|Kissaluvs fitted diaper (without cover) on newborn.|
The first six months of your baby's life are a great time to try cloth diapers. Here are my favorite cloth diapers for newborns.
Kissaluvs size 0 (5-15 pounds) fitted diapers plus
Waterproof cover (Prorap, Thirsties, or Imse Vimse)
A fitted diaper is shaped like a disposable diaper and closes with snaps or Velcro. The Kissaluvs fitted diaper closes with snaps. The big advantage of using a fitted diaper is that they have elastic at the legs and back, which makes them great at containing messy poops. You need to use a cover over the fitted diaper to make it waterproof. Since your cover will rarely get soiled with a fitted diaper (since the fitted diaper contains the messes so well), you can purchase fewer covers or use a wool cover if you want to (wool covers are a little higher maintenance, but have the advantage of being all-natural and more breathable).
Initially I use Prorap newborn (6-10 pounds) covers over the fitted diapers. I use the Prorap covers even though the edges are kind of stiff and scratchy because they are the cheapest covers and my babies grow out of this size by one month. They also have a little notch in the front to dip below the umbilical cord. When my babies outgrow the Prorap newborn cover, we use Thirsties small cover. I also have a few Imse Vimse covers.
I like to have a few different brands of covers for each stage because there is always this awkward period when your baby is between two sizes of the same brand when it's nice to have a different brand with a different weight window that still fits really well. The Imse Vimse covers have a huge Velcro area which allows a good fit for a range of weights and body shapes, but they are not as waterproof as the Thirsties covers. I love Kissaluvs awesome wipes with water for wiping my baby's bum.
I also have a couple of Thirsties fitted fleece diapers. These are nice when you want a trimmer fit, but they aren't as absorbent as the Kissaluvs fitted diaper. Also, my 13+ pound two-month old has already outgrown these.
Extra cotton/hemp insert for extra absorbency plus
Our night times diapers need to have a lot of absorbency because my babies nurse a lot at night and I don't want to be changing diapers in the middle of the night after the first couple weeks. I use bumGenius (one-size fits all) diaper with the regular insert that comes with it plus a cotton/hemp insert. And then, I put a Thirsties small cover over the whole thing because when the bumGenius diaper gets completely saturated it can get a little damp around the edges. Yes, it's a bit bulky, but not ridiculously so, and I haven't had any leaks yet.
The bumGenius makes a nice night time diaper because:
- It's a pocket diaper so you can stuff it with extra stuff to make it more absorbent, and
- It has a stay-dry fleece layer against baby's skin to help the baby feel dry for longer at night.
I find that the bumGenius doesn't fit that well until the baby hits about 10 pounds (around 4 weeks for my babies). Until then I use my daytime diapers (fitted cotton diaper plus waterproof cover) at night and change the baby once during the night, or use a disposable diaper.
To be able to wash every 3 or 4 days, I need about
- 30 fitted diapers
- 4 covers (4 Prorap newborn covers, then 4 total of Thirsties small or Imse Vimse covers)
- 4 night time diapers (4 bumGenius plus 4 hemp/cotton inserts)
- 15 to 20 cloth wipes
You could probably get by with only 2 or 3 covers (since poop rarely gets on the cover when you use fitted diapers), but I always like to have a few extra cloth diapers and covers on hand to stash in various places like the diaper bag and the car. A cheaper option would be prefolds with waterproof covers. Prefolds are super cheap, but you will need a few more covers as the covers will more often get poop on them. You can decrease the amount of leakage from the prefold onto the cover by using special folds and a Snappi. You could also purchase fewer diapers if you were to wash more often. Another way to save money is to purchase diapers and covers used (check out diaperswappers.com and the Gently Used section of Jillian's Drawers).
I also have the Kissaluvs M/L size (15-40 pounds) fitted diapers, because I want my babies in fitted diapers plus a cover until 6 to 9 months, until runny poop and pooplosions are no longer an issue. Then we switch to prefolds with waterproof covers, because that system is simpler and faster.
For a quick introduction to the sometimes confusing world of cloth diapers, see my post:
Cloth Diapers Explained in Disposable-eese
What's in your newborn diaper stash?