Cloth Diaper Carnival VII: Newborn Cloth Diapering

This post is part of the Cloth Diaper Carnival from Cloth Diapering Bloggers (Ning network) and Dirty Diaper Laundry.  Each participant write about the chosen topic, this month is Newborn Cloth Diapering, and links up using the MckLinky.  Please visit the other participants listed at the end of the post.

Newborn Cloth Diapering is challenging for many reasons.  If this is the first time you are cloth diapering, ever, it is even more challenging in some ways.  If you have cloth diapered an older baby but never a newborn, you have some ideas about the diapers you want to use and how to cloth diaper in general.

I was totally new to the whole thing.  Babies, cloth diapers, and cloth diapering a newborn.  I was armed with months worth of research, but had never put a cloth diaper on a real baby.  I did practice on a humiliated teddy bear, who was sporting a Bum Genius 3.0 for months before my son arrived.  Teddy also sat very still while I practiced snapping prefolds.

When I decided to cloth diaper, it became an obsession.  I would say I was a little more prepared than some moms because I scoured the internet for any information.  I joined cloth diaper message boards and picked the brains of other parents.  I read reviews of every diaper imaginable before I made purchases.  I stalked Diaperswappers for deals on used diapers I wanted to try but didn’t want to invest the full amount on, just in case it wasn’t for us.

My newborn stash ended up being

24 preemie unbleached indian prefolds.

36 Infant bleached DSQ (chinese) prefolds.

4 XS Thirsties covers.

I had many more cloth diapers, but they were one size or size small.  I went with prefolds and covers based on the feedback from other parents.  The concensus was that one size diapers didn’t fit babies until between 10-14 pounds without leaking.  And it wasn’t in my budget to buy XS AIO diapers or pockets, as cute as they were.

I spent many hours prepping the large amount of prefolds I had.  I went with the boiling method since my washer/ dryer were down 2 flights of stairs and washing them 10 times + would have killed by pregnant self.  Boiling was a mistake.  It steamed my apartment and “cleaned” years of dirt off of the walls.  Fun times.

The moment of truth arrived when we brought our new baby boy home from the hospital.  I began using my cloth diapers here and there the first days of his life.  He did have two meconium poops in cloth diapers and they didn’t stain.  We didn’t exclusively use them because the covers would rub his cord stump, which didn’t look very comfortable for him.

At the two week mark we started cloth diapering about 80% of the time.  We didn’t always use them at night because frankly I was delirious from lack of sleep, and having to put on a prefold then a cover in the middle of the night, multiple times, was hard for me and my husband.  Even though at first my hubby was hesitant about prefolds and vowed to never use them, he did, and did a great job.

We did run into an issue.  My son kept getting a red bum from the prefolds.  It didn’t look like a rash, there were no bumps, just redness.  I asked mommies on my forum and they thought it could be from having wetness against his skin.  I ran to my nearest fabric store and purchased some fleece, then cut them into contoured liners hoping this would help.  Of course, right after that he stopped having that problem.  I think his skin was just extra sensitive from being a new baby, and he grew out of it.

Some lessons I learned:

Unless you know you made tiny babies, preemie prefolds are not necessary.  I heard the infant ones were too large at first.  My son wore preemie prefolds for all of a week before I could hardly snappi them.  Had I known, I could have trifolded them and put them in the cover, but I didn’t.

I bought 36 infant prefolds and never touched at least 16 of them.  I washed pretty often at first, every 1.5-2 days.  I could have gone longer but didn’t.  I either should have waited longer to wash or bought less!

Even with 4 covers I didn’t use them all!  Don’t go overboard with the covers.  4-6 is plenty.

Cut yourself a break.  The wash routine, the snapping, the folding, everything will come about.  You have a brand new baby and the number one thing is keeping them happy and fed.  If you run out of clean diapers and you are sleepy, get your hubby to wash or grab a sposie or two that you surely own thanks to the hospital.  GASP.  I said it…

Breastfeeding was the most awesome thing because the poop was washable.  Kinda gross to think about, but Exclusive Breastfed babies have water soluble poops.  And, the poop doesn’t smell that bad either!  Just put your diaper in the wetbag, poop still in it, then wash.  You won’t have to worry about spraying or scraping poop out of your baby’s diaper until they begin solids, around 4-6 months for most babies.

And finally, don’t expect your one size diapers to fit perfectly from day one.  While I did start using my Bum Genius 3.0’s after he was a few weeks old, I had leaks until he was around 12-13 pounds.

Now that you have read my story, go read the other awesome entries about cloth diapering newborns.

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