Monday, July 27, 2015

Are NEWBORN cloth diapers worth it?

This is a question I'm commonly asked. and one that to be entirely honest I'm still not 100% sure how to answer. Why the uncertainty? There's really not one correct answer- it all comes down to a baby to baby basis. Still, in an effort to provide the best advice, I've compiled a list of a few pros and cons of newborn cloth diapers:

The Pros:

  • Great Fit...From Day One! If you plan to cloth diaper from the very beginning, having newborn diapers are most likely to fit the smallest of babies. Many one size diapers have a minimum weight of 8-10 pounds and don't fit for the first few weeks, or even months in some cases. For babies that do fit one size right away, they still provide a trimmer fit.
  • Resale Value. If you choose to sell your diapers once baby outgrows them, they hold their resale value quite well as they are used for a much shorter time period and see less wear.
  • Cheaper than disposable. If your primary concern is saving money, newborn cloth can still be a cheaper option than disposable despite the need for essentially buying two different stashes. This is particularly true if you buy cheaper options (like prefolds and covers or buying used). Let's assume your little one is one of those that cannot fit one size diapers well until 6-8 weeks inexpensive, modest stash of newborn cloth can easily be cheaper than buying disposable until that point. Especially when you consider that you're able to resell when you're finished. (We personally got back more than half of what we paid for our newborn stash...which made our investment after the fact equal to about two boxes of newborn disposables. WELL worth it!)
  • Less Likely to Change Your Mind. Perhaps this is personal to me, but I've found if I put something off until later, I'm much more likely to get used to my current routine and not go back to that original plan. I can't say that this would have been the case should I have waited to use cloth, but I could certainly see it happening. Starting from the very beginning made it just another part of the routine, not something I had to transition into.
  • Try Before You Buy. Newborn cloth can also be a great introduction into using cloth diapers. You can try several varieties in newborn diapers- all in ones, pockets, covers- to get a feel for what works best for your baby BEFORE buying a full stash of one size diapers. (Of course, you may find what works for baby at one stage may change in the next, but it gives you a good starting ground at least!)
The Cons.

  • The Cost. Sure, it's still cheaper than disposable, but buying TWO cloth diaper stashes can still be quite a lot to fork out...especially when your reason for choosing cloth is for financial reasons.
  • OS Works...For Some. When I bought our newborn cloth stash, I fully expected that my daughter would be one of those babies that would take a bit to fit into one size. The reality was, she fit into SOME of her one size at just a few weeks old. Had we known that, we probably could have skipped the newborn diapers altogether.
  • Baby Outgrows Them Quickly. With my daughter, I found that while her newborn diapers still fit until about 6-7 weeks old, she started outgrowing the absorbency somewhere between 4-6 weeks.
  • Stuffing Stinks. Some (but not all) newborn pockets can be VERY hard to stuff with their small opening. So, if you're already not a fan of stuffing, newborn pockets are probably not going to be your best bet.
As you can see, there are certainly pros and cons to each side. So what do *I* recommend? Are they worth it? Would I purchase newborn cloth again?

Personally, I think so. Despite the fact that we probably COULD have skipped the newborn and put Finley straight into the one size, I was glad we went the route we did. Sure, she didn't NEED them, but had we not had them, perhaps we would have. I was able to resell after she was finished and we really weren't out very much at all! We'd have paid more for disposables. Unless you can know for certain just how big your little one is going to be, you're kind of taking the chance either way. Buy them and not need them? Or not buy them and need them? Personally, I'd prefer to have them and not need them than scramble to get them later- or throw money away with disposables.

Did you use newborn cloth? Do you recommend it? What tips would you share with new cloth diapering parents?

Contributed by Randi! 

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