Capri was born June 19th and we were released from the hospital on June 21st. While in the hospital we used the disposable diapers because the nurses did most of the changing and I didn’t want to take dirty laundry home. We got home from the hospital however and the very first diaper change that happened transitioned us from disposable to cloth diapers, she was 8lbs 5oz. when we brought her home.
I did a lot of research on cloth diapering while I was pregnant and learned as much as possible. One of the things I found hard to find however was information on cloth diapering a brand new baby (hence this blog post). The following is our experience with cloth diapering for the first four weeks of a baby’s life.
First things first, the kind of cloth diapers we use. We have three brands of cloth diapers; Applecheeks Pocket Diapers, Fuzzi Bunz Pocket Diapers and Bummis covers. We use a variety of inserts and we use all of our diapers as covers and not as pockets. The different inserts do not work in all of the covers and we have learned that through trial and error (aka mommy getting peed and pooped on).
Our biggest thing with cloth diapering a brand new baby was figuring out what to do with that nasty cord stump. With disposables you can get those nifty diapers with a notch cut out so you do not touch the cord, or you can just fold down disposables rather easily to also avoid it. We tried our best to fold down the tops of our diapers to avoid the cord and most times it worked. However the diapers came unfolded on occasion and it did cover her cord, this was not a huge issue. The only real problem we had was that our diapers would get material caught on the cord and it was hard to get it off without pulling on the cord a little (Capri’s cord fell off after 5 days…this was probably due to the fact that I caught it on everything).
All of our diapers have roughly the same weight range to them. We however have found that even though they are the same weights they all fit very differently. Our Applecheeks have the best fit overall and we have only had a couple leaks with them (again this was through trial and error figuring out which inserts worked best). We found out fast that infant prefolds are too bulky for the Applecheeks which have a very snug and trim fit. The prefolds push the legs out too far which allowed for liquids to ooze out. Our contour diapers that we own are used as inserts and work great, we also use no fold inserts and a few flats which all work very well in our Applecheeks.
Our Fuzzi Bunz are the same weight range as our Applecheeks but unfortunately are too loose on Capri and cause major leaks (we have the older ones that do not have the adjustable elastic in the legs like the new ones do). Thankfully we own 11 Applecheeks covers and this allows us to just use them for the most part (unless I put laundry off to long). Our Bummis covers are really the only covers I like to use the prefolds in because they have enough elastic in the legs to not cause gaps. I just like using the Applecheeks more than the Bummis because they are softer and have caused the least trouble.
As for laundry we have found that we can do a load every other day and that works perfect for us. This allows our covers enough time to air dry (this could be done fast if we didn’t live in a basement apartment and had a clothes line outside to dry them on) and gets our inserts from the dryer to the drawer before we run out of currently clean ones. We use Rockin Green Laundry Detergent and LOVE IT. It keeps the stinkies at bay and cleans out the biggest poop stains.
If you are planning on cloth diapering a newborn my biggest advice is to have a few different styles of diapers so you can figure out what works best with your baby’s body type. Use a laundry detergent made for cloth diapers to avoid build up and nasty chemicals that are in some mainstream detergents (again I HIGHLY recommend Rockin Green). Keep up with it and make sure you allow your husband to change the baby as well so he can learn how to use the diapers…that way you can go out and not worry about coming home to your baby wrapped in paper towel and a grocery bag (this did not happen to me just FYI).