Cloth Diapering A Newborn – Your Easy Quick-Start Options

Cloth diapering a newborn is a hot topic among new moms and soon to be moms. Choosing how to cloth your newborn is much simpler than some sites make it out to be. I started cloth diapering my daughter before she was even 24 hours old. She is now nearly two years old, and we still use cloth diapers every day. Newborn cloth diapers are simple – and you can do it! All you need to do is learn the cloth diaper basics.

In short, the simplest style to cloth diapering a newborn is an all in one diaper. The next most popular option is a fitted diaper with a waterproof diaper cover or a wool diaper cover. If your looking to save some money, the most economical choice for newborn cloth diapers is newborn prefolds with covers. Below I will outline how to use each style, to help you make a better decision on which is right for you. 

If you’d like to learn more about washing wool, start with our Cloth Diaper Wool Covers ~ Washing? Lanolin? article.


Cloth Diapering A Newborn Concerns



Some people are afraid to start cloth diapering at the very beginning. They are worried that the diapers may be stained with meconium (the nasty black poops babies have the first few days). Yes, meconium can stain. We only had two diapers that stained from those first few weeks (my daughter was jaundiced, so her meconium lasted longer than normal). One diaper that stained was a super-inexpensive newborn prefold. The other was a pocket diaper. Using a diaper liner would have prevented the stain on the pocket diaper – sunlight took the stains out of both diapers. Sunlight is a natural bleaching agent and is cheap too!

Pick Something Easy

The other major concern new parents have is that using cloth diapers will be so hard they can’t do it while they are adjusting to life with a newborn. There are easy cloth diapers and hard cloth diapers. Choose the easy ones, and it will all be simple enough you can do it even in your sleep – and you will feel like you are sleep-walking those first few weeks. A lot of new moms say they like cloth diapering a newborn with prefolds and covers.
prefold Cloth Diapering A Newborn

Choosing Newborn Cloth Diapers


Using cloth diaper wipes is much simpler than using disposables – and gentler on babies’ skin. Wipes also work as doublers for heavy wetters.



The simplest newborn cloth diaper is an all in one diaper. These are one-piece diapers that have a waterproof outer layer, so they don’t need a cover. The inside has an absorbent soaker sewn in – so there is no need for stuffing or finding pieces in the laundry. All in ones (AIO) are as simple as cloth diapering gets for babies of any age. They work just like a disposable except that they can be reused over and over – making your life easier since you never run out of diapers as long as you have access to a washing machine. There are several AIO newborn cloth diapers. A few popular diapers include Lil Joeys, and BumGenius AIO.


The next most popular option is a fitted diaper with a waterproof diaper cover or a wool diaper cover. Some parents choose wool sleep sacks for the ultimate in night time diaper changing ease. Just put the fitted diaper on the baby and then slip on a wool sleep sack. When it is time to change the baby, just slide the sack up to the baby’s waist and change the diaper, then slide it back down to cover babies legs and feet. Popular fitted diapers include Thirsties, EcoPosh, and Cloth-eez fitteds.




The most economical choice for newborn cloth diapers is newborn prefolds with covers. Again, you can choose a waterproof cover or a wool diaper cover. Chinese or Indian prefolds come in a teeny tiny size that will fit up to about 10 pounds and a larger “infant” size that will fit from about 7-15 pounds. The larger size may be a bit bulky the first couple of weeks, but they will fit much longer. The itty bitty size fits great for most newborns but is quickly outgrown. Prefolds are very inexpensive, so you can easily buy two or three dozen and only have to wash every 2-3 days. Just be sure to get enough covers. You can get by for a few days with 4 covers, but you’ll be a lot happier with 6-8 covers. Some options are OsoCozy Unbleached Prefolds and OsoCozy Indian Cotton plus Thirsties Snap Diaper Cover or the Rumparooz Newborn Cloth Diaper Cover Aplix.


Not All One-Size Are A Good Fit For Newborns

One size diapers may not fit well on a newborn, depending on the brand and the baby. We had good luck with BumGenius and GroVia right from the 6-pound start of our newborn diapering, but some other brands don’t fit well until close to 10 pounds. Happy Heiny’s mini one-size diapers are meant to fit from 4-15 pounds. Rumparooz is also supposed to fit from 6 pounds, but we did not try them until my daughter was older.

Our Routine


To keep things super simple, we kept a zippered wet bag, a few diapers, cloth diaper wipes and a bottle of wipes solution near our bed so midnight (or midday) diaper changes were as easy as possible. No matter which newborn cloth diapers you choose, you’ll quickly adjust to using them and washing them every few days.




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