Before I discuss the best cloth diapers for newborns that I’ve found, be sure to check out this post with my natural baby products guidelines AND a rundown of why we chose to go this route.
Then, be sure to get on the list for my fertility & pregnancy wellness program, Baby Making & Beyond!
Now, all a baby REALLY needs (*technically*) is your boobs and lots of love. But let’s be honest. They didn’t come up with baby registries for nothin’.
So here’s a rundown on the best cloth diapers for newborns that I’ve found.
REMEMBER, though – because every baby is different, be sure to explore and learn more (Green Mountain Diapers is a GREAT resource) before you decide to stock up on one particular brand! There are LOTS of different ways to diaper (or not diaper, helloooo Elimination Communication).
In the end, just do what you feel deep down is right for your family and DON’T STRESS. LOTS more goes in to parenting than a few items on a registry. I am in no way suggesting that cloth diapering or NOT cloth diapering will make or break one’s ability to parent.
I’m also NOT making any statements about how you SHOULD or should NOT potty a baby. Whether you cloth diaper, EC, or use disposables, more power to ya! This parenting gig is hard.
Plenty more to come, and please leave your favorites in the comments!
Once you’ve read this post, be sure to read the other posts in this series:
The best non toxic baby products for a natural nursery
Natural baby products: safe non toxic baby bedding
The best non toxic baby shops
Natural baby products: non toxic nursing supplies (coming soon!)
Natural baby products: non toxic baby body care & natural remedies (coming soon!)
Natural baby products: non toxic baby equipment (coming soon!)
Natural baby products: organic & eco-friendly baby clothing (coming soon!)
For cloth diapering:
- Blueberry Simplex AIOs (find them here), sometimes with doublers.
- A diaper sprayer. (You NEED one.)
- We use Bumkins flannel wipes and just spray them with a mix of water and witch hazel when needed to make a reusable baby “wipe.”
- The Mad Rash Baby Balm is amazing, but we haven’t needed it for rash (cloth diapers seem to keep diaper rash at bay) but it IS great for those easily-irritated, adorable little neck rolls. Since you’re not supposed to get diaper cream on cloth diapers, use this in your diaper-free time (wink…baby butts are so cute!)
And the “extra stuff” that makes cloth diapering even more interesting…
- We have several sizes of cute Planet Wise diaper bags for home and away, which can be thrown in the wash with the cloth diapers. (Pro tip: you DON’T need an airtight seal on a diaper bag. Smells get worse without oxygen.)
- We bought a Naturpedic changing pad, but we haven’t used it a single time. We just change baby wherever we are (floor, couch, bed) at the time, usually on an extra-large prefold.
- We LOVE the “Baby’s Toilet Water” and “Baby Butt Balm” from Primal Life Organics.
- I also LOVE having multiple sizes (orange, yellow and green-edged) of old-school prefold diapers around for anything and everything – from drool to diaper changes to protecting raw nipples from the sides of scratchy diapers.
What about other cloth diaper brands and types?
Now, the Blueberrys aren’t the only cloth diapers we’ve tried. We have a HUGE stash of everything from gorgeous, soft wool diaper covers (LOVE them), PUL (polyurethane laminate) covers, “workhorse” diapers, prefolds, other AIOs (All-In-Ones) and beyond.
Translations: Cloth diapering requires an inner absorbent layer and an outer layer. AIOs (all-in-ones) combine those two layers into one unit, usually using fleece or cotton for the inner layer and PUL for the outer layer. You can also get the inner and outer layers separately by using an independent cotton layer (“workhorse” or “prefold” cotton diapers) and covering that inner layer with a separate diaper cover, usually made of PUL or wool. Different diapers may fasten with snaps, snappis, old-school pins, velcro, etc…I know, confusing!
Seriously, I basically bought out Amazon and Green Mountain Diapers. (I have a SEVERE scarcity complex and always need to order a million of everything. I’m working on it.)
Quite simply, we’ve just loved the Blueberry Simplex so much, we’d definitely call them the BEST cloth diaper for newborns (or, at least, our newborn) out of all the ones we tried. (The separate inner/cover option seemed SO bulky on our lanky newborn that we decided to wait awhile before going back to it.)
What we love about the Blueberry Simplex:
Again, we still use most of the other items, but here’s what we love about the Blueberry.
- The convenience of the AIO (all-in-one)
- The outer is adorable
- The inner is made from cotton and not fleece (fleece tends to get stinky over time, plus the fleece diapers we tried, like the Little Joeys, were much less form-fitting on our long & lean newborn and everything just leaked right out the leg-hole)
- The Blueberry Simplex for newborns has a little umbilical snap-down that keeps the diaper from rubbing against the baby’s cord stump.
How many cloth diapers we use each day:
We have 10 of the Simplex Newborns, and we go through about 8 each day, throwing them in the wash at night with a natural, fragrance-free detergent and drying in the morning while we use the remaining two.
(We ALWAYS try to rinse poop diapers right away with our amazing diaper sprayer to prevent stains. Line drying in the sun helps with stains, too.)
We use a single disposable diaper, sometimes two, at night (DON’T JUDGE BECAUSE THIS MOM THING IS HARD AND SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED A DISPOSABLE).
FYI: it’s easiest to use disposable diapers at the beginning until your baby has passed all the meconium, otherwise you’ll have some gnarly stains.
You can expect to use more cloth diapers than disposables throughout the day, simply because the baby will “feel” the wet – the cloth doesn’t wick moisture away to la-la land like disposables do unless you’re using doublers. The benefit to that, according to some moms, is that baby will potty-learn earlier. (Anyone have personal experience with this?)
We’re also transitioning into some EC (“Elimination Communication”) and, provided we can succeed without traumatizing our child, I’ll keep everyone posted on that. Anything to get my baby in buttless chaps.
And finally, what about the COST of a single disposable diaper, especially the AIO Blueberry Simplex?
Honestly, I haven’t run the numbers, but even with the more expensive AIOs, I’m guessing we come out a bit better in the end. We chose cloth because…
- We figured, even when choosing the more pricey AIO Blueberry Simplex, that it would defray the costs of constantly purchasing disposables. (Most cloth users tend to agree.)
- We felt using water to wash our cloth diapers posed less of an impact to the environment overall than disposables.
- We believe that the natural cotton fibers are better for baby’s bum and less prone to cause diaper rash (most cloth users tend to agree).
- We like to make things more complicated for ourselves.
My final advice:
First off, don’t be dogmatic, because you might find yourself needing to do something completely different than you’d planned (hello, disposables).
Second, find a cloth diapering store/advocate near you and rent a few different types of CD to try once your baby arrives. I was SURE we’d NEVER use a single disposable, and that we’d use workhorse diapers with wool covers from the beginning, but they just didn’t fit our long, lean baby well. No need to spend money until you know what works.
What questions do you have? What has your experience with cloth been like? Let me know in the comments!