When I was pregnant one of the things I loved doing was searching for and reading reviews for cloth diapers for newborns. I did cloth diaper Svara starting as a newborn, but at that time I used some covers that I found in a local store here and they were WORTHLESS! Note, if you live in Malaysia, do NOT purchase the diaper covers from local department stores and expect them to contain leaks.
So naturally after Talisa was born I took photos of all of her newborn diapers and I wrote up a review of them on the site diaperswappers.com. However, I want to post it here as well so it will perhaps be more easily found by those doing google searches. Hopefully it’ll help some people out!
Talisa was 7lbs 4 oz. at birth and most of these pics were taken in her first week.
One of my biggest “worries” was which diaper covers I could use before the cord fell off. I tried all the covers that I had, and most of them were able to fit under the cord. However, even those that fit under the cord sometimes seem to ride up after they are worn for awhile and therefore rub on the cord. My absolute favorite for the first week when the cord was still on was….
dappi pull on covers! These fit so well under the cord and didn’t ride up to rub on the stump. They were easy to put on and only once did some poop get on a cover (the inside). These are so cheap I’d definitely recommend anyone to pick up a few!
Under these and other covers I was using:
premie prefolds (so cute!) I only had nine of these, but when we have another baby I hopefully can get another dozen. They don’t fit for long, but they fit so well at first and can be used for many things later. Now at 4 months they are my favorite burp/drool rags. Perfect size!
Gauze/muslin flats (so easy to snappi because of the large weave!). These are the cloth diapers that are sold locally in most department and many baby stores. They are approximately 27″ square. I used these trifolded in covers until almost 4 months. I could still use them absorbancy wise, but they are not long enough when folded into quarters. I was thinking of sewing them into the shape I want for a lay-in insert, but I haven’t had the time.
GMD orange edge prefolds (love the absorbancy, but my oldish snappi didn’t work very well on them, so usually I put these under wrap covers so I don’t have to fasten them). Pardon the awful photo! Notice her lovely red patchy rash? Apparently up to 50% of newborns get this rash a few days after they are born. It went away within a couple weeks. It startled me at first as Svara had not had that. But back to the diapers! Now at 4 months I am still using these trifolded in covers. They are a bit short, so I will retire them soon, but they are still good enough absorbency wise. Very sturdy!
Other covers I use:
My Very Best newborn covers/AI2 with double gussets. These I also loved for before the cord fell off. They fit VERY well under the cord and didn’t ride up. I used trifolded premie prefolds in them as an AI2 when the rise was snapped down. At one month I used them with a trifolded GMD orange edge prefold with the rise unsnapped. These have the MOST gentle leg elastic because I got them with microchamois on the inside. They are snug around the leg but leave absolutely NO marks. and they are adorable! I used these until about 10 weeks. There was still plenty of room left in the waist, but Talisa got pretty chubby thighs so the rise was not enough for her. For a baby with skinner thighs they would last a lot longer.
*update* at about 3 weeks I started unsnapping the rise on these. This pics was taken right after her one month appointment, she was almost ten pounds:
I use a GMD orange edge trifolded inside of these usually. It’s definitely the most trim cover I have, and still oh so gentle on the chubby thighs!
Swaddlebees Capri size 1. I thought these would be great for under the cord. When snapped down they definitely did fit under the cord, but they tended to ride up over time and rub against it. Maybe the snap version would be better for this, I don’t know. Plus the leg elastic is somewhat stronger than my other covers and it tended to cut off her circulation and give her purple legs a couple times. I had to fasten it pretty loosely to prevent that, so I only used it a couple times in the first couple weeks. At 1 month and weighing about 9 1/2 pounds they fit a LOT better. No more cut off circulation and they fit great on the middle rise snap. I used them over either trifolded prefolds or fastened prefolds/flats with no problem.
These covers say they last until about 16 pounds. I think I stopped using them for Talisa around 13 pounds or so. They still fit around the waist, but again we had a rise problem. The rise wasn’t TOO short, but it was short enough that it made it fit funny and then the front velcro section could dig into her tummy. Again, with a baby with skinnier thighs the cover would last longer. Having said that, when they DID fit, I LOVED them! When the rise was high enough they were my favorite covers and I always reached for them. I’m hoping to get a couple of the size 2s soon. But I think this time I’ll go for the snaps.
Fluffy’s Diaper covers (from Etsy). These had too tall of a rise to use before the umbilical cord fell off. But after that first week they fit great! Even though they don’t have double gussets they are sewn that they fit snugly yet gently around the thigh, so no leaks. Not that I’ve had any leaks with any of the covers I have either. I really like these.
