Let's talk about cloth, baby (Our Newborn Cloth Diapering Experience + Diaper Reviews)

November 04, 2018

We had the best intentions to cloth diaper our first baby from birth. In theory, it seemed like something that I would do, with some idyllic image in my mind of my newborn sleeping soundly in a wicker basket as I hung diapers on the line to dry, my flowy dress (and perfectly dishevelled fishtail braid) blowing gently in the wind, smugly feeling like I was saving the planet one reusable diaper at the time.

But when it all came down to it we didn't even make an attempt to start after she was born. First of all: I don't know if you knew this (ha), but babies poop a lot. Like a lot. And then, between the sleep deprivation, overwhelm of new parenthood, not feeling I had enough knowledge of cloth diapering. and realizing there weren't enough hours in a day to squeeze in a shower, well, adding a few more loads of laundry to my to-do list seemed an insurmountable feat.

And so my smug bubble was popped. I conceded and weakly gave myself a pat on the back for buying unbleached disposable diapers and biodegradable bamboo wipes - until, finally, at 8 months, when that first-time parent fog began to lift, we slowly started to ease into cloth diapering.

Cloth Diapering From Birth
With a few years of cloth experience behind us now, I firmly decided to cloth diaper (almost) right from the start with our second baby. (By almost, I mean we bought a single pack of Bambo disposable diapers to use at the hospital for those first meconium poos, and used up the rest as a backup for travel in those first few weeks.)

I personally wanted to use mostly newborn-size cloth diapers (usually 5-12 lbs), rather than one-size (usually from 6lbs-35lbs), mostly because of fit. I wanted my teeny tiny newborn to look teeny tiny, to fit her teeny tiny newborn clothes - and not have a one-size diaper that went all the way up to her armpits. However, knowing that newborn cloth diapers would quickly be outgrown, we chose to buy secondhand.

Buying Cloth Secondhand
There are hundreds of cloth diaper brands and styles out there, and everyone has their preference, as well as the best fit/style for their baby (skinny legs, heavy wetter, watery poops, etc). And, it goes without saying, not all brands are made equal, and there is nothing more frustrating than dealing with blowouts. A tight budget may also be a factor. So buying a few different styles secondhand is a great way to try before you buy at a fraction of the cost, not to mention an environmentally friendly choice.

There is a great guide offered here for what to look for when buying used cloth (quality, condition, etc), and how to properly disinfect. We searched on Facebook Marketplace mostly to find gently used secondhand diapers in our community, which still make up almost our entire stash.

Below I've shared my honest opinion on 7 diaper styles (5 brands) that we tried out during the newborn stage (some of which we continue to use). If you're short on time feel free to scroll past to my Conclusion.

You can also check out our favourite Cloth Diapering Accessories (like reusable wipes!), and answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (including how to get rid of those bright yellow newborn poo stains).