-in soaker. They are a little on the expensive side, but so worth the money. I bought 3 and used them solely for nighttime. Love them! (Sign up for email coupons and discounts on her website).
Have fun diapering that tiny bum in fluff!