*update* at about 5-6 weeks the rise on these started getting a bit small (those chubby thighs!), making them a bit hard to fasten, so I changed to the size small at 6 weeks and about 10 1/2 or 11 pounds. These fit until about 3 1/2 months and probably 14/15 pounds. Once again they would have fit longer except for her cute chubby thighs! I know I sound like a robot saying that so often, but it really is the reason. She has grown out of all her diaper covers and gone up in rise on all of her one size diapers before she “should” because of it. But I’m not complaining, I love chubby baby thighs! I do miss this cover, though, so cute!
Emotibums wrap size 1 (you can find these on etsy and hyena cart). This did fit under the umbilical cord, but also tended to ride up a bit. But at least it was soft, so it didn’t seem to bother the cord too much. They are of course more bulky than PUL covers, but they are soft and comfy and so gentle on the legs!
*update* photos at one month and about 10 pounds:
Another update – at four months I am still using these covers. This is the ONLY cover that fit as a newborn that I am still using now at 4 months and over 15 pounds. Here is a recent photo. I started unfolding the rise pretty early, probably around 5 weeks. It was a bit high in the rise at the time, but it still worked well and I liked it a lot better that way.
Grovia AI2 I have four of these in the hook/loop. I didn’t expect to even bother trying one on so soon, but I wanted a plain pink diaper for a photo shoot so I got it out and tried it on. Lo and behold it was a great fit!! This was at 3 weeks, so she was probably around 8 1/2 to 9 pounds here. They fit SO well at the legs, I was very surprised! I use a trifolded orange edge prefold at the lowest rise setting. These are now the diapers I always use when out and about, not that we’ve gone out a lot yet, but still…
They look a tad more bulky than the newborn covers, but they are still trim enough to fit under newborn sized clothing, seen here:
Update: At 4 months these are some of my favorite covers. I keep one or two in the diaper bag since they are the easiest to use when out because of the nice hook&loop (LOVE that the hook part isn’t scratchy!). But I also use them just around the house. I ONLY wash them with cool water (like all my covers) and hang to dry so the hook&loop will last. When I had these covers for Svara as a toddler I would wash them on hot and dry in the dryer and the hook&loop wore out way too fast. So far I’ve been using them a lot for the past 3 months and the hook&loop is just as strong as it was! I now have them on the second rise setting and I use orange or yellow GMD prefolds trifolded.
MEOS fitted. I used these for nights for awhile, with a doubler and a stay dry liner. It needs a doubler because she sleeps totally on her back, so the pee kind of collects there in the back. Before I started using a doubler I got some seepage onto her swaddling blanket one night. I soon started using our simplex AIO one size for nights. But I sometimes still use the MEOS during the day under a dappi pull on cover. They don’t dry quite as quickly as prefolds and I usually prefer just a trifolded prefold in a cover. But when I feel like changing things up I use the MEOS and covers.
Simplex one size AIO – I was really excited to be able to have some of these in my stash. I have half a dozen. Hopefully in the future I can afford a few more! Here it is at about 10 pounds.
As you can see it’s not even on the tightest waist snap, so I”m sure it would have fit earlier. I didn’t even think of trying it on earlier! I now use them on the middle rise setting. I use these for night diapers. It sounds silly, but I use them for nights so that I get full use out of them. During the day I often change a diaper when it’s not even halfway saturated. But I can always re-use the cover. I can’t re-use these since they are an all-in-one, so use them for nights to get “full” use out of the absorbency. Plus they have an optional stay-dry side, which is nice for nights.
So that’s all I have from the newborn phase! I’m going to get some updated photos of the diapers we are using now at 4 months and do another review sometime. Let me know if you have any questions about any of the diapers, I’d be happy to answer!
Before I leave off, I just want to mention why I chose the diapers I did.
- Covers + insert/diaper instead of all-in-one – I prefer to be able to re-use covers so they don’t get as much wear & tear (plus then I can see the cute print for longer)
- Easy to wash/dry – I don’t like to fool around with complicated washing routines, starting the dryer 2 or 3 times, etc. Flats and prefolds are easy to wash and fast to dry. I also find that swaddlebees simplex AIO actually dries about the same as a prefold because of the way it’s made. Nice! I have had problems in the past with fancy bamboo fabrics, thick fitteds, etc. So I prefer to keep it simple.
- Economical – I don’t like to spend ALL my money on cloth diapers. There are other cute baby things to buy as well, like big swaddling blankets and wooden teethers to name a couple.
- Natural fibers – I prefer cotton diapers (hemp and bamboo are okay, but I find cotton just washes and lasts better). I used microfiber inserts in pocket diapers for Svara when she was a baby, and microfiber just doesn’t wash as well and didn’t seem to hold as much either.
Okay, I think this blog post is looong enough! Congratulations to anyone who read through all that! But I wanted to be thorough so that it IS helpful to anyone considering those diapers for their newborn. I LOVE cloth diapering and am always willing to chat about it, so feel free to ask any questions